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Old 10-24-2007, 02:44 PM
 
Location: College Station, Texas (16 years)
32 posts, read 164,337 times
Reputation: 19

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So, I just got the home inspector's report back, and it looks like there are some serious issues with this 67 year old farm house on 5 acres just outside Winchester I've had the potential misforture to fall in love with.

The foundation is post and beam, and several of the posts are tree trunks which have shown signs of significant settling, as well as evidence of previous attempts to shore up the perimeter floor. The floor joists are reportedly decayed and overspanned. The subfloor and the "finish" floor are one in the same, and it is rotten and/or poorly repaired (new wood scabbed onto damaged wood) in several areas. Some joists on one side of the house contact soil.

What to do, what to do?

I'm inclined to try to get the price down to where I could afford to have the necessary work done, but I'm not even sure these repairs are possible without basically tearing the house down and starting over? Is this the kind of thing that is only done on "valuable" properties? Is this a losing prospect? There is nothing particularly special about this small (1400+ sq ft) house - except that I really like it and the location.

Any gross estimates on what this sort of thing costs? (How many 10's of thousands of dollars?)
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Old 10-24-2007, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Louisville KY Metro area
4,824 posts, read 12,811,466 times
Reputation: 2116
Since my home is about an hour west of Winchester, I can only speak in a very general tone and absolutely no specific authority. I would suggest that unless the location is absolutely important, that you treat the house like breaking up with a boy/girl friend. It will hurt like heck for several days, even weeks, but after a period of grieving, an even more loveable home will appear. Old homes are a daily work in process. There will always be a repair or orther fix-up project to spend some money and/or time on. Of course that is part of the beauty and character of owning one of those wonderful old places, but if be careful and select one of these old places with love because they will require lots of sacrifice for the satisfaction they provide.
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:41 AM
 
Location: College Station, Texas (16 years)
32 posts, read 164,337 times
Reputation: 19
I was afraid you were going to say that...

The location is ideal - very close to a good elementary, a nice property, and not too far from my work. The price is good, too, but obviously this will have to come down A LOT if I entertain the idea of making the foundation repairs.

Turns out, after talking to the inspector, the house is more likely over 100 years old (not 67, as I was originally told).
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Old 10-28-2007, 04:14 PM
 
Location: North Alabama
770 posts, read 1,849,243 times
Reputation: 728
To get an idea of what will be involved in addressing the issues you speak of, see if your library (or local book store) has a copy of the book Renovating Old Houses, authored by George Nash. It's do-able by a perservering DIYer, but a lot of work.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:52 PM
 
Location: College Station, Texas (16 years)
32 posts, read 164,337 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by nalabama View Post
To get an idea of what will be involved in addressing the issues you speak of, see if your library (or local book store) has a copy of the book Renovating Old Houses, authored by George Nash. It's do-able by a perservering DIYer, but a lot of work.
Thanks! I will check it out (literally and figuratively)... Looks like I'm going to ignore the advice to walk away from this house. It's just too ideally-located, and I'd like to see if I can resurrect the old dear...
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:46 AM
 
Location: SE Michigan
262 posts, read 720,387 times
Reputation: 89
Who,
I'm a contractor up here in Michigan and I'm looking at moving down that way, I have been looking at homes down there and from what I have seen most of the houses are at least a hundred years old. Now as for your house that your looking at I would call some companies that do fondations and get a ball park figure, the house can be saved the thing is just make sure you get the money off the price to cover the repairs. The two most importent parts of a house is it's roof and it's fondation. everything in between can be replaced if needed. Do your research and you may walk away with a good deal on the house. But just remember there will be a lot of work ahead of you, I belong to the National Trust of Historical Perservation so maybe you could do a check on the original owner with the State of Kentucky who knows what you might find. Good luck.
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:05 AM
 
Location: North Alabama
770 posts, read 1,849,243 times
Reputation: 728
If you do decide to hire someone to shore-up your existing foundation, I strongly encourage you to seek out only those contractors who utilize poured in place footings, fabricated steel posts, and built-up beams to support your joists. This is as opposed to using purchased concrete pads, floor jacks, and 4x4 or 6X6 timbers. Foundation contractors here using the former method routinely guarantee their work for the lifetime of the dwelling (or--I suppose--the life of the company, whichever ends first).
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