Finally going to have a place to "do it all" on


Active Member
I've got my orders to move again.

I'll be moving to Fayetteville, NC in August 2010 (getting assigned to HQ, XVIII Airborne Corps). We've known since the first of the year, and have been looking for a home there since I should be close to retirement eligibility by the time I'm due to PCS from there. Fayetteville, for the most part is home. My Father is there, my Sister and her family is there, My Wife has an Aunt and Uncle in town, my in-laws (who I love) are 2 hours away as is my Sister-in-Law. Oh, and my Aunt and Uncle who I am also close with will be next door.

2 years ago my Dad and Uncle, who have been buying, renting and/or flipping homes for 20+ years bought a 1900 Plantation on 1.42 acres of land in the middle of a rather densely populated part of the city at an auction. This part of town is a mix a older homes with 1/3-1/2 acre lots and newer high-end home with zero property line (yuck, like I've lived in for the past 5 years). So getting this home, which is almost 3700 SF and on over 1 acre of land in the area it is is awesome. Anyway, given all the features it's an amazing place that needs a lot of work. My Dad and Uncle have been trying to sell it for about 18 months after doing a "liveabillty" restoreation, but, because of the market, could not get anywhere near its apraised value. So, knowing the home and its potential, they've agreed to sell it to me at cost (original sale price + the cost of their renovations).

So, over the next 5 or so years, I'm going to be slowly renovating and modernizing this home. After getting there in August, I'll only have a few months to get some initial "gotta haves" done, becuase I'll be deploying again in January. This will be a big delay, but will also be a great soure of financing for the project, becuase they pay us well while we're deployed and all my (not the family's) personal expenses (food, gas, clothes, etc.) for the year will be eliminated becuase they will all be provided by Uncle Sam.

Those of you who have known me over the years via this and the other boards, know that I've always been frustrated with having to move so often and not being able to make my home what I really want. Now's my chance.

Here are a few of the "gotta haves" I'll be working on when I first get there. I've also posted some pics of the place as well.

  • Security

    • Wire the whole house for a monitored service (I have Brinks/Broadview on my current home and have been happy with them). I like automation, but I also like trusting a good security company, so while I may have some occupancy sensors just for automation purposes, I like to leave the overall security and fire stuff in the hand of the pros. I'm going to have to talk to them about the challenge of retrofitting this older home, especially since it has so many windows and doors on all 3 levels. It may be a combination of me running some wire/sensors and them doing some. A lot will depend on how easy it is to access the walls without being to destructive. Fortuenately there's a full attic (3rd floor) and there's a root cellar/boiler room and some other crawlspace under the 1st floor. This should facilitate minimally invasive installation of low voltage wiring. Essentialy, a pro install by broadview unless they say there's stuff that they can't do, in which case I'll have to do it myself or hire a specialist.
    • Wrought Iron (or aluminum that looks like it) fencing and elctronic gate. The house has a long driveway. The propery is currently enclosed by chain link fence on 3 sides that are not visible from the road or house (without trying anyway) due to vegetation/landscaping. There is, however, no fence along the road. I want to put up a nice 6-foot fence along the road, far enough back to ensure there will never be any easment issues in the future, along with an electronic gate with keypoad, wireless remote and some sort of driveway sensor to alert the house if someone's pulled up to the gate. This will probably be another one I'll have to hire out, although, when I was growing up my Dad and I put up over 1-mile of fence on our 40-acre farm, so I'm familiar with the work invovled (though, in that case it was function over form, so the posts did not have to be perfect).
    • Security Lighting. I'll probably put some motion floods around the perimetir of the house, unelss powering them's too much of a challenge. I already have 4 of the X10 one, still in there boxes, that I never got around to installing on my current home. I'll probably use them (plus, maybe another 4). This way, I'll have the self-contained automation of the IR sensors on them, but still have the opportunity to monitor them for other reasons if I so desire using X10, though I'm sure I'll use another protocol for the rest of the house when I get around to it.

  • Modernize the wiring and facilitate home theater
    • Given the conditions I mentioned above, it should be easy for me to run a bundle with 2-3 coax and 2-3 CAT6 cables to each room (maybe multiple bundles to some rooms). This will facilitate anything I do in the long run. I just need to pick a central wiring closet location to run everything too. The attic is really appealing becuase of its size, but I think it'll get to ohot in the summer, so I may have to put something in the garage or one of the many closets on the lower floors.
    • There are 3 rooms that have the potential to be a living room and accomidate the home theater. Every room has a fireplace (even the kitchen and bedrooms!) so that creates a challenge (though some may go away in the long run). So far, I like a room that has a fireplace on one end and a built-in bookshelf on the other (along with 2 closets adjacent to either side of the bookshelf, one of which may be the wireing closet). I like all my gear hidden except for the TV itself (and an IR sensor), so this room could easily be converted to my requirements with minimal work. It's not the biggest of the rooms, though, so I'll have to play with furniture placement, and the fact that the fireplace and bookshelf are directly across from one another, means that all the seating will have to flank these two deatures, so there will be no "sweet spot" for price TV/Movie viewing (will likely use a 65" plasma or LCD to replace my ailing 6-year old 50" LCD RPTV).
    • There are a handful of really old switches (dual push button) that need to be replaed. I have not looked at the wiring yet, but I assume that it's all 2-wire. Becuase of this, I will likely just swap out for cheap modern switches and postpone lighitng automation until I start ripping up walls and replacing wire.

That's probably about all I'll be able to accomplish before I leave. I wont even be able to start messing with the house until August, so I'll have abour 3.5 months to work on it before I go, and even then it will only be weekends, and maybe a couple of weeks around Christmas.

Anyway, here are some pics:





That's just simply beautiful, and all the surrounding trees make it even more so. Congrats on everything falling into place.
If you need 'long distance' driveway detection, check this article out I did while at CES.
Thanks BSR.

The lot's 250' x 260', so I think the run from house to gate will be around 200' (maybe loger if we have to follow the curve of the driveway. Given that there's going to have to be power ran out to the gate for power anyway, we should be able to go with a wired option, as long as we do it all at once. I'll probably want to get a keypad with a camera too, so it will be easy to see who is sitting in the driveway, in case someone's just loitering there with there car and setting off the sensor.. so there should be a combination of high voltage and low voltage wiring that will have to be run from the home to the gate anyway. I'll probably have the same company do everythin. My Uncle claims tht he 'knows a guy" that will do it all for less than what my research shows just the materials would cost. My Uncles used to own a playground equiment manufacturing company (which he sold and my cousin now runs under a for another corporation) and has a lot of connections with local fabricators and gets custom metal work (like the cage built around the exterior HVAC unit in one of the pictures in my previous post) for cost.

EDIT: And here are some pics via Bing maps (actually better than Google, who'd a thunk?) of the propert. The first has the property line in organge, the approx driveway in red and the house outline in yellow. The other's just an aerial shot of the immediate area, with the street name greened out.


Thanks guys. The wife an I want to move now and get started on it. Too bad I can't move until August. She's finishing out an Army-sponsored Masters of Social Work Program here at Fort Sam Houston and won't be done until December, so she's going to follow the kids and I a few months after we get to NC. It's interesting that nearly the same thing happened the last time I had to deploy. I had a 3 month train-up, went home for Christmas for almost 2 weeks, then deployed for a year, so we pretty much had 15 months apart. It'll be the same thing again this time because of her finishing her MSW program.

That's another reason I'll be focusing on security and technical improvements only before the deployment, I'll need my wife there to collaborate on the bigger design elements (though our tastes are VERY close). I'm thinking, when the major renovations come, We'll need to hire an architect to make sure that the remodel is structurally sound. The interior of the home has an odd randomness, and despite 12-foot ceiling, some of the rooms seem smaller than they are because of this. I'd really like to make the bottom floor almost completely open and convert some 1st floor space there into a "parent suite" in case - in the future - any of our folks (who are all fine now), or someone else who may not be able to climb stairs, stays with us, or if one of us ever become unable to do so. My mother, before she passed, had to stay with my sister for a couple of months and she did not have a bedroom on the first floor, which resulted in the conversion of the formal living room into a makeshift bedroom. I like to be prepared for contingencies, and - besides - it's always good to have another guest room or two! We may well be in this home for the rest of our lives and who knows who we could host there!

Anyway, this is mostly going to be a dreamer's thread until I get there. I can't wait to have actual progress to document (I'll include moving in as progress).
Congrats on the new house. Lived in Charlotte and Hickory, NC for about 7 years. Been through Fayetteville many times, beautiful place, nice people.