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A suggestion was made for me to start a separate thread regarding our latest adventure, so here it is. This thread will be a mix of DIY, contractor work, demolition, frugal remodeling, and whatever else finds its way in.

The short part: We've been looking for a retirement home for several yrs now, and not finding what we wanted. But last month, we finally found it. It's not everything we wanted, but ticked so many boxes we couldn't ignore it, even though we tried. After many sleepless nights and several tours of the property, we finally decided to jump 3 weeks later. But at the same time we were meeting with our Realtor, someone else was writing a proposal at another realtor's office. The sellers accepted their offer, and ours was held as a backup. But Realtor told us from the start it was possible the deal might unravel. It didn't seem like that would happen in our case. We were disappointed, but tried to put it out of our minds. Two weeks of uncertainty and disappointment dragged by. But Wednesday Realtor called, saying the deal had fallen apart and did we want to consider buying the property now. Yes, please! We dashed into town and signed paperwork to update our purchase agreement and resubmit it. Realtor also told us the other buyer had kindly offered to sell us his home inspection half price, thus saving us two weeks and hundreds of dollars. We were also told the house may need radon mitigation. Oh, joy. Yesterday we got the call our offer had been accepted with no counters. It's a done deal now. They agreed to our price and included the lawn mower and 6 industrial floor mats we asked for, and they threw in a church pew we had asked for in the first offer, but deleted in the second. Very nice of them.

Today we picked up the inspection report. There were a couple new issues that would have been upsetting, but it was all stuff we're planning to change anyway so it doesn't matter. The windows all need replacement, but it was on our to-do list, as was completely updating the wiring. After research, we're comfortable with the radon situation and the cost of the remediation. Most of what was in the inspection we had already seen.

Our little church needs a lot of work, but it has many things going for it, too. Due to a frozen drain line last spring resulting in a flooded basement, all the carpet needs to be removed from the basement, so that will be a big priority. We're hoping that will get rid of the mildew smell.

We don't have many pics showing whole rooms, but here are some shots. We're looking forward to closing next month so we can start the rip and tear.

Basement, showing some of the carpet that needs to go and the missing Sheetrock from water damage. I plan to put a shop in this room once the carpet is out.

Wood Flooring Floor Wood stain Hardwood


New 9x9 pantry! It will house two freezers and the overflow fridge, along with the usual pantry stuff. I plan to use the spare pew we were given to build a large storage for this room. I will have to learn to work with hardwood.

Window Handwriting Lighting Wood Easel


Behold! Our new parking lot! 😂😂 We will be removing the door on the end and replacing it with a window for Husby's office.

Sky Plant Window Building House


One of my favorite things, a 6x6 walk-in closet that will be in my sewing room.
Shelf Wood Shelving Closet Flooring

Window Shelf Shelving Wood Gas

Wood Fixture Floor Flooring Hardwood


The giant economy sized 16x18 foyer/mud room with fancy shmancy double doors leading to a nice 16x16 covered deck . I plan to add massive storage cabinets on either side.

Property Window Wood Flooring Interior design

Fixture Wood Flooring Floor Tile flooring


This huge 25x43 room will be split into office, sewing room, kitchen, and living room. We get the fun of removing that raised floor up at the front. And all the lovely carpet, too.
Property Furniture Interior design Flooring Hall
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, we will, very much. But this new house is a long term project and we don't expect to move for 3-5 yrs or more. It's not unusual here for people to own a lake place and a house in town. Or for people to own a summer place in the north and winter place in the south, so having 2 houses doesn't seem unique to us. This will allow us to do a leisurely move and get the new place fixed up so we don't have to work on projects with all our stuff in the way. We also have a place to have rummage sales now, so that will help us get rid of extra stuff starting next spring.
 

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We spent so much time convincing ourselves it wasn't going to happen (me) and we didn't care if it didn't happen (him) that when Realtor called, it did not seem real. Yesterday it finally sunk in we are really getting the place. Now we're getting excited. Husby had been so upset because SOP for pending sales is to continue to take backup offers. We thought that meant someone could swoop in and steal the place out from under us by offering more money, but no. The contract is signed and the only ones who can stop the sale now without consequences
is us. That's why we're not going to quibble over the cost of the radon remediation. If we asked the sellers for a credit to pay part or all of it, that would undo our signed contract and allow the sellers to reject the entire contract. Realtor said she's unaware of any other interest in the property, but of course can't guarentee it. Since we so recently lost the place temporarily because of an unknown buyer swooping in at literally the same time we were wrting an offer, we're not willing to risk it. It'll cost us extra, but there are offsets so we don't feel too bad. The sellers paid for a brand new shiny 200 amp, $4,000 breaker panel just 2 yrs ago, so we will not have that expense, making room in the budget for radon remediation. I think knowing our signed contract protects us has allowed us to be happy and not worry so much. Let the planning begin!

The parking lot pic includes the street in front of the house, so it's a little misleading. It's only one car length deep and holds maybe 10 cars, so it's more like an overgrown driveway. We haven't decided yet where to put the garage, but the parking lot may become an actual driveway. That's another thing recently done that we don't have to pay for, putting down asphalt. The house doesn't look like much, but it has so many large and small details we wanted and simply could not ignore. It's selling for $40K below their original list price they started with in June, in a market where houses have been selling within days. Their price drops finally got it down into a range where we can afford both houses, and had to go for it. Another huge selling point is it's only 42 yrs old. That's practically brand new in our market. There are few ranch houses here and most are small. This is best of both worlds for us, 2,000 sf above grade but only 1,000 sf of basement to contend with, one of our unicorn wish-fors we didn't expect to find. The place is full of those. Big walk-in closet for sewing room. Generous main floor laundry area. Big mud room. Big pantry. Wide open spaces for open floor plan. Living room big enough for the treadmill and bike. Office space for Husby, plus a narrow but long bedroom with, I hope, enough space for my big L desk. Lots of little things like that.

The new place will be a downsize for us. We have more room in the current house and cabin. That's not counting the oversize double garage we have, compared to no garage. That will get interesting when we sell this place and have nowhere to go with the garage stuff till we build a garage. I suspect we will need to get used to snowblowers living in the foyer for a while! It will help that we plan to move most of my shop into the basement. I'm so excited about that! No more paint projects in the living room or on my sewing table. Unbelievable!

I'm finding it much easier to make decisions about what to get rid of, now that I know where we're going. It's a relief to know I can overcome my hoarder tendencies after all, and it really has been more about what we might need in the future than just not wanting to part with things. Some decisions will be more difficult than others, of course, as always.

My basement shop will include a kitchen! And we're going to add a half bath since we will have a plumber there next spring repairing the sump pump and sewer line (sellers' expense, another offset of $10K we don't have to spend.) The concrete is already torn up for that job so I hope we can get the new bathroom put in nearby where that work is. Will have to talk to the plumber when the time comes. We hadn't thought much about adding a basement bath but it makes sense to do it when this other job is done. It shouldn't cost much for materials and much of the plumbing labor is already done. We can DIY a lot of the rest. It will definitely be more convenient to have it. The basement kitchen will be mostly storage for things like canning jars and the usual basementy stuff, but I am going to add a laundry tub if I cant get one upstairs. I've missed having one.

Another unicorn item the house has is the entry points are lower to the ground than usual, two steps at the back entrance, which currently has no steps. What it does have is another unicorn, a four foot wide concrete ramp. We wanted a ramp of some kind but never expected to have one so nice. There's also a large elaborate ramp on the front, which we will be removing but not till after we move in. The back ramp leads to the covered deck, which is only about knee high. We can back our vehicles right up to it to unload stuff, drop things onto the deck, and wheel stuff in easily through the double doors. We'll save a bundle because of not having to hire movers for all but the big stuff. Moving into this place will be a breeze for everyone and everything involved.

This is the soon to be bedroom, formerly church office, that was flooded last spring. The floor is brand new, which we won't have to pay for. The bed goes on the wall in the top pic. The bottom pic is the other end of the 9x19 room where I'm hoping my desk will fit. If it does, we plan to remove that white space that used to be a doorway and put in a window, since there should already be a header in there. Easy and cheap, no contractor needed. And I can paint the new trim in my shop! This bedroom, like every place in the house, needs wiring which we will hire done, a wall knocked out to enlarge the closet, and 2 or 3 windows replaced plus the new window by my desk. We will add ceiling fans, probably two. This is one of the rooms needing the least work, so we want to get it done as soon as possible so we have a space to move things into.
Brown Furniture Wood Interior design Clock

Furniture Wood Interior design Flooring Floor


I have so many lists to make, I don't know where to start!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yea, Koala Bear Care! 😂😂😂 I hate this bathroom, but we've decided not to rip out walls if it can be avoided. So our full bath (ladies' room) and the half bath (men's room) will remain next to each other. Weird, but works best for us and there's a huge cost savings. The two rooms form an L, and the laundry room will go in the corner of the L. We'll update the full bath by replacing the tub with a walk-in shower, updating walls, replacing the window with something above the shower if possible, and changing the cracked wall sink to a nice vanity. The half bath is okay, just needs new DIY window, added storage in the form of a medicine cabinet, fan, sink/vanity, and cabinet above the toilet.Both baths are tiled, but the laundry area is carpeted, so if we removed all the walls to make one big room, we would either have to chisel out the tile or put down more. Neither is very appealing. It would be easier to rip up the carpet and put down a nice floating floor in the laundry. And I think one wall is load bearing which means spending more contractor dollars for a beam, also not appealing.

Wood Floor Door Fixture Shower curtain

Brown Toilet seat Property Toilet Purple


I need to make a list so we can set priorities. I want to do this one room at a time instead of allowing the new house to become the Land of 10,000 UFOs like our lake house is. I'm sure there will be some overlap due to various reasons, but we need to keep it under control
 

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Yeah, it is. Scary, too. Lots coming at us at once. Four days ago we were making plans to haul trash and finish the light for the parcel box, you know, boring, simple stuff. Now we're in the whirlwind. 🌪🌪🌪
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It was a remodeled house, built in 1980, became a church in 1990, I think. The minister lived there but moved out a few yrs ago. That's why no one knew the basement was flooding. It's in a residential neighborhood 3 blocks from a busy street, not far from our first house here which is on the busy street. Yes, we will need a dog fence. We have wolves and coyotes here. Yes, the ideas are growing like weeds and some are worth about as much. I'm going with the flow for now but in a day or so will sit down and start making lists. We need a packing list for starters. The day of closing we'll put the van seats in the town house and the hauling will begin with lots of implements of destruction, which we need to have packed and ready. We probably won't have the carpet cutter by then, so will have to figure out where else to start, probably removing trim from the great room carpet. This is all the stuff lists will help us keep track of. We also need to go through the entire place room by room and generate very detailed lists for the electricians, and then separate DIY to-do's for each room and yet another list for any contractors needed.

Martha, the men's room sink is a nicer color and seems in better condition. We plan to put a vanity in instead and use the sink in the basement. Nope, no urinals to contend with, luckily. Just a nice, modern style toilet.
Brown Mirror Tap Sink Bathroom sink


We drove by the place today and I took a pic of our deck. We're gonna love it.
Sky Window Shade Architecture Building
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
We have a screen porch and never use it. Dumb, I know. The cats loved it though. They had a cat door I made that fit into the patio door, so they could go in and out whenever they wanted. Had to take the lock off though because Fat Cady learned how to slide the little lock over and lock Jack and Chester out. 🤣🤣🤣 It would be major construction to screen the deck because no part of the roof or its supports touches the deck. We will be putting rails on it though. Gotta have double gates everywhere for our Hairy Houdinis. However, there is another set of double doors on the parking lot side of the house. It's partially enclosed and has a small window in it now. It's maybe 8x10, 10x10, something like that. I think the church added it for a waiting area in inclement weather, for people waiting for rides after service or Sunday school, whatever. Some year when everything else is done 🤣🤣🤣 I want to make that over into a 3-season porch. It wouldn't take much since so much is already enclosed. It's big enough for a few chairs or a patio table beside the doors and would be a nice little bonus room. But of course right now it's a low priority.
Brown Door Building Wood House


A carport would make a great screen room!

We discussed room sizes and furniture placement for 3 hrs and I think we finally figured out the guest room and Husby's office. Now we know what might fit in the guest room, depending on where the furnace vents are. We're surer about the office because we have actual walls which we've measured IRL and we know where there's a vent. We're hoping there's only one. If so, the plan should work. Now he has a target to help with what to get rid of and what he has room for. He also knows he has to sell a 2 drawer file cabinet and buy another 4 drawer for his sports memorabilia he won't get rid of. He has to make his own priorities, but that's all the space there is.

Yes, the snoopervisors will be with us on days it's safe for them to be in the work zone. Their food and water dishes and old floor pads are already on the packing list I have barely started. We have cables we use to tie them when camping and can use those temporarily. We have a portable fence we used with the moho that we can set up in the foyer to make the back doors double gated. Their safety comes first. They're going to love the great room. The zoomies will be epic!

I know we will have to live in the space a while to get it the way we want, but gotta start somewhere. We plan to make cutouts from cardboard of all our furniture so we can easily place them in different positions to give us a good idea how everything will work out. It's a theory. We'll snap some chalk lines on the floor to try out wall placements, too.

Yes, that's our tank, for now. Can't change companies in the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Figured out I can gain more space in the sewing room closet if I ditch the window, so I'm going to. Sometime. I rate that a medium priority, to be worked on only after walls are erected for the sewing room. I generally hate dark rooms, but I hate faded fabrics even more. I need rod space to hang fabric more than I need a window, plus then we won't have to buy and install a new window. I hope I can keep that closet but haven't measured my sewing room furniture yet to lay it out on the floor plan I drew. Maybe tomorrow.

I think we've decided to get the wiring done in stages, starting with the master BR, foyer, office, and pantry. Those are the rooms closest to being done and we need some areas where we can put things as we move them in. Don't want to move stuff in till wiring is done, since electricians will need to access every wall. This will also allow us to split up the bill into smaller chunks. It appears somewhere along the line most of the outlets were swapped to allow 3-prong cords to be plugged in, without actually rewiring to ground the outlets. Basically, nothing is grounded, so everything has to be updated. And of course we'll need to add things like ceiling fans, dedicated circuits for large appliances, etc.

We mostly like our present kitchen, so will be more or less duplicating it, with more counter space and correcting some minor problems, mainly the stove and fridge being across from each other with only 3 feet between. The island and sink face each other and are only 3 ft apart, too, so will move the island 5 feet away in the new house. It was okay before retirement, but now Husby and I are often in each other's way. It's become a problem. I was planning cookbook shelves on the LR side of the new island, but then Husby said he's always wanted a bar to sit at. Okay then. We were talking about a bay window in the kitchen but I think bookshelves under a regular window or two would make more sense and cost a lot less. Then I could have a nice shelf for plants on top the bookcase, too. (East windows.) The pantry also has an east window, and if there is room, I want to put 2 or 3 AeroGardens there. They do well with the AG lights, but they like some extra natural light, too.

The floor plan is coming together much quicker than anticipated, now that we decided not to move the half bath. I hope what looks good on paper will work out in reality. Too soon to tell, but there are always snags of course. I'm just itching to get the keys and move past preliminary planning into the nitty gritty. Also to find out how bad pulling up all that carpet will be.

So many details, but I'm starting to envision the final result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I'm already considering wider doorways, D, just from dealing with Mom and FIL. That's why we were hoping for a house with a good ramp and some other accessability amenities. Stuff like a landing at the top of the basement steps, for one thing. Some doorways are already wider, I think. The double doors are 6' wide so one of them is wide enough to use with a walker or chair. It's also another reason, other than pets, that there will be all hard surface flooring, and the main reason so much square footage on one level was so appealing.

Husby woke me up this morning to blow up the plan of keeping the bathrooms as is. His room will be at the other end of the house and he thinks it's too far for nighttime trips. I hate it that he's right. So we're back to square one on that plan. I drew him a half bath in his room. Now it'll be up to the plumber to tell us if it's workable.

I was mad about it for a while because my first and only thought was we would need to combine the laundry space and the two bathrooms we have into one room. That would involve load bearing walls, not good and $$$. I've been stewing all day, but just now I realized since I hate the ladies' room, it would be a great idea to make its little 5x8 self into the perfect laundry room. It would fit the washer, dryer, laundry tub, and at least 5' of wall cabinets to stash things like light bulbs, a tool parts cabinet, and all the other assorted odds and ends a household needs. The mens' and laundry area combined would be 8x8 after we remove the mens' room walls, so we should be able to make a nice bath and have room for the oversize cabinet in our current master bath, which holds a ton of stuff in a very small footprint. We can remove 2 windows and not replace them and replace another one with a window reached from the floor instead of having to get in the tub to open or close. We can demo the mens' walls ourselves, and I'm positive those are not load bearing. Since the laundry area we had planned has no wall next to the hallway, we will be able to get the one piece shower we want and build the last wall after that's in. Otherwise we couldn't get it in there. There are only two drawbacks, having to rip out the mens' floor tile (8x3, so not much) and possibly change a furnace vent. The plumbing is all there, and should only need minor tweaking instead of a complete rebuild. I think we can maybe even get a floor drain in the laundry room, using the ladies' toilet waste line. That will end up right in front of the washer. Hope that works out. I'm so excited about this plan, you just can't imagine! We will be bringing in contractors right after closing, to discuss these things and more. Gotta get on their schedules soon for next year. December can't get here fast enough!
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I figured out the floor plan for the main bathroom. I had wanted to duplicate the master bath we have now, but alas. But everything fits and that's what matters. We don't have exact measuresments for the hallway that connects the current ladies' room and laundry/mens' so may end up having to put in a 48" shower instead of 60". We could live with that, but don't want to. It will be very, very close. We will have to use a pocket door instead of a regular door, but we had those in our South Dakota house and liked them. A regular door would end up opening against the glass shower door, not good even with a door stop. We're happy with the changes, and since this house is partially an investment property, having the new arrangement with separate laundry room should help resale vs leaving the present arrangement with both bathrooms side by side.

I spent a fun filled couple of hours yesterday watching YTs of people smashing up bathtubs with sledge hammers. That'll be a job, but it's the only way to get the old tub out. I think that might become a project we do a little at a time so we don't wear ourselves out. I can start hammering the enamel off while Husby tears up carpets. He will have to do the sledge hammering.

There are four rooms we want rewired immediately, so I hope we can get the electricians to come soon after closing and that they will agree to do the place in stages.

I think we're settling down a little. It's getting to the hurry up and wait stage now. We took the weekend to go through the inspection report before giving the final agreement to the purchase. That's one of our contingencies and our last opportunity to back out. I'm sure it's been a rough wait for the church board. We knew Friday we still wanted to go forward, but made ourselves take a pause and act like adults to consider everything. We'll accept the agreement as is this morning, and things can really start rolling.

We have the first "repair" all packed and ready to go the day of closing. We filled up two big tubs of old flowerpot dirt and put them in the cabin to stay warm. We will use them to fill in an eroded low spot under a downspout, where water collects and then gets into the basement. Unbelievable no one has taken care of this long ago, but here we are. I wish the disaster waiting to happen in the crawlspace could be as easily dealt with. Here's what's holding up the bedroom right now. No, that's not a weird camera trick, that really is one of many crooked 2x4s just jammed in, not nailed and balanced precariously on the tip of the BFR living in the crawlspace, and a couple of the leaning piers with very sketchy shims, some of which aren't even touching the joist. Scary! Gotta get a contractor in to get that corrected ASAP, too.
Brown Wood Floor Flooring House
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I had outlets put higher in our LR addition, too. I put all outlets in the garage at four feet. I always did think it was stupid to put those down low where all the bikes and snowblowers get set in front of them. I don't know if the height of the ones in the house can be changed, but I will mention it.

We have always anticipated rewiring any house we bought. Most houses need it but no one does it. It's another reason we wanted a house all on one level, cheaper to rewire. Almost all are inadequate, as you pointed out. That's why we're not put off by having to get it done. We were, however, hoping to find a place with a 200 amp panel because they're hugely expensive. We got that, so that will go a long way on the wiring project. I think the city put in all new line to the house, too. It looks like it anyway. I think the owners had to pay for that too, but I don't know if that's included in the cost of putting in a new breaker box.

We were aware of the terrible job done on the crawlspace supports before we decided to buy the house. We don't really understand what happened there. That shoddy mess doesn't look like professionals did it, but we don't know who initially built the house, pros or amateurs. But using a 2x4 set on the point of a hunk of ledgerock? Really? SMDH. Sadly, it's not unusual to see stuff like that in houses here, especially older ones. We've seen worse.

No doubt we will find other things as we go. It's almost inevitable.

I measured all the sewing room furniture and placed it on the floor plan. I knew it would be as crowded as what I have now, but it was actually worse because of the work table. I stole 2' from the kitchen and scrapped the plans for the baking center along the sewing room wall. No space in the kitchen for it. That's not all bad. Making the kitchen shorter again resulted in losing 6' of base cabinets and 4' of wall cabinets or shelves, which will save over $1000 in cabinets, not counting counters. I was concerned about the location anyway because it was too far from the sink and fridge. A baking center is supposed to make things more convenient, not less. Now I'm rethinking the entire pantry to make room for thecbaking center in there. Glad I hadn't spent much time on that yet. The pantry is 9x9 but it has 2 doors and a window, part of a chimney, and a heat vent to work around. It could get interesting, but I have plenty of ideas. I need to keep reminding myself we have an entire basement kitchen full of empty cupboards, just waiting to store big seldom used pots and overflow canned goods. If we can't fit ourselves into all that space there's something wrong with us.

Here's today's fantasy sewing room. It may or may not work IRL, but it's a start and a reality check. Forgot to write the Chandler in the upper right corner, that's a sewing machine, not furniture. I haven't figured out the closet yet either except the quilt project cabinet will go in there. A lot of it will be rod space and shelving for the stuff stored in litter jugs I have in a wall cabinet now.
Handwriting Font Pattern Rectangle Parallel
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I like arranging paper furniture, too, and drawing floor plans.

That's too bad about the neighbors, Martha. Sounds like they tried but didn't go about it the right way. We're not looking forward to rewiring, but we would look forward to it even less if we put it off till the house is full of stuff. Much easier to just get it over with. But I do think it would be somewhat less painful to do it in stages. We need to get some dumb stuff corrected, like the small room in the basement where the light won't come on unless the lights in the big room are turned on, rooms that have two entrances but only one switch, that kind of stuff. Most of the switches are the old ones that click loudly when used. We also want fan/lights put in most of the rooms. The big room has no ceiling lights at all. Bathrooms need fans, the kitchen needs everything.

One big plus is there shouldn't be lead paint in the house, so no lead abatement expenses.

I'm considering putting the closet door in the middle of the wall, CH. I hate doors so close to a wall nothing can be put behind them. Waste of space. If it was in the middle, I would regain the "corridor" and be able to put one of the wardrobes in the closet. And the Chandler next to the closet, facing the window I want to install as soon as the brickwork cross on the outside of that wall is removed. That will be a few yrs yet, when we sell this place and have money for new siding. If I move the doorway, I'd probably get rid of the door completely and just add a curtain to keep out light. I could have 2' deep shelves on one side and rod space on the other.

Hikr, yeah, it's scary. There are some wooden crates in the crawlspace, too. We're assuming they're not dynamite but around here you never can tell! 🤣 We don't know who put those so-called supports in. The church was a house for 10 yrs before the church bought it, and the original builders are the ones who should have made sure the job was done right. The church should have corrected it though. We don't understand why they didn't, but we will. It's a high priority. We had knob and tube wiring in our house in Minneapolis. Our fixtures there also had gas lines in them. The house was built in 1904 and the city was transitioning from gas lights to electricity, so the fixtures were dual fuel models.

I was hoping for a bigger sewing room, but I'm getting rid of some things and will get rid of more if needed. I'd have more floor space if we ripped out the closet but it's going to provide so much storage, I'm doing my best to keep it.

This is the outside of the closet. Not sure what to do with the track lighting yet. I can't tolerate a dark sewing room. Notice the 6" step down into the sewing room. A sunken sewing room closet! Fancy! It'll be normal when we get that raised floor taken out. Sure hope they didn't use ring shank nails to install it.
Wood Fixture Floor Flooring Hardwood


Right inside the door. If I move the door to the middle, I could put a wardrobe in the newly created corner, with shelves above the wardrobe.
Shelf Wood Shelving Closet Flooring


Other side of closet where I would put rods. I'm getting rid of the window, which will make a little more storage in there, too. I still have camper cushions needing storage and they will probably end up in my sewing room somewhere. ☹ Gonna need those space bags.
Window Shelf Shelving Wood Gas
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Thanks, Rabbit! Yeah, we're excited. It's been a 10 yr search across 3 states, during which we've changed our minds approximately 3,582,064 times, and here we are, staying in the same town. 🤣 We're going to miss the lake so much. It makes me want to cry when I think of it. But it's getting harder to keep this place up, so the time is coming we will need to leave. We're hoping to stay here at least 3 more yrs but it depends on many factors.

CH, I redid the closet area with the door in the middle and like it so much better. Putting the Chandler in the opposite corner and the wardrobe by the door might be better yet. I think I might like it even better with the door in the middle of the other wall, but have to think about it. I might be able to build tall shallow shelves on either side outside the door if it was on the other side, for thread cones and other stuff that is now in hutch tops on the industrials. I hate having those shelves on the Chandler, and I'm selling the serger, so all that stuff has to go somewhere. The closet is 6x6 so it doesn't matter which side the door is on. I'll figure it out eventually, but I definitely want to move the door now.
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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
We got the radon report and the details about the sewer and sump issues today. The city is going to tear up 40' of our parking lot! I hope they do a good job patching it again. The bid for these repairs is just under $10K and they can't do it till next spring or summer. Good thing we have a Porta Potty. It would be hard to work there over winter without it. I'm extremely glad we won't be paying the bill for these repairs, and will be glad when it's all done.

The radon report is straightforward and what we were told verbally through Realtor. We have a radon problem, but not a huge radon problem. It's just .1 above acceptable. We will monitor it over winter. We can't do remediation till the junk is removed from the crawlspace and the new supports are installed. The inspector thinks we may be able to remediate with just a vapor barrier since the level isn't very high. Then we wouldn't have to install fans and vents and all that. That won't be done till next spring either.

I really need to start the lists. It's a lot to keep track of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Here's a fun little surprise we found out last week. See this printer sitting in a closet?
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Why is this printer in a closet? We wondered, but we stay out of people's personal business when we look at houses. It didn't make sense for it to be there though. Husby takes pics at weird angles and of things no normal person would think of. 😂 Annie Lebowitz, he ain't. So he took this shot of the space behind the printer for no particular reason. Nobody looked at it for days, so didn't realize that slot to the left of the green bag is open all the way down into the crawlspace. No grate or anything. Not sure it can be closed up entirely, but it definitely needs something.
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I plan to take out the wall to the right of the printer to make the closet accessible. We've had closets with tiny doors so you can't reach the stuff away from the door and it's intolerable. We can't tell if that's a load bearing wall, but if it is, we will have to pay for a header because that room has to have a decent closet.

I'm also thinking about storage lofts in the sewing room. I definitely need at least one. I frequently dig into foam stash , plus there is the camper foam to contend with. I need to give that idea some thought and see if I can figure out where I could put a loft or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Here are some shots of the coat hall and mens room area. We will remove the mens walls and combine the spaces to make the new main bathroom. The ladies room is to the left and will be the new laundry area.
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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Ugh! Push is coming to shove. One entire side of the house will be, in order, Husby's office, pantry, kitchen, and sewing room. The office and pantry are already built, so those dimensions can't be changed. The only place to adjust will be the wall between kitchen and sewing room. I took 2 feet from the kitchen yesterday, which eliminated the space for the baking center which is an actual need. We both use it a lot, and the goal is to get all the baking supplies organized in one place so it's all convenient. Fail. I tried to put it into the pantry, but with a fridge and two freezers in that space already, it doesnt leave any space for food and small appliances I planned to put in there. I think it's time to get very creative. I'm going to think on this today and see what I come up with. For starters, I think Husby's bar has to go. That would add back a 2' base cabinet to the island, for a 6' long island. That's enough for all the flour jars we have to sit on top. Our current island is 4' and is mostly baking supplies already, so I can easily figure out what would fit inside that space. Since we wouldn't be moving new items into the new island, we wouldn't be taking away from space we need, just transferring the same things to the same amount of space, and we'd gain a 2' cabinet. It might work.

We could also move the chest freezer to the basement, and I think we might want to do that no matter where the baking center land. I don't want all our frozen stuff in the basement, but that freezer is mostly for dog food supplies which we need about every five weeks, overflow if we hit good sales, candy, etc. The everyday stuff is all in the upright, so that needs to be in the pantry. I think I can make this all work after all.

Why is it, when I start a post like this about seemingly impossible problems, by the time I've explained it all to you, I have some solutions in mind even before you all have a chance to make suggestions? Why does it help so much just to talk about a challenge? Thanks for "listening." 🙂🙂🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Our table will be right next to where the bar would be. I think that would work just as well.

I redid the kitchen and it looks good on paper. The pantry looks really good, just moving the little freezer to the basement. I plan to put in 7' of 15" deep shelves, which will hold a ton of stuff. That will leave enough room for one of Grandma's hutches I thought I'd have to sell. I'm hoping the furnace vent won't mess up this plan. It's near where we want to put an archway to connect the kitchen and pantry. We can see it in a picture, under a wide window looking into the kitchen. We can't tell if it's going to end up in the archway or blocked by the little fridge. So frustrating not to be able to go measure different spaces we have questions about! But for now, the pantry looks very workable. There's even room for the little house cart I want to buy for the pantry.

It's going to be interesting when we close and start to see all these wonderful plans going down in flames for various reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
We have ramps on front and back doors, too. Both doors are double. It'll be easy to move stuff in and out of there. This will be a big change because most stuff in this house has had to come in past the dryer, which can't be pushed back against the wall. Between the dryer and the doorknob it's only 22". We won't know what to do with ourselves with 6' doors opening into a 16' wide foyer.

We finally hauled trash. Nothing much to pick from for salvage. I did pick up a nice chrome freezer(?) shelf I hope to use as a cover for my eventual laundry tub. That saves $20-30 vs the plastic one from the store, which I don't even like. No sense paying for something I can get free.

I got all happy when we drove in because I saw what I thought was a wall cabinet for my shop. We unloaded our trash and raced over to the construction debris pile. But no, it was just a particle board desk. Wish I could have salvaged all the drawer hardware but that's not allowed. We can take entire items, but not parts from items if we have to remove them. Oh, well. I resisted the temptation to bring home a 6' tall hutch cabinet with doors. It wasn't that hard to tresist because it was made of particle board. I hope someone takes it because it was a cute cabinet.

There weren't even any worthwhile 2x4s to grab. Usually there are lots. We will need lots. I'm not even that fussy as long as they're not rotted or pressure treated. We're going to need a lot of shelving in the basement. But it's just as well. We have nowhere to go with anything right now.

We're just kind of sitting around waiting for assorted paperwork to work its way through the system right now.
 
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