We’ve been talking to the structural engineer, and while we haven’t figured out the exact plan we’re hoping to get the basement shored up. If we’re lucky we’ll find that the footings under the wall go a foot down below the basement floor. If that’s the case we’ll get the new steel header and steel support posts, as well as new concrete footings under the posts. Those new footings will be set deeper than the current floor, so that down the road we can dig out the basement floor and gain about 8″ of height. I was relieved to find out that we could do those two separately, because digging out the basement is expensive, and not something we really need right now. The support posts need to be done now, though, because the house needs to be leveled before we can remodel the first floor.

So far we’ve been working on the second floor and everything has been temporary stuff to make the house livable. The structural work is the first thing that’s actually fixing the house up, well aside from exterminating roaches. The exterminator told us we can move in, but I was disappointed to hear that we probably won’t completely eliminate them until we tear down the walls and then call the exterminators back to spray again. That means we’ll be sealing everything on the second floor up as tight as we can with caulk, wood fill, spray foam, and whatever else it takes. He said it was one of the worst infestations he’d seen.

Once we’re moved in and the condo is rented we’ll move forward on the structural repairs. Then we’ll work with an architect and plan out the rest of the project. In addition to the obvious stuff like new walls, drywall, and floors, we need to install new heating and cooling. We’d like to put in hydronic radiant heating and high velocity forced air cooling, but they aren’t cheap. High efficiency boiler, pumps and manifolds, condensers, blower and ductwork will run tens of thousands of dollars. We can do some of it in phases, but it’s probably the single most expensive part of the project. We’ve spoken with an HVAC guy and gotten some ideas, but it’s tempting to just go with traditional forced air, even if it means installing bulkheads.

We’ll figure it out once we get closer. Right now we’ve got more pressing needs, like getting the rest of the trim back up and the second floor painted, plus a laundry list of little tasks that add up to a lot of work.

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2 Responses to Looking Ahead

  1. Regarding the roaches: I don’t know how many walls you have opened up yet. Just be prepared for a big mess! Particular in the kitchen and bathrooms. The ceilings are usually the worst.

    Our house had a roach infestation in 2004 (we purchased it in 2009). The mess that remained from that infestation was mind blowingly disgusting. And you didn’t see any signs of it, unless you opened up the walls…

  2. Matt says:

    We found them stacked a couple feet high behind the door trim. I’m sure we’ll find more carcasses when we take down the walls. It is pretty gross, but I’m pleased to say we haven’t seen a single one or even a molt in months.

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