A full-gut remod...refinement.

palimpsestJuly 24, 2014

I am essentially in the midst of a near-gut remodel. The only plumbing that is original is the very end of the sewer line that goes out of the house, and a portion of the roof drain.

I just had the HVAC guys here, and I have a new furnace, a new air conditioner, and probably 85% new ductwork.

Any electrical that is accessible, which is probably going to be essentially all of it--will be replaced.

All new windows and doors are on the list, and there probably won't be an original piece of baseboard or casing in the entire house.

Both upstairs bathrooms (already gone) and the kitchen will be gutted.

So what is the end point of all this? The house is going to look like it could have when it was built 50 years ago.

The kitchen is getting 33" bigger. One of the upstairs bathrooms is getting 14" bigger. (And the other is getting 14" smaller.) The toilet moved all of 4" in bath #1. In one bedroom the closets are moving from north to south.

That bathroom and the kitchen will be laid out exactly the same, just a little bigger. There is no better way to do it.

What's going to happen is that some people will walk in and say "wow! you didn't have to do very much, did you? It's all so intact!"

Here are various supplies and returns all done in flat oval duct so there wouldn't have to be chases and soffits all over. This wall is plaster on concrete. On the other side of this is another house. The wall to the left has glass starting 7-1/2" from the corner. Creative framing to follow. The flat wall had to be replaced with a flat wall . Probably in 2015 this will get covered up.

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Love the creative HVAC handiwork. How's the cat doing? At least she's there to keep you company.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:10PM
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WOW! That is some project you've undertaken. Can't wait to see the progress.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 11:03PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Great job!

Isn't that the frustration...when so much money and effort has to go into things you don't see, but just expect to be there and functioning properly...but you have no choice. Much as you'd like to pour it all into decor, you gotta have heat and plumbing and electric to make it all go....after all, a house is first and foremost a facility.

Still, you know it's all there and you'll appreciate it all when the house is warm and the sinks drain. And then you get to layer all that loveliness on top!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:53AM
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At this point, I am happy to have plumbing that does not leak and heating and air conditioning that actually heat (I hope) and air condition the entire house.

The house wasn't originally air conditioned so the ducting was ok for heat but totally inadequate for air conditioning.

Plus the ducts were filthy, had been cut into, had electrical and plumbing running through them, and had at least one rat in them a couple of years ago.

Now if I can get rid of the wiring that threatens to burn the house down I will probably be okay. I may even just put the furniture back and call it "deconstructionist".

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 9:56AM
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At least you will be able to say "all new systems" in your listing. Those who are familiar with the area or with that age of house will assign a nice value to that. I agree, though, that it's lots more fun to spend money on the things that show.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:50AM
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I am actually hoping that the systems aren't that new when I list :) . At this point I am hoping for "well-maintained time-capsule". My dad is getting ready to sell his house and he just turned 90. He lived there half his life almost exactly. (It may be a few months to close to a year over.)--and it's a very well maintained 45 year old house with some 27 year old updates. (And a weeks old roof)

I'm hoping to stay another 4 decades or so myself and do the same thing--but that may be the renovation fatigue speaking.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 11:24AM
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You are doing the real work, the investment, the not-fun-but-necessary part that will give you peace and comfort. It's so hard (for me) to do, but really pays off. Very happy to hear you are looking forward to decades in your home. So rare these days.

On another note, when an older home does have a/c, it always makes me wonder what it took to make that happen, with the time and expense involved. My house is from the 20s and has a/c--how did a family afford to put it in??

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 1:19PM
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Palimpsest said, "I'm hoping to stay another 4 decades or so myself and do the same thing--but that may be the renovation fatigue speaking."

Having lived in no domicile longer than the ten years in my current house, I think it's wonderful that you might be able to stay in your house 40 more years. To long life...

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 1:38PM
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Well on the street where I grew up, and probably most others there, there are very few reasons that would cause people to move

In the post-college years, here are reasons why people move:
1) Marriage
2) Death
3) Death of spouse
4) Physical incapacity
5) Florida

My neighbor there, Sissy, lived in her house for 89 years, and moved reluctantly only after she was caught lying about falling, how often it was happening, and "It happened right before you came over" -- it had obviously happened many hours before. And this is why my father is leaving. He started falling a number of years ago, would not admit it, or admit how long it takes him to get up but now he can't deny it. But he "never understood moving from house to house" which I think includes this time.

Very many of these neighbors lived in time capsules, too, which is probably why I like those.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 2:10PM
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For some reason, I cant see the pic. :(

The very best things I spent $$$ on for this remodel was the new AC units, plumbing and electrical rewiring. It does give a piece of mind!

I know what you mean about staying in one home! I hope to stay in this house a long time.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 2:40AM
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That's the best kind of house when it appears it was "just painted" and all else is original.

I consider that such a compliment when people come to a house, knowing the owner has been spending a lot of time, manpower and money doing "something" and it is hard for the guest to see except that it just looks "impeccably clean." Ah, the clean paint is temporary, the design is forever.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:54AM
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