Help with live-in fixer upper

Discussion in 'General Home Improvement Discussion' started by BandAidHome, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Feb 27, 2014 #1

    BandAidHome

    BandAidHome

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    Im a first time home owner that unknowingly bought a fixer upper. Well the band-aids are now starting to peel off and issues are popping up that are not minor. Most of the things could probably be done with guidance or help, I do know my way around simple home repairs. Main issue is money for the materials or the over all project if it is to big for a DIY.

    So my main question is this, are there any national or state level grants or extremely low interest type loans for home renovation?

    Any guidance would be welcome!
     
  2. Feb 28, 2014 #2

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Welcome,,, What state are you in?
     
  3. Feb 28, 2014 #3

    BandAidHome

    BandAidHome

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    Thanks! I just realized I did no introduction post.
    I am in Louisiana.
     
  4. Feb 28, 2014 #4

    nealtw

    nealtw

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  5. Mar 2, 2014 #5

    BandAidHome

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    Yeah that's the same stuff I found. Thanks for the input. Looks like it will have to be good old fashioned saving and some diy work to save on costs.
     
  6. Mar 2, 2014 #6

    guyod

    guyod

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    I am always in lowes or home depot so I keep my eye out for deals. Many times I will find deals 75% off or more. It is totally hit or miss though
     
  7. Mar 2, 2014 #7

    CallMeVilla

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    Energy savings help can sometimes be provided by local gas & electric utilities. Check Habitat for Humanity shop for low cost supplies. Use recycled/reclaimed materials (y'all got a lot of storm damaged houses being stripped).

    As for labor and expertise, have you got contacts at church? There are always retired guys with tools and skills willing to help.

    Prioritize your projects, starting with importance and cost. Keep it to the essentials ... save glamor for later. Concentrate on getting resources together for your top priorities first.

    Take advantage of this web site for advice and guidance. A lot of good people here with a "halper" attitude. :D
     
  8. Mar 2, 2014 #8

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Everything Villa said was right on. List your problems here so we can talk or argue about what should be done first to last.
     
  9. Mar 2, 2014 #9

    slownsteady

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    Callmevilla is right; you definitely need to get a good list together and prioritize your projects. In my mind, nothing sucks more than to rip out work I recently did in order to fix the next thing. Maybe invest in a reliable home inspector to help you find all the problems. Concentrate on structural things first.

    I recently discovered a Restore (Habitat for humanities) near me.It's amazing the treasures that can be found there. Windows, doors, kitchen cabinets etc. And you'd be helping Habitat to fund their projects.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  10. Mar 5, 2014 #10

    BandAidHome

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    Wow I honestly didn't expect to get this much feed back or offers to help!
    Thank you all in advance! :D
    I guess I should start from the beginning with this house.
    First off I dont have a regular church to attend with my family her locally. My main pool of experience is from my reserve unit personnel. The problem comes with finding people that are near me.
    Anyways on to the house.
    From what I have been told by neighbors who have lived on the street all their lives, this house was built in the late 20s early 30s. It still has all the old Knob/Tube wiring with some jury rigged in new stuff here there. The house has spent most of its life as a rental. The kitchen was extended out the back of the house, central air and heat was added to the house. Also the fire place was converted I think from an old coal stove to the gas that it has now. It is super small, from all the reading I have done on it points to that conclusion. The water heater was moved outside into a little shack thing that I recently had to have rebuilt when the water heater was replaced. Vinyl siding was added to the home some time in the 80s from what I was told as were the windows. The roof was supposedly done a couple years before I bought the place. The bad thing is all of those things listed above were all done with no regard to quality or they are simply way beyond time for replacement. I have no idea how long new windows and siding should last on a house nor shingles. Some of the siding slides down during bad storms, the roof leaks sometimes during bad storms so i have some drywall ceiling that needs replacing inside. A friend and I ripped out the old cast iron tub as well as a window that was installed at waist level in the bathroom. We installed a new surround and tub as well as floor under the tub. There was a lot of rot around the window and under the tub. I think one of the major reasons rot and water issues are so bad is that the house has no eves at all and only a couple storm drains that sag though i have cleaned them and added more screws to help hold them up. I can upload pictures links if anyone would like better reference to the mess that is this house.

    Again thank you in advance to all for any specific tips or where to start with all of this. Oh also the main breaker panel was upgraded and is brand new. It was installed as part of the closing conditions.
     
  11. Mar 5, 2014 #11

    nealtw

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    When short of help you can run an add on Craigs list for trading labour. There are other people on a budget that need help too.
    You have hit on the two most important things, Knob and tube wiring needs to be inspected very closely by some one that know what he is looking at and it may be better to plan on replacing it. to do any remodeling over wiring that likely won't be safe for another ten or fifteen years is just a waiste.
    Post a question about it in the electical forum as that is where the pros hang out.

    Post a photo or two of the roof, one from a distance and one close up.
     
  12. Mar 5, 2014 #12

    bud16415

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    I have been in your spot several times in my life and in my case it was by choice. My first house was like yours only older with even more problems and I realized they were there and needed fixed before I bought it. I had high ambitions and believed my skill set was maybe better than it really was at the time but youthful exuberance and feeling I was getting much more for my buck going this way got me into it. To be honest if I didn’t take the DIY route I think I would have spent way more than I could have ever returned on the investment. The trick IMO is to understand what you can and can’t do yourself and then of the things you can’t do what ones could you do within your abilities with some tools, training and education. You are here and asking so that shows me you have some things it takes. To be totally honest I read your first post the other day and didn’t reply having no idea about government loans with low rates.

    Your post today gave me thoughts back to that first place of mine and all the scrambling I did for a couple years just keeping it above water. Some of these projects with a huge scale would wear out a team of pros so doing them alone really requires a commitment of putting the house ahead of a lot of other more fun activities. In my case that was easy because I love doing this stuff and the reward is looking at each step and knowing you did that yourself. A house like this should be viewed as many small projects and the advice given of taking them in order is good. Everyone wants to make the inside and outside look good. But as others have said you have to sometimes wait until something below the surface is done.

    Having friends and family pitch in is great I have normally been the one doing the helping and find it a bit easier to then ask for some help. Every family is different as are friends but I have found they don’t have the desire to stay with it like the homeowner has, so I tend to use them sparingly when I really need brute manpower.

    This is a great introduction thread and a good place to get to know the folks here. After you have a priority break it up into the correct forums and post photos and explain what you think you need and you will get some great help. Look at it as an educational and don’t be afraid to learn some skills. There are no stupid questions here, but be safe. Think everything thru and if it isn’t clear ask again. Get some good books on home wiring, plumbing and framing and do your homework. Even when you hire it done it’s good to know what you are getting.

    Good luck, welcome and looking forward to seeing you post.
     
  13. Mar 5, 2014 #13

    BandAidHome

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    Thank you all for the tips! I hadnt thought about posting a labor ad on CL. Might post something up for trade labor for bbq beer and computer work. Im pretty much set on the wiring needs to be done first. I have had intermittent issues since moving in though only minor. Now it has become a bit more severe like losing power on a whole trunk due to the wire burning through completely. The electrician that came out and fixed it not once but twice gave me a rough estimate of around 2k to rewire the whole house. Thats not nearly as bad as I was thinking it would be. The fist time it took him and his partner about 3 hours to track down the issue. But the second time it was just him and it was 30min tops. I guess he learned his way around my rats nest of a wiring situation.
    The insurance claim agent that came out to check out the roof said there was a spot where some of the shingles had slid out as well as one of the vent pipes was not done right. They put the flashing under the shingles on all sides instead of having some of it on top of the shingles.
    I can handle basic carpentry stuff, but Im not comfortable at all with wiring, especially since this stuff is almost 100 years old now haha. Thats why I would rather throw my tax return at someone else doing the wiring properly, then see what I can handle myself for the rest.
     
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  14. Mar 7, 2014 #14

    slownsteady

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    Don't forget to use the search box on this site frequently. You can find old posts that cover just about anything you can imagine.
     
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