The most dangerous words in Home Improvement...

Project by haglered posted 01-01-2011 06:21 AM 3101 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One Sunday Afternoon in October 2009 I was at our local wal-mart to get a few things when my cell phone rang. I answered it to hear my wife telling me to get home quick it seems our old water tank had just started spewing water all over the floor.

The insurance company sent Service Masters who dutifully and noislily (for days) dried up the water with fans and a dehumidifier and oh by the way tore up half of our kitchen floor. The insurance company gave us a check for $1000.00 to repair this damage.

We had been living with this kitchen about 5 years. It had a laundry list of problems none of wich I felt able to handle. The fake brick paneling was not installed correctly (see blog picture of our wall) The floor was not flat and even. There was a crak in the ceiling where th heating and air vent was. (we later discovered because the duct work was laying on top the drywall so that the weight of the ductwork was causing this crack. The Stove top sometimes shocked you when you touched the top (because of damaged wiring). We also discovered the wood of the window over the sink was rotten. There was only 1 outlet in the entire kitchen (except for the one where the ice box was.) There is more but space prohibits….

My wife and I looked at each other and concluded that if we took up therest of the floor we might as well rip out the cabinets (which she hated anyway). This meant we would also be affecting the wall (wich was done poorly and was ugly anyway). This meant the appliances would have to go (they were outdated and some of them malfunctioning anway). It also meant we would be tearing down the ceiling wich was seriously cracked.

We said Might as well do it all. We didn’t have enough money to hire the work done so that meant I would be doing it myself. I had very few tools and even less experience or knowledge to do any of this.

The more we did the the more problems we discovered (and fixed) and the plan has been changing ever since we started this project.

In the process we discovered we needed a new roof as it had been leaking undetected due the the original ceiling that was left in place and was absorbing the leak (someone had hung drywall under the original ceiling seperating them with furring strips.) We found a colony of ants living under our dishwasher. We found inadequate wiring. We found no insulation in the walls or ceiling.

We also moved the Washer and Drying into the back room. We installed a gas line for a gas stove. We put in water lines for a pot filler and an ice maker in the Ice box. We fixed our out of commision A/C condensor. We installed a lot more outlets and recessed lighting.

The project kept growing until we included the living room and entryway in the remodel. We basicaly have taken half of our 800 square foot house down to the studs and are rebuilding the kitchen and living room areas.

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7 posts in 3338 days

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kitchen hot water tank

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7 comments so far

View haglered's profile


7 posts in 3338 days

posted 01-05-2011 06:13 AM

I finished putting down the plywood sub floor last night. I will be working on correcting some mistakes and building a couple of narrow walls over the next couple of weeks/months. One will serve to hide the ice box the other will divide the water tank from our pantry. It will be a while before we can start mudding and taping and texturing the walls. I may have to do this myself but we are wanting to hire someone to do this for us.

Then we will of course Prime and paint the walls and ceiling. Then we will be able to install the flooring. Right now we are planning on putting down engineered hardwood. It is cheap, looks good and will not have the delicacy of laminate floors.

There are many other smaller things to do as we get together enough money to hire someone to do the tapping and mudding. I don’t think I can mention them all here as I cannot think of all of them right now.

It is starting to look like a house again instead of a construction zone. It is giving us hope that it will eventually all be finished.

It has been a year and 2 months since we got started. It is slow going but we seem to be making progress and a lot of improvments. My wife addded up our reciepts tonight and so far we have spent just over $3,000 in our renovation (not including the new roof.)

View wseand's profile


20 posts in 3543 days

posted 01-05-2011 12:18 PM

Well you should have a new place by the time you are done. A lengthy reno but will be well worth it.

-- Freedom flies in your heart like an eagle...Audie Murphy --Bill Mesilla, NM

View haglered's profile


7 posts in 3338 days

posted 01-09-2011 10:54 PM

We replaced the back door yesterday. This was the first time I ever installed a door. I am pleased that it seems to work well. I am still doing all the finishing touches (caulking, putting low expanding foam in the open cracks, ptting up the trim boards and of course replacing the sheetrock I tore out to make the opening bigger.

View dustygirl's profile


321 posts in 4129 days

posted 01-10-2011 04:59 PM

Wow that sure ended up to be one huge job.It sounds like it was a really unsafe place with all the things that was wrong with it.It’s looking so much better already.

-- Dustygirl Hastings,Ont. Life is too short to sit around doing nothing

View Tim29's profile


3 posts in 3326 days

posted 01-14-2011 07:15 AM

All those “just a little more and it could be great”s really add up. But that is why we are here isnt it. It looks like it will be really nice. Good Job

View fredf's profile


6 posts in 4187 days

posted 01-15-2011 03:56 AM

re: water tank. You probably know this all ready, but bears repeating. A gas water heater requires air, don’t seal it up tight!!!! if it cant get enough air may be a source of carbon monoxide which is deadly!!!!!!! also plan it so it can be replaced. It looks like your drain pan doesn’t have a drain line on it. would be a good idea to add one . . . you know first hand what kind of damage a leaky water heater can do . . . :-)

-- -- Fred, Springfield, Ma

View haglered's profile


7 posts in 3338 days

posted 01-19-2011 06:12 AM

I have been framing in the new cupboard next to the hot water heater. I framed the new wall between the water heater and the Air heater closet. I added a couple of lights. the one for the cupboard is on a motion active switch so that when you open the cupboard doors it will come on automaticaly.


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