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Todd82TA
A thought on renovations... not really a question.

I bought this 1983 Sitterle home a few months ago, and I've been renovating the entire thing. The home was built so well, and all the features of the home were such high quality, that it's a shame to have to replace everything. The cabinets are all made of solid oak, even the sides, and floor. They were made at a local cabinet shop here in San Antonio 34 years ago. It's a shame that I'm almost obligated to replace them just because they don't look current, even though they are in as good a shape today, as they were back then.

HandyAndyInMtAiry
Re: A thought on renovations... not really a question.

Todd,

Why would you want something to look "current" and modern in an older house? I finally was able to find a cabinet maker here in NC to build kitchen cabinets that looked like they did 125 years ago. Long and tall with glass panes in each window, tall enough to reach the 12 foot ceiling, all made of solid walnut. I wanted chesnut, but that wood is really expensive and very hard to come by. This house was once the main house on a walnut and chesnut plantation. We are replacing all the items with period correct, but with modern safety. Things like all the electrical switches are modern day push buttons that looks like the original push button devices. All the floors in the house are chesnut with black walnut borders. There is no way I would put cheap "engineered sawdust flooring" over them. It is difficult to find original white hex tiles for the bathrooms, and original subway tiles, but it is worth the search and time. Almost everything in the house is original. But things like old plumbing has to be replaced. This house was build before indoor plumbing and electrical. So replacing the knob and tube with BX is a no brainer. The house had 60 amp service when we loved in, I have installed 800 amp service, one 200 amp panel for each one of the three floors. And one 200 amp panel for the kitchen. We have kept all of the orignal plaster on the walls and ceilings. It is a much better insulater than sheetrock with paper. The house stays nice and cool in the summer, and very warm in the winter. We moved in and there was not a furnace, only the 8 fireplaces were used to heat the house. We have converted all of them to natural gas and had a natural gas furnace for each floor and an AC compressor for each floor. But using old style looking vents and vent locations thru the house. All of the windows are the original windows. I have rebuild each one replacing the pulley cords, pullies, sash brass, etc... There is no way I would ever put modern day cheap windows in a house like this. The plaster walls and new window sash brass keeps the house warm in the winter. Each of the bathrooms have a modern walk in shower, for when we get old and cannot step into a clawfoot tub, but we kept all the clawfoot tubs. We replaced all the new looking toilets with the tall tank, older looking toilets with pull chain flush.

I only recommend using the type of material that you want, it is your house. I do not like the look or the cheap materials used in modern day items for the home. That is just me.

If you have certian questions about certain topics, I will be happy to help you and give advice for what you need.

Andrew

Handy Andy in Mt Airy NC

Todd82TA
Re: A thought on renovations... not really a question.

Hi Andy, I’d love to see pictures of those cabinets / the house, it sounds awesome. I know what you’re saying… I would say that I’d much prefer to be like Nicole Curtis, but I often find myself ending up more like Chip and Joanna Gaines… minus the painting brick part (I do NOT paint brick).

Although my house is a really high-quality built home, it was built in 1983, and I’m just not sure there is necessarily a desire for that style. I guess unfortunately, this home is temporary for me because I have to move every 3-4 years for work. So… I have to remodel the home in a style that attracts buyers.

In the kitchen, I re-worked some of the cabinets, and removed some, but since they were all made of solid oak, I figured what would be easiest is to just have them refaced. I saved all the oak cabinet doors, and… in 20 years from now, should the new home owner decide they want to go back to the original 1983 styling of the cabinets, they can take the press-board off the face of the oak, and remove all the Pine shaker doors, and put back all the old doors. I’ve got all the doors in the attic.

It just seems wasteful though, and that’s tough… but I have to think about salability… so I’m trying to balance saving stuff, while making it modern at the same time so as to appeal to buyers, but not trash the home. The upstairs bathroom still has the original cabinets and the built-ins in the wall. They kind of look tacky what with everything else I’ve done… just kind of frustrating because I hate being wasteful.

HandyAndyInMtAiry
Re: A thought on renovations... not really a question.

HI Todd,

Yes, I know just what you mean about being wasteful about things around and in the house. I see your point on your cabinets. Yes, you have to put what sells. I did not know that you move around like that, and have to sell your houses. That is a very good idea to keep all the original doors. You never know, someone like myself could be purchasing the house next, and want everything original. We found all the original window shutters stored on the top floor of this house. I am still in the process of rebuilding the ones that are in not so good of shape. So right now, our house is without shutters.

Sometimes I can see an advantage of painting brick. I have seen some very nice looking houses become stunning, especially the ranch style houses. I look at it this way, everything can be fixed and everything is replaceable.

Hope that you have the bext of luck in your home renovations. It is a work of Love.

Andrew

Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

Todd82TA
Re: A thought on renovations... not really a question.

Thanks Andy, I appreciate it. Quick question... CAN those gorgeous homes be saved that Chip & Joanna paint? I thought painting brick was final.

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