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This Old House

posted 6/25/2011 9:48:40 PM |
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I'm discovering for myself the joys of redoing anything in an old house. A simple job is going to take 3 times as long and be at least twice as expensive as first thought. Take a simple job, like making a passageway between two rooms. In a newer house, no big thing, but one that was built way back in the early 50's or late 40's, you are better off to tear it down and build a new one.

In what is serving as my computer room now, there was a set of shelves built into the wall between this and the adjoining bedroom. About the size of a window, but what the heck, I wanted to make the opening about 4 foot wide. Got a piece of paneling, so got studs behind, no problem. I'll just tear the shelves out and get to work. Welllllllll, the shelf space I tore out was a window many years ago, I could tell that by the asphalt shingles on the wall. And the studs I had thought were going to be where I needed them, forget it. Not even close.

Ok, rethink the situation, come up with a new plan of attack and continues demoing the wall. The other side has one layer of sheet rock over at least two different paneling, and two layers of wall paper. Not to mention some of the old framing had been replaced. Nothing is square, or straight up and down. And don't forget the tons of big nails in everything. And many more smaller ones added later in the process. So, once I got part of the wall torn down, I started on the other side of the opening. And on the bedroom side. Hint: do not attempt anything of this sort without a good reciprocating saw, and a demo blade set for one. Three circular saw blades later, and barely started on the cutting, I decided to go get one. Used the fire and rescue blade, zipped right thru it. Got all that out then looked at what I have to work with, and what I have to do yet.

I've about come to the conclusion a bulldozer would be a better alternative. Then pour a good foundation, and go up from scratch. Instead of a two to four day project, taking, my time, it looks more like a week at least. My advice if you choose to try something like this, tear ALL of the covering off of one wall first. Then see what you have to do, don't pre-plan anything, and have a good shop vac handy of you are going to be using the room, and dust masks. This dust is in and on everything in the house now, and I tried to keep the doors closed as much as possible. Oh the joys of having an old house.

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Jun 25 @ 10:24PM  

I lived that for 2 plus years!!! That's why I am with out a JOB!!!!!(I quit my job to finish what I started! Butttttttttt I redid my whole House!!! )
OMG...a "Saws All" is worth its weight in Gold ..doing something like that!!!!
Make sure you use "Bags" in your shop vac.....(I'm sure you do! this is for others that read and have not done this type of thing....that is Gonna!!! )
Hind sight is a bitch.......but you are right.....I could have built a House from scratch...Cheaper..and a Lot faster....if I hadda...had this house Bulldozed!!!
What a Fool I was!!!!
Good Luck Man!!!

Jun 25 @ 10:31PM  
i'm not going to be doing any thing else here. except for turning the hall into a closet. this place has been added onto and built onto at least three times i could tell from looking in the attic. and all i did there was poke my head in to see what the insulation looked like. not much at all, so maybe blown insulation later on.


Jun 26 @ 8:40AM  
It sounds like an adventure. It might be an idea to do some probing and see just how long the story could be before beginning it. I suspect that the electrical wiring and plumbing are also adventures.

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This Old House