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What a tangled web we weave, when we...renovate!

3 years ago

We are the fourth owners of a house built in 1952. The three prior owners each had additions built, and also, apparently, did some significant remodeling. Over the 20 years that we have owned the house, we have had the kitchen, a portion of the basement (which had been "finished" by prior owner) and the upstairs master bathroom renovated, and the upstairs hall bathroom remodeled.

The unfinished part of the basement is a mess of cables, wires, pipes, boxes, ductwork ... it looks as if the "old" cables, wires, pipes and boxes were not removed with each addition and renovation - just that "new" ones were added. When we have to have systems serviced, the technicians often have to spend many minutes figuring out which wires, cables, pipes go where, which are still in use, etc. I also think that the ductwork has just been added to, or extended, over the years, and even eyeballing it makes me think it could be more direct and efficient.

We plan to live here another few years, and then sell the house. I would like to at least explore the idea of having the ductwork redone, and the unused wires, cables, pipes, and boxes removed to make things easier to service, and to make it easier to paint the basement. I have a sense that the jumbled mess would hinder efforts to sell the house down the road.

I'm trying to figure out who to call! A general contractor, or each of the trades involved? If the latter, in which order? There are electrical boxes and wires, gas lines, plumbing lines, old security system wires, old dehumidifier box and wires, old telephone wires and cables, TV cables, ductwork for furnace and two air conditioner units...etc. I did try to do some Google research for my area, but didn't find much help about how to proceed.

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