Capital expenditures are a beach!

7 Replies

Everything below is for the same property, a duplex in Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia.

I start to have some stucco work done on the exterior. When the mason removes the old stucco he finds a wooden beams spanning the width of the property that is severely compromised with rot. Between exploratory demolition and a site visit from the structural engineer I've already spent $100 on this. I'll be spending another $800 for the engineers sketches. I'm expecting to spend anywhere between five and $8000 to get the beam replaced.

Tenant lets me know that one of the water heater is leaking in the basement. I arranged to have both water heaters replaced because they are both very old. No big deal. Cost is just under $1500 for the pair and labor.

Contractor gets to work on the water heaters today and breaks the Watermain when attempting to shut off the water. The pipe is an old lead piece over 100 years old and the break happens before the shut off valve. Thankfully the basement is unfinished and the large quantity of water that came in did not cause damage. But now my tenants will be without water until Tuesday until the plumbers dig up the sidewalk and replace the water supply line to the house. That will cost $4500.

Yeah but we are thankful for you keeping the economy going strong Max!!!

Posts like this are the reason I never fix anything in my houses, it's much cheaper this way  ......(hopefully obvious sarcasm)

Ouch! Sorry to hear that. The joys of being a landlord. Hopefully, you've saved up enough capex reserves. Crossing my fingers for ya that the rest of your repairs go smoothly!

a big thank you to my BP education. Before I got on the site I wasn't stashing cash for the stuff.

Thankfully I have been socking away a few hundred each month from this property and I will be able to cover everything listed above. But then I'm pretty much back to zero!

Insurance is kicking in 1500 for the water line repair.

Structural work is looking like 5-10k...

About that structural work....

The contractors are saying that the engineers plan won’t work. They want to do a whole new brick front (18’ x 2 stories) at a tune of 30-40k.

Before you say find another contractor- I’ve gone through 4 already in about a year on this job. These were the first to get as far as meeting me there and discussing the job and price. All the others went silent after seeing my drawings!

Project creep. This will happen on almost every project.

As for replacing the brick, since it is only cosmetic, and a rental, why not replace it with less expensive  vinyl siding. 

Ouch! @Max T. I am so sorry for what you are going through. I despise old masonry buildings but it sounds like you are dealing with something far beyond a "cosmetic" problem.

We had a lot of structural beams supported by the brick walls that we sistered and supported from beneath. Once the water penetrates the brick the dry rot begins. We also had a drooping secondary (interior brick wall) from a slow and steady roof leak that was never addressed. As you can see from the pictures, we wound up cleaning out the old joining cement and reinforced the entire walls.

A friggin' nightmare. Fortunately we have a good supply of eastern Europeans here- they are pro's. When you learn masonry in a country that only has masonry structures you can do it all.

As for siding, we toyed with that idea on the back, problem is that will cost you because of the cement anchor bolts- and if you are already facing problems with the brick it may very well not hold even if done right.


Last renovation done ... 3 months before the Titanic sank.

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