Reply To: Restoring a house

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Check out the northeast end around Mount St.Mary college and Downing park, i.e. City Terrace North has a few vacant homes and recent buyers have been renovating. The area is mostly owner occupied and still within walking distance to the ‘scene’. There are a lot of vacant houses for sale that do not have a sign on the lawn. A historic district has restorations guidelines to be met, which can be costly, i.e. a slate roof versus a ‘like kind’ alternative. I live one street off the historic district although my house is dated 1934. I had to replace the slate roof just after moving in. I special ordered fiberglass shingles and had a local installer do the job. I chose to use copper flashing as well. This alternative paid for a new gas boiler. So, there’s a trade off. Cost? It cost x times more to add an electrical receptacle in an interior plaster or brick wall (my exterior walls are two layers of brick). An old bathroom floor may require removing several inches of mortar to run new pipes. Replacing a section of woodwork to match existing requires custom milling. I have an architectural design & construction background with access to equipment and knowledge so I’m not the typical diy. Point being, I saved $’s as I would not have been able to afford myself. That said, old house renovations require care of distinct aspects so you’ll be pressed to find an experienced mechanic, literally a dying breed. In my experience they don’t advertise either so ‘word of mouth’ is the way to go. Fwiw, don’t be shy about taking on the grunt work and asking for a cash discount. It may be out of vogue, but you want to develop a relationship with your renovator. It’ll be worth every penny…’quality remains long after the price is forgotten’. As professionals you can appreciate that and Newburgh needs to start raising the bar. Take care.