Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happy New Year! Renovation Update

It's a New Year! 2012 was a challenging year. I am happy to welcome in 2013. This is the second long hiatus from this project, this time brought on by the birth of my third daughter: Maisara. I can't say that I'm back in full swing, but I'm swinging. So here's the update:

In October of 2012  I was able to put some money aside to fix the roof. Without the roof, I couldn't go forward on anything else and I knew it would be the most expensive part of the renovation. I was very anxious about finding the right person to do the job who was also within my budget. I spent about $1500 in labor and another $2500 in materials to redo the roof. I had originally anticipated taking off the gavaloom, maybe even reusing some, and putting the ceiling back on. It seems that the roof came off previously in a storm and they only put back the galvaloom without the interior ceiling. 
18B: July 2011 after cleaning out most of the trash.
18B East Street: October 2011. Roof coming off.
As it turns out when the workers started taking off the metal sheets, large chunks of the rafters were coming out with it (ie, I now had to replace the entire roof!) So I scrapped the original idea about reusing any metal sheets and just did the whole entire roof. Actually we did preserve the interior of the wooden section of the house.

Well the old adage in construction is very true: you get what you pay for! There are issues that need to be fixed and other issues that cannot be fixed. One thing though, the roof does not leak, but because of the pitch, even with holes it wasn't leaking before anyway, and probably never will. Will it stay on if we get another Hurricane Hugo? Not sure.
18B East Street: Ceiling on, beams changed.
18BEast Street: Ceiling and Roof on. Walls first coat of paint.
According to one contractor (contractors always criticize other contractor's jobs) some areas are not tied down properly and the metal sheets were cut too short along the width of the building. When I spoke to the guys who did the job for me about these issues, their response was: "We put it back just how it was, that was the job". Unlucky for me I had already paid them. Lucky for me we are not in hurricane season and I can save some money later in the year to address some of the roof issues.  So the roof is done (for the most part) and the ceiling painted (which I did myself thank you). 
18B East Street: January 2013. Ceiling and walls painted. Second coat on walls needed.
Next is to finish paint the walls and deal with the floors. Because this is going to be my studio, I am going to simply stain the concrete floors in a dark color and seal them. After the floors will be the shutters and plumbing. The next major expense will be to address the wooden section of the building, which needs the supporting beams changed, the floor changed and addressing termites. There is sooo much to do and I feel pressure to finish soon because the documentary is tied to the renovation and the funding I received has a deadline. Curiously, I was able to get some funding to tell this story, but nothing to renovate the building. So here we are. I do what I can do on the renovation as finances allow.


  1. Nice progress! Your house is already looking fabulous! My parents bought a 60-year-old house and we are about to remodel it. I hope we could make it look as nice as your place. I love the color of your roof; it makes your place brighter. Keep your blog updated. I would love to see the final result of your house remodeling!

    Alejandra Hutchcraft

  2. Thanks Alejandra:
    I'm looking forward to seeing the final result too! We haven't done much more than what you see in this final picture. Waiting to get some more funds and get plumbing and electricity to the building. Where is your parents' house?

  3. It's always a good decision to give your house updates once in a while especially your roof. It serves as the first line of defense against several weather conditions. This is also a good reason why you have to invest on a quality one. Also, for quality work, you have to hire only experienced professionals to do your roofing system. I hope that your contractors were reliable enough.