I have followed all your threads on this house, and While I love the work you have done, I cant help but think on some level it would have been more effective just to knock it down and start over. Dont get me wrong i love the way it is coming out now, but it seems like there has been issue after issue, and tons of hack job work that you have run into that I'm sure has drastically increased the cost of the renovations you have done.
That being said I am sure that you had no idea what you were getting into, as most people do not. Its almost impossible to find out all the stuff that is wrong before the walls are opened up, as you have obviously found out, lol.
One of the reasons I was so happy to get the place I did when I bought my "fixer-upper" is that it was almost all original with the exception of some plumbing, furnace, upgraded electrical line to panel, etc. Windows, floors, kitchen, baths, etc in general were untouched except for basic fixes.
Because of this I knew what I was getting into, and there wasnt tons of hackjobs that made renovations a nightmare.
I've had the same conversation. I took 9 30-yard dumpsters out of here, but it was worth it because I ended up with what I wanted. Had I built something from scratch we would still be in the planning stages, now nearly 20 years later. With an existing structure it gave me the parameters I could work within. Compromise became the word of the day instead of frustration.
I wouldnt agree with something like that if you really wanted to keep all the original character in the home, but it seems like much of that was removed anyway.
In my home for example I want to keep most the the original lath and plaster walls. They are in great shape, and I dont want to disturb the original woodwork. Now remove the plaster for a kitchen or bath redo? sure, but not all of them.
I also had a time constraint. I'd been unemployed for 14 1/2 months and had collapsed my life down to my vacation home at a ski resort. Once the lifts stop running in the spring, the sidewalks roll up. I didn't want to get stranded there for the summer and wanted to get back to salt water for May 1. I started house hunting in early October. I closed on my cottage in early December. I limited the scope of my first phase of remodeling to exclude anything on the exterior, bedrooms & bathroom. The scope was supposed to be move and open up walls in the kitchen, vault the kitchen & living room ceiling, hardwood floors in those sections, and install a new kitchen. I didn't anticipate that the first phase would include replacing forced hot air heat with forced hot water, complete do-over of domestic water and waste plumbing, or as much re-wiring as was done. I also didn't anticipate the amount of remedial carpentry that was needed on the 10x10 flat roof part of the cottage. I got in before Memorial Day rather than May 1 but the work got done. ...at 1.75x the original budget.
One side effect of this whole approach is that my property taxes are much lower than if I'd torn it down and built a new place. Even though I essentially have a brand new house, the town thinks I have an old shack. Repairs and remodeling the rooms one at a time hasn't changed the value of the structure very much even though the town appraiser has walked through a few times. My insurance company thinks my 992 square foot structure has a $225K replacement cost if it burned to the ground. The town thinks it's worth $90K. In a house I plan to retire in, that ends up being a lot of money that isn't taken from my retirement savings.
After new ridge board, rafters, and 3/4" plywood roof deck, the back roof is finally ready for shingles.
I got to witness the magic of a good carpenter cheating everything to look like it's perfectly square in a cottage that is anything but. It took 2 carpenters almost two days to get the fascia, soffit, bargeboard, and drip edge installed before finally getting the ice & water shield and tri-flex down.
That reminds me.... I keep meaning to sort out an audible/visual high water alarm/pump failure system for the tank. There should be a contact closure pair in that conduit but it's not hooked up to anything. The guy who installed the system retired years ago but I have the manual for the pump.
...and the roofing project is done for the moment. The last quarter of the roof waits until the master bedroom ceiling is removed this winter to install new rafters.
The extra cost for materials.... 3/4" plywood is only a few dollars more per sheet than the planned 1/2". A bunch of 2x8 rafters. New fascia and soffit in the back.
The extra cost for labor.... I'm paying $35/hour x 2 for labor and it took 5 extra days so about $3K in labor and less than $1K for extra materials.
Like everything else, the cost was about double what I was planning.
One more remodeling phase to go this winter and I've run out of major projects for the cottage.
I still have about 15 feet of roof over the master bedroom that has 2x4 rafters that are framed maybe 24" OC. The roof hasn't collapsed in 60 years so I should be OK until it gets re-framed with 16" OC 2x8s this winter.
The flat roof was re-framed from underneath 3 years ago. Most of it is 16" OC 2x12. I only have about 10 feet of iffy rafters over the master bedroom left.
This is the flat roof looking towards the living room. This side sun-bakes and snow doesn't last on the flat roof for very long.
Last edited by GeoffD; 10-01-2012 at 02:28 PM.