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The Home Ownership Thread - Page 37

post #541 of 2934
Quote:
Originally Posted by aravenel View Post

Ouch.

But good for you for doing it right. It kills me to see old houses with historical charm butchered like that; I'm glad you are taking the time to make it right whenever you can.

+1000 Kudos to him for doing it right.
post #542 of 2934
Quote:
Originally Posted by aravenel View Post

Ouch.

But good for you for doing it right. It kills me to see old houses with historical charm butchered like that; I'm glad you are taking the time to make it right whenever you can.

+1

When I did my addition an architect was trying to convince me to fake the wood beams, right there I knew that guy wasn't for me.

Another instance was when I poked thru a wall to open up 2 rooms, I found these really nice antque french doors and when they guy started to frame them in he tried to use some cheap ass wood and told me they would match the stain. No, buddy.

Stuff costs a lot more this way but you end up with something that looks real.

Conversely, I used barn wood to construct a stereo cabinet and the guy was awesome. He brought his tools to my garage and we built it right there together in 2 days. Every little detail I wanted he gladly accomodated and made some great suggestions of his own. You could tell he was enjoying the project and we thought alike. I went to The Brass Knob in DC and found some great hinges and a red door handle, came out great.
post #543 of 2934
Finished handrail, best the iphone can do closeup



and my favorite tread, sorry for the yellowing. I wish I could change something about this phone to avoid that....or maybe I should buy a real camera.

post #544 of 2934
Impressive. Would you be able to guesstimate what the market price of this job would be including material? I am curious if something like this even feasible aside from DIY project.
post #545 of 2934
Our water heater cracked last night. It was 14 years old, so not at all surprising. I helped my father cut the pipes and drain the tank, and my grandfather (a retired commercial plumber) came over this morning to install the new heater. Instead of copper pipes we used Shark Bite connectors. They were so easy to attach, it took literally 2 minutes.
post #546 of 2934
Thank you!

I'm commissioned for projects on occasion, so I'd like not to get into what I would charge. I'm not sure your location, but if you are near me I can recommend some lumber mills. However I'm not posting this to advertise, just thought it would be interesting content.
post #547 of 2934

Love my house (Had it since 1999)  I found the easiest way to make it better looking was to Paint, Change lighting, change Door hardware and the Wall plates.   :)

post #548 of 2934
Beautiful wood, SG. I can't recall if you've posted what you used?

We're working with an architect to remodel our kitchen and add a bathroom to the flat. She delivered preliminary plans and elevations over the weekend, now it's on to getting estimates. I have to say I'm a little bit scared to hear what they'll come up with - in particular, she thinks we should raise the ceiling of the kitchen back to its original 13' height, which will involve raising the roof-line over a section of the kitchen that was "bumped out" 50 years ago, at the same time that they lowered the ceiling height across the whole room to 10'6". I'd hate to see our budget blown up by that, but if we can afford it it will make a big difference to the feel of the room.

Sadly, we've decided that we will not be keeping our circa 1953 O'Keefe and Merritt oven/range in the new kitchen, even though it was a major selling feature when we bought the place. Restoring it would run into the thousands, and I think a new range-top and wall oven combo will be more usable and have better resale value in the long run - the old stove is a bit battered, very inefficient, and the oven is pretty small.

For anyone who cares to chime in: Any advice for a rank newbie getting ready to do his first remodel? What should be top-of-mind at this stage of the project?
post #549 of 2934
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connemara View Post

Our water heater cracked last night. It was 14 years old, so not at all surprising. I helped my father cut the pipes and drain the tank, and my grandfather (a retired commercial plumber) came over this morning to install the new heater. Instead of copper pipes we used Shark Bite connectors. They were so easy to attach, it took literally 2 minutes.

14 years seems pretty short for a water heater....I would be unhappy.
post #550 of 2934
Quote:
Originally Posted by imatlas View Post


For anyone who cares to chime in: Any advice for a rank newbie getting ready to do his first remodel? What should be top-of-mind at this stage of the project?

San Francisco is a huge pain in the ass for somebody remodeling. Cheap bids and expensive bids often end up reversed when you are actually paying the bills. You need to decide whether you are remodeling for your lifestyle or because you think you are going to get your money back (you won't.) Finishes are much more expensive than mechanical. Maintenance is everything.
post #551 of 2934
Thanks Imatlas! It is black walnut.
post #552 of 2934
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post #553 of 2934
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsstillmatt View Post

San Francisco is a huge pain in the ass for somebody remodeling. Cheap bids and expensive bids often end up reversed when you are actually paying the bills. You need to decide whether you are remodeling for your lifestyle or because you think you are going to get your money back (you won't.) Finishes are much more expensive than mechanical. Maintenance is everything.
Thanks. We've already gotten our feet wet enough to know how frustrating and expensive it is to do work in SF - our downstairs neighbors did some work that resulted in their having to replace our roof deck (long story). We went around and around with the building inspector on whether we could use Trex (no because it is over a structure), epay (only if it was 3" thick, which is not available and would have resulted in a dead load that would exceed the design limits of the building), or redwood (what we wound up with).

I'm interpreting your comment about cheap vs expensive bids as: beware the cheap bid, because you're more likely to hit cost overruns when the rubber hits the road. The expensive bid may take into account more of the actual costs. Is that what you mean, or do you mean "cheap work is expensive to fix"?

We watch some of those shows on HGTV where they cheerily imply that 150% return on remodeling investment is normal and we just scoff at them. We're planning to live here for at least 10 years, so we're doing it for ourselves more than for resale. That probably means we'll spend more on it than we would if we were more strictly concerned with ROI, but we're still concerned about keeping the costs within reason (to the degree that is possible).
post #554 of 2934
Thread Starter 
I'm feeling kind of dumb atlas because I just did a huge remodel and I don't really have anything particularly brilliant, but here's some kitchen-specific stuff to think about:

1 - It's great to do this in reality if you have the time or inclination, but at least in your mind, go through every drawer and cabinet in your current kitchen, imagine taking out the contents and putting them on the counter, and then putting them back in storage in your new kitchen/concept. I can virtually guarantee that amongst all the improvements you've no doubt made, there's something you forgot about and won't have a place for if you don't do this inventory exercise.

2 - This may not be an issue for you, but we entertain a fair bit, and we splurged on two dishwashers, and I swear I don't know how people survive with one anymore. Best splurge ever.

3 - We had a fucking huge variation in cabinet pricing. In the end, we settled on custom, though manufactured, cabinets from an economy line from a major maker, and I'm not sure why anyone would do much different. Sure, we have veneered kickboards and such but we have all the soft-close bells and whistles and saved thousands over custom stuff. Obviously you can get wonderful hand-done stuff and you won't mistake our cabinets for works of art but I literally saved a midsize sedan going my route. And I couldn't tell the difference between the economy manufactured line and their regular line in terms of workmanship.

I'll try to think of more and jot them down as I remember.
post #555 of 2934
Thanks Douglas! Our architect swears that "her guy" can do custom cabinets for the price of manufactured semi-custom. I'm skeptical, but will get an estimate from him.

BTW iammatt and other San Franciscans: do you have a contractor that you'd recommend?
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