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cablechick 01-03-2010 10:10 AM

need to know where to start...
You guys are full of all kinds of info so I figured this was as good a place to brain pick as any. I have a 1200 square ft 2 story frame house built in 1901. Right now I don't have any good pics, but will try to get some when the weather improves. My big question is where to start on "reconstructing" this house. It is built on a stone foundation (missing most of the mortar between the joints) with about a 2 ft crawlspace. I already know I need to do some grading because when our road was widened like 20 yrs ago and what little front yard i have is lowest next to the house. The floors also slope I would guess and inch or so towards the middle of the house. My guess would be damage to the main beam due to water leaks over the years since that is relative to dwnstrs bathroom and the waterheater. I know it needs new gutters and dwnspouts, (and probably new fascia behind them). I started by at least putting plastic down on the dirt floor in the crawl space to try and help keep the ground moisture in the ground. There is no standing water in there, it's just damp and pretty gross. I have been advised to consult a an enginneer to see about the jacking which is in the my plans for spring or summer( the consulting not necessarily the jacking). Sorry for the narrative but my question is where do i start first? 10 years later mom still thinks I should sell it and run, but I'm pretty decided on restoration (and maybe even an addition at some point) I know this requires time and a good bit of $$$$ but if done right I think it will be worth it:)

der swede 01-05-2010 09:39 PM

Cablechick; it sounds like you pretty much know that you have a lot of work on your hands. But, two things you mentioned stand out which should be your starting point. One is that 'you think' that one of the main support beams under your house might be rotted. The other item of concern would be the condition of your foundation that you mention. I would start with a thorough inspection of both the foundation, and the beams, joists, plates, and columns/piles that support your house; i.e. especially due to the condition you mention about both. (Find a good qualified engineer, and get a "structural assessment", and a recommendation for the work needed on both items). Also, if as you say, your crawl space is damp and gross, get a dehumidifier in there. It will do a lot more than the plastic sheeting. regards Jerry Janson

cablechick 01-06-2010 06:13 AM

thanks for the advise. i am definately getting someone to give her a look. I think this project to be done properly is a little bigger than the weekend warrior type project. after seeing some of the pics on the boards...rotten may have been a little overkill for what i have . lol you can tell where there have been water leaks and such but if u say take a small screwdriver or a knife and poke at it, it doesn't crumble or break off in ur hands. so at least i'd say it's not going to collapse or have something catastrophich happen anytime soon. and i did find that when the ex attempted to jack her up there are two additional support columns set on cement along with the original two. by keeping an eye on my cracks in the plaster and the level of the bathtub i don't think it's gotten any worse in say the last 7-8 years. thanks for the idea of a dehumidifier. soon as i can get back down there i'll try that. i assume dry it up and then worry about where the moisture is actuially coming from... cross your fingers for me i may have to rip out the upstairs shower before i get to any of that...i was hoping to wait until we saw if the floors were going to level out any but it may not make it that far i have temp patched the shower base a few times and am getting tired of water leaking into the kitchen. at least the plaster is long gone under there and someone put in a drop ceiling (that i will eventually yank out anyway) LOL when u have money u are short on time and when u have time u are short on money... i have all good intentions of photo documenting the project and our historical society would love to have them too and any other info i dig up as they had very little on our house. evidently nobody important built it, lived in it or much of anything noteworthy.
back to topic though is it possible if the stone just needs tuckpointed we could do that ourselves? i found a place i could send a sample of the mortar off to and for a fee they would give me a report of exactly what the original composition was. This is not a job for a bag of sakcrete lol. our plan was to repoint it install a layer of blue insulation board against the outside and build wooden flower boxes all the way around to both raise the grade close to the hse and insulate the rock and use 4" pvc to keep open the vent holes. good idea or bad? (realizing the other stuff comes first)

GaTomCat 01-14-2010 05:25 PM

get an idea of how much money it will take to do what you want....add that to the cost of the home then check with some local appraisers and ask them for a cheap verbal appraisal if they will do it ...ask them what will the home be worth after you do all this work...they can do that...if you cost+ the remo cost exceeds that appraised may want to drop back and punt....I have seen people spend $60k to redo a house and only increase the value $20k because they overbuilt for the neighborhood

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