Old house bought: check. Now what?
March 26, 2009 7:52 PM Subscribe
So I seem to have bought
. For $8000. Now what?
posted by Michael Roberts to Home & Garden (88 answers total) 109 users marked this as a favorite
Background: remember how you keep reading that the real estate market in, like, Detroit and Indiana have collapsed? And how foreclosures can be really inexpensive? Well, I kind of made this impulse decision, and ... closed yesterday, and ... I have a hell of a lot of house now. The first link is background on the story, including aerial photography; the second link is the Flickr set from the pictures my sister took after closing.
I'll actually be getting there in mid-May. Yes. I now own a house that I have never seen.
My questions for Renovation Filter fall into two categories.
First and foremost: although I'm not a builder by trade, nor do I play one on TV, I do have some experience; my father built our house while I was growing up, and I helped, and I've owned property since then. But this is a far, far bigger project than I've ever tackled.
Where should I start learning? Does anyone have pointers as to prioritization? Note: the roof is three years old, so that, at least, should not be a major problem. I have decided to fix the walls and ceiling with actual plaster, both because it feels right for a house built in 1890, and because it's more mold-resistant (allergies in the family), and just plain solider. I want this house to last another 120 years, at least.
Does anyone have advice about renovating all that woodwork? How about repairing the hole in the parlor floor? (The photo is not so great, but trust me, you'll see what I mean.)
Any advice on procurement of inexpensive building materials?
My second and even more open-ended question is this: what suggestions, besides the obvious (insulation) do you have for post-hoc greening of this structure? Solar heat? Greenhouse?
I'm not in a hurry. I have about two months to achieve minimum livability for my family (early/mid-May to July 2; they'll be traveling), and with that much space, basic livability can apply to just a subset of the house -- essentially, any demolition and any mold removal should be done in that period.
But after that, I expect the full renovation to be a multi-year project.