Home Improvement--General/RE:


Hello Len,

I live in a triplex that was built in the 60s. The quality of the house is very questionable. When it's cold outside, you could tell there's not much insulation just by touching the walls. If I ever won the lottery (dream on), I'd tear down the insides and renovate everything to conform to modern standards. Today, the apartment is showing signs of wear and tear. (e.g. cracks in the ceiling, water seeping in the foundation at the side of the house) When it comes to additional renovations/repairs, I don't know where to start. Earlier this summer, we had a company renovate the roof and patch up the cracks on the outside brick wall.

In the near future, my parents will want to sell the apartment. Before putting the house on the market, what should my family do to ensure that the quality of the apartment is in a good condition?

Thank you.

Hi John,

The only way to determine what is necessary to put a building in good condition is to have a professional home inspector thoroughly inspect the building and determine all that is necessary to be done, structurally, mechanically, electrically, weatherproof (wind and water intrusion) and cosmetically.

Then start doing each task yourself or hire qualified tradesmen to do all that is necessary that you can't do yourself.  No magic, not rocket science, just know what's wrong and what to do to make it right and the time or money to get it done.

All the tasks except cosmetic upgrades should be done as soon as you can, while cosmetic tasks can and should be put off till near the time the building will be put on the market.  Cosmetic upgrades can be the least costly by selecting the level of quality employed, but can be the most costly to the marketability of the building if not done at all.  They are also the upgrades that can be most easily damaged, marred or degraded so should be finished near the time the building goes up for sale.

Good luck.

Len Kroll
Wood House Log Homes LLC
Knoxville, TN 37923

Home Improvement--General

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Len Kroll


I can provide advice on the proper design, construction, maintenance, restoration, preservation, cleaning and waterproofing of log homes. Questions concerning proper cleaning, sealing, staining and waterproofing are within my area of expertise. My expertise includes new construction and existing log structures. Chinking application or restoration, log replacement and repair are also in my area of expertise.


40 years experience in the log home and construction industries, 10 years in specialty contracting, 30 years in the log home field. We have designed, produced, supplied and built over 3,000 log homes and restored/repaired over 600 log homes. See more information at our web site: www.woodhouseloghomes.com.

Authored a monthly column expressing the Vice President and General Manager's "Observations and Insights" distributed to 300 employees and management.

BS degree in accounting, University of Illinois, 1963. Master of Business Administration degree, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Numerous relevant seminars including an intense two week business administration seminar, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, 1978. National Home Builders Association Graduate Builders education program.

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society Student, Illinois State Academic Scholarship, Dean's List.

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