michael reace

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since Dec 16, 2017
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I am on my 5th house renovation. Started out with a farm about 20 yrs ago, renovated a big 3000 square ft 1894 farmhouse i had purchased in Yuma VA, with 65 acres for 65,000.00   twas nice to be a land baron even if the bank owned it.. not bragging but it was just such a good bargain at that price...  it was mine for awhile. Got the house about 80 percent restored and she burned to the ground in about 20 min.. apparently the addition which was done in 1980's this guy has clamped two dryer wires together and taped them up in a wall.. (sigh)..  after a while we got an L shaped double wide trailer, it was a special build and special order that these people got and then filed bankruptcy.. we got a house built out of 2x6 walls everywhere built very sound and strong only it had trailer windows and tons of hunter green carpet throughout, i did love my new place though. we cleaned up the house site and situated the  triple wide in the middle of the property next to a big open field. twas completely private very nice property..where i spent the summers planting trees and shrubs and flower, we had about 15 cares landscaped by the time we were done, a big bamboo forest, tons of twisted trees, i would twist these dogwood and willow trees into shapes, braided some and bent some over into the ground and back up, very sculptural...   hated loosing the house but realized that we were in better shape financially after she burned. with the insurance pay out.. still has some debt, grading out a new house site, buying the home and drilling for a well took a substantial amount of our funds. i would have remained there if i had not developed a mystery illness, long story short.. 7 year illness. caused vomiting, and between the shoulder blade pain when i would eat,  and the loss of about 80 lbs, at 109 lbs and dozens of doctors later, i was to beg a doctor to cut me open and look around. a doctor from india who worked in whitesburg ky listened to me. turns out i had e coli in high concentrations in my well water, it had settled in my gallbladder and made me very sick. I had vomited so much i had a procedure prior to getting a diagnosis called a nissen fundoplication.  a surgery to prevent reflux.and vomiting this seemed like a good idea at the time, i would have done anything to keep food down..yet . this went awry and caused me to dry heave and speed up my metabolism.. and caused everything i ate to go immediately into my small intestine. twas a very very bad surgery...  after getting the gallbladder out things got back to some normality for me and i decided to sell the farm and move to the suburbs, i could no longer do the upkeep to the place.  i've been in mount carmel with a new lease on life, for the past 13 years or so, renovated an 1980's modern type house, cedar with lots of windows..  and have loved it here.. then a about 4 yrs ago i decided to buy my mother a home in TN she had gotten divorced and was having trouble making her house payments in ky.. using a credit card i purchased her a home in TN. in kingsport about twenty min from me the house cost 13 grand... a total bargain, new roof with heat pump included.  we had to redo the kitchen, replace the kitchen floor, but after painting sanding the floors redoing the wiring and plumbing and adding new windows. i began to see the benefits in buying a dirt cheep house and fixing it up, how rewarding that could be..eventually i remortgaged my current house and paid off the credit card.. twas easier to buy the home this way because the banks don't want to loan on a fixer upper sometime, having that much available to me on a credit card limit was hugely helpful... this got me thinking and so i discussed with our realtor what i could rent my current mount carmel house out for,, nearly double my current mortgage.. i love my house but do NOT like paying so much for a mortgage..  so i began looking finding this little house built in 1930 in gate city va, (twenty min away) it was in need of some sill work, and was listed at 24 grand, i bid 18 and got it for less then twenty..   I am thrilled its got no insulation, antiquated wiring its two bedroom down and has a big open room upstairs that could be turned into two more bedrooms. with a big attic space above that, all upstairs is finished out with unpainted bead board.. and nice wood floors even the attic space is finished out with beadboard. downstairs features wood floors large moldings, a solarium, with french doors.. a big double sided fireplace with two hearths... and a wrap around porch.  i will need to repair the sill in the back bedroom and replace half the wood flooring in that room. strip gut the little bathroom and redo it.. move the kitchen to the room that has the stairwell in it..( it just makes sense to put a kitchen there) and where the old kitchen and laundry area was I will someday create a second bath & new laundry area, with a hall and pantry  to make up for lack of  kitchen space.  its got built in's that will work perfectly and make nice storage in the new kitchen... I close on the house the 28th of December 2017..  am very excited, i already bought a vintage cast iron deco looking kitchen sink with drain board, from facebook market place and also purchased an old tempwood sealed stove from the 1970's. . i plan on getting the chimney inspected this friday and make sure that the stove can be safely used. i also got a great black friday deal on some propane free standing logs, since we do not have natural gas in the area.. i am really looking forward to this new project, am considering some foam in insulation, they can apparently do that nowdays in existing walls thru only a few small holes drilled..  and will heat with the gas and wood for the first few years, making upgrades to the home as i acquire rental money from my current home.  this all seems like a perfect plan to me, to rough it for a while and be able to have my current home pay for itself and at the same time put a little money away in savings.. i am very optimistic about the future now where only a few months ago i was wondering how i was going to pay for dental work and buy a new pair of bifocal glasses.. I  will be posting about my house reno adventures on here and putting up some photos. i do not want to flood facebook and my friends with all this but love to read about others experiences and love to share my own when it comes to restoring these old spaces...  gentle restoration is the way to go..  cheeply yet with good taste and nice choices..  you do not need granite counter tops, nor 50thousand dollar bathrooms in a home..  don't listen to HGTV.  a home can be a home and be a representation of you and your likes an dislikes and not have to break the bank.. if you don't know how to do something... GOOGLE it.. chances are someone else done figured it out and has put up a video..  well that's my story.. its been a lot of reading to get here, but I hope you will join me for this journey and share some stories of your own.... merry christmas everyone and happy new year..   take care
Gate City Virginia
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Recent posts by michael reace

more of the bad flashing job from Price Guttering kingsport tn
2 months ago
some photos of the bad job Price Guttering did on my gutter install.. they put up the gutters before attempting to install part of my flashing i paid for...  paid them 250.00 bucks took six months for them to come and redo part of the flashing the whole corner of the house has yet to get flashing and the thin metal they attempted to put up there just sends water back up under the roof and does not over hang the gutter itself...  
2 months ago
some of the photos i posted was during the plumbing reno.. i didnt take enough photos of the AFTER project.   its my first time running sewer pipes it was definitely a learning curve i did go back and alter a few of the pex lines. i ordered a new side inlet water heater for under the counter next to the sink. that is all that is left to have the plumbing finished, havent drilled out the vent pipe holes thru the roof yet until i get the inspector up there to sign off and approve it ...   this house never had a single vent pipe in its life... its been interesting... that is for sure..
2 months ago
a few photos of the plumbing .. sewer and pex pipes
2 months ago
a few more photos
2 months ago
some photos
2 months ago
its been over a year foundations are done plastic under the floor . new gutters and its staying dry...  i used PRICE GUTTERING in kingsport tn... they did a terrible job ive been after then for nearly 8 months to finish the flashing job i paid 250.00 for but they keep putting me off.. once corner of my house has no flashing and the rain just runs back under the roof..  going to have to hire Holtzclaw guttering company to redo most of the gutter install..  we have completed all the joists... torn out the rest of the sheetrock and the floors are all down in those three back rooms.. ended up having to put 16 foot 2x10's in the ceiling joists upstairs it was held up by whittled down beams with 2x4's holding up the upstairs wood floors. all the sagging and bouncy castle is now gone from upstairs and she feels solid... i just completed the new pex water lines and the sewer pipes and drains are all ran inside... we got our permits for the sewer and electrical r a few weeks ago...  staying home today to call a fella who wors for AEP to see how much he charges to hook up our outside connect for the new power lines and meter box.... its the only thing i wont attempt myself... but we should be able to run new electrical soon maybe in a few weeks...  the little house has worn us out.. but its been worth it... its a shame to hire someone for gutters and have it not go as planned. i am ordering some large magnets for both our cars to advertise their incompetence around town as we do a lot of traveling locally... also will be doing the online reviews for their business as i don't want anyone else to get taken by this company.. it would have een much cheaper for them to just come finish the corner of flashing for me but i guess they will soon find this out as summer is here and people will be calling for new gutters after the bad winter we had this year...  posting some photos of the improvements  hoping to be in this house by the end of this year if all goes well...   thanks for taking this journey with me..
2 months ago
some more updates to the little house..
10 months ago
oh man.. good luck with the health issues. I hate to hear that, myself the reason I am doing all this work is due to being disabled about 18 yrs ago, and trying to survive on a small ss disability check.. i had an undiagnosed illness spring up.. it lasted 7 yrs, vomiting several times a day. pain between the shoulder blades and my neck area.. long story short. at 109 lbs and with my skin feeling like crepe paper i was finally to see a surgeon that my cousin was dating. he ran all the usual tests and was about to dismiss me. i had been to dozens of other specialists thru the years only to get hiv and drug tests ran.. no one was listening to me. I was about to be dismissed by this latest surgeon when i told him that i felt the autopsy would tell the tale and i begged him to cut me open and look around.. to look again at my tests and if he found even the most remotest thing out of the ordinary. he spent 20 minutes looking thru paperwork and finally looked up and said that my gallbladder was hyper reactive that it dumped 98 to 100 percent of its bile no matter if i ate a piece of bread or if i ate a greasy burger. he sent me home to keep a food diary, so far all i could eat for 7 yrs was tilapia white fish, white rice, wheat cereal with rice milk and not a bite of anything else. or i threw up.. anyways i had the gallbladder removed it was infected with e coli , turns out my well water had an underground river somewhere flowing into it from all the farms around.. i had a 49 acre farm with a mortgage, and had a well drilled several years earlier.. removing the gb saved me, yet i had a surgery several years prior to prevent vomiting and reflux called a nissen fundoplication..it had made things worse, but at the time i would have let them cut off my right arm if i knew it would make me stop vomiting. .. instead it left me dry heaving on the bathroom floor several times a day for the next two years..you're not able to vomit after the surgery.. just a lil scraping away of the stomach from the liver and spleen moving the organ into the chest cavity and twisting it around the esophagus.. the side effects were greatly downplayed and i am now left with terrible IBS..  surviving on my SS disability has been difficult, i look very able bodied til you consider i have an uncontrollable illness.. that working on a schedule is impossible.  the move to the new lil house has been so i can rent out my current house, which is not paid for, but i can rent it out for nearly three times the mortgage..  my new lil house is paid for, and i have a teensy budget.. like 8 grand to buy materials, so far its come in pretty good under budget.. i will run out at some point and should have a teensy bit of credit card debt.. but hopefully we will get good renters and will be able to make some investment funds maybe find a lil flip house or get a couple of lil crack houses and become slum lords.. (sigh) i gotta quit saying crack houses.. my mama says to call them cottages.. but i look at the slums of kingsport tn.. where houses can be had for 15 grand and a solid 550.00 a month made with a few upgrades and paint..  I wish you the best, determination is what keeps us going.  the grandmother's house sounds exciting, having a project can really make a difference in our lives. I get frustrated not being able to leave the house for about 5 hours after i wake up.. i'm in my office (bathroom) up until noon. somedays i get so tired i think i can't do another thing but once i get up to the lil house i am right back to where i was when we first bought it. ready and raring to go.. it's been seven months but im almost to the point of demoing  the exterior walls and rewiring and insulating. with all the window openings in the house there won't be too much sheetrock to finish..  will have to post some photos of your house once you get going on it..   did i mention that  i have been trying to fool the building inspector just didnt want him to know we ripped out so much of the structure..  otherwise i would have had to get a building permit and brought the whole house up to code.. (sigh).. sooo what i did was to take some distilled white vinegar, boil it, then wash some steel wool rinse and cut it up in the boiling vinegar.  add a tiny bit of baking soda.. makes a mini volcano but once it settles down it makes a nice rust stain, after adding a bit of soot from the chimney, i was able to age and stain up every piece of new wood we added to the house, it looks exactly like the old wood that has been there.. looks like some work was maybe done in the 60's you cannot tell i did a thing.. and it has aged up like the rest of the 100 year old wood..  thus far everyone that has seen it thinks it will work they cannot tell i have replaced a single joist. even the nails rusted from the vinegar and the joist hangers kinda patined up.. i have managed to re use most of the wood i took up, the pieces that were not in bad condition.. some of this wood was so stiff you couldn't hardly saw thru it..  this old hard wood was amazing.. ok i will quit telling you my life story now.. will keep posting and look forward to seeing your posts as well and seeing how your doing. keep on keeping on my friend you will get thru these health problems eventually.. sometimes getting into these old houses is just the medicine we need.  
11 months ago
here is the rest of the photos dont know if you saw them in my other post..   got lots more done since the repour of the foundation... :-)   just when i think i am DONE and am too tired i go back up there and ITS ON. i get excited about this house once again ..   https://permies.com/t/90213/permaculture-projects/remodel-photos
11 months ago