Sunday, April 08, 2007

It is not just us!

I read this Craigslist post this morning.

renovating house and apartment - appliances, etc. wanted

Reply to:
Date: 2007-04-08, 12:27AM EDT

Hi Folks!

We are having great success in assembling needed items. thanks so much. here is our Craig's List Registry
Still Needed:

now only one ..found one. ...thanks .... over/under washer-driers (gas or electric) 28" wide or smaller would be perfect. Too much to ask?

Apartment sized dishwasher
stainless steel dishwasher - standard or smaller
Marble counter top material....You got to be kidding! Craig's list is amazing.

standard sized bathroom stool (2)
Small Corner bathroom sink (2)
Bathroom Bidet (1)
Think we have the following ****** locked away....
***drop in cook top - gas or electric - standard size
****Wall oven unit - with Micro and Warming drawer would be great!
Anything else you might think we would need.

We have pickup truck. furniture to outfit English Basement apartment

Photos would be great! Thanks so very much.

Maybe we can have a party with all who have a part in this when we are done. Would be fun, no? A Craig's List Party!!! maybe the new rage! Looking forward to hearing from you.


PS: My wife, Helene, and I are in town from Oregon (SE from Portland in country) helping daughter get her NW home renovation along. I graduated from Catholic in 1961 - Imagine? Yes, there are people that old and still alive. {

Doors and Granite, 7/06

Once we figured out that Craigslist was a great source for rebuilding materials, I started looking frequently (maybe that is an understatement).

Doors and granite showed up in July. Maybe it was even reposted. $500 for all of it.

Nine doors total. Five at 7' by 3' and four at 7' by 2'. From a hotel in South Carolina. Two hour fire-rated MDF.

And several pieces of granite, approximately 50" by 30" that came off the side of a bank building.

We were somewhat disappointed that they were not solid wood; however, they met our price criteria for usage and were pretty cool looking with the three large panels.

Note: I should probably define the price criteria for usage as it has been a determining factor for either going after or passing on various items. Because we are not in New Orleans, costs such as transportation and time delay have to be considered in addition to the amount that we pay for an item. And, while difficult to factor when discussing price, cool is important, too. Sometimes it can trump the decision made solely on the basic pricing criteria. Another difficult to determine value that we try to factor is the value to us of recycling vs buying new. In the case of doors, the comparitor used was the basic framed, hollow core, six panel MDF carried by [insert big box home store name here]. The house had these doors when C purchased it and they were pulled out when the house was gutted. While functional, I hate these doors. They have no soul. Kinda tin man. But (as C will tell you) I am ridiculous about these things. The price post-katrina for the big box store doors, framed, was ~$100/ea, depending on size. We felt that we would optimize our value by obtaining unframed, used doors for ~$50/ea. P felt that it would take less than an hour of his time (~$30) to frame a door. At that price, we would end up with a higher quality product than the comparitor for less than or about the same price (once transportation was taken into account).

When we asked the seller (another example where we do not have the email anymore) for what price he would sell just the doors without the granite, he said $400. He really just wanted to get rid of the granite.

There were seven pieces of granite. We did not really know what we would do with th
em, but it seemed like a good deal to get granite for countertops (later we found out how much it would cost to cut it!). So we borrowed a trailer and drove into Atlanta to pick up the goods.This stuff was heavy. Luckily, the guy we were buying from helped. And he was pretty strong. Apparently, he had been collecting this stuff and his roommate just wanted it gone. Good for us!

If I remember correctly, these doors helped us form the basic design for the back apartment (more modern, sleek, and white).

The granite is still in the yard in GA. Now that we are using slate for the counters in the front apartment, we will use some of this granite to build a table outside (I hope!).

At $400 for nine doors (~$45/ea) and $100 for seven big pieces of granite, we were pretty satisfied with the acquisition.

Monday, January 22, 2007

tumbled marble, stained glass windows, 7/06

Unfortunately, we think that Jacqueline lost the e-mail address for these folks. So we'll call her M and him T. Sorry, we kept the e-mails. But Jacqueline didn't keep the job that had the e-mail.

There was a post on craigslist, "36 square feet of tumbled Marble - $35". Jacqueline suggested that the marble would be a good counter surface for the front apartment or a bathroom.

It was funny before we even got there because Jacqueline called to confirm that we would be arriving soon. T thought she was someone else, and was odd to her on the phone . She can fill in more of the details about that conversation.

So, we drove into Atlanta. We arrived at the house, and inspected the marble in the garage.
M suggested that we also looked at the marble trim that she had, which went with the marble, and she wasn't planning on using.

During this time we told the story about the house on Mc Kenna Street. Coincidentally, M and T had lived in New Orleans, so we played the name game about places and neighborhoods. We talked more about the house in New Orleans, and then M showed me some stained glass windows that she made for her brother's house, to his specifications. The specs were slightly off, so she ended up re-making new windows for him. I had to think about it. We complimented them on their great new kitchen -- and the French doors into the dining room.

M told us the story of the french doors. She got them from a contractor friend who was working on a multi-million dollar project. There was a big wall of windows and doors. One of the windows or doors had a scratch on them. Apparently the person who was spending multi-million dollars didn't like that, and refused the lot of them.

So, M also had some windows that she wanted to get rid of. She asked us if we wanted them. We weren't sure and said we would check the sizes with J's mom to see if she could use them.

I bought the three stained glass windows for $300. They matched the planned color scheme of the exterior of the house, and were really unique and a great deal. T brought them to Athens the next day, because he worked as a contract Engineer for a nearby power plant. He also brought the vinyl windows.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Brief tour of pre-katrina McKenna Street

Before the storm, McKenna Street was a typical shotgun double. Katrina flooded about 2.5 ft into the house, from what I can gather, that water stayed around for a week to two weeks.

Here is a link to a photo gallery on my site which has some before and after photos.

This page has many photos of what the house looked like when we got back after 3.5 weeks.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The List (so far) of Craigslist purchases for McKenna St New Orleans Renovation

1) tumbled marble, stained glass windows, 7/06
2) white doors, granite, 7/06
3) kitchen and washer/dryer (atlanta), 8/19/06, Chris J.
4) mission-style oak exterior doors, 8/30/06, Jessica and Toby M.
5) 1930's doors (knobs, hinges), 8/30/06, Michael B.
6) stackable washer and dryer, 9/14/06, Camille C.
7) sidelights, 9/15/06, Professional Painting (Bryan)
8) black kitchen appliances, 9/23/06, Jeff L.
9) shower base, 9/13/06, Giselle G.
10) bath vanity and medicine cabinet, 10/2/06, Tony O.
11) pedestal sink 1, 9/30/06, Pete G.
12) outdoor fan, 10/14/06, Clara L.
13) french doors for back apartment, 9/23/06, Miranda G.
14) pedestal sink 2 and door, 12/3/06, Tamera
15) Kallista toilet, 12/20/06, Jonah D.
16) 2 Kohler Sterling toilets, 1/17/07, Clayton W.'s neighbor
17) LG combination W/D, 3/2009

Thursday, January 04, 2007

McKenna Street Project

I considered how to repair the damage to my house caused by hurricane katrina. I navigated through the maze of insurance reports, papers to file, city building permits, ICC claims, flood elevations, greenspace, and consideration for future safety of the house.

One thing was clear, insurance provides replacement cost of like items. This meant that insurance companies consider the fact that your objects were not new, and will provide you funds to replace the object with another not new item. Is this fair? It doesn't really matter.

Another thing was apparent from the very beginning. This event generated a lot of waste. A tremendous pile of drywall and furniture dominated the side of the road once people started their home gutting in earnest. It was like a snowbank on a Buffalo, NY street. You couldn't see the houses behind it. From the city of New Orleans website, there was an estimate 25 million cubic yards of trash generated: LDEQ estimates a total of 25 million cubic yards of storm related debris (equates to football field one mile high)[from ]

These factors, a sense of the inferior quality and disposable nature of many products sold by big box construction stores, thrift, and hating senseless waste contributed to a decision that was made. Wherever possible, recycled materials would be used in the renovation.

Enter Craigslist...