Still Working on this House

Documenting the side hustle that’s been keeping us out of trouble

This is our first attempt at buying and remodeling a home for the purpose of reselling it for a profit. I’m beginning to wonder about the profit part. But, we will finish it! Come zombies or high water, it will get done!

Since this is my life situation right now, remodeling an ugly home with my three oldest boys and a few other random people, I’m going to share the struggles and successes. So far, not too many successes, save that the place hasn’t burned down!

Three weeks ago, we failed our framing inspection. That’s a long, painful story that I won’t bore you with. The good news is that we found a new contractor and picked up the pieces. Picking up the pieces meant replacing all the windows with 5’0 code egress openings. That’s builder talk for windows that are big enough for an average person to exit the home in case of fire. I actually really like the light and openness they offer to the home.

Also, we had to modify a last minute rotten beam discovery. On Saturday, we took a screw driver and pushed it into the beam and it kept going. That’s a very bad sign! With the inspector coming again on Tuesday, and being dead broke, we had to get creative. Riley filled the gaping hole with wood then packed the inside with bondo! After drying a bit, the beam was primed and sanded and looked absolutely beautiful. It was solid from the inside out and definitely more durable than it had been in 25 years. Lord willing, the inspector would knock on that beam and hear the thud of a sturdy piece of lumber.

Finally, just to be safe, we double reinforced the new deck out the front door and left the boards off just in case the inspector wanted to give it a good look over. We also took all the nails out of the studs so he wouldn’t rip his shirt as he made his rounds through the home.

The inspector arrived today at 1 pm. He walked up and shook hands with our energetic contractor. Then, he walked right over the top of the deck without looking down. He strolled around, liked the windows, sniffed at the ceiling, completely ignored our carefully prepared beam and signed on the dotted line. We passed inspection!!

When life brings simple victories, it is good to wallow in them. The celebration was short-lived. Tomorrow we start on the installation. Stay tuned for the next saga in ths crazy project.

6 thoughts on “Still Working on this House

  1. Great update! And also a great warning to anyone who might have been going to buy this home! (Caution: beams which appear “solid” beams may not safe for people over 180 lbs)! )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah! Good point. Thankfully this beam floats somewhat! And it is quite sturdy now. Packing decayed wood with bondo is common practice here. The fact that you’ve amended the wood is obvious and no one r hides it. Inspectors check the integrity of the support and structures around to make sure it is viable. They will tell you if there is any suspicion of instability! If you were to see the insane headers we’ve used to over kill the weight displacement (and to make sure we passed inspection) your mouth would hang open. This house could Survive a major blow and probably an earthquake! Great learning experience at any rate.


  2. Wow! How ambitious and exciting. I am so glad you passed inspection. I love that you are doing this project with your sons. Looking forward to more of the story!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All that hard work, only to be rewarded with an anticlimactic visit from the inspector! I am in awe of people like you who take on a renovating job like this, from the bones out. Looking forward to the next installation.


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