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100 Year Old Full House Renovation

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  • Oct 19th, 2020 11:27 am
[OP]
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Nov 29, 2011
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Grimsby

100 Year Old Full House Renovation

Hi everyone.

I feel a bit ashamed to admit that I never chronicled my journey renovating a 100 year old home that we purchased. But I guess that leads to a bit of a silver lining which is that most of the work is actually done, and now I can go back and chronicle it here, for you guys to come along with me and reminisce on all the blood sweat and tears that went into this project.

A bit of a background on the home; it was built circa 1918-1920, the exact date of which isn't completely known. The previous owner was really into the history of the home and gave me all sorts of information. I'll attach a picture he sent me, where you can see the house from a baseball game back in the early 1920s.
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Our house is the one in the top right corner.

It's worth noting that this house was actually moved in the 1960s about 5km from where that original picture was taken, and placed on top of a block foundation basement. At this point, dormers were added to the attic and an upstairs was officially created. Here are pictures of the house shortly after we got possession.
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I am ashamed to admit I didn't get a ton of photos before the demolition started. On day 1, the upstairs already looked like this:
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We found all sorts of stuff - vermiculite (which we tested and thankfully had no asbestos), knob and tube, and the list goes on.

I'll do my best to update this thread daily!

To prove the worth of following along, I'll give you an after picture so you know where this whole thing is heading.

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The worst part about prison was the Dementors. - Michael Scott

My Basement Reno Project
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[OP]
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Nov 29, 2011
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Grimsby
Also worth mentioning, a large portion of this rebuild was done DIY. When we journey into the past I will point out what was done by me, and what I contracted out.
The worst part about prison was the Dementors. - Michael Scott

My Basement Reno Project
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Oct 6, 2010
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I haven't seen you around in a long long time. Good to know you're still alive. Just for that, upvoted.
DYI difficulty scale:
0-joke
10-no joke

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2017
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SW corner of the cou…
Nice to see old houses being appreciated, even to the point of being moved and put on better foundations (instead of remaining on none). My previous house was built in 1911 and my wife bought a 3 storey house (valued for the s.f. as it is overheight for current building regulations) built in 1908 as a rental. Both still there AFAIK.

There's an outfit on the west coast that will move houses (and even sell them).

https://www.nickelbros.com/
Cream rises to the top. So does scum.
[OP]
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Nov 29, 2011
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So the initial plan was to leave the outside of the house as is (was?). It was white siding with brown flashing, and it looked decent. The initial scope of things was just to gut everything on the inside and build it back up.

Gutting the upstairs was an absolute nightmare. Every wall and ceiling cavity was stuffed with white blown in insulation, and I mean STUFFED. My brothers and my dad were around these days to help me take debris to the bin. I cannot stress how much debris there was. Looking back at the pictures I get chills down my spine.

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I think its worth giving a bit of context to the upstairs. There is three bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and 1 small room with awkward ceilings.

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Front bedroom

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North bedroom

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South bedroom

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Upstairs bathroom


The upstairs bathroom and the north bedroom are on the same side of the house and I will eventually end up flipping their layouts.
The worst part about prison was the Dementors. - Michael Scott

My Basement Reno Project
[OP]
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Nov 29, 2011
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Demolition continues! (Spoiler alert: it continues for weeks and weeks)

We are still upstairs which has a super simple layout. When you come up to the stairs, to your right is the small room (pictured), straight ahead is the door leading to the bathroom (which will eventually become a bedroom), to the left is a hallway that then leads to the three bedrooms.
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The worst part about prison was the Dementors. - Michael Scott

My Basement Reno Project
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Nov 23, 2011
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West GTA
Great thread! I'll be following along.
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Dec 24, 2007
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Oh no flashback!!!!!

Brings back a lot of memories.

Old homes are great and most have great bones, but upgrading it can put a big dent in the wallet. At the end there is nothing like doing the work yourself.

Glad you are taken this project on and hopefully the post gets updated with lots of pics.

Cheers!
Thread started in 2016 - 1927 fully gutted and renovated 2 storey detached home in the big T.O. - small projects still in progress.

RFD priceless!
Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2003
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Very cool that you can know the history of your house. Even cooler that they moved it instead of simply demolishing it. At least you have insulation in the walls. Our "new" house was built in 1970 and we're renovating it now.. windows getting replaced as I write this and there's no insulation in the walls at all. Just two layers of brick and plywood/drywall and plaster.

Will subscribe to this thread as well, love seeing rebuilds and renovations in process. Kudos to you that you DIY'd most of it.
Member
Feb 26, 2019
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Ottawa
Nice job, man. It’s very rewarding to tackle a big project like this.
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Mar 13, 2004
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Looks interesting, thanks for the photos.
0_o
<_<
>_>
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Oct 25, 2017
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Enjoying this thread and looking forward to seeing the progress pics. Our house is from 1916, I’m sure there are probably some skeletons in our walls...our bathroom is being done next month so bracing myself for what our contractor finds in walls and floors
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Feb 26, 2019
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Ottawa
Did you live in the house during construction?
[OP]
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dottawat wrote: Did you live in the house during construction?
No sir. Original plan was to try to, but quickly realized the scope of the renovation was magnifying exponentially and decided against it.
The worst part about prison was the Dementors. - Michael Scott

My Basement Reno Project
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Apr 17, 2016
314 posts
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Toronto
aprofetto wrote: No sir. Original plan was to try to, but quickly realized the scope of the renovation was magnifying exponentially and decided against it.
I did a full gut job on my 2 storey semi (almost 100 yrs old) and lived in it the whole time. Would never do this again! We did it floor by floor, starting at the top and worked our way down. Fortunately, my wife was very understanding and has been through this in the past with her own family when she was younger but now that we have a baby, no way we could do this now. The worst was when we did the main floor and moved the kitchen to the basement...so cold and miserable down there, especially over the winter.

Looking forward to hearing your story!

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