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:

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.

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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Today’s Work

Working on the porch. Roofers moved on to the back of the house freeing up the exterior carpentry team to get the front entryway boards replaced.

I hope to start sanding and painting the porch deck in another week to week and a half. Then the porch will be complete. I think the roofers underestimated the scope of the job, and the time it would take. They are still here after three weeks. They hope to be done in another week to week and a half. After they finish with the shingles, They will fix the flat roof, and then go back and put all of the decorative flashing and edges around the entire house.

Drywall is almost done in the new bathroom addition. I hope to be able to paint the walls this week. Then, next week, the plumber will be able to come and set the fixtures and turn on our new water lines. Yay! I will have two bathrooms in the house now! Lol

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Armour: Another Building Gone

I was driving along Third Street today, as I often do, and I noticed that the Armour building is being demolished. The Armour building was placed on the Louisiana Trust’s Ten Most Endangered list (For some reason WordPress is acting funny and won’t let me link it.¬† Here is the link: https://perpetualrenovator.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/2-local-buildings-make-the-louisiana-trusts-10-most-endangered-list/). Along with the Hargis house (https://perpetualrenovator.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/rip-thompson-hargis-mansion/), this is yet another piece of history gone forever.

However, unlike the Hargis house, the Armour building had been dilapidated for many years and rain water was destroying the building from the inside out. Although I am quite sad that it could not have been preserved, I understand that the Olivet house shared a common wall and the deterioration of the Armour building started to affect their building. Taking the building down was probably the most cost-effective since no one was able to step forward and preserve it.

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I hope that, in the future, interested persons, area preservationists and historical groups, will step forward and help identify and save Alexandria’s historical buildings before they come to such a state that they cannot be preserved. I know that the Historical Association of Central Louisiana, of which I am a board member, did everything they could to advocate and save the Armour building. Unfortunately, not enough funds were available to help secure the roof of the building, and no one stepped forward to purchase it. Thus, one of the main problems of historic preservation: money.

On a positive note, work has commenced at my house. At the end of October, a new roof is going up. I picked out the shingles today. I am very excited! When all of the work is finished, I will post before and after pictures of our house. Feel free to drive-by and view our progress!