Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Plugging Along

So far so good. We have been fortunate to have crews and subs available pretty consistently to keep this project moving forward. The Studio Build guys have been all over it and we should be turning a corner shortly. The rough plumbing is completed and the floor is getting replaced today. I stopped by this morning and the HVAC guy was finishing duct work and getting ready to set the AC and furnace.
It was a big blessing in disguise that the old concrete tile roof was shot and had to go. After pulling it off no amount of repair was going to stop the leaks. Now we have a nice new 50 year roof. All of the facia was rotten or missing and we went back with hardiboard, so no worry about rot in the future. The flat roof section had sagged and leaked where it joined the sloped roof. It is now pitched out for positive drainage. Combine that with a bunch of new roof vents and it looks like a new house.

The front porch had dropped 6 inches from some very old termite damage. It got jacked up and is held in place by a new tapered column. Fortunately there was a brick ranch just down the street with tapered columns so we didn't have to go far for inspiration.

And a view of the family room from the front yard. The blocked out window space is where the new second bathroom is going. 
Next Few Weeks:
- Interior Plumbing
- Electrical

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sometimes It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better

The project is in full swing. We don't have internet at the apartment so the posts are a few and far between. The past few weeks have brought lots of demo and things are starting to go back together.
The house had an original drywall that was finished with mortar. It was solid. The demo guys didn't appreciate the craftsmanship.
All of the walls have been demo'd and reframed. The floor is cut up to run new plumbing. The main stack was cracked so everything had to go. We moved a wall to make the kitchen bigger and vaulted the ceiling which will really improve the space.
The kitchen cabinets have gone to powder coating so the only things in the guest bedroom/office are the appliances. From the outside you would guess that it had originally been a two car garage and they just walled off one bay. That wasn't the case. As you can see there is three feet elevation difference between the garage and the rest of the house, strange.
The roof was in really bad shape and we are getting it replaced. The flat portion in the back was waterproofed with soldered tin. No amount of patching was going to fix that.  
 In the next couple weeks it will start coming together with the roof, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and insulation all happening.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

To say it's been a busy spring is an understatement. We bought a house, sold a house, moved into an apartment, had massive water damage, had to deal with an insurance settlement, and had to get a construction loan. We should be able to close on the construction loan today or Monday and are on the brink of actually starting work.
In the meantime I get to keep mowing the new yard. It is big enough we got a nice commercial mower so every weekend won't just be mowing.
The interior of the house is empty and very rough at this point. The kitchen cabinets have been removed will soon be sent for powder coating.

 The trailer project went on a bit of a hiatus this spring and is now back on track. The table is in an mounted.

It drops down to make the bed. We got a pretty slick removable hinge and folding leg setup from vintage trailer supply that made life much easier.

Insulating is underway in preparation for skin.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Aftermath of the Great Flood of 2014

Fortunately for us the pipe break and flooding incident happened before we owned the house so it was the previous owner's insurance that had to take care of things. For the mold remediation the carpet, kitchen flooring, and a significant amount of drywall had to come out. In that remediation process the floor tiles tested positive for asbestos and a different remediation company had to be called in to remove those.  
The pictures pretty much speak for themselves. Here is all the demo stuff removed from the house.

 Yep, that's about where the leak was.

At one point we had a dozen fans and two large dehumidifiers going to dry things out. Now that is the original kitchen flooring.

All of the drywall in the entry and some in the living room had to go. 
So some of the demo we planned on doing is done along with a bunch we didn't plan on doing. We did receive an insurance settlement so I guess things are all bad. The next step is to finalize plans with the contractor, then start the construction loan process moving. The current house closing is May 2nd and the new house won't be livable for at least 6 months. In the meantime we are moving into an apartment. The saying that two moves is like a fire is true. I have a feeling we won't have near as much stuff when we end up in the house.

Our Next House: Part 2 Water, Water, Everywhere

Gather round kids and let me tell you a story. So three days before we were set to close we got a call from the realtor with "news." One of the neighbors reported water running out the front door. Not just the bottom of the front door, but the top and the garage too. They couldn't get in touch with the selling realtor and ended calling the fire department to shut off the water. Sounds fun already, right? In the last cold snap we had a pipe freeze in the ceiling and it ran for 3-4 days before someone saw it.
We headed over that night to investigate. The front door was wet and so swollen it took some doing to get it open. Since this picture all of the paint has come off so we are looking pretty classy.
The pipe burst over the front entry closet and water filled up the house. The carpet in the picture is completely soaked and that's on the other end of the house from the break.

It ran right through the ceiling and even down the mail slot. 
Some trim popped off and floated away from the entry. You can see the high water mark.

Needless to say we ended up postponing the closing. The insurance company paid to have everything dried out for mold remediation which included pulling floors, drywall, and some ceilings. So the house that needed a bunch of work now needs even more. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Our Next House: Part 1

So enough waiting, here is the new place. It currently is a 2000 sf, 4 bedroom 1.5 bath house with a living room, family/dining room, a multipurpose room, laundry room, and one car garage. The house was built in 1950 and was the personal home of an architect. We are still tracking down more info on the original owner. The house is slab on grade, concrete masonry unit with brick fa├žade, and concrete shingles. It is a stout, but weird house. The initial plans are to stay within the original footprint but pretty much update everything to end up with 4 good-sized bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms.
The front view. Right now there are two front doors, one to the house and one to the laundry room. One will get eliminated.
The rear view. It is an odd house, single level ranch with a big southern facing sunroom.

Here is one of the huge selling features, a one acre lot. 

The sunroom has southern facing windows protected by an overhang. The ceilings in this room are tall, at least 10 feet. We have been told that the angle of the overhang prevents any direct sunlight from entering the space, we will see. 

Looking back toward the bedroom wing. The VCT tile definitely needs replacement. 
You can see through the last picture into the family/dining room and to the bedrooms. There are 3 small bedrooms and a nice sized master. The bathroom and such a weird layout that I couldn't get a good picture if I tried. There is a galley kitchen with original metal cabinets. They are in great shape and we are planning on keeping them, maybe after refinishing.
Coming next Part 2: water, water everywhere

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Longest Month

Oh man, where should I even begin?  We're under contract on our current house, which is good.  Today we officially closed on our new house.  But since our last post, life has been nothing short of a roller coaster.  We're planning on starting a new blog for the new house since we're moving off the Circle, but since that hasn't been started, I'll give you the cliff notes version of the new house saga.

But first, here's a sneak peak of the new place:

View of the back patio and overhang
 Please pay no attention to the rot.  As I already noted, this is a project house.

Back to the house-buying drama.  We got a helluva deal and had assumed everything on the financial side would be fine.  Long story short, it wasn't.  Due to some appraisal issues (again with the appraisal!) we had some financing issues and for a day or so, we weren't sure we'd be able to get the house.  While we were waiting to hear back on final approval, we got a call saying the new house had flooded.  This was on Sunday.

Flooded was an understatement.  Closing was less than 72 hours away.  We still didn't have financing secure.  Jesus Christ, we should have our own goddamn reality tv show and we haven't even gotten to the construction part!

Monday we got the final approval for the financing, Tuesday the seller's insurance agency started the claim on the water damage, and we delayed closing on Wednesday at the very last minute.  We were tying up loose ends on the water damage and wanted to make sure we were covered.  Everyone scrambled on the paperwork and we closed over lunch Thursday.  I have to say, after the last week, closing seemed very anticlimactic.

There will be more details to come and a relocation of the blog.  But we need a name for the new house and we're stuck.  It's a brick 1950s ranch on an acre.  I know somewhere in there is a clever, witty name but right now all I keep thinking is Brick S#&t House.  Any good suggestions?