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Renovation Diary Virginia Park: More Demo, More Problems

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It’s time to start getting real

Way back in March, we visited the beginnings of a duplex renovation on Virginia Park. John Weted, the contractor, was hoping to be finished by June. But this project ended up facing many of the issues faced in renovations, and some are very uniquely Detroit.

You want to know what it’s really like to renovate a house in Detroit that’s been empty for 10 years? It’s time to stop being polite, and start getting real.

First, they had a funding issue with NACA and were only approved to for enough to finish the second floor. The city told them they had to replace all the plumbing, wiring, and HVAC. So every inch had to be replaced. That is where the work is being done now.

Next, they had a huge rodent problem, which they had to tear apart the walls to solve.

After that, they found carpenter ant nests and had to get an exterminator. The house has gone through four treatments and they should be good to go.

Sigh.

So where are they now?

Weted said they’re moving along on the second floor unit (each unit is about 1,500 square feet). The windows, roof, and gutters are all in and the bathroom is framed and ready. The demo obviously went far and above what they had planned, but what ever goes as planned in a renovation like this? They’ll be going back to NACA for more funding in the meantime.

Here’s a look at where the second floor stands now. We’ll check in again soon as they start finishing the first unit.