Winter has arrived in the northeast. Well, it has officially been here for some time, but we have been spared the below zero degree temperatures until now. The local schools are closed. That means I don’t have childcare in the morning and afternoon and can plan – and write to you, dear Cronies.
I bought out my truck lease this week. After much thought, I felt I was making the best decision. The new loan is $40 less per month than the lease. I can turn that $40 toward the principal and pay off the loan faster. I will need the truck for some of the work on the fixer-upper house. The day after I bought the truck, it landed in the shop. Now I am driving a loaner until they install a new motor is installed (all covered by warranty). It’s all good – it was a potentially dangerous problem that was found because I took it in for its routine oil change.
Since the fixer upper house (I have to come up with a name for this darling old place – any ideas?) has no plumbing and no heat, my deconstruction plans are moved to April. That gives me some time to firm up a plan and a budget for Phase 1 of the project.
Phase 1 includes:
- Removing all the trim and fixtures, and storing or selling them.
- Pulling off the falling down wallpaper and plaster on the walls.
- Tearing off the lath (I may have a few project ideas for some of it).
- Taking away all the knob-and-tube wiring. If you are not familiar with it, knob and tube wiring, InterNACHI describes it here. Again, I am dreaming up some projects for the knobs, so everything doesn’t land in the dumpster.
- Cutting and removing the old plumbing. It is beyond repair, and I plan to replace it with PEX pipe. I did the same thing in my current home, and I love it. PEX is more budget-friendly than copper pipe, and resists freeze damage by expanding up to 3 times its diameter (no, they didn’t pay me for this testimonial – but I am open to the possibility!).
- Taking away the junk stored in the basement and under the porch, and the collapsed shed in the backyard. Who knows, we might find some hidden treasures in there!
You could say this phase is called “The Taking Away.” I prefer to call it the “Reveal,” as it will allow me to see the solid structure of the house and move forward in a good way. Once we get down to the bare studs, the new wiring and plumbing can go in, the walls can be insulated, and heaters can be hardwired without snaking through tiny openings.
Since this phase includes dumpster rental (around $600 for a 7-day rental) and hiring of some helpers who are brawnier than myself, I have to factor it into the Reveal budget, along with some new door locks for the doors.
This week, I will empty my storage unit and move the contents back home, clearing $100 per month to add to the house budget. With two houses, every thing helps and every dollar has a job. I am so grateful for every opportunity to make this a fantastic home!
What would you do with the old knob and tube or the old lath? Leave your ideas in the comments below – and don’t forget to subscribe!