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krm944 01-18-2009 06:35 PM

First home, killer price and a lifetime to complete it
I am in the military and two years I went on deployment leaving my wife and newborn son in the large city of San Diego with family on the other side of America.

She hit the net and searched for homes in the very small NY town I grew up in and where my folks and family still reside. Like most military families with one income, we were price oriented and soon found a home 3 miles from mom and dad, across the road from the school and a small store. $35k (no not a typo) later we had a home close to family.

The home was built in 1860, was two bedrooms down stairs and an upstairs with slanted ceilings. The home was livable, with ugly carpet, wall paper and like any 35k home needed some upgrades to coincide with a young 30s couples' taste. It served its previous elderly owner very well.

I was away the summer of 2006 when my wife did the closing and her brother helped with the beginning renovations. We started burning the candle at both ends. He ripped down the upstairs plaster and lats while simultaneously tearing a downstairs wall down to increase living space.

It seems the house was actually built in three sections. The main (middle) section has a dirt floor basement with an oil furnace and is where all the plumbing is located. The front two bedrooms on the first floor are over a crawlspace. The rear part of the house was previously used as a wood shed, and has a crawl space beneath it.

In our long term plan, the middle section will become a large foyer and the current bathroom will double in size. The existing kitchen will be moved to the back of the house where the old wood shed was with cathedral ceilings.

The summer of 2007 found me on another deployment and the opportunity for my wife and now toddler to occupy the home. We hired a contractor (high school friend of mine) to insulate/sheetrock the upstairs. He was able to pick up where my BIL (brother in law) left off. He sistered some new 2x6s against the existing 2x4 rafters and put in some new R30 insulation. The exterior walls also got 6 inch studs and new insulation. We planned on making the upstairs into a master bedroom and had new vinyl window installed. Before the sheetrock was installed, they completely covered the walls and ceiling with 7/16 OSB. This covered up any imperfections in the walls/ceilings and made attaching the sheetrock really simple!! Over a holiday break, I laid some OSB as a subfloor (screwed and glued) to cure any squeaks. My wife spent her off time primering and painting the upstairs and we are complete except carpeting.

Our focus has now shifted to the other end of the candle that is burning, the new kitchen or the old wood shed. Again the walls have had 2x6s sistered against the studs, and rafters and insulation installed. We further fed our OSB fetish and the walls and ceiling got a layer of OSB. We found the OSB tightens up the old house and hides any of the imperfections. The new kitchen is ready for sheetrock.

We are not currently occupying the NY house as military work is located in VA. I am very jealous of those that have projects in reach! I am searching for some of the before photos and will resize and post the afters!


krm944 01-18-2009 06:52 PM

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Some photos of the upstairs Master Bedroom after sheetrock. The window is new and the ceiling was raised from its previous position. When you climb the stairs there is a small room directly in front of you. This will be our son's room. It has a very odd shape to it and has the slanted ceiling. When you turn and walk towards the Master Bedroom, we plan on having a small office or play room there.


krm944 01-18-2009 06:56 PM

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This will be an office or playroom for our son. This picture was taken from the top of the stairs.

krm944 01-18-2009 07:01 PM

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My least favorite part of this house is the stairs. If anyone has a solution, or way to make these stairs more attractive, Im all ears! A couple shots from the top down and the landing. There is a door in the living room that closes the upstairs off from the rest of the house.

krm944 01-18-2009 07:12 PM

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The other end of the burning candle so to speak is the old wood shed and new kitchen. Our contractor installed two windows for us. The window in the first pic will be the new kitchen window where our sink will go.

My last trip back in July afforded me the chance to get 98% of the OSB up. The walls and ceiling are completely covered and waiting on sheetrock. No need to mark the studs as screws anchor the sheetrock really well into the OSB. This extra layer really helps with insulating and keeps the Northern NY wind out!

krm944 01-18-2009 07:19 PM

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It is essential that we keep the wood stove and I have two ideas for it. The stainless steel chimney will get framed around and it will remain exposed to match future stainless kitchen appliances.

Idea one keeps the stove where it is and we make a mud room/foyer with settee. A great place to come in from the cold and remove boots etc.

The other idea is to move the stove 180 degress and into the future kitchen. I love the warmth of a woodstove as I have morning coffee when its 30 below zero outside!

The last picture shows where our future arch will be. All of the studs are will come out and a beam placed along the top and an arch framed in. The two floors are on different levels and the new kitchen will have existing plywood floor removed, plumbing roughed in, heating ducts installed and possibly the crawlspace worked on. The furnace is in the basement but I hope to relocate it to the back of the house in a mechanical room of sorts.

sequimrehab 01-19-2009 04:23 AM

Looks like your making great progress, keep us posted.

krm944 01-19-2009 09:33 AM

Thanks. This weekend I will be making a quick trip to the house and will be working on the plumbing to the sump pump. At some point in time a drain was installed (the old falky tile material pipe, not iron or pvc) and I am having a fit getting anything to connect to it.

Basically it is already in the floor and I have a 3 hp Sewage pump that has a stand off like a washing machine about 3 ft high so It doesnt back up, and at the PVC old pipe union, I cant get anything to hold in place. I used some rubber flex coupling and to get it tight enough so it wont leak, it will just crumple the old pipe.

I had a huge prob finding a hose with a diameter larger than 1 1/2 sump discharge hose. I am looking at fire hoses, and industrial type stuff right now.


glennjanie 01-19-2009 11:05 AM

Welcome Kyle:
Fernco makes a rubber adapter boot that will fit clay tile and PVC pipe. I would run the line from the sump pump in PVC pipe, making a direct connection (no hose or flex line). A sewage pump needs a direct (glued or screwed) connection.
Your work looks good, keep it up! We will try to help with any questions you may have along the way.

handyguys 01-19-2009 11:16 AM

Any way to replace the clay pipe? Might be worth it in the long run.

Keep up the good work and thanks for your service!

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