Repairs To An Old House

When I bought a place here in Texas I was looking for something inexpensive, perhaps cheap.  Well, that is the trouble when you want to cut on the costs of housing.  The house I bought on a VA loan (no money down and 30 year  mortgage under $500 a month was something of a chance purchase.  I thought it might have been in better condition than the inspection had warranted.  Such was not to be.  If this was California the sellers, three siblings selling their parents home, would be facing legal action and penalties for fraud.  The electrical is a mess sine one of the sons thought he knew something about wiring.  Unfortunately he fails to follow code and I will need to rewire the place.  The addition was dome by rank amateurs and I am surprised it ever passed building inspectors.  The plumbing leaves much to be desired and already I have had to make some serious repairs.  But I do have over a quarter of an acre on a corner lot and I was able to erect a 400 sq ft shed/workshop that I needed.

The house is sixty five years old, not long in housing years, and the original lumber was sound enough.  In fact, the lumber used back then is superior to what is available now.  But there is a great deal of water damage due to leaking windows, leaking plumbing, and what not.  I will end up replacing a fair amount of framing and flooring.  Then the fireplace and chimney need to be rebuilt.  The mortar was not refractory mortar and the chimney has a a lean to it.  Well, those are problems that will be corrected.  But this house has much to recommend itself to the buyer.  The neighborhood is a mix of decades of buildings and has that rural flavor you can’t get out of a housing tract.  So I have my plans, which unfortunately need future income to carry out.  There is the remodeling of the kitchen in which I move it back to its original location and install an island and a patio type door to the outside.  Of course that means I must relocate the hot water heater and washer/dryer to where the previous owners had a very small shower and very small bathroom.  One can’t fit a shower, a toilet, and a sink in a five by six area.

So I have ripped out the bathroom and will make it into a laundry room with a hot water heater and washer/dryer and perhaps a laundry sink and some cabinets.  The Pantry, which is four by six will need to be -walled and an attic as well as a crawl space entry be placed.  When the idiots added the addition they did not excavate the crawl space to a proper height and I have had to replace the sink drain under that area.  Seems that the cast iron waste pipe rusted and left a gap of some four feet.  Well, a new drain pipe to the sink using plastic and run it over to the cast iron wye worked well enough.  I had to cut a section of cast iron pipe out and replace it with plastic including a wye that accepted the kitchen sink drain.  But now all the old cast iron will be taken out and new plastic run for the laundry.  And I must plan the new gas lines since the hot water heater and the gas dryer need gas feeds.  All that should tie into the gas feed for the cooktop and I might add and extra nib for a gas oven.  Lord knows I don’t need an over.

Ah, but one must plan the electrical distribution and run a circuit that has a couple of ground fault electrical outlets on it.  And there is the plumbing that needs to go in.  The fun never stops.  Lastly is the ducts for the eventual changeover of the HVAC from the attic location to a utility room and the ducting under the house.  That should be a great deal of fun.  Eventually I need to replace most of the wiring and bring it up to code, replace the gas piping runs while eliminating the runs that are no longer being used and seeing that it all runs with the minimum pipe.  Then there will be the additions of a new bedroom and adding on to an existing bedroom while moving a bathroom.  I tell you, it is a fun time to do the remodeling.  A great deal of planning must be dome and one must think through all the changes and what those changes will encompass.

So there you have it. Planned changes to be done by yours truly.  I wish i were a bit younger.  I am sixty seven and it gets a little harder to play carpenter, plumber, electrician, and HAVC person.


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