New Pictures, more information... A Bit Nervous!

61tinkerbellMarch 31, 2011

Today, we had the home inspection of our "1955" house, and as I expected, the 2 inspection companies agreed with me, dating this house back to 1920-1930. Traces of the old Knob and Tube, crystal door knobs, lathe & plaster, cypress ceiling...

I just adore the house, and I know it needs a lot of work, but it needs more than we expected! Electric, needs service increased, and many wires taken care of. The roof is new, but it was done wrong, needs to come off and be totally redone to make sure it is right (Soft mushy spots). The entire septic system needs to be replaced, 2 showers will need total replacement, windows.. lots of windows, all in very poor shape.. but I would like to look into restoring them, vs. new sashes. Also, signs of old termite damage (not active), which is common in the wood frame homes in FL. Some areas of wood rot, some ceiling repairs, floors need a light refinishing....

We plan on getting some prices for these items and renegotiate the price, I figure with the kitchen redone, it will be close to $300,000 on renovations!


Front of house, that area with the metal peak, was once a porch. From Sunrise Drive


Kitchen pantry and door into "sevant's bedroom".

From Sunrise Drive


Years ago, this area was a porch, they stuck in an aluminum window! We can see the porch floor boards when we open the door.

From Sunrise Drive


Dining Room

From Sunrise Drive From Sunrise Drive From Sunrise Drive


This room, I don't know what I'll use it for. It it off both the dining room & living room, and was once a back porch. From Sunrise Drive From Sunrise Drive


Love this room, but they updated the fireplace, and I hate it.. that will need to go! From Sunrise Drive

another view, looking down the hallway into the Master bedroom, to the right is the enclosed porch From Sunrise Drive

Looking the opposite way, is the entrance, with a coat closet to the side. From Sunrise Drive

Front door and coat closet

From Sunrise Drive From Sunrise Drive

built in's in living room

From Sunrise Drive


Flash makes this picture look funny, but a small room, off the hall way heading towards the master bedroom. It's tung and groove paneling, has 2 windows that would have looked off onto the porch.. I have NO IDEA what this room could have been used for! From Sunrise Drive


Master bath, narrow cabinet behind door, not original.. cheap made cabinets that look good, but are not.I really like how it looks and plan on recreating it. From Sunrise Drive


one of 4 baths.. I'll be repainting!

From Sunrise Drive


Flooring.. hope someone can tell me what wood this is.. they said heart pine?

From Sunrise Drive From Sunrise Drive From Sunrise Drive From Sunrise Drive From Sunrise Drive

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Wow, I can see why you love this old house. I think it looks "cracker venacular" or something like that. All the interior doors with glass in them, French or otherwise, are truly lighting up the place.

The floor plan with just a verbal description is a real maze to me, but if you could draw it out basic like, it would help to visualize what is where, and then someone will figure out the original use of the spaces.

If you can stand to wait, or learn how to rebuild the windows yourself, you can tackle them one room at a time. That way, they won't take a chunk out of your budget all at once.

How long did you say you've been in the house? Give yourself time to relax and feel at home before doing too much demolition. The way LIGHT is so present in this house, it must be sited well on its lot.

Good luck with your future projects.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 11:35PM
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"Cracker vernacular." My first thought was something dreamt up by Jeff Foxworthy!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 11:42PM
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Thanks for this info! We have not yet purchased the house, as we needed to find out all the big items of repairs. We have a contract, and we have 2 more weeks to go back to the seller and re-negotiate a price we both can agree on.

The house is so amazingly bright.. another reason why I love it! I'm in FL, and this house sits on the bay a few minutes away from the Gulf of Mexico. I'm working on rough draft floor plan, and will post it when finished.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 6:54AM
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I worked on the floor plan mock-up. Some of the measurements are off a little, but overall, this is an accurate layout of the house.

You can enlarge it if you click on the picture, and than the magnify symbol. From Sunrise Drive

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 9:49PM
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I'm just speculating, but if the house is that old, and it certainly looks it, the enclosed porch was probably the original front porch. The un-named room looks like an entry or vestibule to me.
An attached garage is in no way original to that time period. I wonder if everything to the right of the living room was added later?

It is really a beautiful house, I hope you are able to work everything out to buy it.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 10:40PM
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kbaird, yes, yes.. the front enclosed porch was most likely the front porch, I'm trying to visual the "vestibule, as I don't understand it - or how they used it way back then, but the "old timer" inspector said the same thing.

Yes again, to the garage not attached, the laundry room was added, connecting the house and garage, the rest I wondered too, but the walls are lathe and plaster!

thanks for commenting!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 6:09AM
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I would take one of those porches back to being a real porch. I grew up in Houston and yes we didn't use the porch much in the heat of the day, but early in the morning and late in the evening, they were a wonderful place to be. It's a shame how many of the newer houses are not built so that you can actually enjoy the climate you are in.

Actually my grandmother's porch was deeply shaded and on the north side of her house, brick and concrete bungalow treatment. In the early heat of the day (not the later part, then it was hopeless), you could run around and play in the sun, then flop down on that cold concrete and cool off. To a kid, it was NEAT.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 9:13AM
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Absolutely wonderful. Love the light fixtures, the floors, all the built-ins. What a gem and worth rehabbing. Can't quite understand why you would get rid of the chartreuse bathroom though LOL!

We've had the electrician practically living in our 230 year old colonial the last few months, but are finally seeing the light at the end of the very expensive tunnel. Lots of knob and tube that was removed even though he says it's actually safer than what they use now. Go figure.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 9:40AM
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I KNEW it!!! Gulf of Mexico, Southwest Florida? This home is beautiful, and resembles a home you would find in the Bahamas! We own a modest condo in Naples, FL where we will retire to in 5 years! I have always maintained that this area of Florida has an "Island" feel, and many of these "Bahama-type" homes can be found in Olde Naples. So different from the East Coast of Florida.

I have no advice for you, it does sound like a lot of money for renovations and the Florida RE market is one of the craziest in the nation. Maybe you should post some questions on the BUYING AND SELLING HOMES forum to get some advice of the investment part of this purchase. They can be candid and maybe a little negative over there, but you will find realtors and banking advice.

So, is this home in Southwest Florida? It looks like an amazing, wonderful home!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 6:57PM
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tracee, yes, yes.. good eye! It's about 60-70 miles north of Naples, in Sarasota County.

The market IS crazy here, we lost a lost on our current home, and the price for this home is just a little more than the land value (as it sits on a 1 acre lot, on the bay, with a private dock.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 7:44PM
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The enclosed porch was the main entry...the other enclosed 'porch' was a patio. The unknown room was most likely used as a den or study...common off of a main entry and living room from the plan books I have.
Hard to decide where the right side ended, but I'd say the garage was not attached. A breezeway is possible. At a guess, I'd say the laundry and bath were added--perhaps just the laundry.
Why refinish the floors? From the pics they look fine to me--unless you like that plastic bowling alley look given to most modern floors. A good cleaning seems more than enough to me.
The attached side of the garage seems to have a very strange outline--I'd expect it to be a straight line like the other sides. Seeing that, perhaps the bath and laundry were original, and they altered the garage itself to attach it?
Some wires need fixing--everyone wants to upgrade their circuitry to 200 amps or so, but do you have enough heavy duty energy users to really need that? That could move down the list of fixes--and knob and tube is okay if you don't disturb it--or try to put insulation around it. Find out which circuits have it, and limit usage on those to what they were designed to carry, and you'll be fine.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 9:34PM
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The floors, some of them don't need refinishing, but in few rooms (living room, porch & master bedroom, there are some deep, unsightly scratches.. I was thinking if you refinish parts, you have to do the same thing with the whole thing to make it look right. I'm actually hoping that it is just a really, really light sanding to remove the bad scratches.

I may not have drawn the garage area, bath correctly (close). We can tell the bath area is original (although I don't know if it was always a bathroom) The area in front of the laundry room was a porch, for sure.. floor boards are still there. The laundry was definitely added on, but it looks like it was added many years back.

That unknown room is so little, only 7'6" x 7'6" hard to imagine what it was used for!

For the wiring, some has been updates, but they found open circuits all through the house, and loose, hot wires, a real fire hazard! We have an electrician coming Monday, as well as a contractor... I hope it all works out, but there is a lot of issues that require immediate attention for safety, and to make sure the house doesn't get worse (bad roof, rotting boards, etc..)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 9:53PM
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Could you use the little room as a closet/dressing room area?

I can't believe they did that to the fireplace! It so does not go with the house. If it works out for you, I look forward to seeing your changes! Will be beautiful I'm sure.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 9:29AM
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OH Tinker, it's beautiful. I love houses like that. Even in it's current condition it's simply cozy and sweet.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 11:14AM
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Tinker, that is a darling darling house!!!!!! BTW, I have an identical light fixture in my 1928 English cottage -- the first fixture you show by your front door and closet. Mine hangs outside above the front door.

Good Luck!


    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 12:31PM
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Fuzzy! WOW.. that helps date the house a little more! As soon as I can, I plan on researching the deeds and find out what I can.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 4:53PM
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I followed your thread regarding the new home that you were designing and watched the whole thing come together as you came up with just the right plan for you. I follow the thread detailing the frustrations you had with the drafter and how slow everything was going and now with interest your threads regarding this "old" home that you've fallen in love with. Congratulations on finding something that makes your heart sing! The house and grounds are absolutely beautiful and though you could always build new it wouldn't be quite so challenging as bringing this place back to life. There are so many charming details that you just don't get with today's homes and just can't replicate anymore.

I can't wait to see what you do with it!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 9:59PM
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Homeagain, only my friends here know how much a home can make your heart sing, and this house really does! I never in a million years thought I'd find an old house like this in our area AND in a great location! (very few and far between) I am so excited, and can't wait till it's (hopefully) ours!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 5:29AM
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Tinker, that little room is most likely linen storage...did you look in the cabinets? If they are original it would be a clue. They were often just small open areas with cabinets for storage near the bedrooms.

I love the place...and as to the floors.....they are nearing 100 years old....hand touch up where necessary but I know in my house if deep scratches were a refinish issue we would be in serious floor doo doo.... Yu can't just replace age....well you can but it's freaking expensive!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 6:41AM
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I love the Rorschach mantlepiece, giggle.

However, before you rip it out - maybe paint it the same colour as the walls first? It might just blend in, and a can of paint is always cheaper than a contractor.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 10:19PM
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I see supply grill on floor..ductwork in crawlspace under house? how much space from ground to house?
where is heating system located in a closet inside the house?
have you checked out your hvac system? this can be
a costly item..throw in replacing/re-sealing ducts
and it costs more.

great looking house, I can see why you love it.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 12:08PM
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Our final offer was accepted! We close the 2nd week in May.

Energy tater, we has a hvac company come and inspect, one unit is new, the other is a few years. From ground to floor, it is mabe 2'... We did get a cost to replace the duct work, or repair existing.

Totally excited ... 4 more weeks!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 10:18PM
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That is a very nice home!. Are those wood floors "dade county pine?" maybe not that old, look very good.

I re-did a small home in Stuart, FL, we had to sell it because of 2nd child, but I really liked that old home.

I hope you keep that white tub, must be really heavy, metal, nice design on it.

When we did our bathrooms I did the rip out and then just hired people for the specific task, drywall, tile cut the cost from 5k to 2k. I did a lot of planning, looking at different pictures, tile take your time. We replaced out hvac too, (trane XR-13), should have replaced the ducts, but just had them cleaned out. We did put in impact windows and well worth the money. I'm not sure if you could get impact windows to match the style of your home.

Such a nice place!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 9:40PM
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What a charming lovely house. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 8:14AM
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Tinker, I plan to keep tabs on the progress you make with this house, because like you, this house appeals to me a great deal. Congratulations on your new home, and may you enjoy every moment of living there and making memories.

I thank Worthy for pointing me to the Florida cracker link, which gave me many moments of angst for the days gone by. In many respects, the photos remind me of my grandfather's farm and the simple and functional features he built into it.

Please post the floorplan as it is today, maybe we can determine what was the original purpose of many spaces. I'd love to see it. Keep in touch. :)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 10:39AM
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