Author Topic: Rowhome Reno  (Read 4561 times)

centdukesfan

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Rowhome Reno
« on: May 22, 2017, 07:03:33 AM »
Hi all!

I just bought a house with my soon to be wife (getting married June 17). We have the pleasure of getting married and renovating a house at the same time. All good - we are up for the challenge. The home is currently set up as commercial, but is zoned for mixed use. The first floor has an inherited lease through November 2018 with an organic hair salon - dont worry it smells great down there. The top floor is set up as office space, but we will be adding a full kitchen and bath. My father in law is a contractor and will be joining us on this journey.

I wanted to start a thread to track this thing, so feel free to join along!

Here are the listing photos - I will keep uploading photos as we go.







I have also added a rough blueprint of the house to help you visualize the upstairs. We haven't settled on a layout, so any contribution would be helpful!


centdukesfan

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2017, 10:21:26 AM »
I tore up the carpet and drop ceiling last night. You can see some of the hardwood and weird wiring going on here. The middle room has a slight sag, and it could be from the old hardwood. Going to see if we should just tear out the old wood and replace with plywood. The main room has what i thought was engineered hardwood, but apparently its actual hardwood. It has a bunch of gashes, so im debating if we want to keep it or replace it. I'd like the home to be pretty consistent throughout so its either keep this wood and find a matching floor, or gut it entirely.

centdukesfan

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2017, 10:23:16 AM »
more photos

centdukesfan

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2017, 01:48:52 PM »
So, a bit of an update!

We just found out the main room that has a giant wall in it is NOT load bearing, So that sucker is coming out! It looks like the house may have this layout. My father in law, to be wife and I went over to the house last night and took a look around. A few odds and ends need to be shifted. It seems like plumbing is going to be a challenge. Going to pick out hardwood at some point and design some built ins. Any advice on built ins would be really helpful too!




geekette

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2017, 02:33:04 PM »
That looks like an exciting project! 

The dining area looks tight to me, but there's no width dimension listed so it's hard to tell.

If it's real hardwood, it can be sanded, stained, and new feathered in to match with old, but the sag is concerning.



paddedhat

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2017, 05:59:27 AM »
Really interesting place. Couple of thoughts on your comments.  The drop ceiling is unusual, as it has a decent looking drywall job above it. This is typically done when there is a need to meet fire codes, and a drop ceiling is a desired feature, as opposed to a typical drop ceiling that hides something ugly like exposed structure, or old crappy ceilings. Nothing odd in the wiring shown. some small, low voltage wire, possibly to a motion detector, and some 120 volt Romex, no biggy.  Sadly, any sagging floors have nothing to do with hardwood or plywood. Sags are caused by inadequate structure, nothing more. In old buildings it is typically a combination of  undersized floor joists, and  damage to them over the years. It's common to find huge holes and notches in old framing, to accommodate  plumbing, and other renovations. The solution is to repair and reinforce the joists, which can be a huge undertaking.

You might want to slow down and develop a good written outline of what you want to see as a finished product, and how you are going to get there. In some ways it's no different than building a new home, and there is a definite order of things, or chaos results.  You give a few hints of this when discussing built-ins and hardwood, yet speak of plumbing issues. Issues pretty much need to be addressed in the order of structural repair/renovation, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, insulation , wall finishes, cabinets, etc.....   You're further burdened by the fact that things like plumbing and sagging structure require access to the first floor, with some degree of ceiling and wall demolition, which is unlikely with a tenant in that space.

Great place, good luck with the renovations.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 07:14:42 AM by paddedhat »

centdukesfan

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2017, 07:05:52 AM »
The dining area will be tight for sure, we might have to think a little creatively to make that happen. Perhaps we could have the couch face the other way so it feels like it flows from the kitchen into the dining room.

I think the sagging actually is coming from the foundation, because the first floor has minor sagging there as well. That may be bit easier to correct

The drop ceiling was actually a part of noise baffling because there was a recording studio in that room! I think the motion detector was a part of an old security system that has long been disconnected.

The hardwood is real but we are debating tearing it out. I know its very anti mustachian,  but the house should have the same hardwoods throughout, and the floors have some gashes in them, and matching sanded hardwood with new hardwood might be a challenge that extends the project. Since its a relatively small area (only about 350 SF) we are likely going to replace them.

paddedhat

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2017, 07:25:38 AM »
The dining area will be tight for sure, we might have to think a little creatively to make that happen. Perhaps we could have the couch face the other way so it feels like it flows from the kitchen into the dining room.

I think the sagging actually is coming from the foundation, because the first floor has minor sagging there as well. That may be bit easier to correct

The drop ceiling was actually a part of noise baffling because there was a recording studio in that room! I think the motion detector was a part of an old security system that has long been disconnected.

The hardwood is real but we are debating tearing it out. I know its very anti mustachian,  but the house should have the same hardwoods throughout, and the floors have some gashes in them, and matching sanded hardwood with new hardwood might be a challenge that extends the project. Since its a relatively small area (only about 350 SF) we are likely going to replace them.

Typically in a  century old + row structure like this, floors are run perpendicular to the party walls, as evidenced by the non-bearing wall you discussed. It's actually pretty common to be rehabbing a structure  like yours, and confirm that the only bearing walls are found on the brick exterior, and the small section of interior wall adjacent to the stairs. Bouncy floors, and visible sags are common, for reasons I discussed. The foundation would have little to do with this, absent a failing, common bearing wall. I added a paragraph to my post that you might want to take a look at. I agree that, unless you are going for the rehabbed rough warehouse look, the floor is too far gone to waste time on.

centdukesfan

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2017, 08:00:40 AM »
OK that makes a lot of sense. As for the electric and plumbing - my father in law is putting together that plan as we speak, and has a really good idea of the order we will be going in. Big things will be going on this weekend so ill keep you guys updated!

centdukesfan

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2017, 11:29:42 AM »
started the removal of the big wall last night, and also began making a map of the electric. Things seem to be going well - the biggest challenges will be the movement of plumbing and a few vents may need to be moved. One of them is currently situated in the middle of where the bathroom will go in a pretty awkward place.

Did a lot of my budgeting today and I think we will be able to do this job pretty reasonably at 20-25k
My first attempt/ rough budget is here. Input is appreciated

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Mr7gPSrCWUFq_P2GC_s3YxDNDnCYN7Jtihj2JiihoPY/edit?usp=sharing

I am planning on making my own built in closet against the far wall in the bathroom. Any input is appreciated there as well

Frankies Girl

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2017, 12:04:08 PM »
I'd move the couch over to where the dining table is, then shift the dining area closer to the kitchen and probably make it a round table instead of a super long 6+ seater. Or get a shorter table (4 seater with a leaf if you just have to have extra seating) and place it near/off of the chimney brick area. Makes more sense to me for the table to be next to/near the kitchen instead of the current setup.

centdukesfan

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2017, 06:06:29 AM »
So the giant wall is gone and the space is huge and open! Next is it to remove the bathroom and get the plumbing where we need it

oneday

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2017, 01:18:40 AM »
Yay, reno thread with pictures!

TomTX

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2017, 08:44:43 AM »
The hardwood is real but we are debating tearing it out. I know its very anti mustachian,  but the house should have the same hardwoods throughout, and the floors have some gashes in them, and matching sanded hardwood with new hardwood might be a challenge that extends the project. Since its a relatively small area (only about 350 SF) we are likely going to replace them.

Matching hardwood everywhere is super-boring. When we replaced our "living room"* carpet, we used some complementary/contrasting tiles instead of trying for a match. It can help delineate functional space without putting in actual walls.

*It's a semi-open plan.

centdukesfan

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2017, 08:24:55 AM »
So everything has been removed - ill be adding photos later. Plumbing will be moved this week, but we are settling on a floorplan layout, debating where to be the doors etc.

Anyone have a recommendation on where to get hardwood floors? Unsure if the big box stores are the best way to go, what other options are there?

paddedhat

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2017, 10:33:07 AM »
I have found that private, non-chain, flooring stores are always the best option. Figure out what you want, and how much you need, then price shop at least two smaller, family run type places. I stayed loyal to a single store for decades. I always checked them every so often to make sure that they weren't abusing my trust. Then I did most of a new home with a click lock style luxury vinyl plank. It was from a major brand and defective. I know that as an end user in this case, I'm very likely to get screwed, since that's how most flooring manufacturers roll. Due to the relationship, the seller got the flooring cost refunded, removal labor paid, and disposal included. Had this been a big box store purchase, the manufacturer's rep. would of refused the claim before he even took a look. Smaller stores will typically have the same stuff the big boxes do, so it's easy to price shop. IMHO, the places I would avoid are closeout places, that buy overstock and odd lots, and  lumber Liquidators. Lots of Chinese shit there, odd species,  questionable finishes, and warranties that aren't worth the paper to print them.  Don't forget to get a quote from an old school flooring contractor, for a unfinished wood install, with on site sanding and finishing.  It's common to overpay for a prefinished product, when a real, site finished job often  looks and wears better.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2017, 01:32:25 PM by paddedhat »

HipGnosis

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2017, 02:00:27 PM »
Are there any other residential units in the building, or in the neighboring buildings?
Are you planning on renewing the lower unit's lease or doing something different with it when the lease expires?

centdukesfan

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2017, 08:31:39 PM »
Thanks for the advice on the flooring! We're gonna go out this weekend and make our decisions. We are in-between to fully residential townhomes. I'm unsure what we'll do with the first floor. The tenant had a sweetheart deal with the last landlord, so we'll have to increase rent it she wants to stay, or convert it into a residence if she leaves and increase rent. We have some options

centdukesfan

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2017, 08:34:02 PM »
Found an orange paint thinner which actually worked quite well on this brick. Just took a crowbar to the face of the brick and it came off pretty easily. The brick here is great and doesn't   scratch at all. I plan on scraping the brick then taking a wire attachment to an angle grinder to finish off the job, keeping careful to not damage the mortar.

centdukesfan

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2017, 08:37:30 PM »
You can see how much trash we had to take out in the last photo. The toilet still stands until we move the plumbing for the new bathroom. Pretty amazing. We agreed to a layout which is pretty close to the one I originally attached. We have to decide the cabinets and flooring this weekend! All good stuff

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2017, 12:26:06 PM »
Love those high ceilings. It will look awesome when you are done. Lots of hard work, but worth it in the end.

Keep the pics coming!

centdukesfan

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2017, 06:02:33 AM »
gonna have to buy appliances kind of soon, I'm debating going the craigslist route for all appliances, however if we end up having kids and making this a rental unit, peace of mind for appliances may be worth the investment.

Thinking of splitting in the middle and really keeping an eye on the floor models at home depot and lowes. Any other recommendations?

Papa bear

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2017, 07:36:29 AM »
gonna have to buy appliances kind of soon, I'm debating going the craigslist route for all appliances, however if we end up having kids and making this a rental unit, peace of mind for appliances may be worth the investment.

Thinking of splitting in the middle and really keeping an eye on the floor models at home depot and lowes. Any other recommendations?


Lowes and HD will sell at steep discount for their big sales - think Black Friday as their biggest.

Their prices on these sales can be better than what Sr level employees of the original manufacturer can get.  Source: sales VP neighbor for major appliance brand says sometimes he can't get them cheaper himself and will recommend waiting for those deals.


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Another Reader

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2017, 08:54:49 AM »
Today is the last day of the Memorial Day sale at Home Depot and Lowes.  If you miss this sale, there will be a Fourth of July sale starting in about three weeks.  After that, Labor Day.

paddedhat

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2017, 09:59:01 AM »
Until  recently I was buying several  packages of appliances ever year, for  new spec. homes.  I tried every angle over the years, from having them shipped from out of state wholesalers, to Home Depot, HH Gregg, local dealers, etc..   Bottom line is that I eventually stopped wasting time and got everything from Lowes.  Best prices, competent delivery and a great warranty service set-up. You call Lowes, they do a three way call with a local appliance service provider, and the problem gets taken care of.  For as much as I love Lowes, I have the opposite opinion of Sears, I would take my chances purchasing appliances just about anywhere on the planet before I bought another appliance, or any significant purchase, from that Cluster-f.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2017, 10:34:33 AM »
For as much as I love Lowes, I have the opposite opinion of Sears, I would take my chances purchasing appliances just about anywhere on the planet before I bought another appliance, or any significant purchase, from that Cluster-f.

+100

Just bought a condo. Sears delivered/installed when I was not there. When I came back, found out that the dryer was not connected to the vent and the power cord was not installed/connected (230V). Sears did not let me know that  I had to buy a 230V cord as well as the dryer flexible vent hose.

centdukesfan

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2017, 02:29:18 PM »
Thanks for the advice re Lowe's. Is there a discernable difference between lowes and home Depot?

paddedhat

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2017, 03:59:00 PM »
Thanks for the advice re Lowe's. Is there a discernable difference between lowes and home Depot?

Yea, my experience has been that HD is definitely in the game, but doesn't have an interest in being a leader. I never managed to get a whole house package of appliances that could beat Lowe's price. I know I could force them to match/beat Lowes, but I never got the vibe that they were even close to as competent in that sector of the business. Who knows, might of been a local issue, or just in my head, but I spent a shit ton on appliances at Lowes, over the years, and had zero issues, ever.

Another Reader

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2017, 04:07:12 PM »
Thanks for the advice re Lowe's. Is there a discernable difference between lowes and home Depot?

Yea, my experience has been that HD is definitely in the game, but doesn't have an interest in being a leader. I never managed to get a whole house package of appliances that could beat Lowe's price. I know I could force them to match/beat Lowes, but I never got the vibe that they were even close to as competent in that sector of the business. Who knows, might of been a local issue, or just in my head, but I spent a shit ton on appliances at Lowes, over the years, and had zero issues, ever.

Had a lot of problems with Lowes in the Phoenix area.  One time they delivered a fridge to a rental with a dent.  Ummm...put it back on the truck, that's not going in the house.  Response?  How about we take $50 off.  My response? No.  Took them a week to get another fridge from wherever they order them, as they don't have a warehouse.  Fortunately, the rental was vacant.  With Home Depot, I can go on line and have it ordered in about 10 minutes, including the delivery date.  Their ability to install dishwashers is not good, but I just have the handyman install.

centdukesfan

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2017, 01:15:16 PM »
Ok! Quick update. Lots of work being done, finishing up cleaning the brick. The plumbing for the bathroom is hot to trot and it's all framed out. Electric is run for all fixtures in the living room. Really happy with where we are.

Ordered the appliance from a used appliance shop down the road and got a really good deal with a warranty on basically new appliances. Pretty happy with that

TomTX

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2017, 01:52:12 PM »
Thanks for the advice re Lowe's. Is there a discernable difference between lowes and home Depot?

Around here Lowe's is noticeably more competent at appliances. Employees at any of the local HD are pretty clueless, and several times when I was cross-shopping, the advertised "Free same day delivery" or "Free next day delivery" was more like "Well, we can put you down for Thursday next week."

centdukesfan

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2017, 09:56:43 PM »
Still working to get this brick done!

oneday

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2017, 12:49:10 AM »
Bricks are cleaning up nicely!  I kind of like the mid-point look too (the upper half of your last photo).  Looks "weathered", like it has some history!

shadesofgreen

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Re: Rowhome Reno
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2017, 03:04:04 PM »
Are you planning on sealing the brick once you get it cleaned up?
How are you planning the kitchen layout? Are you going to do a galley style with a island? With the height of the ceilings, I hope you plan on doing tall cabinets for extra storage. If I was a prospective renter that is one of the things I would be looking for. Extra storage.