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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!!

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JD Seller

04-12-2014 20:08:29
208.126.196.144



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My wife is getting much better. She can drive herself now and goes to Rochester on Tuesdays and comes home on Friday morning. Should be home full time May first. She is down to using a cane to help her balance.

Now what we are thinking/talking about doing. The house we moved into last fall is the first house my first wife and I bought. It is a structurally sound house but needs updated. Mainly downstairs bath torn out and redone, add an utility/mud room,replacing the carpet/trim/paint through out the whole house, and adding on a garage.

Also making the down stairs a handicap assessable area. Even though there is an upstairs, we don't use it for ourselves. Mainly storage and guest bedrooms.

That is plan "A".

Plan "B" would be to build a single floor, two bedroom home. Keeping it under 1500 square feet. This would be totally handicap accessible.

Cost wise there is not that much of a difference. We would be able to have a totally new home ready to move into without living through a remodel. Plus when we are done we would rent the current house out. That makes it be a much harder financial decision.

There are plus and minuses to either plan. I have never lived in a new home. I actually like the older homes from the stand point that they are all a little different. A new one would be cheaper on utilities and maintenance.

So what have you done when you retired??? Remodeled or new???

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Sparktrician

04-13-2014 13:41:40
70.208.196.183



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
JD...I have not retired....and I am a long way from it....BUT.....I have watched this scenario with my Grandparents. They did NOTHING years ago when they should have......Mom wanted them to build a addition on that would have had a new bath, bedrooms, and living room that was handicap ready, wheelchair accessible, and so and so forth. Grandpa wouldn't come off the cash, and Grandma said it was wasteful to do that. (they had enough cash to build a mansion and not be hurting at all) Grandpa said "Ill be dead before its done being built" ......that was about 20 years ago. Grandma died last april.....after being bed fast for 4 years, and not very mobile for the 4 before that. Grandpa is still at the farmhouse....but its getting harder to take care of him there.......get something that is comfortable, and convenient for you guys. Make your "retirement years" (I doubt youll ever really do that) good as you can....just my thoughts

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ss55

04-13-2014 13:37:52
50.81.112.224



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
Home location is an important part of resale value and is is also an important part of handicap accessibility.

Accessibility also means can your wife's friends come to visit her. As we get into our 70's driving on rural gravel roads becomes more of a barrier rather than just a nuisance, especially in the winter, in the dark, or when the roads are muddy and slick. If your wife's friends can't or won't visit anymore, she could become isolated and can even be replaced within her circles of friends. We went through that when mom tried to stay on the farm too long. It was heartbreaking for her until she moved into town.

If your present home is more than five miles from town, more than a mile from any paved roads and down wind from one or more feed lots, it is likely already out of consideration for 98 percent of any potential buyers. Many lenders won't write a loan on it. I wouldn't expect to get much back from any large investments in remodeling unless the house can be easily moved to a better location.

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JMS/.MN

04-13-2014 10:39:06
209.237.125.241



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
Good to hear that the better half is improving.

I would build for a handicapped future. In "93 we added a single story addition to our century house. "97 we planned to remodel the old, found all the rot, etc., so tore that down and expanded the "93 portion. I designed the floor plan.....one story, central four foot hallway, all three foot doors, two steps above grade, easy to ramp, even inside the garage. I"ve already temporarily been on crutches and in a wheelchair in this house, and it"s easy to get around. We used to plan on a retirement house on some wooded acres on the other farm.....not gonna happen....county has more building restrictions and requirements, and for other reasons, we"ll just stay here.

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wilson ind

04-13-2014 09:20:30
162.235.98.33



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
double or modular they are not tin boxes anymore. Generely more efficient than stick built. Have it handicapped designed and way you want. Set in within a week after delivery. Less stress and mess.



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George Marsh

04-13-2014 11:44:01
50.104.98.191



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to wilson ind, 04-13-2014 09:20:30  
Bill, I'm an old stick build guy. Got my last 26x26 done in 90 days. Total cost under $21K including carpet, heating, electrical, doors, siding, plumbing fixtures, everything. I already had windows. I'll wager that no modular comes close to having the R values I have and cost per square. George



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2 Old 2 Care

04-13-2014 09:08:45
74.142.63.198



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
There is NOTHING like new. I spent 40+ years as a carpenter/contractor. I've done countless remodels, and just as many new builds. It takes a far more talented contractor to do a first rate remodel, so just playing the law of averages, you're more apt to get a good job with new.

And like Dolly Parton once said, "No matter how many coats of paint you put on an old barn, it's still an old barn".

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Edd in KY

04-13-2014 09:00:03
98.23.63.36



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
I've done both. Living there while remodeling is difficult. But "All new" means roads, utilities and landscaping too.

All new should mean almost trouble free for 10 years, plus better roof, insulation and windows.

Handicap access is easier to design in than to reconfigure in an old house.

By all means buy a plan. Exterior appearance is critical to the value of a house. It must have proper roof pitch, overhangs and window placement to ever look good, and style is added by little details. It does not cost much to make it look good. Most do-it-yourself designed houses.... look it.

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The tractor vet

04-13-2014 07:31:07
75.19.115.57



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
This remodeling thing plum sucks when your doing it and living in it at the same time . Now this is my feeling and mine alone , the next REMODEL will be five gallon of diesel and a MATCH.



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JD Seller

04-13-2014 14:45:19
208.126.196.144



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to The tractor vet, 04-13-2014 07:31:07  
Tractor Vet:

I had an Uncle that always said that the best remodeling tool was a D8 Cat. LOL



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Ultradog MN

04-13-2014 10:06:40
174.20.238.34



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to The tractor vet, 04-13-2014 07:31:07  
Well said.
I've done the buy, move in, remodel, resell about 8 times in the last 25 years.
After all that dust I tell people when I finally finish this one I'll have to put a little sheet rock dust in my salt and pepper shakers to make my food taste right.



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Dick2

04-13-2014 06:53:00
184.101.255.124



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
Our last 2 retirement houses have been 1300 sq.ft.; wife doesn't want anything larger to take care of.

We have laminate wood floors, which are much easier to care for than carpet. With your wife's health problems, you should make sure that the material used in a new house doesn't contain any chemicals that will outgas and cause problems for your wife or yourself.

A new, well insulated house is the best way to go, with all the handicap features that you may need. In you area, radiant floor heating is the best way to go.

Remodelling is essential "double labor", so unless you have free labor, it is not a good idea to my way of thinking.

Have you thought of moving the old house somewhere for another rental and then building a new house at the present location?

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tractor300

04-13-2014 06:46:16
74.36.161.246



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
Build the new one. Several years ago we remodeled an older 2 story home, mainly because it was the home base for the farm. All said and done we had a lot more money in it than if we had built a new one, not hundreds, but thousands. And I did all the work myself except the plumbing and heating. Will never redo an older one again, unless just minor work.



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8N'r--WI

04-13-2014 05:56:37
207.190.118.235



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
Build a new one....you can design it exactly for your current and future needs. You can include exactly what features you have always talked about having in a home. Find a builder who will be able to and be willing to build exactly what and how you want it built.

Being new construction, you shouldn"t have to contend with any major repairs, replacements, etc. so you will basically have a maintenance free home during your lifetime.

Tim

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Goose

04-13-2014 06:23:30
70.198.5.65



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to 8N'r--WI, 04-13-2014 05:56:37  
I'll go along with that.

When my wife and I built our present house 15 years ago, we considered remodeling a farm house I owned at the time. We'd always rented it out, we'd never lived in it ourselves.

The bottom line was, we could have put $100K into remodeling it and still would have had an 80 year old house with a good part of the floor plan from that era.

We went with new.



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Pops1532

04-13-2014 05:52:07
98.227.133.60



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
You and your wife should sit down and make a list of all the features you want and need in a house.
Don't look at it as I can live with this, or I can make do with this. Just think what will offer a better living situation now, 5,10,and 20 years in the future.

I suspect remodeling the existing house will be more difficult and expensive than building new to achieve your goals.

I know it's a difficult decision, but many farmers opt to move to town in their later years for a variety of reasons. If you're not ready to make that kind of move yet, you might want to consider building or remodeling as a transitional step towards eventually moving to (or at least close) to town.

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super99

04-13-2014 05:37:54
74.32.187.92



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
Can't help you with your decision, but I'll throw in my 2 cents worth. I love the looks of big old farm houses with full length front porches. When we decided to move here, no buildings, bare land. We went with a Design Home from Wisconsin, Prairie Du Shein I think. Looked at the display lot in Burlington, Ia. Wife wanted a small house (kids were grown up and gone). We walked into a 940 sq ft home, it was layed out exactly like she wanted it. It took several months before we were ready to buy, went down one more time to look and be sure. We walked into the house, and a sign on the wall said "This demo home for sale, $7000 off of list price setting on your foundation". I asked her if she was sure this is the one she wants, she looked it over again and said yes, so I went to the office and put a deposit on it. Bulldozer leveled the home site in Feb, we moved in May 31. That was in 2002. LP heat, the most I have used/year is 700 gallons of LP, used just over 500 gal one mild winter. I would have like just a little more room, but she is happy, and it's been one of my best buys. Good luck on your decision. Chris

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VADAVE

04-13-2014 05:29:39
68.100.98.27



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
First JD I echo Larry's statement--It's great that your wife is improved and getting better.
I've lived in and fixed up "used" houses all my life and after I started working in 1966 I owned them. In 1994 we decided to buy a farm with the thought that we would eventually retire there. I have not regreted that decision even when everything seemed to be breaking down at the same time it has been great stress relief from the government job. When we were deciding on where to put the buildings the site for the house was set aside and we started building in 2010. I finally retired this year at 70 and after working 47 years and we should finish the house.

This is what I have come realize.
1) no "used" house will have the basic structure you really want-- wanted a house that will stand "forever" so the basement has 10" think walls of 4000psi concrete. The main floor walls are 6" thick and fully insulated--bring down the heating/cooling costs. I wanted minium maintainence costs so the outside is brick and stone and the trim is metal--just powerwashing.
2) You cannot ever remodel a "used" house to get what you want. And you have to be very insitant to get what you want in a "new" house--all the contractors have been taught to build cheap.

So you snd your wife will do what you think best and it will be fine.
My advice:
1) Location is very important so don't settle, keep looking. Why do you have to buy a building site? There is no spot that you own which works?
2) Don't rush in. You'll live there till you die; get it right. That's the whole point.

I was going to include a phot of the house but have forgotten how to include it--sorry.

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George Marsh

04-13-2014 05:22:15
50.104.98.191



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
When I added on a 26x26 I put in all 36 inch doors. Planned out the bathroom with a shower that has a built in seat. Designed bath/utility room 8x14 so a wheelchair could get around easily. Also made a second laundry. Old laundry, which still works,is in the basement.

At the time my mother, who lived in Florida, was in a wheelchair. I would help my sister take care of her, so it was an eye opener how to design a room for a wheelchair.

Hope I never get to that point, but if you live long enough you will.

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Larry@stinescorner

04-13-2014 03:27:53
173.54.121.32



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
It is great to hear the wife is doing well! I say talk the house situation over with the wife,and do what she wants,,,,I think you know why,,,,,(lol)



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Daryl in PA

04-13-2014 13:28:25
174.60.14.226



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to Larry@stinescorner, 04-13-2014 03:27:53  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Larry........it sounds like the wife wears the pants in your home.



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JerryS

04-12-2014 23:09:31
98.80.111.32



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
I'd vote for new house if all the attendant issues of that can be resolved. Everybody should enjoy the cleanness and freshness and novelty of a new house at least once in their lives. You're basically building a new one by major renovations at the old house, and with a new house you can include all the plumbing, heating/air, electrical and insulation features you've wished you had in the old house.

I have a situation similar to yours; my daughter and I are swapping houses. She's moving into the new house I built 18 years ago, and I'm moving into a two bedroom up the hill that I bought her last year and totally remodeled--pretty much like new. It's just me now, and the little house will suit me fine. We're about the same age, so let's spend our last years in comfort.

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farmerwithmutt

04-12-2014 21:52:19
166.181.3.105



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
Going through the same thing been in the house for over 57 years like the old house but. when i had surgery last fall bells started to ring its an old house steps up and down garage on wrong side (to take grocerys in you go up 1 set of stairs through 3 door ways then across the house) and yes those heated floors are so nice. also looked at roof design maybe build with part in ground with the roof going one way and then gutters would be close to ground level. also having it face southeast for winter sunlight with nice porch.
What i would simply do is correct all the things that i dont like about the currant house .

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Ultradog MN

04-12-2014 21:01:34
174.20.238.34



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
I will assume you can afford a better home.
But when my Mother and step Dad downsized and moved into town they bought a new manufactured home and had it set on a city lot.
Now I'm not much of a fan of manufactured homes but the design of the place was perfect for them.
On one end you walk through the back door into a mud room with laundry, big closet, full bath off of it.
Then past the guest BR into the dining room. Beyond the kitchen DR and LR was a master suite with master BR and bath.
I think it was about 1400 square feet.
Very simple yet functional design and all on one level.
Maybe look at a couple of manufactured homes and get an idea of the layout then have something nicer built.

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dpendzic

04-12-2014 20:58:07
24.184.14.235



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  

I am still in the same home I built 45 years ago--have done some remodeling thru the years and also added a dormer and apartment upstairs which i rent out.



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Janicholson

04-12-2014 20:51:15
74.60.94.18



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
If you have the land, and can over see the rental, Do the new structure. Think of SIP panels (R-controlbrand or others) Jim



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JD Seller

04-12-2014 22:05:17
208.126.196.144



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to Janicholson, 04-12-2014 20:51:15  
Janicholson:

I really don't have a good spot to build on. Most of the places I would want to build on, would be too far from the electric and would have a long drive.

A building site is major part of the issue too. I don't want to live too far away from where I currently do. There are not any building sites close that are for sale at any price.

As for the renting the current house. We already have some rental property. So we are already handling renters.

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Janicholson

04-13-2014 06:56:36
74.60.94.18



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to JD Seller, 04-12-2014 22:05:17  
If no land options show up in the window of need, I would stay put and put the funds toward ADA improvements. They can add real value to the home and. if done with good design sense, will be attractive.
My parents are still on the green side of the grass in their 90s and have a 18 foot ramp to allow easy access to the main floor. We (kids) put a lock on the door of the basement to prevent access and use main floor rooms for stuff they need to get at.
They are tended to twice a day for several hours, and are operational.
Good luck, and may the return to home be easy and healing. Jim

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atlarge54

04-12-2014 20:30:01
69.35.195.245



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 Re: Thinking about how to update our living space/house!!! in reply to Dick2, 04-12-2014 20:08:29  
Not really an answer to your question but heated floors (pex) are really nice. I'd hate not to have it now that I'm spoiled.



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