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GlutenFreeManna

Has Anyone Done Major Home Renovations Post gluten-free?

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All my life I've dreamed of buying a fixer-upper home and making it beautiful. I have a background in design and my husband is handy enough to do most of the labor. After scrimping and saving for a few years we are finally in the beginning stages of looking for the right home to buy. Well we looked most of the day yesterday at around ten different houses. Some of them were foreclosure houses where an invester had bought it to flip but ran out of money mid-renovation. So there were things like holes in the drywall and lots of dust. One of the houses had a huge hole in the roof and an obvious mold problem. I got out of that one as soon as I saw the mold because I have lived in a house with mold before and mold makes me really sick. Anyway as soon as we got home I felt really, really ill. I very nearly passed out and felt like puking--a symptom I haven't had since my last bad glutening. Today I'm having my usually glutening symptoms along with the worst lingering visual migraine I have had in while. I'm not really sure if it was the drywall dust (I have read it could have gluten?) or the mold that made me sick, but it really has me wondering if my dream of fixing up an older home is impossible now. Even if I find a home that is older, has no mold and has no exisiting renovations (i.e. open drywall) could I safely do things like cut into drywall, remove old wall paper, etc? Would wearing a mask help or would it be too dangerous for me to live in the house while we were redoing part of it? Has anyone else successfuly done such a thing post gluten-free without getting sick? Any thoughts or advice is welcome.

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I would definitely wear a mask and make sure you are working in a well ventilated area. Also, for areas that you feel are making your symptoms worse perhaps you can hire someone to do the major damage control and then you can take it from there. you are smart to stay away from the mold, that is so problematic for everyone, not just those with gluten problems. don't give up on your dreams, they can come to fruition!!!! good luck to you! :)

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I would definitely wear a mask and make sure you are working in a well ventilated area. Also, for areas that you feel are making your symptoms worse perhaps you can hire someone to do the major damage control and then you can take it from there. you are smart to stay away from the mold, that is so problematic for everyone, not just those with gluten problems. don't give up on your dreams, they can come to fruition!!!! good luck to you! :)

Thank you for the encouragement. We are for sure going to avoid any house that has mold. Not only is it dangerous to health, it's very expensive to pay remediation companies to remove it.

Perhaps we could hire someone that would work with my husband for just the drywall parts and I could go to a hotel for few days...Does anyone know if there is gluten in other home-improvement products besides wallpaper paste and drywall? Paint, caulking, glues, grouting, insulation...are any of these potential problems too?

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Since you are not ingesting the home improvement products I think you will be okay by wearing a mask and gloves as well as pants and a long sleeve shirt. This will inhibit the dust and any of the product from being ingested.

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If you're living in the house while you're renovating it, wouldn't the dust be everywhere? You could wear a mask while doing the work, but you can't wear a mask all the time that the renovations are going on.

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As a person who helped gut and redo a trialer, you need:

A very good mask

Ventilation (very very important)

Fans

Gloves (heavy duity kind)

Heavy duty clothes, the kind that won't let dust in

Do not move in until you have all of the sanding/cutting done. Painting and such can be done afterward.

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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. We would be living in the house while renovating. We are not wanting to do it to sell the house for a profit (AKA flipping). We are just wanting to live there and gradually make changes like updating kicthen cabinets, counter tops, new bathroom fixtures, new flooring, etc. We can't afford to both rent and buy a house to do renovations in. We are in an area where renting is much higher than a mortgage. The money we save by buying can be gradually invested into improving the house.

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Your biggest dangers are the wallpaper paste and the drywall and compound. If you can stay elsewhere while the drywall is hung and finished and have someone else remove wallpaper or put it up that would be best. Most paints and caulks I use are latex or acrylic based and those are not as much of a problem.

We tore off a storage room and turned it into a studio. We simply didn't use drywall in that renovation. We used wood tongue and groove for the walls and another form of tongue and groove for the ceiling and it turned out very well.

If you need to stay in the house while drywall is being worked on hang heavy drop clothes in doorways to seal off the room. Then when the work is done have someone use a shop vac that they can empty into a bag outside the house to clean up and then a damp mop on the flat surfaces.

I recently installed a bathroom medicine cabinet that I had to cut a hole in the drywall for. I use a good well fitting mask and gloves and cleaned up the dust quickly. I had been hesitant to do it but the cost of having someone else do this very simple task was ridiculous so I decided to do it myself. I didn't seem to have any issues but I was very careful about the dust.

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YES!!! There will be dust everywhere. Back in the 1980's we added an addition to a house we were living in. Dust flies everywhere even when a contractor is careful. A layer of dust was on everything...even in areas not even being remodeled so it was impossible to escape. Doorways were sealed off but drywall dust is as insidious as flour in the air.

Hopefully you can find a house that needs minimal drywall work, especially.

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Your biggest dangers are the wallpaper paste and the drywall and compound. If you can stay elsewhere while the drywall is hung and finished and have someone else remove wallpaper or put it up that would be best. Most paints and caulks I use are latex or acrylic based and those are not as much of a problem.

We tore off a storage room and turned it into a studio. We simply didn't use drywall in that renovation. We used wood tongue and groove for the walls and another form of tongue and groove for the ceiling and it turned out very well.

If you need to stay in the house while drywall is being worked on hang heavy drop clothes in doorways to seal off the room. Then when the work is done have someone use a shop vac that they can empty into a bag outside the house to clean up and then a damp mop on the flat surfaces.

I recently installed a bathroom medicine cabinet that I had to cut a hole in the drywall for. I use a good well fitting mask and gloves and cleaned up the dust quickly. I had been hesitant to do it but the cost of having someone else do this very simple task was ridiculous so I decided to do it myself. I didn't seem to have any issues but I was very careful about the dust.

Thanks Raven. Your reply was very helpful! Yes , it's the little things like installing a medicine cabinet that concern me. Or if we move into a house that is old and doesn't have electrical outlets where we want we would have to cut into drywall to install a new one. I'm not planning on knocking down walls and things right away but I would want any exisitng wallpaper gone for sure. I will have to think carefully about how to do these projects safely. I'm glad to hear that paint and other things are pretty safe gluten-wise.

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Thanks Raven. Your reply was very helpful! Yes , it's the little things like installing a medicine cabinet that concern me. Or if we move into a house that is old and doesn't have electrical outlets where we want we would have to cut into drywall to install a new one. I'm not planning on knocking down walls and things right away but I would want any exisitng wallpaper gone for sure. I will have to think carefully about how to do these projects safely. I'm glad to hear that paint and other things are pretty safe gluten-wise.

Removing wallpaper is a tough job and can be very frustrating. If you can't paint over it, I have done that at times, have a pro come in and do it. They have heavy duty steamers and can do the job much quicker so they would be well worth the expense.

I lived once in a house that was a converted 1850's barn. The beams in the house were like iron, you couldn't nail or cut into them to run wires through. We installed some new outlets in a couple of the rooms by using a form that wasn't cut into the walls but mounted to the existing wall. There was a conduit that the wires ran through that went around the room at baseboard level. If you do any electrical in the house yourself make sure you check with your local code enforcement. While some places will allow you to do it yourself they will want an electrician to connect it to the main power source and it may need to be inspected before use.

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I don't think cutting a little hole for an outlet would be too bad. It is the major drywall project that would leave dust everywhere.

What everyone is forgetting are the heating/AC vents and intake. Once you get the dust in there, it gets blown around the house. If you are doing a room at a time, you might want to block them off well with plastic and duct tape. Turn off the system.

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Removing wallpaper is a tough job and can be very frustrating. If you can't paint over it, I have done that at times, have a pro come in and do it. They have heavy duty steamers and can do the job much quicker so they would be well worth the expense.

I lived once in a house that was a converted 1850's barn. The beams in the house were like iron, you couldn't nail or cut into them to run wires through. We installed some new outlets in a couple of the rooms by using a form that wasn't cut into the walls but mounted to the existing wall. There was a conduit that the wires ran through that went around the room at baseboard level. If you do any electrical in the house yourself make sure you check with your local code enforcement. While some places will allow you to do it yourself they will want an electrician to connect it to the main power source and it may need to be inspected before use.

Oh yes, we will look into codes and such before doing things. My husband has done both electrical wiring and plumbing before, but we would get people to inspect the work to make sure it is safe. I grew up in a house built in the late 1800's. My parents were constantly changing and remodeling things--they have done everything from tearing out stairs to turning a back porch into an extra bedroom. There was always at least one room or part of the house under some renovation--both minor and major. So I know very well what it will be liek andthe amount of time it will take to do most projects we would want to do. I am concerned about doing them carefully so I don't get sick from my living environment. I will definately have to consider if the house has old wallpaper how much it would cost to pay someone to do it. So far all the ones I have seen just have wallpaper borders, which are not as hard to remove. I removed a wallpaper border in my childhood room when I was teenager and I do remember it taking a lot of soaking to get off. We used sponges and soaked and soaked it until it peeled off. I think I can rent those steamers from Home Depot or something too and do it like the pro's but I wonder if the steam will put gluten particles in the air from the wallpaper paste. Am I being too paranoid thinking this project could get me sick? Is it somethign I would have to have a pro do to be safe?

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I don't think cutting a little hole for an outlet would be too bad. It the major drywall that would leave dust everywhere.

What everyone is forgetting are the heating/AC vents and intake. Once you get the dust in there, it gets blown around the house. If you are doing a room at a time, you might want to block them off well with plastic and duct tape. Turn off the system.

That's a good suggestion kareng!

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Removing wallpaper is a tough job and can be very frustrating. If you can't paint over it, I have done that at times, have a pro come in and do it. They have heavy duty steamers and can do the job much quicker so they would be well worth the expense.

I lived once in a house that was a converted 1850's barn. The beams in the house were like iron, you couldn't nail or cut into them to run wires through. We installed some new outlets in a couple of the rooms by using a form that wasn't cut into the walls but mounted to the existing wall. There was a conduit that the wires ran through that went around the room at baseboard level. If you do any electrical in the house yourself make sure you check with your local code enforcement. While some places will allow you to do it yourself they will want an electrician to connect it to the main power source and it may need to be inspected before use.

Its not that bad. Try ripping out wallpaper plus stuco (yes stuco) in a bedroom <_< Gloves + awsome (from the doller store) worked well. Most of the older wallpaper we discovered water steamers were not working well on.

Also outlets aren't too hard to do, once you get the hang of it.

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Lowes & Home Depot have a spray that you can use to remove wallpaper. Spay, let it soak and scrape it off ( and scrape some more). I did an entire bathroom. Ah, correction.... I sprayed the stuff and my son scraped!

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Lowes & Home Depot have a spray that you can use to remove wallpaper. Spay, let it soak and scrape it off ( and scrape some more). I did an entire bathroom. Ah, correction.... I sprayed the stuff and my son scraped!

Lol kinda hard when your allergic to the wallpaper remover stuff.

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Lol kinda hard when your allergic to the wallpaper remover stuff.

I was wondering about that! Gotta wonder what's in the stuff. :unsure:

Anyway, thank you everyone for the words of advice and encouragement. We haven't found just the right house yet but when we do at least I know I can do SOME things safely like painting. :D

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