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Old 01-22-2007, 09:59 AM  
Armond
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Default Suggestions for a duplex

Hello everyone, this is my first post, so I'll get straight to the point.

There is a vacant duplex that I'm interested in buying, and I had a friend give it a lookover. It's in an upcoming area, so the location will yield very good rents.

Per his review, there are some things that he would recommend.

1) Part of the house has laths. He recommends that I redrywall the rooms with the laths and update some outdated paneling as well.

2) Renovate the kitchen/bathroom. They are in decent condition...it's just old stuff.

3) Upgrade the furnace systems. They are old and outdated.

4) Applying OSB (oriented strand board) to the attic if I plan to remodel that into a livable area. The attic is huge.

That's pretty much it. It's a solid structure...it just hasn't been updated. There was a chimney that was removed.

The place is a 2/2 duplex with a lot of space. Heating will be expensive, which is why he says that the laths and old furnaces would be very inefficient.

How do you think I should proceed? I would be getting it for a little under $100K and I wonder how much it would cost to do this scope of work.

I want to get estimates and I guess I need to know what questions I should ask the agent and/or seller before I write up an offer.

Thanks again everyone. I look forward to learning a lot here.



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Old 01-22-2007, 05:14 PM  
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Heat and air will eliminate the most headaches later on down the road.



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Old 01-23-2007, 08:48 AM  
Daryl in Nanoose
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Welcome Armond;
1) Part of the house has laths. He recommends that I redrywall the rooms with the laths and update some outdated paneling as well. I am not sure of this Laths term so you will have to get back to me on what this means. Paneling can be painted or just simply redrywall since your going to be getting some drywall done anyway. Looks like a good time to get it all done. You will want estimates on this.
2) Renovate the kitchen/bathroom. They are in decent condition...it's just old stuff. These 2 rooms are the most exspensive to remodel and I would concider changing the fixtures and appliances and freshen up the cabinets but without pictures its hard to evaluate your situation.
3) Upgrade the furnace systems. They are old and outdated. A must do. The cost of upgrades will depend on the original install (duct size,furnace size and so on) but you will need to resize the furnace if any future developments(extra sqft)are done so make sure you mention this to the contractors.
4) Applying OSB (oriented strand board) to the attic if I plan to remodel that into a livable area. The attic is huge. Bad Idea as far as osb goes. OSB is heavier than regular plywood so go with plywood but before you start any of this attic you need to investigate the structure mainly the floor. Usally attic spaces do not have the strength for a usable living space examples the size of the rafters,trusses that will become the floor. so you need to find out what size and what the spans are and is there any partitions below to help support and is it an area below that beams can be installed to support what you are doing up there.
My two cents worth: Estimates on all the work conciderd will be your contributing factor here and make sure you get 3 estimates with references. If you do the Attic space you will need a building permit.
I will think on this today but have to go to work now and look forward to the others here posting there thoughts on this.

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Old 01-23-2007, 12:18 PM  
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Welcome Armond:
If we are talking about lath and plaster and the plaster is in good condition, I would leave it. I agree with Daryl on the paneling and with Square Eye on the heating and air conditioning. Check into a Goodman or Janitrol 90% efficient furnace and high SEER air conditioning. Many homes in your area don't have any air conditioning; a large expense you could drop off but the 90% furnace will pay for itself in saved fuel (about 5 years).
Insulation is another crucial factor I would look into. It will be the cheapest "high return" upgrade you can do.
I vote for the OSB if we are talking about the 3/4" Tounge and groove, underlayment grade glued and screwed to the joists; and knee walls can make the rafters share some of the load. You still need to take precautions that Daryl spoke of though.
Glenn

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Old 01-25-2007, 08:39 AM  
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Don't forget to see if the attic joists are adequate to taking the load of the floor. If you need to beef em' up, could get ugly.

Also, access to attic. Stairs have to have a certain width and rise now. Do you have enough space for that?

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Old 01-25-2007, 05:58 PM  
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Check with your local building dept first..see what they want in a duplex for fire and other updates.
These can add substantial amounts to a remodel.

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Old 01-27-2007, 10:12 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennjanie View Post
Welcome Armond:
If we are talking about lath and plaster and the plaster is in good condition, I would leave it. I agree with Daryl on the paneling and with Square Eye on the heating and air conditioning. Check into a Goodman or Janitrol 90% efficient furnace and high SEER air conditioning. Many homes in your area don't have any air conditioning; a large expense you could drop off but the 90% furnace will pay for itself in saved fuel (about 5 years).
Insulation is another crucial factor I would look into. It will be the cheapest "high return" upgrade you can do.
I vote for the OSB if we are talking about the 3/4" Tounge and groove, underlayment grade glued and screwed to the joists; and knee walls can make the rafters share some of the load. You still need to take precautions that Daryl spoke of though.
Glenn
It can get plenty hot in the Milwaukee area. Many homes out 'here' (I am not too far) have A/C. We do hit the high 90's to low 100's in the summer. I would upgrade it as well, if it is as outdated as the heating.

I would also say leave the plaster and lathe if it is in good shape.
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Old 01-29-2007, 11:53 AM  
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OK, my bad Dakuda. Air conditioning would be an asset then, I just didn't realize the range of temperatrues.
Glenn



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