02:04PM | 03/08/05
Member Since: 03/07/05
5 lifetime posts
My name is Steve and I am going to need a lot of advice over the next year. I have had my offer verbally accepted on this tiny cottage (we call'em camps here-bouts in Vermont, jeezum crow)near Lake Champlain.

Basically, its a complete dump. It's falling of the blocks its on, you can see the ground through the floor boards, the ceiling and walls are that 1970's wood paneling, it's so small you have to go outside to change your mind. Needless to say I love it.

It requires almost a complete rebuild, unfortunately, because of the size of the lot (36 x 41 ... feet) If I tore the building down, I wouldn't be allowed to rebuild it. I have to renovate in place.

The scope of my project is: I want to rebuild the camp, winterized, with appliances for $15,000. Muuwwaaaaahahahahahahahahaha!

A computer geek by trade, I am still learning about home renovations. I have had some experience, as links of the above site will demonstrate. However, my main resource, my neighbor Bob the Builder, is giving a kidney to his brother right when I am planning to take posession of the house. Is that the contractor equivalent of saying "I need to wash may hair..". C'mon. I didn't borrow THAT many tools....

Anyways. I did a floor plan on the computer using Punch! tools. I printed out a bill of materials and priced everything out. Then, I added 25% because I am a computer geek and probably missed a quarter of what I need. And, it will work.

My plan is:

Pour pads and level the house

Gut the interior and alter the floor plan

Replace the doors and windows

Convert the converted porch back into a porch

Rebuild the bathroom

Insulate the walls, ceiling and crawl space

Drywall and paint

Add flooring

Install propane appliances and wall mounted heaters (expert will do this, don't worry)

Take pictures

Huff huff huff. Did you get all that? So, as I said, I'll have a lot of questions. Actually, I have a couple right now..

1) What did I leave out of that list above?

2) When I pour the pads and level the blocks, what if some of the joists and the wood that forms the base of the house (doesn't seem right to call it a foundation, I am talking about the wood that the joists connect to) is rotton. Can I replace them one by one without tearing down the whole house? And how?

Anyway, I am really excited about this project. I am also renovating my whole house, but I can't live in it for a year, so I am planning to live in the camp for most of that time. I look forward to your feedback. Also, I hope you like the pictures of my house renovation on my website. I am pretty proud of myself.


02:20PM | 03/08/05
Member Since: 03/07/05
5 lifetime posts
I forgot to mention. I can't increase the value of the house more than 50% of fair market value, I can't alter the footprint of the house , and I can't change the height of the house (no A frame, zut!)


12:54PM | 03/13/05
Member Since: 03/07/05
5 lifetime posts
So, I went out to the camp today, checking out a few things. The first question I have to deal with if I get this is the base. I can't really call it a foundation, because there isn't one. The building is on piers, although, I have seen camaros that have been blocked up better.

The floor joists are 2 x 6's. They are 16 feet long and run across the width of the house. They are blocked up erratically on two 2 x 4's running the length of the house.

My question is: Should I a) simply pour pads, block the house up properly and run a couple of support beans under the existing 2 x 6's or should I b) block the house up and replace the 2 x 6's with 2 x 10's and a center beam half way across the house?


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