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Thread: Hermann house renovation

  1. #21
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    I know, right? IL, I finally got the picture to work and I really like that staircase. What did you replace it with?
    Sure I like the staircase because they’re all over my city neighborhood! The Walnut turned spindles and newell post post is common in my victorian city neighborhood.it is circa 1885.

    We will replace this staircase with something consistent with 1940s bungalow style. Probably painted square spindles, oak treads, oak bannister and oak Newell post, taking the “0ak” cue from the pretty oak floor in the living room.

    This is a house that likes Oak. Personally, I’m not a big fan of oak but it makes sense for the era of this house.

    The exterior has asbestos shingles. I thought long and hard about keeping that original cladding because, well, it is original and informs the historic character. But a couple of people talked to me about insulation and how it would be better to remove that siding and put on Hardie board with insulation.
    Of course removing the asbestos will be tons of money.

    I really don’t have much of an idea of how much this entire project will cost. Somewhere between $100,00 and $225,000 is my guess.

    we are probably going to ask the contractor to finish out a white box and from there we can choose and install cabinetry and final paint colors. I like this plan because I truly hate the idea of having to make so many decisions about finishes all at once, coming at me quickly.

  2. #22
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToomuchStuff View Post
    What is the current kitchen becoming?
    Have you looked in the attic, to see why the stair landing is short?
    I wonder when was your house started, and when was it finished the first time? If they started in 41 and then ran into the issue of getting stuff, after WWII started?
    I have wondered about the prewar building process. The owners did a fair amount of building it themselves I think at least they did finishing work. I don’t know if it was interrupted due to the war but that is certainly possible.


    The current kitchen becomes a bedroom.

  3. #23
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Our contractor has torn into this project and he’s going full bore.

    Our architect (who lives across the street from us) filed the plans at City Hall yesterday.

    We still have no cost estimates. Nada.

    We have paid the contractor nothing.No money has changed hands between us and our architect or our contractor. No retainers.

    I find this level of trust cute and reflective of old fashion small town values where apparently our word that we will pay people whatever they want is good enough.

    I will say that our contractor asked us to open an account at the local lumberyard So that he could charge our materials there. The lumberyard required a sign from the bank that we were good for it. We’ve had $100,000 sitting in the little Hermann bank for more than a year for this exact scenario.

  4. #24
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Architects don't have fees or estimates, I am told, but simply run an hourly tab that one needs to monitor. Not sure if this is true for all situations and jurisdictions.

    Had a brief intro to that experience by the decisions of others in my organization who had no idea of how it would work. I wanted more info before deciding but was overruled. Shortly after, I was alerted to this billing by running a tab by someone more knowledgeable, I informed the rest what they had unknowingly agreed to and it was promptly halted.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  5. #25
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Our contractor has torn into this project and he’s going full bore.

    Our architect (who lives across the street from us) filed the plans at City Hall yesterday.

    We still have no cost estimates. Nada.

    We have paid the contractor nothing.No money has changed hands between us and our architect or our contractor. No retainers.

    I find this level of trust cute and reflective of old fashion small town values where apparently our word that we will pay people whatever they want is good enough.

    I will say that our contractor asked us to open an account at the local lumberyard So that he could charge our materials there. The lumberyard required a sign from the bank that we were good for it. We’ve had $100,000 sitting in the little Hermann bank for more than a year for this exact scenario.
    100k seems to be the ballpark for any time you step into a home renovation project of any seriousness. I've had to stress this with DH, since his brain thinks spending $200 for a new toilet is ridiculous. Good thing I've roped him into some of those HGTV shows where Hilary Farr gets a budget of $100k or more for fairly standard renovations.

    The reason I've had to discuss that number with DH is because DS/DIL have been asking us to commit to an offer for them to buy the NJ house, which we did, just last week. We did due diligence by getting 3 realtors in there for a market assessment. They all concluded the same thing--if we want top dollar we'd have to invest around 100k. Came as a shock to both of us, frankly, but as you have probably gathered, I'm not one to throw out perfectly good things in the house, which includes perfectly good albeit drafty old, original windows, perfectly good cement siding (so what if it's chipped in a few places?), perfectly good appliances, perfectly good roofing which was installed ONLY 20 years ago, and electric boxes that are not to code but our house hasn't burned down so they're fine. Our chopped up, 70s layout is also perfectly good.

    DS/DIL want to invest $100k into the house once they buy it to upgrade all these "perfectly good" features, so we've had to price the house as such. We took an average of the realtors' assessments, took into consideration reduced closing costs and gave them a small discount. They were happy with the price (which makes me think we might have left money on the table, especially since DS has his dad's negotiating skills) but overall I think this is a win-win.

    Off topic, but my original point is, $100k is a very reasonable sum to stash away to fix up a house to your liking.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  6. #26
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    Architects don't have fees or estimates, I am told, but simply run an hourly tab that one needs to monitor. Not sure if this is true for all situations and jurisdictions.

    Had a brief intro to that experience by the decisions of others in my organization who had no idea of how it would work. I wanted more info before deciding but was overruled. Shortly after, I was alerted to this billing by running a tab by someone more knowledgeable, I informed the rest what they had unknowingly agreed to and it was promptly halted.
    We didn’t monitor our architect’s tab because, well, we didn’t. Whatever he charges will be what he charges. He’s the guy we wanted to do the job so we didn’t shop around.

    Most people have a “budget” or a limited amount. We don’t really have that because we know going into it we’re gonna sink a whole lot more money into it then it will be worth.

  7. #27
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Catherine I think it’s fine that you both came to an agreement. You had professional advice in numbers from the realtors and that’s good enough. In my I book all you have to is be in “the ballpark” of a sale price, you don’t have to squeeze every dollar out of the deal.

    As an aside, a small Victorian house around the corner from me in the city sold last week and had 17 offers on it. 17! Our friend and real estate agent called us to ask if we were ready to sell because the market is super hot in our neighborhood and he has clients he wants to show it to. He says we can get $400,000 for it today but I’m not sure about that, he hasn’t seen our upstairs which is grimy and has holes in the ceiling left over from a ceiling leak.

    But we are still living here and I’m not gonna rush around and up end my life just to gain around $75,000 over what I think our house would go for in normal times. It’s just not worth it.

  8. #28
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Here is evidence actual construction is taking place.

    D6393DB6-4E5F-4DF6-A329-8940A9B1232A.jpg

    The construction crew has been working there for two weeks and we have not given them one dime yet. Our contractor is working on a time and materials basis and he will bill us once a month.


    We did get the architect’s bill and it was $3500.

  9. #29
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    How exciting!! I think 3500 is worth it for the architect.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  10. #30
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    How exciting!! I think 3500 is worth it for the architect.
    Yes. His regular fee is $3000 but he said he had extra work on one aspect of it. Old houses and their issues.


    Last week the city of Hermann Grand Poohbahs of the Water Department were out trying to locate our water shut off. They have not been able to locate it. This was the first property built on our side of the block, 80 years ago, and their maps are wrong.

    it has city water and city sewer system. I told DH to be prepared for the sewer system to need replacing. Every property we have purchased in the state of Missouri has needed the sewer system replaced, old infrastructure comes with old houses.

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