Renovation of a 70's disaster
My cousin's home is a shambles. It started life as a small concrete block home, and then had a room added on to the back, but a little higher so uneven steps go from the lower level up to the second floor. That floor has a wooden floor, although no crawl space to speak of. The bathroom, kitchen and living room are at the lowest level (concrete block building). There is a concrete slab that is full of cracks and has been damaged by hydropressure from ground water - in fact, a few years ago the lower level was flooded. Nothing was ever done according to code, and now the lower two levels are needing rewired and replumbed. All was done with scraps gleaned from demolished buildings in the area. On top of the lowest level, also during the 70's a second floor was added without adding additional structure to support it. We have added a load bearing wall to aid in the support of the second story (third?). The interior was covered in rotted barn siding, full of termites, etc. That was removed, but in the "middle" section the walls are covered with cheap 70's paneling. That is where the new bathroom is going to be, and the plumbing and wiring is being redone as we can. The walls are a concern - should we cover them with the green moisture resistant wallboard, or use paint to create a barrier? We want to use the wallboard that looks like tile along the wall where the shower and sink will be, then use it like wainscoting around the rest of the room. The room is 10 x 12. The new bathroom has to be handicap accessible, and that adds more wrinkles. On top of the other issues, we're all senior citizens with very low income, so we are doing things as we can acquire the money. Hiring a contractor to come in and fix everything is out of the question. We have been getting all supplies at local Habitat for Humanity stores in order to save as much money as possible. Ideas?