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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started a major house renovation. It's a two level colonial with an addition.

It was always planned but never executed. But now, my brother moved in with me. He has a learning disability and family takes care of their own. He was living with my sister but that devolved into a bad situation.

The house was originally built before 1900. Exact date was unknown because the county courthouse burned down in the early 1900's and all records were lost. So everyone had to get new deeds registered with estimates of when the houses were built.

Anyway, it's an old house, all walls and ceilings are plaster/lath. There was an addition put on in the 1940's, also all plaster. The strange part of the addition is that it has a flat - pitched roof (pitched about 8" over 15') BUT the pitch was built from the ground up, for the most part, if you can imagine that.

The addition is where my bro is getting his room. It's 15' x 22' room and in that footprint will go a bathroom and small closet. The second floor of the addition will become a master bedroom.

I've never done any residential demolition and remodeling. I have industrial experience in demo and construction as a mechanical engineer.

Sadly, I underestimated on demolition, leveling of the floors and stripping the exterior fiberboard/strip sheathing.

Both levels of the addition were taken down to floor joists and wall studs. Interior plaster/lath walls & ceiling are gone and exterior 1940's era strip sheathing & fiberboard covering (homesote?) are gone. The first floor leveling needed a 5" correction and the second floor needed 3 1/2". This meant ripping up the flooring on first floor and shimming the joists. The second level floor was jacked up and shimmed.

Anyway, thought I'd share and introduce a topic to the gen'l discussion section that's not related to the same old same old.

I'm on a T&M basis with the contractor. The contractor is charging $25/hour per man. He was hesitant to go firm/fixed price because of all the unknowns with old houses. So far I'm happy with the production and charges.

By my new and improved estimate I'll be in at about $50/sq ft for the renovation. Not bad, IMO, but I'm thinking I should have let some Jewish lightning hit the house. (BTW, that's not really a derogatory term..in NY, where I grew up, it was a commonly used saying)



Anyone else have any experience with gutted house renovations?
 

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Crazy Cat Lady
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Not renovations really.

The builder used regular drywall for the shower enclosure, and did not use a solid barrier in the window - just 4 inch tiles. When the tiles deteriorated water got into the drywall and rotted out the studs. Horrible mess.

Home inspector just totally "missed" it. I believe he was paid off my my agent to write a good report.

Anyway, a friend volunteered to clean it all up and did a great job fixing it. It is nicer than a hotel now.
 
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Following. I love projects like this. Beautiful tree in the front yard.

I just finished renovating my MIL's house and sold it but it was a 1961 house so not too bad. If you do paint, I found BEHR multi surface primer is worth the cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not renovations really.

The builder used regular drywall for the shower enclosure, and did not use a solid barrier in the window - just 4 inch tiles. When the tiles deteriorated water got into the drywall and rotted out the studs. Horrible mess.

Home inspector just totally "missed" it. I believe he was paid off my my agent to write a good report.

Anyway, a friend volunteered to clean it all up and did a great job fixing it. It is nicer than a hotel now.
Good to hear it ended well. Being vigilant when contractors are working is important. They will cheat when they can. (yes, that's a broad brush stroke and not applicable to all of them).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Following. I love projects like this. Beautiful tree in the front yard.

I just finished renovating my MIL's house and sold it but it was a 1961 house so not too bad. If you do paint, I found BEHR multi surface primer is worth the cost.
Noted.

My kids and brother will be some priming and painting fools when the drywall/sheetrock is up.

They only get $8/hour.....:D:
 

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PA - I'm confused, you doing this yourself? I thought you were but you mentioned a contractor. Just curious.

How was the plaster to remove? Man that old time plaster is a heck of a lot tougher to remove than drywall.

Yeah these projects can be stressful. I've gutted and rebuilt bathrooms and other rooms, replaced all the windows in the house (did new windows), and resided it. Also put a small addition in. I'm to the point I want to be done, as I don't like doing these projects.

Anyway...keep the updates coming.
 

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That's just too cool...….
I'd love to help....
I've done it, a couple times....
Keep the updates coming.....
Pics please......
 

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I have. The original part of this house was from the 1880s, the rest is a single very large addition.

However, it was not built the way Federal/Colonial houses were, with plaster and lath. This was built in what I was told is called 'box framing'. No insulation, no studs to speak of. Just an outer layer of wood siding going vertically with an inner layer of wall siding going horizontally. Windows framed in with 1x stock. The strength, if you can call it that, was in the top beams and the sills. It was used in a lot of houses around Texas because it went together very quickly.

The newer addition was built in the 1930s and is typical framing, and at some time or other someone took off the wall boards (which were like thin paneling strips) and put in insulation and modern sheetrock. I've had to do some renovations but they were nothing I could not do myself.

My renovation is not going to be comparable to yours, but yes, I've done one. And years later still have a few little things left to finish. If I ever do.

You have my prayers for your fortitude.
 

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Sounds like you're doing it right. Good job.

We're in the middle of a kitchen remod. Which entails pulling down a wall between the dining room and kitchen, raising a floor, all new flooring, new cabinets... Oh, and we're relocating the stove, exhaust, refrig, and putting in an island that never existed before...

Simple stuff. :rolleyes:

And because we didn't have enough going on, I thought I'd redo the fireplace too... gotta get rid of that field stone, replace it with a stacked stone surround.

Oh, and did I mention that we're going to re-plumb the entire house too? Yeah, it's an older home (45 years), and we're starting to get pinhole leaks in some of the joints, so decided to redo the whole system on Pex, with a central manifold system to isolate feeds. Pex is amazing, and it's kind of a one weekend job once we get everything exposed. That's the kicker.

All of this would be great, except my wife started her Masters program this month and will be swamped with work, school and regular life. I'm an amazing timer I'll say... :eek:

You know, just par for the course I guess. I think I need some Jewish lightning too. Or mice with matches. Something....
 
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We remodelled two houses, the one I'm living in now and the one next door that my daughter lives in. Both built in 1916. That was 20 yrs ago and I found it challenging and frustrating and a huge time investment (We did most of the work, only contracted out what we couldn't do).

Now my mother's 1906 house is up for sale, as is. I'm not doing this again. Just don't have the energy for it. I'll let the buyer have all they fun they want with it since it has everything possible wrong with it.

Best of luck. Be sure to add 6 months to the time expected and double the expected cost.
 

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I am in middle of a remodel myself. Living room is semi complete. I scraped the popcorn ceiling, repaired crappy joints in the drywall, retextured all walls, painted, and laid flooring down.

Now we need trim, and replace some lighting fixtures.

Then lay tile and paint in the sunroom.

But we’ve had some hiccups. Our microwave went out, followed by our dishwasher, washing machine and now the stove lol. Then my truck crapped out on me and I bought a brand new truck.

All in all it is going pretty good. Considering I work 10-12 hrs a day on my day job and weekends with my old boss who we started a plumbing company together.

We hired some flooring guys but I quickly fired them due to it looking like crap and my father finished it for us.

Watch them like a hawk. People these days like to cut corners everywhere they can.
 

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Good to hear it ended well. Being vigilant when contractors are working is important. They will cheat when they can. (yes, that's a broad brush stroke and not applicable to all of them).
Oh, my guy did it for the love of Jesus. God has really blessed us with some amazing people in our lives. We just fixed him dinner every night. I let him do whatever he wanted and it looks great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
PA - I'm confused, you doing this yourself? I thought you were but you mentioned a contractor. Just curious.

How was the plaster to remove? Man that old time plaster is a heck of a lot tougher to remove than drywall.

Yeah these projects can be stressful. I've gutted and rebuilt bathrooms and other rooms, replaced all the windows in the house (did new windows), and resided it. Also put a small addition in. I'm to the point I want to be done, as I don't like doing these projects.

Anyway...keep the updates coming.
We remodelled two houses, the one I'm living in now and the one next door that my daughter lives in. Both built in 1916. That was 20 yrs ago and I found it challenging and frustrating and a huge time investment (We did most of the work, only contracted out what we couldn't do).

Now my mother's 1906 house is up for sale, as is. I'm not doing this again. Just don't have the energy for it. I'll let the buyer have all they fun they want with it since it has everything possible wrong with it.

Best of luck. Be sure to add 6 months to the time expected and double the expected cost.

Full Moon,

I hired someone to do the work. The demolition of all the plaster /lath was a PITA and messy. In some areas there was sheetrock on top of the old plaster.

The demolition went down to floor joists and wall studs. It was wide open to the frame last week. It was strange to stand in my yard and look through it. They just got the new OSB sheeting on the exterior late last week.

and yes, because I have never done this type of work I estimated wrong on time..and the amount of dumpsters. We are on the third 20 cu yd and just about complete with demo.

400 man hours so far ($10K). But that was interior demolition, demolition of one bathroom, leveling both floors, stripping/demo the exterior homosote type stuff/strip sheathing, demo two small porches (each about 5 x 9 with an overhang/roof), insulating under the ground floor, 7/16 OSB is complete on the two exterior walls (one is 22' long x 18' high, other is 15' L x 18' H) and they have roughed in six window frames.

Maybe 300 of the 400 hours have been spent on demo. I figured the demo would be about 150 hours.

From here forward things should move along at a good pace. Drywall on walls and ceiling, insulation, new plumbing and wiring (120VAC, coax and Ethernet).

If I can find the time I may jump in and do some things but time is something I never seem to have.

Baby Blue,, two houses built in 1916 remodeled? I can appreciate that now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am in middle of a remodel myself. Living room is semi complete. I scraped the popcorn ceiling, repaired crappy joints in the drywall, retextured all walls, painted, and laid flooring down.

Now we need trim, and replace some lighting fixtures.

Then lay tile and paint in the sunroom.

But we’ve had some hiccups. Our microwave went out, followed by our dishwasher, washing machine and now the stove lol. Then my truck crapped out on me and I bought a brand new truck.

All in all it is going pretty good. Considering I work 10-12 hrs a day on my day job and weekends with my old boss who we started a plumbing company together.

We hired some flooring guys but I quickly fired them due to it looking like crap and my father finished it for us.

Watch them like a hawk. People these days like to cut corners everywhere they can.
Ironically, my current job is as the mechanical owner's representative/engineer on a $900 million power project. My job is to make sure the EPC contractor is doing the right thing. And yes I have caught them "cheating" a number of times.

My contractor knows this now. When I originally told him what I wanted and what I expect, he asked what I do for a living.. his response was something like "oh ****".
 

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I have done it in my current house, built around 1946. Gutted the 2nd floor to have a dormer built, 3 bedrooms and a bath. I had that framed, finished on the outside and roughed out inside. I hired a contractor (lone wolf) and he was very reasonable. He did all the dry wall work and finish carpentry. I had an independent plumber rough in the bath.

Main floor, I gutted the kitchen, dining room, bath and living room in 1997. Did that myself with a little help. The bath I did myself and it came out well, BIL helped with the electrical work. I had a contractor do the kitchen work and all the interior drywall and moldings. I did all the cleaning and extra demo when it was needed.

Basement, a total gut job in 1990. The main beam of the house was a cob-job. I supported the house and took the old beams out in sections. The house had a major sag to it. Replaced it with triple 2" x 10"s. It had 3 columns holding it up, went with 2 new ones and poured new footings for those. The basement was finished off for an apartment that I rented out for about 7 years.

But man, a huge undertaking especially if you have to live in the house while doing it. I had nowhere else to go and my late wife was great about the hardships we faced. Set aside some serious $$ for the unknowns. My kitchen/dining room ran into about $7k more than we expected.
 

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If you're paying contractors, splurge and get two teams. It will get done faster, and the two teams will be competing and keep each other honest.

If you are doing it yourself, don't demo too much at one time. Personally, I would do the easy rooms first, which are rooms without plumbing. After you do those rooms, which are easy and quick, start on the other rooms. Kitchens and bathrooms have it all, so be prepared if you don't have experience. If you can do electrical, solder copper pipe, run plumbing, etc... you won't have an issue. As long as you have the money needed to do it, you can get it done faster than you think. I remodeled an home in about a 4 month period with the help of a friend.
 

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=ksmedman;18999162]Sounds like you're doing it right. Good job.

We're in the middle of a kitchen remod. Which entails pulling down a wall between the dining room and kitchen, raising a floor, all new flooring, new cabinets... Oh, and we're relocating the stove, exhaust, refrig, and putting in an island that never existed before...

Simple stuff. :rolleyes:
Just did our kitchen/bathroom/laundry room remodel last year. Took from April to November to do it.

Like you we switch around everything. Plumbling, refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, sink every damn thing.

At the beginning we couldn't figure out where everything should/could go. We needed some out-of-the-box thinking so we hired a designer...it was worth every penny when we saw the computer design and it gave us a blue print.

BTW...I'm still recovering from all that work :D: beat the hell out of me.

Even now Months later, myself and wife will stand in our kitchen and say "I can't believe this is our kitchen"
 
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