House Renovations

Old 03-02-07, 09:57 AM
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House Renovations

My wife and I are in the process of buying her parents house. Is a large 1930's farm house with 5 bedrooms and 2 baths. We are planning on renovating the whole interior but would like to know if it makes any difference what floor we start on. We plan on making the upstairs bathroom and large bedroom into the master bedroom and bath. Does it make more sense to start on the bottom floor and work our way up or start on the second floor and work out way down? The house has a Michigan basement which needs some work, newer windows and roof but needs updated insulation and minor interior work. we would like to place a whirlpool tub and stand up shower on the second floor and leave the first floor bath as it is besised some minor style changes. I know the basement needs some work, strenghtening and sealing. The floors are all 2x4 boards with carpet and the have drywall. Any suggestions on where tostart would be appreciated.
thank you
Old 03-02-07, 01:05 PM
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Do the second floor first. That way, you will have a working bath room while you are doing the first floor. And you will not be traveling through the "new" first floor to work on the second floor.
Old 03-02-07, 02:30 PM
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The question you raise about where to begin is one that is frequently raised. Starting in the farthest reaches of the home and working your way to the front door will prevent tracking through and potential scuffing of walls. Some forum posters, however, prefer to begin renovations in the public areas of the home because that is where friends and family gather and they want to put their best foot forward right away. Thus, it boils down to the issue of practicality versus lifestyle.

There are probably some very practical contractors who will come along and post that it is best to always begin by making sure the foundation and roof and structure are sound before beginning any cosmetic work. From the standpoint of budget, this may be the best approach because you may find that there are problems that are not immediately visible and will make a major dent in the budget.
Old 03-04-07, 08:56 AM
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I would start at the top and work down. I mean the real top, like the roof.
If the roof is older and needs repair, you don't want leakage on your new work. I would next tear out or partially tear out the upstairs bathroom. You indicated you will be making changes there, and you will need some of the plumbing updated and re-routed. This should be done st the beginning. Just my thoughts.
Old 03-04-07, 10:59 AM
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I agree with folks saying start with the farthest reaches and work towards the common areas. My philosophy is start where you can "get rolling" at a more careful (slow) pace without interrupting your daily life, and create a really awesome space that inspires you to get to the rest of the house more quickly and efficiently with all that you have learned from that new awesome space. Then when you have finished those common areas, you can have friends over and show them how great the ENTIRE house looks, not just the areas guests see regularly. :-) Also it allows the to and fro paths to get all messed up without worry... and they WILL get messed up.

DEFINITELY get a whole house inspection first so you know what you are getting into, maybe even call an electrician or plumber to look at those specific areas if you suspect problems or major changes. Our plumber pointed out our entire gas system would have to be upgraded because the pipe was not sized for our new natural gas connection, but rather the original propane, and we would have to make this change in order to pass inspection. This would have been a nasty surprise from the inspector had we not done it before plumbing, framing, insulation, and wiring!

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