Rehab 100 year old property

13 Replies

Hello everyone! I am looking into possibly getting a property that is over 100 years old but I have some big question before I do that. Taking a look at the building it seems like nearly all of the windows need to be replaced. Anyone have an idea of how much it would cost to replace about 20-25 windows? Also the building is all brick. Any ideas on how to patch it up or is it possible to replace it at all?

Old buildings have a lot of hidden issues - be sure you’re allocating enough of a ‘miscellaneous repairs’ fund.

Standard size vinyl replacement windows are around $200-300 for the window, then another $150-300 installation. Obviously larger windows are more expensive, as would any woodwork that needs to be done to handle rotten wood, etc.

Brick can usually be repointed, or certain bricks replaced. It is time consuming, but pretty easy for a mason to do.

It’s tough to say how much it would cost to replace windows without seeing pictures, but I can tell you that it will be very expensive and when doing it on a brick building it does add a lot more labor. With that being said, I have done remodels on 100+ year old homes and I can tell you that I avoid at all cost owning old homes simply because of the time and labor required to work on an older home. Plumbing, electrical, lath and plaster, foundations without mortar all cause headaches in my opinion.

Originally posted by @Matt Miller:

It’s tough to say how much it would cost to replace windows without seeing pictures, but I can tell you that it will be very expensive and when doing it on a brick building it does add a lot more labor. With that being said, I have done remodels on 100+ year old homes and I can tell you that I avoid at all cost owning old homes simply because of the time and labor required to work on an older home. Plumbing, electrical, lath and plaster, foundations without mortar all cause headaches in my opinion.

 Fair enough on a home, but commercial buildings can have a very different cost/reward tradeoff

Where is this building? 

Chicago south side.  Windows, $230 a piece (installed) - I got a guy.  They are good enough vinyl, not premium obviously.   You can pay up to $300 for entry level ones

You don't have to replace the old windows. They are built out of dense old growth, if you have storm windows. They will can be almost as good as vinyl.   I have 118 old windows on a rental and they do a pretty good job. 

I am looking for fairly priced tuckpointing guys, myself.. so it goes. 

@John Christodoulakis I grew up very close to Valparaiso in Wheeler, IN and my parents still live there so if there is anything I can help you with please let me know.

Let me first just say that older, historic properties are usually not worth it. You will usually spend more than building the property new from scratch.

Having said that, let me suggest you look into a couple possibilities.

1) Historic tax credits - you can often make a project that makes no sense financially work by applying for tax credits so you should look into that.

2) Why do the windows need replaced and can you do it over time? I'm a big fan of using what is there, cash-flowing it and using the cash-flow over time to improve the property.

I purchased a 165 year old brick home.  I received estimates from residential window manufactures ranging from $40 to $76k for 25 windows. I went with aluminum commercial for $20k installed.  My windows were 108 inches tall.

Originally posted by @John Christodoulakis :

@Frank Sanchez The building is in Laporte Indiana. Im not to familiar when it comes to windows so I'm not sure how things work or all the different types of windows.

My guy uses Lang windows, they  are definitely not Anderson quality.  You could also reglaze them. It's cheaper and more sustainable than sending trash to the landfill. 

If this is a rental and you are not paying for heat, don't worry too much about drafty windows. If this is a flip, however, that may be another story

Frank

@Jeff Kehl Thank you! I will let you know if there is anything I need help with. 

Typically I would love to stay far away from homes that are this old, but I had my real estate agent look into land that I might be able to build on and there isn't any available that the zoning allows for multi family units to be built on. I never knew historic tax credits was a thing at all so I will look into that for sure! The windows don't really need to be changed right away, but from taking a brief look it seems like they are falling apart slightly. I would want to change them more so to save on the heating and cooling costs. 

@Frank S. What is the difference between lang and anderson windows? Also what does reglazing them do? This will be a rental building and I am not sure who pays for the heat. But I think it could be an added bonus to let tenants know that the windows are brand new. 

Originally posted by @John Christodoulakis :

@Frank Sanchez What is the difference between lang and anderson windows? Also what does reglazing them do? This will be a rental building and I am not sure who pays for the heat. But I think it could be an added bonus to let tenants know that the windows are brand new. 

 There is no tenant payback on windows unless this is a higher end rentalor you're paying for heat and the windows are in bad shape. 

Check window prices online. 

Google window reglazing videos. 

Best wishes, 

Frank