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Great feeling, isn't it!
Sure is!

Looking back I'm glad we did all the work ourselves. I was a little intimidated when our garage will filled with boxes or cabinets, sink, bolts and nuts, tile, lights etc., and I have a blue print on a piece of paper. :eek:

I wondered often if I was in over my head but it all came together. Fighting every step of the way...nothing came easy but I saved over 20K by doing it myself and it allowed us to go high-end on lots of areas.
 

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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?
as a jew, it IS a derogatory term and should be treated as such no matter where you grew up. if you thought you were being funny or cute, you were not. i dont know any jew who purposely burned their house down...and i would BET neither do you.
 

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as a jew, it IS a derogatory term and should be treated as such no matter where you grew up. if you thought you were being funny or cute, you were not. i dont know any jew who purposely burned their house down...and i would BET neither do you.


Ok, derrogotory term. Check.
So what, continue on.
 

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Another thing to consider... central air. Old homes would often run intakes through wall channels between the studs. You may have to reroute or even get a AC tech out to help with this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Another thing to consider... central air. Old homes would often run intakes through wall channels between the studs. You may have to reroute or even get a AC tech out to help with this.
Thanks, the central HVAC is already planned. It may be pushed out to one of the last things but the ducts and path are in the current plans. I have a dead space (plenum) planned to run the intake and discharge duct. Intake will be on first floor and will go to the basement, then discharge up a plenum to the attic (I know that's not the best choice) and then run drops through future closets on the second floor then down to the first floor. I've done an air balance and I compensated for 50% of the house that isn't insulated and is not air tight. So I will go with the idea of bigger is better.

and BTW, the first time I heard the term jewish lightning,....was from a Jew. Maybe Jews in NY weren't so sensitive because they had a heavy presence. My best friends growing up were a Jew, a Deigo (Italian) and a Mick (Irish). I was the Kraut. We were quite the mixed group. And I don't remember any of us being offended. If we didn't break each others' cahones..that's when we were offended and knew something was wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
as a jew, it IS a derogatory term and should be treated as such no matter where you grew up. if you thought you were being funny or cute, you were not. i dont know any jew who purposely burned their house down...and i would BET neither do you.
and..you would win that bet. But the saying had to originate from some sort of history. I've never heard "I should have collected after Swedish lightning hit".

Is it derogatory to say "when you need a good lawyer, doctor or accountant, find a Jewish one" because that's what I also learned growing up. And as a 50 y/o man, I can honestly say that is true.

I won't say I'm sorry because I am so very ****ing sick and tired of snowflakes. Grow up, grow a set and deal with it.
 

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We are in the process of renovating an oldie. We gutted and tore down a bad addition to rebuild it. It gave us a chance to shore up all rafters, replace some questionable posts and beams, put in new soy based insulation, put windows where we wanted them and yes code came in there. (Bedroom window sizes)as well as electric and plumbing codes.
We are probably putting in more than the value to most but not to us. Good luck if you decide to do it.

For more information, visit Local Renovation Company Calgary
 

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Not a remodel but after we bought our log cabin in AZ, we replaced all the windows, removed the metal roofing to redo the underlayment and stripped all the old caulking, re-caulked and stained the exterior.

At my age I wasn't going to mess with any of it. Plus I wanted it done expeditiously so we paid to have work done.

The contractor that did the caulk/stain had never done a re-caulk job before. He did a good job but said he would NEVER take one of those jobs again. He also seriously underbid the labor involved.
 

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Thanks, the central HVAC is already planned. It may be pushed out to one of the last things but the ducts and path are in the current plans. I have a dead space (plenum) planned to run the intake and discharge duct. Intake will be on first floor and will go to the basement, then discharge up a plenum to the attic (I know that's not the best choice) and then run drops through future closets on the second floor then down to the first floor. I've done an air balance and I compensated for 50% of the house that isn't insulated and is not air tight. So I will go with the idea of bigger is better.

and BTW, the first time I heard the term jewish lightning,....was from a Jew. Maybe Jews in NY weren't so sensitive because they had a heavy presence. My best friends growing up were a Jew, a Deigo (Italian) and a Mick (Irish). I was the Kraut. We were quite the mixed group. And I don't remember any of us being offended. If we didn't break each others' cahones..that's when we were offended and knew something was wrong.
Never saw it spelled that way. In PA it was "****".

In the Marines back in the day it was common for us to rag on each others ethnicity. Now even the Marines have gone the PC route though.
 

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How was the plaster to remove? Man that old time plaster is a heck of a lot tougher to remove than drywall.
We gutted almost all of the plaster in our house years back. It was a very messy and hard job. Since we were living in the home it made for an interesting chore and we both worked full-time jobs so it took a while. The only plaster left is the very small bedroom the upstairs hallway one exterior wall on the stairway and the internal living wall. Frankly we only left those undone because we ran out of steam. ;)

We did have a guy in to do the drywall after I insulated the exterior walls. He also did the plumbing and I rewired the place with more outlets and light switches. But like drywall, plumbing isn't an art I have down well. We still have to finish trim work in the living and one upstairs bedroom. But Both of us got burnt out. When we move and sell the place, we'll finish that stuff. But then again, the neighbor wants to buy the place when we sell and he does trim work so I said we'd give him a reduced price if we didn't have to do that. He was all over that.

Interestingly the house is old (circa 1938) and was a Sears and Roebuck house kit. I gather you ordered one and they sent the entire house with all wood cut and you just assembled it and then did the finishing stuff like electric, plumbing, outside siding and interior walls.
 

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Sounds like a nice project , I’ve gutted a couple 100 houses with plaster and lath (contractor).
I think you will end up around 65 bucks a foot now, material just gos up for no reason .
The last few years thing where cheeped in the spring and things gos up till thanks giving then the price drops down . Try to buy your material now.
I’m in ny and yes Jewish Lightning is a term used by The Jewish community in my area and they all laugh about it . And yes I’ve seen lots of bad investments burnt to the ground .
 

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I did heavy renovations to my house over the past 35 years, a couple of projects I was close to broke towards the end of them. I learned plumbing, I had never done any before. And there was no internet to look up things. I had books and people to guide me. I did a lot of barter working on friend's houses.

But now I have a nice comfortable house. I think back on some projects and wonder how I did them. Things like replacing the main beam of the house, in the basement. Complete re-plumbing, adding 2 new bathrooms. I learned tiling which has stood up over the years. My dad was a master carpenter, I picked up some skills from him. I had almost zero carpentry tools when I got my house, I picked them up as I needed them.
 

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My buddy has a vintage Sears craftsmen ,it’s a small cabin 16x 32 living room in the front and the original crafts men kitchen in the back the frig just died this past summer ☹ It was 80plus years old they don’t make then like that any more
 
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