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We closed on our fixer upper house last friday and have started working on it. I keep seeing more and more work that needs done but have found some nice surprises along the way. We were scraping the layers upon layers of old wallpaper off and found a wormy chestnut wall. Took up some of the crappy parquet(sp?) floor and found hardwood underneath-painted, but I'm going to refinish it. Took up some more of the crap in another room today and found oak under it that's in great condition-unstained, varnished or just generally screwed up-I can't wait to see it refinished. That's the upside of things-I don't even want to start on some of the other things we've found so far. I'm just tickled pink to be getting my hardwood floors.
So, if any of you have good refinishing tips please pass them on.
 

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I know exactly how you're feeling. I also bought a 'fixer-upper' - and boy did it need fixing. :D It had been moved from it's original location. When they did that, the front porch, side porch, back room and chimney had all been removed. Well, it sat for almost two years - you can imagine how much rain got in (especially through the chimney hole in the middle of the house).

(But I bought the house *and* the move to new location for $7,000 - 1,450 sq. ft.)

Anyway, the entire house is 1" (actual 3/4") old southern pine. It dried out just fine and is perfectly sound. Even under the sheetrock ceiling (which looked absolutely disgusting and was falling down). It has the most beautiful grain to it.

One recommendation to anyone working on a fixer-upper. Keep an eye on the 'For Sale' ads in the newspaper. I bought 4,000 sq. ft. of 3" wide, 3/4" thick tongue-and-groove random-length pine boards for 36 cents/ft - home depot's price was ten times that. (No, I'm not using it all in the house :) )

Also, thrift stores can be a good source of stuff. I have a custom sink in my current house. It's extra-large, cast iron Kohler. Great sink. It has to be custom ordered and cost $800+. Needless to say, I wasn't going to buy one. Well, I found one in a thrift store. Looks brand new and cost $35.00 - I was thrilled.

I can give you some hint on refinishing but have to run right now. I'll try to get back within a day or two.
 

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Thats terrific Terri.

We have some great Builder's Surplus stores around my area of WV. Don't forget to check them out. The Bulletin Board newspaper is also a great read. You can put a 'wanted' ad in for free. They are online for placing ads for free (ybb.com)

If you decide to rent a big sander, make sure whoever runs it can control it. It is very tricky and easy to lose control of....I speak from experience. Make sure you have the baseboards up as they scar easily. :eek: If I had hardwood floors (ours were soft) I would consider the tedious long job of using a hand sander or other method. I think I could control it better and not leave the wavy lines. Or consider bartering for the work by o pro with great tools.
 

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BCR said:
Thats terrific Terri.

We have some great Builder's Surplus stores around my area of WV. Don't forget to check them out. The Bulletin Board newspaper is also a great read. You can put a 'wanted' ad in for free. They are online for placing ads for free (ybb.com)

.
What part of WV are you in?
I'm in Tyler county and doing some renovation/re-modeling on a 125 year old house and I would love to find some good surplus building material places.
Thanks
 

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Have you checked with your county tax dept or local assessor? In Michigan, you get terrific tax incentives for fixing up your home. Any repairs you make are not assessable for as long as you own the home. So, if you put $10,000 into a new kitchen, or replacing the chimney, etc, you could add $10,000 or more to the market value, but zero to the assessed value. There are also usually incentives for historic homes, if yours falls into that category.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
BCR-you must be fairly close to me(Preston Co.) I've checked with the Builder's Surplus and haven't found any great deals, except for interior doors(which is just 7 of the many things I need) There used to be another surplus store in Fairmont that had really great deals(they've moved or closed, don't know which and I can't remember their name)

Did you use a belt sander or a round sander? In my last fixer upper I refinished 3 rooms of hardwood floors using a round sander and I don't think they turned out half bad for someone that didn't really know what she was doing :) .

I told mom the other day that the next thing I need to buy is blinders because everytime I look I see more that needs to be done. The 2 outbuildings and the garage aren't in bad shape, they just need painted. The barn needs some work-one section has a really big sky light :haha: . The fences need fixed but all of that can wait till next year, we're just wanting to get the house fixed so that we can move in in a couple of months.

I haven't checked with the tax dept(never thought of it). I wish I had $10,000 for the new kitchen it needs but I'm settleing for the free cabinets my brothers friend is giving me(I like free!)
 

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Ok just a couple quick things on the top of my head. First, if you don't have time to refinnish the wood floors right away, try cleaning with Murphey's oil soap. If the finish is less than perfect, the Murphey's will strip the finish a little bit at a time. I think the bottle says something about not using it on unfinished floors, that might be why. I used this on my wood floors, until dh got fed up with the wood and covered them in carpet. Another thing, the Habitat for Humanity program has a thing going on where if something is donated that can't use, they sell it in order to buy something they can use. And I'm talking way below wholesale. You'll need to go to thier website to see if your state has a store. I will find the main link and make another post. Good luck on the house, I love old houses, I think I was born in the wrong time period. :haha:
 

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The stand-up sander I used had a round pad. I wasn't very good at it. I just didn't have the fine control I should have had to use it.
 
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