Wednesday, October 10, 2012

168 Mills - A Work in Progress

House #2 is slowly coming along.  It's also slowly becoming the house of surprises.  Lots of surprises.  

The first big surprise was from the city.  I called to turn on the water and electricity and was given the "ohhhhh there's a problem with that house".  Great.  Long story short, the pipe from the street to the house was broken and yup, it's the property owners responsibility to fix it.  Yea!  So project #1 ensued. I had to find a plumber that had a backhoe.  Then the surprise within the surprise was that the plumbing from the road to the house turned a 90 degree angle.  Fun times. 

Project #1 - New water pipes from the road

The second major project has also been completed - new windows.  No pictures in this category -- so you'll just to have to trust me on this.  I wasn't planning on new windows in the beginning - however, after I took possession, it was clear that the windows were really old and really needed to be replaced.  I got a STEAL of a deal on new windows from a local Michigan company.  They've been installed already, and made an instant impact on the warmth of the house.  

The third project came about after the water was finally turned on to the house.  When I tested the water it wasn't pretty.  Not a complete surprise after 4 years, but then it stopped running.  We called a different plumber (no backhoe needed this time) and some new copper pipes were installed in the basement.  In addition, the plumber had ANOTHER surprise:  the water heater that had been installed was made for a mobile home.  Wait.  You didn't know I bought a mobile home?  Oh that's right, I DIDN'T.  Surprise - a new water heater was added to the list.  

The fourth project was one of the few that I had planned for.  When I looked at the house originally I suspected the furnace needed replacing.  An insurance agent in town that I had consulted about insuring the house mentioned to me that he had the policy on the house for the last owners and they had to replace the furnace during a flood that affected 1/4 of the town back about 7 years ago.  Hmmmm.  That sounded odd to me.  The furnace was NOT new.  Now granted, I am not a trained eye... but this was NOT a new furnace.  In fact, it was not.  The manufacture date on the furnace was 12/26/60. It was 52 years old.  So sounds like the previous owners took an insurance claim to pocket.   So the dinosaur was replaced with a new high efficiency furnace.

Furnace before and after

Lots of other progress is happening.  There has been a lot of wall scraping, wallpaper scraping, and plaster removing.  The stairs to the kitchen have been strengthened.  
Plaster removed

Stronger stairs

Finally, the last surprise that we stumbled across seems to be in the basement.  There is a small room, and the second plumber started joking about it.  I thought it was maybe used as a bathroom at one time, although the basement isn't really a basement you'd use as additional living space, so it seems odd.  The plumber laughed and said he thinks it was a "grow room".  There is a propane heater attached to the wall and it still has a smell associated with it.  Niiiiiice.  
The former grown room.  CREEPY.

Lots of more work to go, but we're making progress!!