When taking on a remodeling project, it is common to be concerned about the "additional cost" that occur once the roof, siding, or whatever is ripped off. I know this, because I am currently having a new roof, siding, doors and windows installed on my 92 year old home. That's right, my home was built in 1921; 3 years after the completion of WWI (not II), and 6 years before Ford stopped pumping out Model Ts.
Although rotted wood and other "uh-oh" surprises were expected with an older home, I didn't realize how much I would learn about the home. We moved in fall of 2011 and didn't know much about the home.
We knew the home had recently been foreclosed on, and a house-flipper completely remodeled the interior; new kitchen, bath, and everything else that made my wife love the home. He had left the outside to be done which was just fine for someone employed by an exterior remodeling company. Electrical, plumbing and everything else easily passed inspection so we moved forward.
Now that we're in the midst of remodeling, below is a quick rundown of what I learned. Check out the pictures and captions to visualize what I am describing.
- My second floor was a complete addition at some point and not part of the original structure. This addition has to be over 30 years old as my neighbor has lived in her home for over 30 years and said my structure has always been the same since she's lived there.
- There were at least 4 different areas where there used to be windows that no longer have windows.
- There was no insulation under the siding or between my studs on the first floor (so I get to take advantage of the tax credit mentioned in my last post). However there was insulation on the second floor addition.
- My front porch used to extend the length of the home and the new porch was not properly anchored to the structural wall. It pretty much leaned a foot forward once they started ripping off the roofing on it.
- I knew there were 3 layers of siding on it, but didn't know how ugly the second layer was. Take a look at the photo and ask yourself, how could anyone every come home to "this" every day?
If you are doing any sort of remodel on your home, take pictures and keep an eye open for little things that might clue you in to the history of the home before you moved in. I'll send some completed pictures when we're done so you can compare the before/after.