Okay. I know I said I was going to blog weekly and clearly that has not been the case. It kinda fell through the cracks with everything else that was going on, and then Heather and I took a vacation for a couple weeks. It was outstanding. Now I'm tunneling out from under everything that piled up while I was away.
Anywho, while we were gone, framing was completed. It looks AMAZING! I always have an idea in my head of the after product that we're going for, but this looks even better than I had imagined. Major props to Tommy (our illustrious contractor) and the crew for getting so much done while we were way and for always figuring out a way to make whatever we come up with work.
HVAC has now been roughed in and the plumbing rough in will be finished tomorrow. Electric comes last and should take a couple days after the plumbers are done. With a little bit of luck, we'll have all our initial rough-in inspections passed before Thanksgiving. After a long holiday weekend, it's on to insulation and drywall and then comes all the pretty stuff (my fave part, of course). Woo hoo! See pics below to see how things are looking post- framing.
After chasing a permit on our new Shelby Ave project, we have finally obtained it! The hiccup here was the sign off by the historical preservation people. We've cleared that hurdle and are now full steam ahead. The remaining clear out from demo is happening pretty much as we speak. Our focus next week is dialing in our plans for upstairs so that framers can get going on Monday 10/14. We'll also be finalizing the layout for downstairs. See the renderings (ignore the color scheme) for an idea of what the house will look like after our dormer addition.
I'm a little late posting this week. I got caught up in various projects and am just now getting around to it. Demo is basically complete now, aside from the floors. Unfortunately, we got a lovely stop work notice on Friday. It seems that the policy around beginning demo prior to pulling a permit (that used to be allowed) has changed. So, we had to cease all work while we got our permit. That would usually be something that could be remedied in a day. However, in this case, we found out that we are indeed in a historical district. I looked up zoning prior to buying this house but the HPR designation (which I have always known to only mean horizontal property regime) can also mean Historical preservation. That means we have to leap over a couple of additional hurdles with the historical commission and they have to sign off on the plans before our permit will become official (we currently have a temporary permit). I reached out to couple of CAD people on fiverr.com and found one that can turn out the elevation drawings we need in just a couple of days. Success! For anyone who is not familiar with fiverr, it's a place where you can find freelancers to work on all kinds of projects and often for very inexpensive prices. I highly recommend looking there for projects that are beyond your skills. I, for example, cannot draw, like at all and I don't know anything about CAD. I use a software to layout interior floorpans and it could in theory produce the elevations I need, but I don't have the time or inclination to figure out how to make it do that. I'm happy to pay someone else to do that while I work on the things that I'm good at. Below are some pics of the fully demoed space, including the back of the roof that has been removed. Next week we'll start working on getting the upstairs rebuilt.
So, we started demo on Wednesday, September 11th. Given that today is Tuesday the 17th, we're not really into week 2 yet. However, I'm not much for technicalities and the progress we've already made is exciting. Thus, today is a good day for an update, whether it's really week 2 or not.
As you may or may not know, most houses from this era have plaster walls with wood lath behind the walls. There's a company in town 1767designs.com that uses this lath work to make cool decorative pieces. This is great for a couple of reasons. 1) It saves all that wood from going into a landfill, which I like. 2) It lets a part of these old houses live a new life as cool artwork - a little up cycling, if you will. 3) the company demos our plaster for free in exchange for the lath work, which saves us money on the flip. Everyone wins. This process is time consuming and tedious, though, as demo has to be done in a more delicate way so as to not smash all the lath work to pieces. That said, they are well on their way and on schedule to be done by tomorrow afternoon. Check out the pics below of what the lath work looks like after plaster is removed. Isn't it amazing that the house actually looks better without the plaster?
Meanwhile, in the upstairs unit, demo is also underway. That was originally attic space that was converted at some point much later (I'm guessing the 70s, if the wood paneling is any indication), so nothing is saved up there and no soft touch is required. It should be pretty much fully cleared out today, as at this point, it's just a matter of getting all the debris into the dumpsters. We have 2 on site and have already turned one of them. This place has a huge backyard and alley access, which has been great from the standpoint of getting our dumpsters in and out.
Up next is getting the design for the new second floor finalized. We met with a CAD guy last week and he will draw up plans for our approval. We're basically looking to bring up the roofline in the back of the house so that we have full height ceilings and add a large shed dormer on front in order to maintain the historic look of the home and make sure it fits in with the existing neighborhood. No tall and skinnies here. The new second story will be about 1,000 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths.
Stay tuned next week for pics of the empty shell before we start putting her back together. Heather will be trying her hand at designing the downstairs layout this time, so I'm excited to see what she'll come up with.
So, the Sharpe project went a bit off the rails. It comes with the territory. I was a little busy dealing with that and didn't really prioritize blogging about all the crazy. Anyway, we're starting a new full gut of a 1930s bungalow off Shelby Avenue in Edgehill. This time, I will blog on it and post updates weekly. Here's a little preview of the before. :) It's an ugly one.
DAY 1: DEMO DAY!
Okay, so, prior to buying the house, we knew it had some foundation issues. The previous seller had already had a foundation company come out and bid on the job and we accounted for this cost in our offer (we also got a second bid as one always should). However, as often happens with these things, it wasn't quite that simple. Naturally, once they got started, they found more work that needed to be done. Apparently the main girder under the house was rotten and had to be replaced. They also were backtracking and saying maybe the house should have just been torn down. Excuse me? Seems like that should have been checked during initial inspection wouldn't you think? If the house was a tear down we probably wouldn't have bought it. We fix houses; we don't build them from scratch (at least not yet). Fast forward several days to me arguing with the sales guy about responsibility for the extra cost. Why is his failure to do appropriate due diligence my problem? Anywho, got a discount on the additional work but not to the extent that I think was appropriate. I'll take that as a lesson learned. I'm also calling in a structural engineer to sign off on the work. It's worth the cost to make sure we don't get ready to sell it and have a problem with inspection on the back end. I'm holding the final check to the foundation company until I know the work is solid. Remember, never ever pay in full for a job until it is completed to your satisfaction. Unfortunately, not everyone is honest and you need to make sure they have a reason to come back! On the next installment of foundations of our lives, what did the structural engineer say? Was the sales person's evil twin responsible? Stay tuned.
As promised, I will be blogging about our newest real estate adventure, a flip of a 1925 house in East Nashville. We are very excited to get started. Closing is tomorrow (February 1st) and work begins Monday, February 5th. This particular project has come about in a bit of a whirlwind, going from on the market to closed in 15 days. We anticipate lots of adventures with this one, as we'll be redoing most everything starting with some significant repairs to the foundation before any other work begins. We'll also be redoing the detached garage to now include additional living space upstairs. People love the extra options with these flex spaces as they can be rented longterm, airbnbed, or even be a music studio or writing space (this is Nashville after all and those music types love it on the east side). Anywho, stay tuned for updates and for pictures of our progress. We expect the project to take from 90-120 days start to finish. Stay tuned!
Our first property. A classic ranch.
About the Author:
Hi. I'm Shannon. My sister Heather and I are business partners in the exciting world of real estate investing. We do this as we do everything, with style and a healthy dose of humor. Tune in here for a no holds barred account of all our shenanigans, the good, the bad, and the truly hilarious.
"Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way." - Dr. Seuss