I bought a really old house.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Bloodweiser, May 4, 2013.

  1. Stray Dog

    Stray Dog Been here awhile

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    About 4 years, although I had a year out after a Bike accident in 2001.
    We moved in full time in spring 2003
    It certainly was a love/hate thing.
    Most of it I loved, but some of it.......Grrrrrrr
    But to finally bring the old house back to life was worth every minute.


    Dog
    #21
  2. LoJack

    LoJack Long timer

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    Subscribed.

    I'm actually going to look at a house built in 1869 soon. It seems to be fairly neglected, though, so we'll see.
    #22
  3. Honkey Cat

    Honkey Cat Tailights Fade!

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    sweet homestead, alot of work, but worth it, where in upstate NY?
    #23
  4. seniorasi

    seniorasi Banned

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    Renovated a few! Decide up front what you want to accomplish. Winters can be harsh in upstate New York. Heating oil is expensive. My first concerns would be windows, wiring,and insulation, after making it water tight. Living in a house while renovating is a nightmare so have a plan and modify as needed. If possible start in the kitchen, then the bath. If you have the time and money doing these two rooms prior to move in would be ideal. Best of luck. Any specific questions feel free to ask.
    #24
  5. seniorasi

    seniorasi Banned

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    Impact driver? What's he working on a car or a house?
    #25
  6. LoJack

    LoJack Long timer

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    Every carpenter I know uses a Makita impact driver, so I got one a few years. It's incredibly handy. Having the little spot light that comes on when you hit the trigger is nice, too.
    #26
  7. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Lotta great old homes in Upstate. I used to own one in Brunswick, NY that we never dated definitively but was definitely a pre-revolutionary Dutch house. It was part of a little hamlet of similar era houses with farms fanning out from them (none of this rectangular boundary stuff like in the midwest & west). Another house in the hamlet was taken down piece by piece and rassembled at one of those historic village recreations.
    #27
  8. Nesbocaj

    Nesbocaj Politicians suck

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    My house was built in 1927:D

    Like was said: plan, repair roof(s), gut the place once instead of many little separate times, level it, rewire and plumb as needed, replace windows and doors and insulate as you afford to do so, the heating savings return is super. Then worry about the finish work. Test your well!
    #28
  9. Steigs

    Steigs Been here awhile

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    Congrats! Looks like a nice piece of property.

    Depending on your needs, anytime you're gonna have the walls open is a great opportunity to think about pulling additional wiring for tv, network, in-wall/in-ceiling speakers, etc. Having a central area that you can have the tv/network/phone lines all run back to from each room is ideal as well.

    You might consider looking into some of the DIY automation systems available too. Having a house than can manage it's energy usage and save $$ while being transparent to you and your family is handy. You can control just about any system (lights, heat/ac, sprinklers, garage doors, tv's, stereo systems, shades, alarms, cameras, deadbolts, etc) from your phone, a touchscreen or a simple wall switch.

    Happy hammering!
    #29
  10. CallMeBoog

    CallMeBoog hi functioning idiom

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    congratulations on the house. You will hate it before you love it again.

    My shanty was built in 1859, a scant 3200 square foot 3 storey 6 bedroom victorian. we bought it for a song and have spent 5 years renovating it. It's **ALMOST** done - just some trimwork...well all of the trimwork. it had no insulation, old knob & tube wiring, the plaster was being held to the wall with the wallpaper, and the original single pane windows. it's come a long way. I still hate it, but I'll love it again soon...

    good luck, and just keep your eye on the prize.
    #30
  11. seniorasi

    seniorasi Banned

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    Oh...a palm nailer! Gotcha! Different parts of the country terminology. I try to use an air driven framing nailer wherever possible; it is so much quicker.
    #31
  12. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    #32
  13. zap2504

    zap2504 Dave E.

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    Recommended forums:
    Fine Homebuilding magazine http://www.finehomebuilding.com/

    Green Building Advisor (especially useful for learning about modern building science - air/vapor/thermal control) http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/

    Building Science Corp. (one of the most influential/respected sources of modern building science - huge repository under "Information") http://www.buildingscience.com/

    If you will be dealing with crawlspaces (good info for rubble stone foundations/earth floors too) http://crawlspaces.org/

    I also have an old house (1930s) and am in the same camp as the above - too much work; too many inherent restrictions. But as an energy auditor I also see all sorts of more modern shoddy work - even brand new stuff. Most housing in the USA are "code" houses - houses built to pass whatever building codes are in force at that time. Code = the absolute minimum quality that is allowed by law. Much better building science/construction methods exist but most builders do not use them nor even offer them to customers; most tradespeople have no clue, don't want a clue, and get their jobs done as fast and cheap as possible.

    Your job is to learn as much about building science as you can and implement the technology in your retrofit.
    #33
  14. tvpierce

    tvpierce Been here awhile

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    Ever hear the saying, "The only thing that works in an old house is the owner!" :rofl:rofl:rofl

    Mine's practically a new-build: only 100 years old. :clap
    #34
  15. small_e_900

    small_e_900 Amanda carried it

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    By US standards, my house is pretty old. c1790.

    A stone foundation means that some doors won't stay open in the winter and some won't stay open in the summer.

    The day I stop working on it will be the day I die.
    #35
  16. S/W

    S/W Been here awhile

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    The basement is an old laid stone / dirt pile foundation.
    It's settle a bit, and some of the floors are a bit slanty.
    Mrs. wants me to get on this one pretty quick too I think.
    It effects the 1st to 2nd floor stairs and that's her biggest qualm.



    I have a foundation like that, it's good at keeping the larger water molecules out!! And the slanty floors are fun for the kids Hot wheels cars!
    #36
  17. wheatfly

    wheatfly Adventurer

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    Makes my 1947 house seem like a baby. Still a long way to go but we are working on it slowly....... tons of pictures and such on our blog. It was vacant for about 5 years before we bought it and in the same family since the late 60s.

    I believe it to be true that there are some things cheaper and work out better to pay someone but I continually have trouble applying that even though I know it.

    http://www.greystonecottage.blogspot.com/
    #37
  18. LoJack

    LoJack Long timer

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    #38
  19. seniorasi

    seniorasi Banned

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    Each to their own! I started using screw guns working in a cabinet shop while in college. The Makita 9V was the first one that was worth a hoot. Since then I've burned up a bunch. I currently use the 18V DeWalt. Awesome screw gun! Not certain I'd like the "impact" version after using the old school gun.
    #39
  20. Bloodweiser

    Bloodweiser honestly

    Joined:
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    Location:
    way over yonder in the minor key
    The house is in Chatham NY.

    I've been a tool horder since I was 11 or 12,
    am looking forward to more excuses to buy more tools.
    but I already have an impact driver.

    Had the appraisal yesterday morning.
    My agent said it went ok,
    I don't know what that means
    but I think we'll be closing soon.

    :freaky
    #40