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Pre 1900's Bryan Texas Farm House Restore

Inlaws have the family farm, and talked to a "builder/architect" about upgrading/renovating the old family 2 story farm house. After his out of sight estimate they are looking at leveling the house.

I am in need of help finding reliable expert advice on renovating this house as it is very important to my wife and her family history.

Her parents wanted to add central HVAC (none existing), level the house(pier & beam), re-roof and make some additions/renovations/ upgrades to the kitchen and bathrooms.

The house is structurally solid inside and out with beaded ceilings and real wood floors.

Any input would be helpful.

Re: Pre 1900's Bryan Texas Farm House Restore

I'm a sucker for an old house. I would try to save it.

I think your decision depends on the long-term use. Would you remodel then move in? I presume there's no mortgage on the homestead. The renovation costs might be less than buying new. Or maybe the same, but the sentimental value makes them equal.

My suggestions:

Yes, get more bids. (The bids to replace my galvanized pipes with copper ranged from $1200-$3500 -- and that's a tiny project.)

Reconsider what "needs" to be done. (Do you have to level the house or just ensure the house is stable? etc.)

Consider what projects could be done over time rather than right now.

Consider selling to someone who would restore the house.

Reusing salvage in a new house is a great idea if you can't save the old one. If you don't plan to rebuild, find creative uses for your salvage -- like bookshelves or hutches built out of the beadboard ceilings and woodwork as a memento for family members.

If nothing else, let an architectural salvage firm go through or remove items yourself and donate them to Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which sells building supplies.

Good luck!

Re: Pre 1900's Bryan Texas Farm House Restore

Great ideas!

No one is currently living in the house. The homestead has been mortgage free for years.

Me and my wife could live in as is.

Inlaws are just looking for more comforts when they decide to move.

Thanks for the replies.

Re: Pre 1900's Bryan Texas Farm House Restore

If it's livable as-is, I'd really hesitate to raze it!

For a central-air retrofit, look at a mini-duct system like the Spacepak.

Leveling is a tough call if it's really out-of-whack, stabilization is far preferable. If you level the house you may find that all the walls crack and you can't open or close any of the doors. Sloping floors and such are "character" that are just part of living in an old house.

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