Post # 1
My husband and I have decided to move into the city and we went house hunting for the 1st time in that area yesterday. We’ve been hunting in the suburbs until now. It was very disappointing. I knew we would be sacrificing space and bedrooms possibly bathrooms but I didn’t know we would be sacrificing so much more! I thought we could find a nicely updated early 1900 home that would have all the character. Silly me.
But anyways, we found a house in the dream location but it was in terrible shape. I don’t think there is anything that can be done cosmetically. It should probably be gutted and rebuilt on the inside which would also help the floor plan.
Has anyone else gutted a home? Was it worth it for the right location? We were thinking it would cost roughly 100k which would still put it cheaper than a similar square footage house that isn’t even updated. We were hoping to bring a contractor in to get a really rough estimate but I was curious if any bees have gone through it and was it worth it?
Post # 3
@Talishazwi: The cost is going to vary so much on where you live but currently we just finished gutting our home down to the studs and are planning to remodel it over the next 60 days. Our expected return is about 50%. We bought the home for 50,000 and were expecting to sell it around $185-$200.
If you do decide to completely gut the home and you don’t want to spend the next year working to get it back in shape here are some of my suggestions:
-Do a lot of research and take as many bids as possible on the job from reputable, licensed contractors. Ask for references from people that have used them in their own homes before. That is the best way to make sure you won’t get scammed or get someone who doesn’t know what they are doing.
– Stick to your budget as strongly as possible but also don’t take a super expensive bid from a contractor just because. Many people are looking for construction work right now so if someone comes in really high don’t be afraid to question them or compare them to someone else.
-When starting to demo I would suggest getting as many people as possible to help as you can for at least 1 weekend. My SO and I have spent the last 2 weeks pulling stuff down and out with the little time we have before or after work each day. Devoting a full few days to the tear down makes a huge difference.
– I would also suggest tearing out sheet rock in the biggest chunks you can and get all of the big stuff or things your trying to save out early so your not trying to work around them to save them because things get ruined when people are swinging hammers.
-I would say one of the best things we did was hire a couple of young men to come in for 10 hours a day at $10 an hour to help us get the stuff out faster. Young high school boys are quick and relatively cheap to help with that kind of stuff. Friends will typically work for free but they will only do that for a day or two before they don’t want to help anymore.
If you have any other questions please feel free to PM me! All of this is overwhelming and very confusing at times.
Post # 4
We aren’t completely gutting, but the majority of things are being updated–mostly in stages for $ reasons. For instance, we re-shingled the roof, completely repainted, all new kitchen (cabinets, sink, appliances, flooring, rangehood, counter-top, lighting), new windows/doors, new flooring throughout, etc. Next up are the bathrooms, and lastly we’ll tackle the basement..
Post # 5
I haven’t done this, but thought it might be a good idea to join Angie’s list to get some reputable contractors. I am a member, and if you want to PM with where you are looking, I can go on there and try to find some contractors info for you
Post # 6
@MsBrooklynA: Where are you living while completing the gut and renovations? That’s the other downside. We estimate at least 6 months maybe which means keeping the bad commutes for that much longer. Upside is a home done in our taste. Thank you for all of the demo tips. I will keep it all in mind!
@brighteyedgirl: Are all the renovations worth it? Rather than spending more to find a house already done?
@MrsSl82be: I have heard of Angie’s list before. How does the membership work? Thank you for the offer and suggestion. I will check it out!
Post # 7
I’ve done this. If you do most of the work yourself it would most likely be worth it financially (but only if one of you already have experience, or you have contractor friends that you can pay in dinner and beer! haha!). Emotionally if you plan to live in the same place while you renovate….that gets old FAST.
It’s the only way to get exactly what you want so it’s definitely dependent on a lot of factors as mentioned by PP’s.
Before you buy make sure you have the house inspected to find out if it has any structural flaws. You don’t want to go into this thinking everything is cosmetic and finding out the roof needs to be replaced or the foundation is cracking or sinking in a certain corner, etc.
Post # 8
@Talishazwi: You have to pay a certain amount (not sure how much, I got a groupon) and then you have access to reviews of all types of people and places of businesses. Check it out, and if you dont’ want to pay for the membership (but might be worth it, since you could find a plumber, window people, siding, etc) then I’d be happy to do some research for you!
Post # 9
It is an extremely stressful process especially if you both are working full time and living in the house while renovations are going on.
Before we moved into the place we are now we did quite a bit of work, with some help: new windows; new tile flooring in kitchen, 2.5 baths, fireplace; hardwood flooring in dining room; carpets throughout; interior paint; light fixtures; remove popcorn ceiling; replace mold-damaged drywall; installed new kitchen appliances. We replaced the knobs on the kitchen cabinets, and I spent three Saturdays cleaning them (they were so nasty) and putting in paper lining.
After we moved in we did the baseboard throughout the house (a real pain in the ass with furniture around), put in new interior doors and redid the framing on each door. One of the bathrooms wasn’t done before we moved in, so hubs did the tile floor, tile around the tub, installed a new vanity and sink and tiled the counter top.
Also, we found out that the second story of the house moves alot and the subfloor wasn’t adequate for the tile we laid down earlier. The kitchen is upstairs and all the grout and tile is coming undone so at some point we have to redo the kitchen floor with a composite tile.
We have alot of landscaping to do in the backyard still and need to repaint the exterior. When the new windows were put in, they had to redo the stucco around them, so we have to paint the whole outside. We also have an upstairs deck that needs to be sanded and repainted.
For reference, demo started May 2010.
Post # 10
Me! Me! Me! LOL. We’re almost done so I’m very excited!
We are doing an historical rebuild so that has added to a lot of the issues we’ve encountered. Charleston (where we are building) is notorious for being difficult with permits/etc. It’s been a long time coming but it is soooo worth it. We were able to find a really rundown but beautiful home in the exact location I wanted. I haven’t been living there while renovations have been going on which makes my stress level fine. Its been awesome to watch the entire place transform. We have put in significantly more than 100k but that was our choice and really we have saved a lot considering the house 3 doors down just sold for 3.4 million – we are coming in at far less than that but the value will match comparables in the neighborhood 🙂
It’s probably taken a little under 2 years for everything to come together. We expect to be officially and completely moved in in about 2 months!
Post # 11
@Talishazwi: Personally, we feel like it was/is worth it to make it exactly how we wanted it. Plus, the price was just too good to pass up. I guess it all depends on the person/couple, though. Some people prefer move-in condition.