Done!? Are we really?!

I hate to even make an announcement that we are finally finished, after 8 plus years of work (and lots of breaks in between :-D), because as our luck would have it, something big would break…perhaps a geyser in the yard? Or, a random safe falling from the sky making an obscene hole in the roof (hey, I’ve watched the road runner, it happens!). I also realize (cue shaking the head and wiping tears) that you are never *really* done when it comes to old house upkeep. So, maybe I can say that we are done…for now. Will that suffice?

I’ve had a lot of requests for updated pictures and more in depth before/after. In preparation for our appraisal tomorrow, I have cleaned the house and fixed quite a few cosmetic bo-bo’s (I am sure you will find quite a few more I didn’t fix), so I thought it a perfect time to take some 360 videos. Are you game? I will do some before/after photo blogs when I get around to it later this summer.

I only videoed the master bedroom, hall, living areas and kitchen. I’m not brave enough to show the kids’ rooms and who wants to see bathrooms? Coming up tomorrow will be porch and exterior tours. I thought it was fun (and a whole lot easier than taking pictures!) and I can also use it for insurance purposes should that Acme safe ever fall out the sky.

If you are new and would like to see some before pictures, you can search for “realtor walk through”, click on the name of the particular room you want to view in the cloud tag, or click on “before and after”. That should get you some really old photos to look at and compare how far we have come. Here is a post I did right after we updated our major systems (roof, plumbing, paint, mostly exterior projects).

I ordered the videos so that if you watch them in the order I posted them, you will feel that you are walking with me, or at least can make sense of the floor plan. Here you are! Tell me what you think!

PS: Note to all the perfectionists: ignore those cosmetic blemishes.

Note to old house purists: yes, I know I don’t have velvet curtains and Victorian tchotchkes. “Museum style” has never really been my thing.

Note to people who want paint colors: I will publish all paint colors in a future blog post when I do the final before/after pairings.

Did I cover it all? Leave a comment if not ūüôā

Master Bedroom:

Small weird hall and the back of the Great Hall:

Front of the Great Hall, study, living room and dining room:

Kitchen:

Back Wall Painting Done

You may remember this post from March when I was quite indignant about getting a $20,000 bid to paint the back of our house. You will also remember that I decided to buy the tools necessary and paint myself. Since that time, we have been sanding, scraping, priming, caulking and painting on the weekends.

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Today, I totaled all of the receipts on materials and tools we spent.  We spent a grand total of: $1,792.12!!!  That is over a $18,000 savings for doing it ourself!

Here is our cost breakdown:

House Paint (Benjamin Moore, White Heron, bought at Joseph’s Paint) ¬† ¬†$323.06

Primer (Valspar Exterior primer, bought at Lowes) $213.30

Paint brushes and caulk $39.82

2 Wagner paint eater sanders and 8 discs $251.04

Graco paint spray gun and tips $300.00

Scaffolding rental $664.90

Now, we are done! This past weekend, we finished up¬†cleaning the paint overspray from the windows, caulking the windows so they won’t rattle (YAY), and painting the window trim. ¬†Thankfully, that was the last bit needed until we could really call this house DONE!

Of course, I have painting the shed, backyard landscaping and some other spiffy things up my sleeve. But, as far as the house…inside AND out, we are DONE!

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Louisiana State Residential Rehabilitation Tax Credits

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I can’t believe I have not posted about the Louisiana Residential Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit process on my blog! Wow. Ok, so here goes. ¬†This is information on the Residential Historic Rehabilitation Residential Tax Credit program for the State of Louisiana (and more specifically, Alexandria, LA). I have included links to the boundaries of the local historic districts in Alexandria, the PowerPoint presentation explaining the program; and a really unfortunate and corny video I did for speech class a couple years back. ¬†The poor video had to have certain pieces in order for me to get the grade. I had to have an audience, I had to start out with a song, so forgive the unnecessary elements of the video and fast forward to :25 so you can concentrate on the¬†presentation portion. If you have any questions, you can contact me, or the State office. The wonderful people who administer the Historic Rehabilitation program for the State of Louisiana are always on hand to answer questions, are patient and I truly enjoyed working with them. So, if you have any questions, you can also contact them.

KEEP IN MIND: This process is for the RESIDENTIAL program only. I do have knowledge of how the commercial credits are supposed to work. That is a different process and a different percentage. I have not had personal experience with that process and decline to comment on how it works.  I have had personal experience with the residential program and can vouch that it worked/will work, exactly how it is outlined.

Without further ado:

Powerpoint Presentation :Louisiana State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program

Louisiana State Office PDF Flyer: LA Tax Incentive breakdown pdf

Alexandria, Louisiana, Local Historic and Cultural Districts

For National Register districts or individual listings click here to search: National Register of Historic Places

Here is the official link to the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development Division of Historic Preservation where you start the process. All of the applications and information is listed on this page.

In depth answers regarding the Louisiana State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program.

And last but not least, my very unfortunate video.  If you would like to bypass the most annoying part, fast forward to :25.  If you want to follow along with what I am presenting, you will need to have the Powerpoint open or printed out and have either read or have handy the above PDF. I saved it for last, because if you have read the information above, it really is not necessary.  However, if you are visual and like to have the information presented to you, here you go: Youtube Video, explanation of program

If you live in Louisiana, but you do not live in a locally designated historic area, or a National Register historic district, or a building or home that is in a National Register historic district, but you feel your home is historic. What you would need to do in order to be eligible for the program is create a local historic district through your municipality. It can either be designated as such by your City Council, your Police Jury, or whatever municipal authority your home is under. I have never done this and do not know what is required. You do have to present the information to the municipality and then either you or them, or maybe a cooperative group, drafts the necessary paperwork for it to be adopted and made an ordinance and then filed with the assessor’s office and the State of Louisiana. ¬†If anyone has ever done this before, feel free to leave a comment. ¬†Another thing you could do is ascertain whether or not your house would be eligible for listing on the National Register. ¬†If it is, you can take the necessary steps to try to have it listed. Please visit the National Register site (link posted above) for more information on that process.

Refinished Oak Front Door

I wanted to work on floors today but quickly wearied of sanding the poly with a hand sander…lol

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I texted my husband and asked him to bring home a floor sander. I really didn’t want to rent one again so soon, but just can’t imagine hand sanding two rooms between coats of poly. Too hard on my back, neck and knees. I will rock on with the floors tomorrow. In the mean time, I wanted to sand something, so I decided to sand, stain and refinish the front door. Here Is how it went:

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I sanded using 80 grit then 120 grit until it was smooth and the old finish and flaking varnish was completely removed. I tested the stain, I liked it. Stained the doors and rubbed the Rustoleum brand Black Cherry stain into the wood grain. Waited a bit, wiped the excess stain off with a tack cloth. Took a small paint brush and put stain in the corners and small areas my rag did not reach. I wiped off any excess. According to the instructions, I let it dry an hour (actually a little bit more than that) and put a coat of polyurethane on top. Overall, I am happy with it. I hate that the screen doors close over it and you cannot see the wood, but I know it’s there!

Tomorrow: floors and kitchen work

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The Study Evolution

Just finished putting the last coat of poly on the floor. I’ll be able to move in next week. Yay! These are the pictures of the study evolution from the first being the realtor walk through picture and the last one is from today. I will take more pictures after I move in and get everything settled. But, I love before and after pictures and know you do too. Here you go!

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Study after paint.  I want new paint though!  What color?  What color?

This is the way it stayed until late last year

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This is how it looked for the past 5-6 years. The junk/scrapbook room.

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Bumped out Vivian’s bathroom, removed the fireplace. It didn’t work. All of the chimneys were removed at some point in the past.

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Recycled 100+ year old wood pieces to make a wood interest wall. Plan to put up shelving to house our book collection.

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Interest wall stained and polyurethaned

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Sanding the floors getting ready for stain and poly

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Started staining to see what the color would look like. Minwax Red Chestnut.

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The color came out pretty good, nice and even

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Time for poly!

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Looking pretty good!

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Tada!

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This picture shows the biggest difference in the floor. Can’t wait until it dries. I am trying hard not to go in there and touch it.

Now, on to refinish the floors in the rest of the house!¬† This was the “test” room.

Before and After Tax Rehab Projects

So, I have nothing cute or smart to say. After four months (August-December) worth of Louisiana Tax Credit Rehabilitation projects, here are the before and after pictures of what we accomplished.

Landscaping and other minor fix ups and remodeling were not eligible for credits, so we move on to work on those things this Spring/Summer.

I know I’ve mentioned this a few times, but what we did accomplish through the Louisiana tax credit program was: update HVAC units, plumbing, electrical, roof, exterior carpentry, porch, bathroom addition, some exterior paint, foundation repair and some termite remediation.

Without further ado…..

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We are done

It has been too rainy to take the “ta-da!” After pics….so here are a few older pics I neglected to post earlier. We finished most of the work before Christmas and did the finishing right before New Year’s Day! Whoo! Talk about busy!

Anyway, I am waiting for the rain to clear, then I will clean the trash out of the yard and post some good pictures! I am going to put them in before/after collages.

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