House #3: Demo is Underway

September 25, 2008 · 6 comments

(Since you’re all here for the pictures anyway, you might as well start with them)

We kicked off the rehab on The Second Chance House the other day, and are already making great progress.

The key to this project is the redesign of the shared living space in the house, including the kitchen, dining room, and living room. We are knocking out most of the walls in the front of the house, and opening up these three areas into one large space. We do plan to use an L-shaped island and different flooring (tile instead of hardwood) to set the kitchen apart from the living and dining rooms, but the new floor-plan makes the area feel much bigger and less confined.

We’re also reconfiguring the “bonus room” and the laundry room (which previously were joined by an entryway) to define those spaces a bit better. The bonus room will be closed off from the laundry room (with the only access through French Doors from the living room), making this space ideal for a fourth bedroom, an office, a media room, or a play area for children. And the laundry room will be opened up a bit (by removing a hard-to-use pantry) and made more functional. All the paneling will be replaced with sheetrock, and all the drop ceilings will be raised and replaced with sheetrock. (We couldn’t figure out why there was a drop ceiling under the plaster ceiling until we ripped out the drop ceiling and noticed that all the wiring was running beneath the plaster).

Here is the “blueprint” for the reconfiguration…

Much of the demo was completed on Day 1, including tearing down most of the extraneous walls, tearing out all of the paneling, ripping up the sub-floors that needed replacement, removing all doors and jambs, disposing of the old appliances, and removing the old toilets, sinks and fixtures. On Day 2, the cabinets and countertops were torn out, the extraneous electrical was removed, the old studs were knocked out, and some existing studs were cut to support the new knee-wall at the kitchen island.

Here are some pictures of the demo work…

6 responses to “House #3: Demo is Underway”

  1. Kristeen says:

    This house is going to be AMAZING! Can’t wait to see the progress!

  2. Bilgefisher says:

    I agree with Kristeen. Must be a good feeling taking some old beater homes and breathing new life into them.

  3. Amy says:

    Wow! I can see why you tore the walls down….it’s going to be a much more “open” feel to it! P.S. I love the kitchen floor…..hahahaha

  4. ezra says:

    The tax consequences from flipping properties sucks. Have you considered doing Rent-To-Own? I Googled it. Here’s what I found:

    The tenants sign a Lease Agreement and an Option To Purchase Agreement. Generally, the Lease Agreement on a Rent-To-Own home differs from a standard Lease Agreement in 2 ways:

    There is a nonrefundable option fee paid to the landlord for the guaranteed, exclusive right to purchase the property during the lease term. This is similar to the down payment required on most home loans, but is generally less money. Typical option fees range $2,000 to $5,000, depending on the home and your credit history.

    If the tenant buys the property during the lease period, the entire option fee is credited to the tenant as part of his/her down payment. If the tenant does not purchase the property, or if he/she defaults on the lease agreement, his/her option payment is nonrefundable.

    Because the tenant is to become the owner of the house, typically the lease requires that the tenant be responsible for all day-to-day maintenance and repairs.

    Sounds pretty cool to me! Plus you won’t have to worry about renters trashing your home!

  5. Felicia says:

    I’m sure you are going to touch on this in later posts (i’ve been reading your blog from the beginning), but did you come up with the blueprints on your own, or in conjunctions with the GC (as I assume he would know about load-bearing walls,etc), or did you have to get an architect involved?

  6. J Scott says:

    Hi Felicia –

    For this house, the roof was a “truss roof,” meaning that the roof structure was prefabricated and that all the weight of the roof was held by the exterior walls of the house. In other words, for this house, none of the interior walls were load bearing because of the way the roof was designed and built.

    Generally speaking, before I would consider pulling down any walls, I would either verify that the roof was a truss roof (these are pretty common in houses built in the past 30 years), or I would have a general contractor come in to tell me which walls I could safely remove and which would need to be supported. In general, it’s pretty easy to tell if a wall is load bearing or not, so once you get some experience, it will get easier.

    The key is to get an architect or at least a GC to take care of things when you try to remove part or all of a load bearing wall.

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