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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Western Kentucky
    Posts
    3

    Unhappy 50 year old house, lots of problems. HELP!

    I bought an old house a couple of years ago that seemed pretty well built However, It came with a few problems....well, maybe more than a few.

    1. Previous owners added on to the existing house and the roof over the new part is at a low inclination or almost flat. It has rolled on canvas over the top, but was not put on very well so the ceiling in the back part of the house has been leaking. I was advised to just build up a new roof with a higher inclination matching the height of the highest point on the roof. Is this a good idea?

    2. There used to be 3 working chimneys in the house, only one is still coming through the roof and the other two have been tore down to the attic level (the roof was patched over). We are planning on taking them all out since we are not using them, but two of them are behind walls. The only way I can think of taking them out is to tear them down, brick by brick, by starting out in the attic and working our way down.

    3. The floors are a nightmare. There were no subfloors put down, so the floors are always cold. Is it possible to lay flooring on the existing floor (hardwood flooring)?

    4. The crawl space under the house is an even bigger nightmare. Lakes form under our house everytime a heavy rain comes through. Also, our yard sits lower than our neighbors on both sides. I dug a trench under our house to gather all the water to the lowest point and recently installed a sump pump. Is there anything else I could do to help with the water problem?

    5. I need to raise the floor and walls of the house a bit. There is no concrete slab and the house is supported by bricks/blocks. I thought that I would have to dig an area, pour some concrete reinforced with rebar, jack up the house with bottle jacks, and then build brick supports allong the main walls would be one way to raise and support the house. What would be the best way?

    6. The plumbing needs to change (it's galvanized steel and may be as old as the house), but I have no way of knowing how to fix it. I've been advised to hire a plumber since there are water and gas pipes under our house. But I want to try and avoid a really expensive job.

    Well, that covers the biggies of the house. I'll try to provide pictures when the weather is a little warmer here in in KY. Anyone have any suggestions?
    Last edited by djvincent; 12-17-2007 at 12:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    980

    Default Re: 50 year old house, lots of problems. HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by djvincent View Post
    I bought an old house a couple of years ago that seemed pretty well built However, It came with a few problems....well, maybe more than a few.

    1. Previous owners added on to the existing house and the roof over the new part is at a low inclination or almost flat. It has rolled on canvas over the top, but was not put on very well so the ceiling in the back part of the house has been leaking. I was advised to just build up a new roof with a higher inclination matching the height of the highest point on the roof. Is this a good idea?

    2. There used to be 3 working chimneys in the house, only one is still coming through the roof and the other two have been tore down to the attic level (the roof was patched over). We are planning on taking them all out since we are not using them, but two of them are behind walls. The only way I can think of taking them out is to tear them down, brick by brick, by starting out in the attic and working our way down.

    3. The floors are a nightmare. There were no subfloors put down, so the floors are always cold. Is it possible to lay flooring on the existing floor (hardwood flooring)?

    4. The crawl space under the house is an even bigger nightmare. Lakes form under our house everytime a heavy rain comes through. Also, our yard sits lower than our neighbors on both sides. I dug a trench under our house to gather all the water to the lowest point and recently installed a sump pump. Is there anything else I could do to help with the water problem?

    5. I need to raise the floor and walls of the house a bit. There is no concrete slab and the house is supported by bricks/blocks. I thought that I would have to dig an area, pour some concrete reinforced with rebar, jack up the house with bottle jacks, and then build brick supports allong the main walls would be one way to raise and support the house. What would be the best way?

    6. The plumbing needs to change (it's galvanized steel and may be as old as the house), but I have no way of knowing how to fix it. I've been advised to hire a plumber since there are water and gas pipes under our house. But I want to try and avoid a really expensive job.

    Well, that covers the biggies of the house. I'll try to provide pictures when the weather is a little cooler here in in KY. Anyone have any suggestions?
    I will address number 2 and 4 removing the chimney brick by brick even though will not be fast is probally the best the chimney as a whole weighs a lot I remember a friend trying to take down a section that was resting ontop of a section of wall in one piece. long story short it put a large hole in the floor to the crawl space.

    number 4 not knowing the size of your yard I would think about having some fill brought in and relandscape the yard, and shaping the ground so that it flowed away from your house even think about putting up a small berm along the property line at an angle so that it flows away from your house, of course it the berm would have to have a downward slope or all it would be is a speed bump for the water. and if you are going to raise the house that only makes this job wiser to wait till after you do that. landscaping after raising

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