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Thread: Old Homes - How often should they get a complete over-haul?

  1. Top | #11
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    Pheww that's a lot of feedback. Thanks for the replies, very helpful. Will have to set aside some time for any other questions, but I think the overall gist is what I was looking for. And confirms what the contractor who I had in said.

    Quote Originally Posted by TV and credit cards View Post
    Find books and read them. I've taken notice of some of the stuff you read. You can do this.
    Yea, at this point my main limitation is motivation, not ability. I don't have a lot of experience with hands on work, but I could at least take more ownership in getting things right when I hire, and on small jobs. And up until lately I didn't quite have the motivation or confidence, but I'm recognizing that our home is a major asset so I should take it more seriously than I have.

  2. Top | #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Pheww that's a lot of feedback. Thanks for the replies, very helpful. Will have to set aside some time for any other questions, but I think the overall gist is what I was looking for. And confirms what the contractor who I had in said.

    Quote Originally Posted by TV and credit cards View Post
    Find books and read them. I've taken notice of some of the stuff you read. You can do this.
    Yea, at this point my main limitation is motivation, not ability. I don't have a lot of experience with hands on work, but I could at least take more ownership in getting things right when I hire, and on small jobs. And up until lately I didn't quite have the motivation or confidence, but I'm recognizing that our home is a major asset so I should take it more seriously than I have.
    I'm sure we--or at least I have really overwhelmed you with all kinds of stuff that one could and should do to houses.

    The truth is that most things can be tackled as you feel motivated and flush enough with cash to do them. Or have them done. There's the old get at least 3 quotes and don't take the high or the low. I think that in my case, sometimes the high quote is the right one but that's only because I know and trust who is giving me a quote. At this stage, I know who I want to do my plumbing, my electrical, my general contracting. I've worked with them, know they are trustworthy and do what they say when they say they will do it and for the price they quoted. And I'm upfront about asking them to tell me straight out if I'm asking for anything crazy or expensive. Aside from that, I have learned to accept their expertise and with this recent project, I have come to realize that some of the things I thought I wanted simply would not look good and that the person doing the job had enough expertise to tell me that what I really wanted was this color grout and not the color I thought I wanted and to explain why--and he was right. It made perfect sense.

    It pays to find out who is good in your area and to build a good relationship with people you think you will be using more than once. Or even once. Within the business of home improvement, tradespeople talk just like homeowners do. You want to have the reputation for not being too big a pain in the ass and especially for paying on time and for not wasting people's time by being a pain in the ass if you can help it. I confess that I was a pain in the ass about painting a certain part of the exterior of my house because it turned out I didn't want what I had thought I wanted until I saw it and realized that the painter was right about what would look best. Sometimes the picture we have in our minds does not translate into reality and that's really OK.

    Which doesn't mean that you shouldn't try to realize your vision and especially your intended useage/utility . It's important that a space function the way that you need it to function. But experienced tradespeople can be invaluable for letting you know what say, the minimum clearance required by code is (they have to follow that) and what is actually comfortable for most people. Some things, I have pushed for. I am not tall and I had a portion of one kitchen counter lowered to be several inches lower, at a height more comfortable for me for rolling out dough and cookies, etc. I knew that I had been going to the kitchen table to do some tasks because it was a more comfortable height for me to work at for some things. At the same time, my husband is much taller than I am, and average height for a man. So, we kept most of the kitchen the typical heights because I'm not the only person who works in the kitchen and the 'average' height works well enough for me for most things. Also, some day someone else will own this house and I didn't want to make it too weird. Feedback from other people, especially those with little kids is that it was a really smart idea. *note: I am not the size of a little kid--I'm a normal height for a short woman.

  3. Top | #13
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    If you are not a home repair guy the thing to do is hire a professional contractor to access your home from foundation to roof.

    Dry rot, termites,. fungus in the walls, plumbing, wiring, cracks in r the foundation, exterior paint or siding.

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