A week after the offer to purchase was signed we were back at the church with our real estate agent to meet Cam Allen of All-Tech Services. Cam was the inspector to use when dealing with historic properties, especially churches. He poured historical information about the church’s construction on us. This was more than a passion for him, he lives and breathes historic buildings. He walked us around the outside of the building pointing out areas of concern. The brick was pulling away from the building here, the tower was in great need of repair. one corner of the building seems to have some foundation trouble and will need something called “underpinning.”
He told us we were crazy to take on this project, then he told us a secret: he loved the church. I mean he loved the potential of this building. He asked us what we had in mind for a timeline and budget. I didn’t think there was enough room with the vaulted ceilings for his eyebrow to raise any farther at our response. He sighed heavily. There were times I felt like he was a permissive parent and we his spoiled children. This wasn’t a great idea but it would be difficult to convince us to stop. He warned us we were taking on a huge project but he would let us know his recommendations in a few days. Cam pulled no punches and I really liked him for it.
Cam told me the oil furnace would have to be replaced and, even if it still worked, would only be less than 50% efficient. That means for every dollar we spent on oil, 50 cents would go up the chimney. Dreamgirl says oil is smelly and we should switch to propane anyway.
He sent his assistant, his prodigy, under the building with instructions to wear a suit, wear a respirator, and take lots of pictures.They were impressed by the main beam which measures about 20″ across. They had already poked their heads up into the tower and declared it would require closer inspection by a mason, but looks like it needs a lot of work.
We also had our trusted septic installer have a look at the property. I told him we would probably need a biofilter system so he quoted us for a biofilter system. This would cost a little over $20 000. A well and pump would add another $12 000.
So we weren’t buying a pile of bricks, I just needed to find some gold ones to pay for this thing.