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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.
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Big red letter day for you! Congratulations.

One of the best things I did in this house was having the outlets put higher on the wall. I think the bottom of the covers are about 18” above the floor. As I get less and less bendable and the floor mysteriously gets farther and farther away 😆 it’s been one of the little things that’s making life easier.
 

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Updated electrical will be one of the biggest improvements you can make. Our 1970's house couldn't handle the electrical needs of today, I'm not sure an 80's house would either. Having extra outlets and lights added to our kitchen remodel really made a difference, as did putting in all new LED lighting, USB outlets and internet cable in our basement remodel. The days of having one outlet for the tv and a lamp are over. Just something to think about on your long journey with the new house.

Those makeshift piers are pretty scary. I wonder what other surprises you'll find as you go.
 

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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.
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I was thinking that sewing room sounded too small after what you had mentioned in the past lol Sounds like you two are thinking of all the issues and what you need. sounds like fun! fingers crossed all goes well.

Yes bad repairs like that are common.. remember the neighbour spending $20k on new roof and straighten front porch (they had updated windows etc before) hoping it wouldn't get torn down but yet old house low basement and turns out sump pump was sitting in bucket and hot water tank or something just drained into dirt foundation.. think bigger issues. was a waste cus was torn down. Probably someone said they would fix and no one looked.

last big thing on our list too rewire house .. the basement needs drywalling etc too but that is the big thing. and some plumbing. original wiring mostly.
 

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I would move that closet door opening from where it is over to just below the W in "wardrobes". Then put what you can against the outer wall or the corner where the door is now. Might open up some space for you. You won't have a narrow corridor behind the wardrobes and useless wall space.
 
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SD that picture is terrifying! They put a lot of faith and prayer into the 2x4. Dds house needed some wiring when she bought it. There was old knob and tubing wiring in the attic which all had to be removed and new wiring put in. It was an old house so we were prepared for that.

Definitely make your sewing room as big as you can!
 

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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