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Posts Tagged ‘renovation’

tongue and groove pine boards I am painting individually with a whitewash

whitewashed boards

jiri the installer

eric the tile man

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so here are the two sides of the attic and how they look today

lots of noise and dust, ugh

this is photography taken with an iphone in panoramic mode

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We have waited a long time to do this part of the project and finally are on our way!

The stairs will go from the main living floor into the basement and above those the stairs to the attic/new living space will be installed.  We will also eventually add a second bathroom upstairs, according to our architect’s drawings it will be another 700 square feet of living space.ImageImageImageImage

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To save thousands of dollars, which you really need these days, and much pain and aggravation, from our personal experience, here are the top ten renovation tips for renovating an old home on a tight budget:

1) TIP:Old Wood: Problem: We did not want to pull up the original old fir floors and it was damaged

Solution: We kept it, sanded it, refinished it  and the damaged parts we filled in with wood putty

2) TIP: it took 2 hours at the showroom for me to make a decision about Marmoleum choices, after having brought multiple samples home for a week to try and design a look with them.  If you have a friend who is an artist bring them along, it will help to bounce ideas back and forth.

marmoleum

3) TIP:  Never give your contractor keys to the house.  If you are in the house and they come in they might find you in your underwear or in the shower.  Some of them have no boundaries and do not respect the schedule you might have given.  Set strict guidelines about working hours.  You don’t want 6:30am surprises or workers hanging around past your bedtime.

4) TIP: Get a copy of each contractors drivers license.  This might prevent theft.

5) TIP:  Keep your eye on your contractor as he works.  He is not interested in making perfect rectangles in your wall unless you draw them yourself.  Also ask him to repair any damage he might cause ahead of the fact.  There is always damage and they always refuse to repair it, saying it was not in the contract.

6) TIP:  Watch your workers carefully!  They will take shortcuts and not pay attention to detail!

7) TIP:  Always ask for references of previous clients, phone numbers included.  Call them and go see the work if possible or ask to see pictures

8) TIP: Make sure all delivered materials are opened and checked ASAP by yourself and the contractor who will be doing the work.  Often the pieces that are missing delay the whole project

9) TIP: sometimes getting permits, even if not required by the city, prevents bad construction from a contractor

10) TIP: Get a street container or put everything in storage.  We had too much stuff and it all had to be moved around constantly.  It all got very dusty and had me cleaning nonstop.

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House Renovation 101 “the awful truth”

House renovation, often done as a necessity, does not have to be the headache that homeowners like us endured. In the United States there are over 285,000 original Victorians alone, not counting any older homes built after that period. The house that needs a complete renovation can create lots of stress and drive one to sheer insanity that leaves little time for enjoyment of the actual process.
We all live in a house, or an apartment, and often need to revise the living layout, such as it is, and often invest much time and energy in rethinking it and restructuring it. Familiarity with events that might occur during such a reconstruction will help the homeowner better understand the road ahead and help them examine their own possible responses. The first step is to know the extent of the renovation and then how to achieve it, step by step.

How to do a Home Renovation?

We all understand the concept of deconstruction and rebuilding, and we may have experienced it first hand. Renovation, is a long process, with possible symptoms of unpleasantness, lethargy, sadness, agitation, irritation and ultimately (haha) suicidal/homicidal thoughts. There are many ways to deal with these emotions, but you have to have a master plan. One way to do it is to get three general contractors to look over your project and give you estimates, which will be exorbitant, and another way to do it is to act as your own general contractor and hire each subcontractor separately. One way to better understand this is to imagine that the renovating process can take twice as long if you are your own general contractor, especially if you are hiring people from Craigslist, the phone book or Angie’s list. If you do hire one of these people, expect to frequently have to deal with lack of respect, misunderstandings and other unpleasant feelings. You may feel like they are in charge of your project, not you.

What is the best way to renovate an older house?

If you have some money in savings and can get more from a second mortgage, go for it. The most important fact to remember is that housing always appreciates, you will always get your money back, especially if you hold on to it for a few years. As a real estate agent in New Jersey, where I lived for five years in a 1914 Four Square Sears Catalog Home I renovated with my husband and subcontractors, I saw real estate shoot through the roof. Making a profit is always possible but also a different thing all together. It’s impossible to renovate unless you have the drive and the stamina. If you live in the house during the process it is even more difficult. Your initial ideas may seem either undoable or even impossible to achieve. You may also think it will cost too much and you will never get your money back. No matter what the project, or the extent of it, there is always the possibility of complete chaos and dissatisfaction with it. Renovation, it turns out, is simply not what people look forward to, unless they are truly desperate (off-kilter).

The hysteria behind renovating

Renovating old homes has become more and more popular, as can be seen in numerous home magazines on the market. There is no question that house renovation as a whole has increased significantly. There’s a reason for this. New homes are too expensive and people would rather buy an old home and fix it up, one step at a time. But for many people renovation is not only a choice it is a must. In other words, if a person buys a house with a wet basement, they will definitely become instant renovators. In fact, they can become very serious about rehauling much of the plumbing and all of the bathrooms. But unless the homeowner has funds and the desire and time, there is no chance they will delve into any serious time consuming renovation.

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