Saturday, May 26, 2012

Step 13 - Dig into the Foundation, Structural Work, and Roof

If I'm breaking down what I do and how I do it, the thirteenth step would address the trio of foundation, supporting structure, and the roof. (In no fixed order).  The foundation forms the base of any structure and it's construction is usually the first major component of a new building.  After this groundwork is in place, the structural framing usually goes up next, and then the roof is added up top.  However, there are exceptions to this.  For example, with many pole buildings, the framing is first, the roofing is second, and the concrete/foundation is after (and may even get placed following the installation of the siding, doors, windows and plumbing rough-in).  Think of extreme home renovating as another exception to the norm and remember that you don't necessarily have to tackle it in the order of: foundation first, framing second, and roof third.

The Fire House - Framing/roof came first.
For me the sequencing of these three has varied.  On The Fire House, I focused on the framing, then did the roof, and had no issues with the block or concrete work supporting the home.  The Hurricane House was the same; no foundation issues there either.

On The Cottage, the roof didn't leak and the shingles were in good shape.  So I started with the foundation work on this property before heading inside to move walls and redesign the interior.  On this project I didn't need to add a new roof until I was ready to sell a few years later.

The Bungalow was an example of a project that started with the roof.  When it rained, water came in everywhere.  There were buckets and large plastic containers under the leaks and for the first months of the project these had to be watched and dumped regularly.  On The Detached Garage at the Bungalow (which was a pole building), the slab and the original nine poles were fine, but everything else had to be redone.

The Duplex - The roof was the hot issue due to tenants
On The Duplex, the roof was the hot issue right away as well and was even more significant because I wanted and needed to keep the tenants dry.  (Leaks in the units would lead to unhappy tenants/vacant apartments and I needed that monthly rent to make this project work financially.)  

The Detached Garage at The Fire House was like two different projects that was taken on two distinct ways.  When I bought the property it was half storage and half carport.  The roof had no issues, so I closed in the open areas and then placed concrete after that to make it a two car garage.  However, after the oak tree next to it got struck by lightening and it burned down, I had to rebuild it from what was remaining, which was the concrete slab.

So, understand that every project is different, especially when the home has been condemned or forgotten.  There's no one way to bring it back to life, but you need to be ready to deal with the foundation, the structural framing, and the roof right away. 

The Duplex After - Same view as above
The Fire House After - Same view as above.

The Bungalow - Before.
The Bungalow - After
The Hurricane House - Before
The Hurr. House - After  (Slightly diff. angle)
The Det. Gar. at The Fire House was originally a carport.
The Det. Gar. at TFH after it burned down.
The Rebuilt DG at TFH that started w/ the slab that survived the fire.

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