At the end of 2016, our contractor finished demolition on the inside of the house, removing plaster walls, back porch and part of the back wall to survey water damage. At this point, they realized that a structural engineer was needed to draw up the plans to get a permit for rebuild of back wall due to a large beam that was no longer used in construction. They didn't have one on staff and made some recommendations. Basically, they refused to move forward with us and that was a bitter disappointment. I won't call them out by name becuase I don't believe in bad mouthing a company unless they have really done us wrong and this is more a situation that I guess neither they nor us could foresee until the house was stripped. Regardless, we were unable to get anyone to freelance and do the work.
In 2017 my husband spent the year doing the measurements and drawings himself along with maintaining the property. By the time we were ready to submit the drawings to the city for permit, we realized we either had to do it as self-contract work, or through a contracter. We tried calling back the prior constractor but he refused unless the drawings were done by a structural engineer. We tried another contractor but he quoted something crazy like 40K to finish the roof and rebuild the back wall. We would still have to dry wall the entire house, refloor, build out the kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms and we'd already spent 60K; we reached a point where I was unsure we'd be able to recoup the costs with the price of houses in the area going for 120K.
I had really hoped to not take on another mortgage but it seems like the world is not set up very well for this type of remodeling. If we had started out by getting a Rehab mortgage maybe things might have worked out a little bit different, but I think we would have still been shocked and overwelmed by the numbers from contractors and lack of responsiveness.