Home » 2016 » April

Starting the rebuild

Hi guys, Riley here, back again!
Forgive me for missing a day but I got tied up in the late afternoon at the house. We discussed demolition on my last entry. While demolition continued throughout the remainder of our project, the most of them all occurred in the 1st week.  Actually, the day I closed the deal I came to the house and ripped apart the kitchen.  This room would eventually become the master bathroom.  As I said before, 5 dumpsters later later we were ready for some building instead of removing. The 1st building project to evolve was to first frame new walls in a wide open space that had originally been 5 different rooms. In this space, there was an office, a powder room, 2 hallways, and a den. Due to structural problems, support beams needed to be temporarily placed so that we could finish demolition.  This was done, the remaining walls were removed and building began.  We framed out a new kitchen, a powder room, a closet and a new laundry room in the old space. In order for this to happen and look decent, the front door had to be moved.  We shifted approximately 3 feet to the right in order to accommodate the double sided closets. This was quite a pain but we had a lot of help.  Our contractors were great, and worked tirelessly to give us a well-built structure.  There was a bay window on the back of the house which had to be removed. This was temporarily covered with tarp.  It is a good thing that the weather was starting to become nice as the heat was off. We worked and worked and worked to get the kitchen area to where we wanted it to be…Wait!  Before I go any further, I remembered a huge step in this remodel process- the floor! This huge area that I am speaking of had 3 different types of flooring.  One was a nice flag stone, 1 was concrete, and 1 was wood.  All of these types of flooring had to be leveled out. Once level, our plumber placed in-floor heating pipes throughout the area as we wanted radiated flooring. We put in skylights and had the help of our good friend bob at scrantonroofingpros.com help us cut openings, re flash and re shingle the roof. He was very good to us. I need to put some pictures in to show all the work. Once the floor was paved, the skylights were put In and everything was framed, it was time for drywall…. Oh what fun that was! can you say “dust everywhere”… all the windows were opened while spackle and sanding took place. Painting is another story. Maybe I’ll make a different post for that!
Stay tuned,

demolition man

Hey guys! Ry here, back with the latest installment of the house renovation. This time we will be talking about the best part of my home project thus far – DEMOLITION! lets face it, theres nothing better than coming home after a long, boring day, and smashing stuff! Its a tremendous stress reliever- and actually was therapeutic for me. Now, there was a ton of demolition to do, mostly because we were gutting the house from top to bottom, first floor, second floor and basement. We had help from a fantastic architect who basically re-mapped the entire structure, moving the kitchen, bathrooms and adding closets and a master bedroom on the first floor. in addition to all of the walls we were knocking down, we also had to destroy a fireplace and move a wood stove! That thing was heavy. when it came down to it, the house pretty much looked like the one below…


Crazy, right? Ok so it wasn’t exactly THAT dramatic but, still. We spent over a week demolishing walls and knocking down beams. So, what happened next? we went over budget of course… Well not totally over budget. See, our budget was broken down into “draws” so they say. One part of the first draw was demolition and money for a dumpster rental. We actually allotted for 2 full size roll of dumpsters… this was a joke, as we are STILL after a year, renting dumpsters. I’ll tell you one thing, my buddy pete at www.dumpsternepa.com really reaped the benefits of my home renovation. I am pretty sure we are on dumpster number 6, and counting. He did happen to cut the price down for me and let me keep the containers for longer, which was nice. But they aren’t Cheap! These things not only cost money to rent, but if you are “overweight” they charge per ton! Needless to say, we had some extra money that we had to dish out for when we demo-ed the brick fireplace. All in all, demo week went well. I took off of work that week and had a ton of help from my dad and friends. This was the start of the fun! busting everything down to a blank slate. Now, time to rebuild…

Thanks for reading. I look forward to writing more later!!


Trees everywhere!

Hey guys its Riley. I am back! So, as the title of this post suggests, once we bought our first home and the dust settled, it was time to do work! Since we are in the country and the house was a foreclosure, there was no shortage of work to be done. The first thing we noticed after the initial purchase were the countless amount of trees on the property. Some of which were leaning, Some were dead, some were just eyesores. There was one specific tree that bordered our prioperty with the neighbors that appeared like it would be dying soon and needed to be taken care of. What was very nice to find out was that our neighbors turned out to be very very nice, and offered to chip in for the removal – actually, split the cost. We were very grateful for this notion as buying a property left us relatively broke. Anyway, along with this leaning tree, was a fallen apple tree and a huge dying tree in the front yard. We’ve called many different tree places but it was my buddy pete at scranton tree that finally had the most reasonable rates- check him out if you are ever in need at www.scrantontree.com . He came over, gave us an estimate that was reasonable, came quickly and on time. His truck was noticeably leaking some oil so he and his crew ended up putting tarp down on the drive way so it would catch the oil. They are a great bunch of guys. Anyway, not only did they cut the trees down, they took everything with them, and left our property just as it was prior… just … treeless. That was my first adult experience with a tree company and it was a good one. It did bring back memories of my childhood when a tree fell on my house, however… YIKES. I remember playing video games and watching this tree fall into the house.. Ok I am rambling. The main take away of this post – plan for spending a few extra unplanned dollars for unplanned events when buying your first home. There are hidden costs not only in regard to the bank loan. Do your due diligence and inspect the property properly.

Thanks for reading you guys.


So Many Properties..

So, if you were like me, you wanted to get into the housing market and thought “ohh this would be so cool, I can buy something cheap in a desirable area and be like those HGtv shows and fix it up, thereby creating some “sweat equity” well.. finding the right house was very hard to do and I don’t recommend going about it alone. I hired a nice group of agents who were more than helpful in finding me the right house in the right area for the right price. I looked at over 20 homes in the area and finally settled on one. It was a 1912 cape cod home, dormers on each side, over 3000 square feet. Well below market price as it was a foreclosure. My agent told me to be weary about this home but i literally fell in love with it the first time i saw it. I thought of all the things I could do to fix it and i was sold. We went into deliberation and I actually purchased it for a deal… I ended up needing 100K from the bank for remodeling however. Then the fun began… Needless to say I was not ready for the amount of work I had just gotten myself into, and luckily I had the help of many skilled family members.. The first step was over however and i was glad that I no longer had to spend my weekends in and out of old homes and I can focus on one property. The bank still had all the power and all my loan money, which was quite awful as I tell you the story. One word of advise I can give you…

Get a LOCAL loan and stay away from the big business banks. They are highly unhelpful and treat you like a number. I can honestly say that I will never get anything from this head honcho bank. They’ve left such a bad taste in my mouth.

Anyways, I gotta run. I will continue this story at a later date. Thanks for hanging out!