this is my first post in the Home Improvement forum and I'm quite pleased to be doing so!
It's been about 5 weeks or so now since we moved in to our first home. We were looking for homes in the 150-180K range but we didn't find much at that price. We just happened to be driving around on a Sunday looking for open houses and stumbled upon what would eventually become our new house. It was up for 209K and had already been dropped from 219K. It's a 1100sqft raised bungalow, with garage and walk out basement. It's got over 112ft of frontage, which for the city and area its in, is pretty unheard of.
The house was standing vacant because the owners had moved into a retirement/nursing home, which meant their kids were dealing with the sale of the house. We came in pretty low with all the appliances etc. included and they came back only a couple grand higher. All said and done, we got the place for approx 190K. Winning!!
Anyways, the reason it went so cheap is due to the place being quite dated. It needs new flooring/carpets, new kitchen, new bathrooms and paint. The roof was done in '07 and the AC is brand new '11. 2 Beds up, one down. descent size kitchen, two bathrooms, one up with tub and one down with shower. Huge rec room (24x16) with wood burning fireplace insert, and last but not least, a nice extra long garage. The house was built in 1976 by a well known Mennonite builder in the area who is still building houses today. Basically, that means the house will stand for a long long time to come.
So far, I've made a few mild improvements which include:
New A/C unit
Ripped out a few overgrown bushes in the back yard (to make room for the BBQ)
Gas line for BBQ
Satellite Dish and ran the cable for it (they were an old dutch couple that didn't watch tv)
Immediate future plans include:
Gutting the back yard of the rest of the over grown bushes, garden, etc.
New Fence across side of back yard (old one blew over in a recent wind storm)
Hardwood flooring in Living & Dinning Room
Carpet in upstairs bedrooms
Down the Road Plans:
R&R both bathrooms
R&R Rec room (including a wet bar)
Pour new concrete patio in backyard
on to the pics:
So as you can see, lots of updating required, but its got potential like crazy. The house across the street, which is not as large and doesn't have a garage, sold for 237K this past spring. So I figure I'll be able to make a tidy profit here eventually.
I"ll post up some pics of the updates soon.
The NG hookup is pretty cool, never seen that.
Buy your little enthusiast a Ferrari bike from me.
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Apologies for the confusion, the orig. A/C unit was kung-fu'kd so I had it replaced the day after we moved in. When we orig. looked at the house they told us the unit was working but when we had the house inspection done, we found that it was toast. So we had them cut a cheque for the replacement. So technically they paid for it, but I had my guy do the R&R.
So far, the BBQ hook up is pretty mint. I have an 8' lead on it so we'll be able to move the BBQ around once the new concrete poured.
Time for an update!
I've done a few things to the house since my last post, both in and out-doors.
First things first, I did some major pruning of the over grown hedges/trees at the front of the house.
As you can see... it really makes the house look bigger.
Next, While the wife was away in the UK for a couple days, I tore out the ugly (though useful) book shelf thing in the living room and replaced it with a wall. Why? you may ask... Well, mainly because the wife hated it and because we wanted to hang our TV on that wall.
Here are some of the progress pics.
Finished the first coat of mud and then left it be until the major reno started.
About 3 weeks later, the wife then went back to the UK for 2 weeks so I took the opportunity to tackle a bit more of the upstairs.
I must premise though, this is my first ever attempt at home renovation. I don't consider myself to be completely green though. I've helped friends with menial tasks here and there over the years, but this definitely eclipses anything I'd attempted to this point.
Carpet tear out time! Good bye 30+ year old shag!!
The dust and crap was horrendous! Luckily my day job has me working in a fab shop so I was able to pilfer a couple decent dust masks and eye protection. Then it was time to yank out all the staples and trim/nails etc. and properly screw the floor down with 2 1/4" screws every foot or so, in between the existing nails. (This is a must if you don't want a squeaky floor)
Once that was done, it was paint time. Wifey picked a colour, I got one as close as i could find... and presto-change-o!
Flooring install, commence!
Getting that first row was a bit time consuming, specially with the two floor vents I had to contend with. But once they were out of the way, it was smooth sailing. I had a little help from a couple friends, but they were more handy with drinking my beer and eating the pizza!
We finished off the living room, 97.5% of the dining room and then about 65% of the hallway by the time we called it a night. The pieces we had left were basically ones that would require a table saw. Up to this point, I was using my dad's 25 yr old Craftsman Chop-Saw and my newly purchased B&D Circ-Saw. We were doing rip cuts with the circ-saw but it was taking so much time to set up and get a quality cut, i just couldn't be bothered. I ended up going out and buying a cheapy Ryobi table saw for $129 from everyone's favorite DIY store.
Finally finished the last few pieces this past Sunday and I'm very happy with the results.
(living room and hallway progress)
(living room done)
(hallway to bathroom)
And finally, a picture of the living room (sans-trim)
Don't worry, those curtains are going to be discarded as well.
Anyway, that's all for now. Pretty please with myself
Next project is finish the trim and the entrance hallway, then on to the rebuilding a nice new fence so we don't look like hobo's any more!
Are those the original 1976 windows? On a typical 1976 split level in New England, the original windows are pretty low end and well beyond their useful life. Most owners have installed replacement windows since the heat savings from lowE/argon-filled glass pays for the project pretty quickly. It also lets you get rid of the heavy insulated drapes. Did your "well known Mennonite builder" use better windows?
Nonetheless, I'll only be doing a couple at a time for now. They are tatty looking and the ones at ground level should be replaced, if for no other reason then security. Same goes with the doors too.
Thanks for all the comments, everyone!
Previously Owned: 2010 Kia Forte, 2010 JK Wrangler, 2007 Passat, 2003 Jetta, 2002 Jetta, 1992 Sentra, 1998 Dakota, 1990 Ford Ranger
Looking really good so far! LOVE the floors and wall color.
I definitely see potential in the home. What are your plans for the room (downstairs?) with all of the wood plank walls? Are you going to remove the wood or paint over it? (I'm curious because I recently fell in love with a home that is FILLED with wood walls).
Paint over natural wood makes me cry (except for trim) My father had these beautiful walnut cabinets in his kitchen. It was probably the only high-end detail in the whole house. His second wife painted them white
Yes, its going to be easy to make our money back on this place when we decide to move on. I'm really not too sure about the down stairs yet. I haven't given it much thought yet. I've seen the paint over the wood paneling done before and I don't disagree that it looks pretty alright. But, there is just something about it that looks half finished. I guess it all come down to available funds at the time. I've even heard of people that fill the gaps in the paneling to make it looks smooth, but I'd be afraid it would be damaged if someone where to lean up against the wall and there was any flex. Not to mention, for all the time spent, it would probably be more worth while to just re-drywall.
I found this blog that has before and afters photos of someone who painted over their wood. Thought you might want to see it.
Last edited by firefighterjunkie; 05-11-2012 at 09:07 AM.