Sunday, March 20, 2016

But first, a new painting from Cecilia Rosslee!

I was rearranging the great room trying to figure out if I like the dining table in front of the patio. This house has a desperately strange layout. Plus I was trying out white paint colors (behind the plant):

And this is where the fun stops. :(

Unfortunately we've gotten more bad news, and it all goes back to The Lunatic who built this house. His sons were well known to local police (which explains all the crack pipes we discovered in odd places. I am not posting pics of that.)

We heard more stories from the neighbors which also explains the extremely shoddy craftmanship in all the tile and exterior. Apparently the Lunatic didn't want to pay for any professionals so he let people stay in the house for free in return for (really poor) DIY construction work. (!)

The second paint quote came in at $36k, which is better than the previous $75k, but that is before the mason explained that all the windowsills were done incorrectly.

And nobody manufactures this kind of brick anymore so you cannot get anything that matches.
It's ugly anyway. The Lunatic used this crap because he found it practically free. Because nobody else wanted it.

And all the porches were poured concrete, and they were built wrong. They don't slope correctly which is why all the exterior doors and frames are rotted out.

Basically it will take $100k to fix the exterior and we will never get that money back. (assuming we had $100k to throw away on the exterior anyway.)

The alternatives are:

1.) We teach ourselves to be masons, rent a jackhammer, and rebuild everything ourselves. this will involve tool rental, concrete pouring, years of hard work, and probably have to hire help anyway because the steel structure under the concrete has to be lowered. I'm not confident that PC and I can rebuild the steel pans and studs ourselves. ?

2.) Or: We slap some paint on it, squat here for another 8 years til all the kids are gone, and then replace the rotten doors right before we sell. (this feels shady, of course. And doesn't take into account the possibility that it will need major emergency repairs in the next decade).

3.) Or: we sell this pile of crap, take a huge loss, and move into a new (much smaller) house with no issues.

Take a guess what I'm thinking. :/  Is the view really worth it?

Posted by Katy On 9:47 AM 11 comments


  1. The view is worth it and I will come help paint!

  2. Would some kind of grate draining system work on the patios? Might not be the most sophisticated option but it would save the doors.

  3. I am going with option number one!! I am more than confident for the both of you that you can do this!! Think how close you will become....or maybe you will just need somewhere to hide his body. That's what pouring concrete is all about. haha just kidding. The view is totally worth it

  4. Oh, that just makes me sick to my stomach. No matter what you decide, I have no doubt you will figure out a way to make it work. What else could you possibly have on your plates for the next ten years anyway?? Have you gotten a second foundation exam? We were warned off one company because they were in the habit of always "finding" $50,000 worth of issues. We called some foundation engineers from another recommendation, and their estimate came in at $7000. They crawled under the house with my husband (I wasn't going in there) and walked him through everything that needed to be done and why. I am keeping my fingers crossed that there is a more cost effective solution for you guys.

  5. Slap a level on it & make sure everything is draining away - if not then yes you have issues but... You can see if there is a possibility to do mud jacking & raising the concrete. You can also look into adding epoxy or another material over the top to get the proper slope & nice new finish

    1. Hi Sean, yes there is no fall on the steps or patios so that is why all the exterior doors have rot at the bottom. They also poured the concrete too high, right up to the top of the door sills! so there is no room to put anything on top.

  6. I think based on every thing you have managed to accomplish, you should stay there and look at some form of option 1. You are so creative and will find a solution (that doesn't involve stray people working on your house for a roof over their head)

  7. Can ya get real with the jack hammer and rid of the brick stairways and instead use a composite material to build decking/stairs?

  8. We are discussing buying a jackhammer. :/
    still waiting on another estimate for rebuilding.

    Happy Easter everyone!! :) xo

  9. It's a real life money pit! I say the view is worth it, but I'm not dealing with this crazy house! Totally nuts....

  10. I'm with option #3. Your time is valuable and your family is young. I'd opt to move someplace smaller that doesn't need all the money and work this house needs. You've fixed enough in your life, how about some fun now?


Welcome to my three ring circus. Cake? Tequila? Pardon me while I cut this lumber and yell at my kids for the 100th time --

About Me

My photo
For many years I was a mechanical engineer by day, a house renovator by night, and a single mom. I previously built a tiny house on Tybee Island that I sold in 2015. Then I lost my day job, met Prince Charming, and now work full time demolishing (fixing) his lake house. ;) Stop by for the house stuff, stay for the never-ending disasters, pianos falling out of the sky, floods, threats of financial ruin, & panic attacks. It's like house flipping meets the zombie apocalypse! with lots of kids!

Ad Free

I don't do ads/affiliate marketing/ guest posting/reviews for free product, etc. The only exception to this would be if Bob Vila asks me to do something (anything). ;)

See My Work Here:

My Blog List