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Posted: 3/14/2021 10:45:19 AM EDT

Good morning.  I’m looking for a place to start with a project.  I have an old home on my property and I am trying to figure out which way to go between demo and build new and restoring what’s there.

It was built 1880’s as far as I can tell.  The house appears structurally sound.  There are some areas where the old plaster needs repaired or replaced with drywall and one room has some sag in the floor.  My biggest concern would be the foundation as it is rock and I’d want to make sure it’s good to go before I spend any money on the inside.

Any recommendations on a company/individual in the southern VA area that evaluates and works on home foundations?

Should the house have to come down is there a market for the lumber?  Are there people in this area that buy/reclaim that stuff?  Thanks.
Link Posted: 3/14/2021 10:54:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/14/2021 10:59:27 AM EDT by Panta_Rei]
Originally Posted By Vaquero45:

Good morning.  I’m looking for a place to start with a project.  I have an old home on my property and I am trying to figure out which way to go between demo and build new and restoring what’s there.

It was built 1880’s as far as I can tell.  The house appears structurally sound.  There are some areas where the old plaster needs repaired or replaced with drywall and one room has some sag in the floor.  My biggest concern would be the foundation as it is rock and I’d want to make sure it’s good to go before I spend any money on the inside.

Any recommendations on a company/individual in the southern VA area that evaluates and works on home foundations?

Should the house have to come down is there a market for the lumber?  Are there people in this area that buy/reclaim that stuff?  Thanks.
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Lumber is crazy high and rising.   That said, I'd try first to restore.  Going forward not being established/grandfathered is going to cost/restrict you a lot more.  You might have heart of pine and those old growth forest are long gone.  Also in that day people often built their own houses and didn't skimp.   I've repaired sagging floors, it's not hard to correct in most cases.
Link Posted: 3/14/2021 11:07:00 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Panta_Rei:


Lumber is crazy high and rising.   That said, I'd try first to restore.  Going forward not being established/grandfathered is going to cost/restrict you a lot more.  You might have heart of pine and those old growth forest are long gone.  Also in that day people often built their own houses and didn't skimp.   I've repaired sagging floors, it's not hard to correct in most cases.
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Originally Posted By Panta_Rei:
Originally Posted By Vaquero45:

Good morning.  I’m looking for a place to start with a project.  I have an old home on my property and I am trying to figure out which way to go between demo and build new and restoring what’s there.

It was built 1880’s as far as I can tell.  The house appears structurally sound.  There are some areas where the old plaster needs repaired or replaced with drywall and one room has some sag in the floor.  My biggest concern would be the foundation as it is rock and I’d want to make sure it’s good to go before I spend any money on the inside.

Any recommendations on a company/individual in the southern VA area that evaluates and works on home foundations?

Should the house have to come down is there a market for the lumber?  Are there people in this area that buy/reclaim that stuff?  Thanks.


Lumber is crazy high and rising.   That said, I'd try first to restore.  Going forward not being established/grandfathered is going to cost/restrict you a lot more.  You might have heart of pine and those old growth forest are long gone.  Also in that day people often built their own houses and didn't skimp.   I've repaired sagging floors, it's not hard to correct in most cases.



What do you mean about established/grandfathered and the costs/restrictions?


Link Posted: 3/14/2021 12:53:31 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Vaquero45:



What do you mean about established/grandfathered and the costs/restrictions?


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Try rebuilding that same home in today's market and process ;-)
Link Posted: 3/14/2021 1:18:42 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Panta_Rei:



Try rebuilding that same home in today's market and process ;-)
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Originally Posted By Panta_Rei:
Originally Posted By Vaquero45:



What do you mean about established/grandfathered and the costs/restrictions?





Try rebuilding that same home in today's market and process ;-)



Ahhh gotcha.  Ideally it would be structurally sound enough to fix up.


Link Posted: 3/14/2021 2:53:24 PM EDT
This structure repair company helped me for free a few years back:  https://www.jeswork.com/

Had a renter in a 1903 farmhouse that tried everything to get me in trouble, including that the house was structurally unsafe.  He drove 90 miles, inspected and said your house (also on rock foundation and ballon frame walls) is better built than most of what I look at.  He recommended doing nothing.
Link Posted: 3/14/2021 10:02:20 PM EDT
Thank you.

Link Posted: 3/17/2021 2:21:56 PM EDT
If it has lasted since the 1880s with no foundation movement it is going to last forever.

Is the plaster on wood lath?

I would use nothing less than 2-coat plaster for repairs.

The original purpose of gypsum board was as a base for plaster.
The piece tended to be about 16 inches by 48 inches with paper
on one side and nothing on the other.
Instead of wood lath and 3-coats of plaster you
used gypsum board and two coats of plaster.

American 'finish plaster' changed over the years, but the final mix
was lime putty with some plaster of Paris to speed up setting.

The original finish plaster was straight lime putty that took around
a month to harden up.
Link Posted: 3/25/2021 12:32:48 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Panta_Rei:



Try rebuilding that same home in today's market and process ;-)
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Originally Posted By Panta_Rei:
Originally Posted By Vaquero45:



What do you mean about established/grandfathered and the costs/restrictions?





Try rebuilding that same home in today's market and process ;-)


Molding is usually the big expense to try and duplicate.
The grade of wood available way back when was far superior to what you can get now.

I have encountered 6 inch wide door trim that was milled from a single piece of wood.

Later on it was built up.

Now you can hardy find what it would take to recreate it.
Link Posted: 3/25/2021 5:25:13 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By brickeyee:


Molding is usually the big expense to try and duplicate.
The grade of wood available way back when was far superior to what you can get now.

I have encountered 6 inch wide door trim that was milled from a single piece of wood.

Later on it was built up.

Now you can hardy find what it would take to recreate it.
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not sure of your location, but if custom trim is needed


these guys do great work



http://www.siewers.com/
Link Posted: 3/25/2021 9:54:28 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By brickeyee:
If it has lasted since the 1880s with no foundation movement it is going to last forever.

Is the plaster on wood lath?

I would use nothing less than 2-coat plaster for repairs.

The original purpose of gypsum board was as a base for plaster.
The piece tended to be about 16 inches by 48 inches with paper
on one side and nothing on the other.
Instead of wood lath and 3-coats of plaster you
used gypsum board and two coats of plaster.

American 'finish plaster' changed over the years, but the final mix
was lime putty with some plaster of Paris to speed up setting.

The original finish plaster was straight lime putty that took around
a month to harden up.
View Quote


We had it checked out and looks like everything is good to go with the foundation.  We’ll probably start a work renovating soon.  👍🏻
Link Posted: 4/1/2021 4:55:44 AM EDT
I recall a movie on the subject called "money pit"
Link Posted: 4/1/2021 12:51:04 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By NorthPoint:
I recall a movie on the subject called "money pit"
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One reason real-estate is crazy expensive is the shortage of available homes.   I have faith OP will easily come out ahead, most people do even in normal markets.
Link Posted: 4/2/2021 9:17:53 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Panta_Rei:


One reason real-estate is crazy expensive is the shortage of available homes.   I have faith OP will easily come out ahead, most people do even in normal markets.
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Originally Posted By Panta_Rei:
Originally Posted By NorthPoint:
I recall a movie on the subject called "money pit"


One reason real-estate is crazy expensive is the shortage of available homes.   I have faith OP will easily come out ahead, most people do even in normal markets.



Thanks.  My biggest concern was making sure the foundation was good.  It is in livable condition as is.  The repairs that it does need aren't too expensive.  I think we'll be alright.

Link Posted: 4/5/2021 7:34:24 AM EDT
Where's the Pics? And where abouts in southern VA?

Might be local to ya
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