Home Renovation

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    Jan 08, 2012 1:10 AM GMT
    Anybody working on any home renovation projects?

    I'm getting ready for my kitchen remodel. It needs to a ton of work and to keep costs down I will be doing as much as I can on the construction side. It's going to be great.
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    Jan 08, 2012 1:12 AM GMT
    I'm doing research for mine. Planning to do a quickie remodel and get the house ready for sale this year.
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    Jan 08, 2012 2:59 AM GMT
    Google SketchUp is a nice free tool to help you visualize/plan your remodel.
    http://sketchup.google.com/

    Some examples..
    http://sketchup.google.com/community/gallery.html
  • starboard5

    Posts: 969

    Jan 08, 2012 6:29 AM GMT
    Started home remodeling in 2008 and still haven't finished...mostly because I'm lazy but also because of the disruption it can cause (e.g. had no hot water for seven weeks.) Did major stuff in 08, complete kitchen and bathroom tear outs and remodeling, new double pained windows throughout, bamboo floors, painting...pretty much everything changed. Still have the bedrooms to get done...terrazzo floors to be refinished and then furnishing and blinds.

    When I started I hired a decorator; not the most cost effective way to go, but she coordinated everything as far as setting up the workmen and laying out a time frame.... made it much easier. All I had to do was approve things and sign the checks. What I did not use her for was furniture. It would have cost a fortune going through her and I was much better looking for things on my own. It took a very long time, but I wasn't in a hurry. I gained a lot of confidence in my judgment.

    Good luck (and patience) to you.
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    Jan 08, 2012 8:46 AM GMT
    I've neve remodelled... built my house from scratch. At the time i had allergies..... i.e. formaldehyde was the worst for me... so no carpets or chipboard. I used 3/4'' exterior grade plywood when i built the kitchen cabinets. The reason being is exterior grade does not outgas like other plywoods and particle boards (20 years). Then you can face it with whatever kind of wood you want. I also used a water based urethane. It will completely outgas in a day whereas the oil based stuff takes a good 6 months. People with poor immune systems must really have a hard time with this stuff.

    Anyway... good luck with your upgrade....
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    Jan 08, 2012 10:13 AM GMT
    just finished my room.. too bad I had to move out shortly there after.
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    Jan 08, 2012 10:43 AM GMT
    Im helping my dad remodel his house. So far new roof, new vapour barrier (only 1/3 of the house actually had one to begin with), new blow in insulation in the attic. Have nearly completely gutted the main floor back to the sticks, taken out a few walls and opened it up. Almost ready for drywall again. All new windows and doors, have moved the location of the back door, and redone the entryway into a laundry room/ mud room/ closet area. Added a walk in pantry to the kitchen. Redone a lot of electrical. Added alot of potlights as well as repaired bad wiring. Put a new gas fireplace in the living room and added surround sound. Added bath fans to the bathrooms, turning 2nd bedroom into walk-in closet for the master bedroom, as well as jet tub in ensuite, have to finish plumbing everything in. A windstorm ripped half the siding off the house, so have been dealing with that as well as damaged eaves. Will be re-siding and re- wrapping the house, as well as putting new soffit fascia and eaves in. Added exterior potlights all around. Added a hot tub under the main floor deck (its a walkout basement). Finishing building a 3 car detached garage. Needs siding, shingles and doors, and a gas hookup for radiant heat. This summer i'll be changing the electrical panel out to a bigger panel, and the kitchen will get redone with an island and all new cabinetry and fixtures. Redo the main floor in hardwood and slate. And then the basement work can begin though those plans arent yet finalised. Oh, and will be ripping the deck off this spring and redoing it since its rotting away and we want to make it bigger so we can put in a bigger patio off the basement, as well as redoing the back deck. Will be reno hell for the next couple years, but my dad cannot leave anything alone once he buys a house. Lol.
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    Jan 08, 2012 7:28 PM GMT
    What plans? I do an outline in my head then wing it. I walk thru the spaces, visualizing end results. Though had I planned better I might have lined up the center of a sliding glass door in the breakfast nook with the kitchen faucet through the passthru.

    My other screw-up turned out better than expected, selecting semi-custom cabinets for the original tile flooring, then ripping out the tile. I went to replace a tile after demolition and found them popping off the original terrazzo easily which I had thought would be near impossible. So I pryed off another tile, then another, until the entire house was terrazzo, exposed to restore.

    Posted some of these pics elsewhere. These are my 2nd & 3rd houses I've ever done after doing my 1st and swearing never again. Well, again: never again. Picked up two houses dirt cheap after the crash. Now I'm cleaning up the dirt, and it ain't cheap. I’ll wind up putting into two houses what I got from my one house, so I misjudged that, but I’ll have income from the property so I wind up well ahead, just not as good as I’d thought. I try to do as much work as I can and sub out the rest. Also I work as laborer for the guys I sub out to, speeding them up and keeping costs down. This is when you learn you're not really Bob Vila.

    Anyway, Here's my little cottage I'll be renting out. Have the bath about done, HVAC done, single pane windows replaced with thermals, replaced ugly doors with glass ones with the miniblinds between the panes, insulated, new subfloor, crown molding, new lighting (mostly stained glass fixtures), just got the faux wood blinds to install, painting almost done. Still have to do new countertops, new kitchen sink & faucet, install new dishwasher, install vinyl "plank" flooring (fake textured applewood, actually looks pretty good) and build new decks and stairs.

    Cottage bath before with all the previous tenant's crap in it
    IMG_0601_1.jpg

    After gutting, walls and floor now cement board so a tenant could splash yet not damage. I lined up the grout lines floor to walls in all directions and went up to the ceiling so, when entering, the floor space seems to extend up the walls. I replaced tub for shower to reduce water use (included in rent), reduce liability of someone stepping over the side of a tub and to make access easier for the elderly. Also I added under sink storage as space is at a premium.
    finishedbathIMG_0723_1.jpg

    As it is a very small cottage, to make good use of each square foot, I'm considering removing the bathroom door which opens into a short hallway and installing a stable-type door, on barn-type hinges if I can find them at reasonable cost. As the cottage is only for max 2 people, the door would probably remain open anyway, functioning as an artsy piece but also providing guests fartsy privacy.
    _bath-barn-door.jpg

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    Jan 08, 2012 7:33 PM GMT
    Where I reside, I also replaced all windows, double glazed throughout and triple glazed in the bedrooms for sound proofing. HVAC done. Replenished attic insulation. New exterior doors, Opened up wall and installed slider for view to the garden from the kitchen.

    Everyone tried to get me to remove kitchen walls but I needed cabinet space so I’m tricking visually to extend the kitchen. I’ve a large passthru to the breakfast nook with the sliders as mentioned. When at the sink, the eye goes out beyond the kitchen, beyond the house for about 200 ft. I also plant in a way to draw the eye out the window. I used cut cornered cabinets at the doorway to the dining room to increase flow. I’m using visual signals inside the house, well enough matching the hickory cabinets with birch beadboarded wainscotting in the dining room and a rather overly done doorway into the breakfast nook to draw the eye out from the inside the kitchen. The effect is working just as I’d imagined so there was never any need to demolish walls. The kitchen is only a 10 x 10 ft space with four walls but from inside the kitchen all the visual tricks eliminate any sense of being closed in.

    Before
    IMG_0463_1.jpg
    During (the fun part)
    2011Sep24006_1.jpg
    After
    2011Nov04003_1.jpg
    2011Nov04006_1.jpg
    Before closed in
    IMG_0489_1.jpg
    After showing view out to garden
    2011Nov04001_1.jpg

    Doorway from den to breakfast nook before
    2011Oct09008_1.jpg
    After
    2011Nov10006_1.jpg
    2011Dec08001_1.jpg
    Doorway from inside the kitchen, pulling the eye out of the kitchen by matching the cabinets
    2011Nov11002_1.jpg

    Creating the illusion of a missing wall
    Here's the wall I needed to maintain between kitchen & dining for cabinets and countertop space
    2011Dec08003_1.jpg

    So I used cut cabinet corners to open up the doorway
    2011Dec08004_1.jpg

    And the sort-of-matching wainscotting at counter height. I'm also thinking of using a black chair rail to mimic the granite countertop.

    The effect from the living room is that the kitchen and dining rooms are one room
    2011Dec08002_1.jpg
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    Jan 08, 2012 7:48 PM GMT
    And for Starboard5, here's a repost of the terrazzo restoration pics...

    This was the worst gouge
    2011Oct08012_1.jpg

    Here's how to fix
    Fill with appropriate marble chips
    2011Oct08008_1.jpg
    Mix & color epoxy
    2011Oct08015_1.jpg
    pour matrix
    2011Oct08005_1.jpg
    Grind & buff
    2011Oct08017_1.jpg
    You'll know it was repaired but likely a visitor wouldn't notice unless you point it out
    2011Oct08019_1.jpg

    The finished kitchen renovation: Glass reflected in Stone (showing repro tiffany reflected in granite countertop with finished terrazzo underfoot)
    2011Oct24012_1.jpg
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    Jan 08, 2012 7:56 PM GMT
    Nice man. You've inspired me to do more on my house myself versus paying contractors.

    theantijock saidWhat plans? I do an outline in my head then wing it. I walk thru the spaces, visualizing end results. Though had I planned better I might have lined up the center of a sliding glass door in the breakfast nook with the kitchen faucet through the passthru.

    My other screw-up turned out better than expected, selecting semi-custom cabinets for the original tile flooring, then ripping out the tile. I went to replace a tile after demolition and found them popping off the original terrazzo easily which I had thought would be near impossible. So I pryed off another tile, then another, until the entire house was terrazzo, exposed to restore.

    Posted some of these pics elsewhere. These are my 2nd & 3rd houses I've ever done after doing my 1st and swearing never again. Well, again: never again. Picked up two houses dirt cheap after the crash. Now I'm cleaning up the dirt, and it ain't cheap. I’ll wind up putting into two houses what I got from my one house, so I misjudged that, but I’ll have income from the property so I wind up well ahead, just not as good as I’d thought. I try to do as much work as I can and sub out the rest. Also I work as laborer for the guys I sub out to, speeding them up and keeping costs down. This is when you learn you're not really Bob Vila.

    Anyway, Here's my little cottage I'll be renting out. Have the bath about done, HVAC done, single pane windows replaced with thermals, replaced ugly doors with glass ones with the miniblinds between the panes, insulated, new subfloor, crown molding, new lighting (mostly stained glass fixtures), just got the faux wood blinds to install, painting almost done. Still have to do new countertops, new kitchen sink & faucet, install new dishwasher, install vinyl "plank" flooring (fake textured applewood, actually looks pretty good) and build new decks and stairs.

    Cottage bath before with all the previous tenant's crap in it
    IMG_0601_1.jpg

    After gutting, walls and floor now cement board so a tenant could splash yet not damage. I lined up the grout lines floor to walls in all directions and went up to the ceiling so, when entering, the floor space seems to extend up the walls. I replaced tub for shower to reduce water use (included in rent), reduce liability of someone stepping over the side of a tub and to make access easier for the elderly. Also I added under sink storage as space is at a premium.
    finishedbathIMG_0723_1.jpg

    As it is a very small cottage, to make good use of each square foot, I'm considering removing the bathroom door which opens into a short hallway and installing a stable-type door, on barn-type hinges if I can find them at reasonable cost. As the cottage is only for max 2 people, the door would probably remain open anyway, functioning as an artsy piece but also providing guests fartsy privacy.
    _bath-barn-door.jpg

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    Jan 08, 2012 8:09 PM GMT
    theantijock saidWhat plans? I do an outline in my head then wing it
    ...

    Wow. That seems a little too nice to be a rental. I hope you're going to charge a lot for it. icon_biggrin.gif

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    Jan 08, 2012 8:15 PM GMT
    Brownale saidNice man. You've inspired me to do more on my house myself versus paying contractors.


    Thank you. But keep in mind that you have to know your limits. Otherwise you wind up spending more money and time than it would have cost to hire it out. But even when you hire, get them to reduce their price by using you as labor. Even if that means running to the store for them, clean up, whatever you can do. With that, also make sure you are the one buying all of the materials they use so you an get the bonus points on your credit card instead of them getting it and you reimbursing with cash.

    Look carefully at costs before you decide to not hire out. I considered doing the terrazzo myself until I priced it out. Since you have to use multiple variations of granualized industrial diamonds, those pads get expensive for a one time use, plus machine rental, a truck to haul equipment, etc. Plus I'd do this like once in my life. They do it every day. So they have the skills. What cost me $3k and took a professional 6 full days to do would have cost me at least $2k and probably would have taken me a month, at least. So that I hired out but I did all the tile demolition myself which brought costs down.
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    Jan 08, 2012 8:29 PM GMT
    xrichx said
    theantijock saidWhat plans? I do an outline in my head then wing it
    ...

    Wow. That seems a little too nice to be a rental. I hope you're going to charge a lot for it. icon_biggrin.gif



    The cottage is going to rent outright. I'm making it very cute. Will have a wonderful feel inside and outside will have private & semi private gardens. I've got a university nearby and lots of medical facilities. So I picture that two busy nurses or some doctor's son in med school will love living there. In my residence, I'm setting it up with the master bedroom with desk to suit a grad student so that both cottage and my house will provide some income. Also I've been living by myself for too long and the company will be nice.

    Between the cottage rented full time and the master bedrm rented 10 months a year I figure I'll get about 7.5% on the money invested, plus I get to live for free and to play with the gardens. Later in life I'll also have that plus I'll reverse mortgage the house so I consider this sort of a bond aspect of my finances.

    Being in Florida, and having ported my homestead with me, my taxes will remain absurdly low for the remainder of my life here and having relocated to a lower cost area, it costs less to insure these two houses then it did the one I had in south Florida. I'm getting too practical in my old age. I think I'm turning into a lesbian.
  • mybud

    Posts: 11832

    Jan 08, 2012 8:46 PM GMT
    I rehabbed about 6 houses for resale until the market fell apart...it was an excellent part time job.....I'm saving up to completely remodel my kitchen and 3 bathrooms...I'll do most of the work myself...BUD
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    Jan 08, 2012 9:37 PM GMT
    I'm moving into a townhouse with some friends and were probably going to do some minor remodeling. Thinking about adding a second full bath downstairs.
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    Jan 08, 2012 9:45 PM GMT
    I moved out to the farm in 2008 and completely remodeled the whole house. I have tons of photos but don't want to bore you!

    Kitchen before:
    kitbefore.jpg

    Kitchen after:
    kitafter.jpg
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    Jan 08, 2012 9:56 PM GMT
    I am planning the kitchen and both bathrooms this year, hopefully but will hire someone to do it...can tackle the job by myself, plus running my own business makes it tough.
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Jan 08, 2012 10:04 PM GMT
    My dad just helped me engineer, design, and install a solar tube water heating system and radiant floor heating for the main level of the house. We just finished the project, but I am projecting plummeting utility bills and increased warmth this winter. On a sunny day, the water from the solar tubes can get up to 70 C (158 F).

    Other smaller projects are to make the house more modern. I'm installing a new garbage disposal and a reverse osmosis water filtration system. Planning on bamboo floors, and repainting the interior of the house for a more pristine look.

    I'm also going to be landscaping and creating raised garden beds this summer in the backyard. Hopefully this thread keeps going by then icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 08, 2012 10:12 PM GMT
    ABC_123 saidI moved out to the farm in 2008 and completely remodeled the whole house. I have tons of photos but don't want to bore you!

    Kitchen before:
    < src="http://i1215.photobucket.com/albums/cc509/lanewc/kitbefore.jpg" />

    Kitchen after:
    < src="http://i1215.photobucket.com/albums/cc509/lanewc/kitafter.jpg" />
    LOL. Was wood paneling en vogue back in the 70's? That was the first thing I did when I started my projects.. ripped out all the wood panels, patched up the nail holes, and painted the walls flat white. So much better now. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jan 08, 2012 10:16 PM GMT
    TheGuyNextDoor said

    I have two rental units as well and just added new carpets. tiled entry way, rehaul on the master bathroom, new bedroom deck, paint etc.
    it did increase the rental value by $350 a month! A year later most of the updates are paid for now...icon_cool.gif
    That's pretty sweet. One of my next goals is buy rental property in the near future.
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    Jan 08, 2012 10:18 PM GMT
    xrichx said
    ABC_123 saidI moved out to the farm in 2008 and completely remodeled the whole house. I have tons of photos but don't want to bore you!

    Kitchen before:
    < src="http://i1215.photobucket.com/albums/cc509/lanewc/kitbefore.jpg" />

    Kitchen after:
    < src="http://i1215.photobucket.com/albums/cc509/lanewc/kitafter.jpg" />
    LOL. Was wood paneling en vogue back in the 70's? That was the first thing I did when I started my projects.. ripped out all the wood panels, patched up the nail holes, and painted the walls flat white. So much better now. icon_biggrin.gif


    Omigosh... the entire house was covered in paneling. Definitely needed to go! I'm sure your house looks much better without it too!
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    Jan 09, 2012 12:53 AM GMT
    TheGuyNextDoor said
    xrichx said
    theantijock saidWhat plans? I do an outline in my head then wing it
    ...

    Wow. That seems a little too nice to be a rental. I hope you're going to charge a lot for it. icon_biggrin.gif


    I have two rental units as well and just added new carpets. tiled entry way, rehaul on the master bathroom, new bedroom deck, paint etc.
    it did increase the rental value by $350 a month! A year later most of the updates are paid for now...icon_cool.gif


    That sounds like an excellent return. I didn't do as well but good enough for me. Probably I'll get $250/month more for the work I'm doing to the cottage but also it will attract a more stable tenant which is my concern as this area & this era can be transient. I figure between the cottage and a housemate, by the time I'm ready to reverse mortgage the place in a dozen or so years, the property will have paid for itself and then some.

    It was scary to catch that falling knife but when I bought I didn't trust banks or anything else any moreso and preferred at least being able to touch some of my investment to know for certain where it is. I had hesitated at first during which time it went under contract which fell through so put in my bid.

    Even if housing never comes back to normal--prices here are down to 8 to 9 x's rent where they were 12.4 x's rents pre-bubble 1999 and long term average about 15 x's & got up to 23.6 x's at peak insanity--I should at least be able to get my money back if I ever decide to sell out and drink myself to death in Pattaya. What a long strange trip it's been.

    ratio_population.png

    PS, as to the sordidness, you have no idea. I've already removed the unusually secured hook from the cottage living room ceiling. Ewww. And they weren't even gay. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Jan 09, 2012 2:40 AM GMT




    PS, as to the sordidness, you have no idea. I've already removed the unusually secured hook from the cottage living room ceiling. Ewww. And they weren't even gay. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.[/quote]




    Many years ago, most houses had hooks in the ceiling, for hanging potted plants, swag lamps, or basket chairs.


    bfm3bl.jpg
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    Jan 09, 2012 2:46 AM GMT
    OMG. I forgot about those chairs! icon_lol.gif