New Construction Townhome

Fix All The Things

Inspection was last week. Man, 40 year old houses sure to have a lot of shit wrong with them. This is really the first time I’ve had to deal with most of this stuff. The places I lived in college were post-civil-war era shit holes slowly collapsing into the earth, but I was renting so I didn’t care.

Aside from the usual working/parenting thing, my spring will be spent coordinating or DIYing a whole bunch of household stuff. I can’t tell you how AMAZEBALLS it will be to have access to the place next door (my in-laws’) so I can retreat to the peace and quiet of somewhere that is not a construction zone.

In some ways it feels completely ridiculous to even start listing this stuff given that we haven’t closed yet. But I’d really like to get the major stuff done in time to enjoy the house this summer. So we’re getting quotes now in order to hit the ground running at closing. We close in 3 weeks and that feels forever away but is actually super fast given that we just put the offer in at the beginning of this month. Part of me is still thinking I’m jumping the gun, all “don’t count your chickens before they hatch,” but I don’t think “bracing for what could be thousands of dollars in repairs” is the same as chicken-counting.

Hello kitchen. I can't wait to destroy you.
Hello kitchen. I can’t wait to destroy you.

First, contractor stuff. I.e. stuff I am nowhere near insane enough to even think of trying to do myself

  • New heat pump. We could theoretically get the old one fixed maybe, but I can’t imagine any situation in which it’s worth it to fix a 15 year old heat pump. The energy savings alone make a new more efficient one worth the money.
  • Structural stuff. Yeah that seems rather important.
  • Exterior grading. The slope of the land is towards the house, which is kind of awful if it rains.
  • Engineered flood vents. These will help keep the underside of the house from rotting, which seems like a good thing.
  • Replacing an oversized circuit breaker. Easy but not something I want to DIY.
  • New countertops in the kitchen. Goodbye laminate.

Second, DIY stuff. Little things I can do myself. Or big things I can foolishly do myself.

  • New kitchen/laundry room floors. I want to do wood but vinyl plank is probably more practical.
  • New kitchen cabinets

Next, Stuff I’m on the fence about. Aka stuff I could do but don’t want to.

  • Painting. Painting sucks, y’all. It really really sucks.
  • Replacing the not-grounded outlets with GFIs. I can do this myself easily, but we might spring to actually have the outlets grounded.
  • Carpet cleaning. I mean I can rent a steam cleaner from the grocery store but I feel like a pro would do a better job?

Last, stuff that will have to be done in the not so distant future. This stuff isn’t on the agenda for omgrightnow, but it was all earmarked as “aging, budget for a replacement” by the inspector.

  • Roof replacement. Yeah, that’s gonna suck. Here’s hoping the current roof hangs on a few more years. But at this point we need to at least have someone come eyeball it once a year. I don’t want to find out the hard way when the roof fails.
  • Water heater replacement. Now accepting arguments for/against tankless water heaters.

We’ve got until Saturday to decide how to approach this with the seller. Obviously a lot of this stuff is “nice to have” and therefore not something we’d bring up with them. But the structural stuff, grading, and flood vents are definitely things that need to be done sooner rather than later. Fingers crossed the negotiations go OK and we can get a credit towards fixing it.

2 thoughts on “Fix All The Things”

    1. I don’t know if I can in good conscience ask my friends to help me with a task I despise. I’m no Tom Sawyer. That said, we’ll see how I feel about paying for a painter after I get the total costs for the kitchen nailed down.

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