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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    5

    Cool How to start the renovation project

    Question 1-I have an old house in Alabama and I would like to renovate it. I know I have to tear down two of the back rooms and rebuild them. Put a new roof on the top add new plumbing,wiring and drywall in the inside. Siding has been suggested although a good paint job would do the trick. The house was built in 1969. I have been told to tear it down and start fresh but I am in a hard place- my house is grandfathered in and I can't really tear it down because I think it is too close to the house behind me.Not sure on that? Where do I start first?

    Question 2--Is it possible to build a small three bedroom home for less than 100k? Yes-I am willing to do some of the work myself.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,758

    Default Re: How to start the renovation project

    You start with a visit to your local building department. Write down a list of questions to ask them, then jot down their answers.

    Next, you go and talk to an architect, and get his opinion. You will find that some things can be done and some can't.

    Lastly, with new construction costs as high as they are, they do vary widely, depending on your location, quality of construction,
    materials used, etc. If you use your insurance company's numbers for replacement as a guide, you'll find them much higher than you think. Keep in mind that your building department will not issue you a Certificate of Occupancy if you omit or use the wrong materials to save money.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: How to start the renovation project

    Ok-thank you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: How to start the renovation project

    I think it depends on how much you'll be able to do yourself (skill level). Do you have the tools or will you need to buy them?

    We are basically in the same place, but we didn't really want to rebuild-although we would have liked to move the house. We have already torn out the old floor down to the dirt in one room and replaced most of the sill (we actually thought it was built without one since it was completely GONE), all the joists and subfloor and added a vapor barrier. We are also rewiring that room and replaced some windows, we have two more to go.

    We had to rip out the HVAC and replace (going a different route), and do some plumbing already too (freeze damage). We know we have floor work in other parts of the house, not sure how much, it's on a slab. Also some foundation work (mouse holes) and definately rewire EVERYTHING (it's scary...we're working on about half the panel right now as we disconnected the worst stuff).

    You need to evalute what you NEED to do, WANT to do. Then figure out costs and double what you think it will be, lol (there are ALWAYS hidden expenses) and add more time than you think you'll need.

    We haven't moved into our new house while doing the work and are still living in our old house. Evalute your living condition requirements and consider what it will be like living under construction if you are living there now.

    Try to figure out what you want to do with a given space before starting so you don't hold yourself up with details. Decide where you're putting outlets and switched for example, what ligting fixtures you want, etc.

    And as to the $$ question, it all depends on what you want from the place. It can be done, and it can easily cost that entire budget on one room. Consider 2nd hand kitchen cabinets, shop around for materials, use craigslist and other forums like it, think outside the box (I'm hunting free flooring right now-just missed some by about 1/2 hour-in the form of old barn floor planks). ALSO, you will need to check your building codes and find out if they will allow that. One place near us had an actual minimum $$ amount for construction and wouldn't accept a place that was less (weird, I imagine it was a tax base thing). You might be able to buy a shell and finish it yourself-even a log cabin shell MIGHT work, depending on costs in your area.

    You need to consider if you can use your current foundation too, as that can cost $$$$. Same for septic if you're on it, etc.

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