Monday, March 31, 2008

That Perfect Caloosahatchee Waterfront Lot

We had just finished upgrading our home in water way estates when we decided the economy was strong -real estate was increasing in value and we should be looking for a Caloosahatchee river water front lot to build a slightly larger home.
realistically at 76 yrs of age I should have been looking for a rocking chair. We went out with a couple of agents but everything was in town, with views of Condos and other homes, nothing that looked like Old Florida. Then we went up river and located a farming area on the north side. at the end of one road was a slightly overgrown house with sign river front, so we stopped and went around the vegetation and there it was a beautiful sea walled lot with deep water right up to the wall. across the river nothing but trees way down stream out of view of photo was a opening probably a house. Up river another house setting way back among tall trees and beyond that the Franklin lock-this means the water in front of our lot would be fresh so boat be much better than salt water. Here we would be on the Inter Coastal Water way, with open water from here to the Gulf and yet be able to go East to Miami. The canal on the right of property would be great for a smaller boat and there is already a set of Davits and cement pad, with water and lights. 18 beautiful adult palms around the lot--everything is perfect,
Well everything but the house. From the outside
it was one story built in 1975 the roof looked like it was flat and snow on it but it turned out to be Styrofoam about a foot thick. The windows were really small with one set of sliders on back ,
hardly any view of the river. We arranged to get inside and there was no doubt it had to come down. The ceilings were 7 and half foot, nothing about the layout could be rearranged due to construction so we made a offer--it was turned down we were disappointed but kept looking -in few days they called and actually gave us a price slightly less than our offer, mistake someplace, so we now owned the property. A architect was hard to find everyone was busy with a terrific building boom. Finally the demolition plans were submitted, we moved our motor home to the lot so we could have place to stay [and cool off] .
With the permits in hand we started.
the Appliances were 1975 vintage, some of the cub boards were fair but they were lost in a rain storm, the plumbing and electric sold for scrap. We did find the studs and trusses were made of first grade lumber, no bark and some of them 24 ft long with no knots far better than can be bought today. So my job was to tear everything out-sorting the salable metal and items that could be used. The roof was a big problem the Styrofoam had to be chopped off with adz a barbaric tool originally used to trim logs into timbers-under the everything was rotten and full of ants. We had mountains of trash that
had to be taken to the dump 20 miles away.
There was always good help available, Wife held
down full time position at the hospital, but the
grandchildren were their to lend a hand. There were days it looked like you made no progress, but once the roof was off things went along at better pace. Taking the trusses apart to salvage the near perfect 2x6 and 2x4 was a difficult job
in the hot sun, eventually we put up a awning to give us a place to work in the hot after noons.




The next blog will pick up and show the building of the home.
So for now things are stacked and everything is down except one wall the green area is a work shop that was left to store tools and removed after new building was built over it.