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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 10:02 am 

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Location: Northern Virginia
Its looking nice. You must feel relief and excitement every time something gets closer to being finished.


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 6:19 am 
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Tuesday

One thing I haven't spoken about is the finances behind the new construction. I'm incredibly happy with the mortgage product (6.74% Fixed Rate HEL) and recommend Cardinal Bank to anyone in the DC area who needs a good HEL. Just be aware that they are a young, growing, bank, so they do have growing pains, as they're kind a small bank in big bank pants now. But at least, when problems do arise, you're working with your branch manager and not a peon, mainly, because they only have 1 branch manager and 1 peon at each location.

In preparation for actually assuming responsibility for a loan, I've been monitoring my spending. I'm doing much better and clearing about 1K a month after all expenses, and that includes about 100 dollars above the HEL monthly payment for (prepay). So that's good, it fits within my budget as it currently stands. I've got about 31K in liquid assets, with at maximum 7K ear-marked for our wedding/honeymoon. I'm hoping to keep the 24K cushion throughout the next few months. It will be tough because I will be handling the new mortgage payment *AND* my rent until August or September. Thankfully, my rent for the rental house I live in with 2 roommates is only 600 a month. Living frugally, I should be able stay cashflow even.

One of the major headaches is transferring my assets from BOA to Cardinal. BOA is not happy with me leaving. I'm happy to be leaving, if anything to stop the 5 million loan/cc offers I get from BOA every week. Seriously. I've basically had to walk into BOA and say "Clear out my checking, close it, hand me a check for the balance" I still have to do that for my ROTH IRA (its a vanguard fund through BOA and my CDs, but thgey mature in September and i will just cash them in and transfer them into my cardinal savings account (5% APR)

So this week, I have to move my online bill pay over to cardinal. Fun times. I did cut up my MBNA credit card though, so I am now down to 1 credit card. Yay.

Stuff is happening to the house, like brick removal, wall being torn down, pictures coming

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 8:39 am 
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Monday

My friend Matty from Graduate School got married in Charlotte this weekend. We had a great time, a relaxing vacation, and got a few ideas for our own wedding.

We finally tapped the loan to pay for the carpenter's fees. I think, due to changes in our construction plans, we saved about 4-5K because we kept the existing stairwells in place. :shock:

Came back to find that the 1st and 2nd floor of the addition have been framed. We walked through our new kitchen space and new bedroom space. What I think happens now is that the 2nd floor gets capped and roofed (somewhat), and then the internal walls of the house come down and change based on our plans. *Mostly this involves walls coming down, we did everything we could to leave rooms the way they were. This leaves the 1st floor untouched aside from tearing down the divider wall between the dining and living room. The upstairs changes a bit more because we are moving the bathroom, but the pipework gets much easier from the new space. =) We will be laying the pipework pretty much ourselves, along with radiant floor heating when the ceilings are opened up.

Pictures are uploaded to the link above in time

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 8:25 am 
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We now have a roof on the addition. The inside of the house was gutted and the new wall frames have been put up. The upstairs bathroom is smaller than we thought it would be, but oh well, itll work!.

Now that the wall and ceilings are open, the A/C guys come in.

Then electrical, I think

fun times

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 3:15 pm 
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I can't believe how much work you're doing. That's awesome. Kris and I have begun to budget for various repairs, and it makes me depressed. That's a lot of money we need to spend. We have a guy coming out today to look at our sewer line. It could cost $150 to fix, or it could cost $5,000. Who knows?

Then we need to repair the electrical system upstairs, and then put on better gutters, and then remodel the kitchen. All this work makes me long for our old house where all we had to worry about was the goddamn ants! :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 8:29 pm 
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Maybe I missed this, but how big is your place, and how much are you adding? Square footage as well as bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.

Cheers, nickel

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 6:34 am 
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jdroth wrote:
I can't believe how much work you're doing. That's awesome. Kris and I have begun to budget for various repairs, and it makes me depressed. That's a lot of money we need to spend. We have a guy coming out today to look at our sewer line. It could cost $150 to fix, or it could cost $5,000. Who knows?

Then we need to repair the electrical system upstairs, and then put on better gutters, and then remodel the kitchen. All this work makes me long for our old house where all we had to worry about was the goddamn ants! :roll:


No kidding. So far we've managed to avoid any cost-overruns, and in fact because we redesigned the plans to keep the existing stairwell, that saved us thousands.

Were looking into the rain barrells to save on our taxing on the sewer line here, because its old and can flood despite best efforts.

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 6:47 am 
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nickel wrote:
Maybe I missed this, but how big is your place, and how much are you adding? Square footage as well as bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.

Cheers, nickel


Ahh no I don't think I put it on here. I can dig up the renovation plans and I will do that tonight and post em, but here's the basics.

The house is 1/2 of a duplex situated in a young family neighborhood called Del Ray (in northern Alexandria). It's a place where the politicos live, so its nice, but wasn't a few years ago. Alot of gentrification but now its stabilized and has a quirky vibe. Omarosa of The Apprentice fame shops in our boutiques off of Mount Vernon Ave. Fun, weird place.

Anyways, the actual SQ is about 900, and this doesn't include the basement because basement sqft doesn't count in Alexandria, and stairwells don't count either.

About 300 sqft per floor

The original setup was
BASEMENT : FINISHED, with sitting area and Laundry/Dryer. All one room. Basically Utility
1st FLOOR : Living Room, Separated Dining Room (somewhat), very tiny galley kitchen
2nd FLOOR : Master Bedroom, 2nd Bedroom, Full Bath.

The new setup is basically a 12 foot addition out the back of the house flush with the property line and the prexisting outer wall. Internal work will be done to change the interior, and we'll be refurbishing the insulation, installing better wiring/plumbing/radiant floor heating. The AC unit will move from the basement to the attic. Heck, we'll be able to access the attic now!

So here's the new setup
BASEMENT: FINISHED with W/D Utility Room, Combined Dining Room / Kitchen, Full Bath, Bedroom/Den.
---We will be renting this out to a friend for a few years for a very reasonable sum and that will be applied to the principle every month
1st FLOOR: Combined Living Room and Dining Room. bar space in what was the old kitchen, the new addition space is the new kitchen
2nd FLOOR: Old master becomes 2nd bedroom. Bathroom gets moved to a better location, and a little bigger. New addition space is the new master bedroom. Old 2nd bedroom becomes walk in closet. Balcony w/spiral staircase off the 2nd floor new master
ROOF : Rooftop green deck ( think lots of plants, vines, solar panels, etc)

I think we go from 900 sq ft to 1600?

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 7:14 am 
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Wow, that's a serious renovation. Nearly doubling the size. From the pics it looks like you're coming off the back as well as adding a bit out the side near the back corner. How much yard will you be left with? And how are the neighbors taking it? Yes, it's on your property, but I could imagine people getting fed up with that sort of work going on right on the other side of the wall (not to mention pinning them in a bit in their backyard by extending your home back along the property line).

Anyway, sounds like it'll be great when it's done.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:45 am 
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The side near the back is the new basement stairwell.

The neighbors are normally renters next door. The owners of the property live elsewhere so they didnt care as long as we make things nice afterwards.

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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 6:26 pm 
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Oh boy what a Memorial Day Weekend

Stuff we did:

Cr*ppy paneling in the two stairwells, old master bedroom and basement are gone and in the dumpster. We took em down ourselves

The hardwood floor upstairs that was in the new bathroom space there we took up and managed to salvage about 90% of it, so we can use it elsewhere. Same for the old dining room. That's basically enough hardwood for the new master bedroom.

Our contractors built the attic platform for the new A/C unit. A/C and plumbing start tomorrow and finish sometime this wee, then electrical, then basically its all on us to do stuff

Oh, and our head contractor, or agent of the owner, our brother in law...yeah, plans may be delayed a day or two. His wife just gave birth to a baby girl. So, I guess we can let him slack a day to spend with our new niece

pictures comiing, as always

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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 9:16 am 

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Congratulations, on the progress and the niece!

Would you mind including a link to the pics in your next update? It's easy to lose them in the thread.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 3:33 pm 
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I dont know why Julie ain't putting up pictures, but we did a run through this weekend, so something sometime soon.

This week the paid help put in the air conditioning unit in the attic and ran the duct work throughout the house. Air will now come out from the ceiling rather than on the sides. The plumbers installed all the new plumbing lines. The carpenters framed up the new basement bedroom and closet.

This sets the stage for the electrician to come in this week, along with the window installer. After that, its drywall and pretty much everything else is up work we do. The crunch is about to start.

This weekend we threw out all the old doors, packed the garbage dumpster better (we do this every week to save space...so for our anal retentiveness has saved us 3 dumpster pools, about 2K in costs). We also prepared the walls and ceiling for dry wall, so the paid help will just have to throw it up rather than do prep work. That saves days...

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:41 am 
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This Saturday,

We now have both tubs installed. The old tub was installed in the basement apartment, and our new whirpool jet tub upstairs. WoohoO! We're not big bathroom people, but its nice to have the tubs in. The remainder of the AC was installed, and the sideboards have been installed for the new roof, which means that the roof deck will be constructed next week

So this week, we have the roof being constructed, the windows being installed, and the electrician coming in.

Saturday morning Julie n I cleaned up the property line, and moved the unused gravel to the parking spaces. Julie cleaned up the whole inside (clean workspace is good, and we dont have to pay for the cleaning). Threw a bunch of stuff into the dumpster. Then we used dirt from the side yard that we plan on graveling (the garbage truck just cant seem to NOT run up on that part of the property. and used that to fill in along the side of the house. Thats about 100 bucks of fill dirt we wont have to buy

Every little bit counts!

Tonight we go to pick out the basement and back doors, and shower parts. Tomorrow we start putting up the posts for the new fence

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 12:30 pm 
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Are you changing names to protect the not-so-innocent or did I somehow miss a big change?


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