The rehab projects

Okay – as promised, here are some pics from my first flip house I did a few years ago.  These pictures were on an old computer and I realized that I haven’t looked at them in over a year!  It was fun going through all of them again.  My apologies for the length of this post, so you may want to come back when you have time to read it (if you are reading it at work!)

This was a foreclosure house and had gone up for auction. I attended the auction to check it out, but the bank won the bid (the only bid, really).  It then went on the market and I went over the my real estate agent friend.

Some of the pictures of the house: The living room.

 There was wallpaper on all the walls in this house.  And it was absolutely filthy, too.  Some of the rooms were still filled with junk as well.   This is the dining room.

Applebees lamp, anyone?   The floor tile was pink, too (why??).

The kitchen:

While the cupboards were a little charming, there was about 8 inches of space from the bottom and the counter, which means you could not put any appliances on it.  And you should be glad you couldn’t smell this place.  Pet urine.  Not to mention the surprise in the kitchen, which is where a good bit of odor was coming from.  I opened up the pantry (just to the left of the above picture) to find this:

Seriously, if you were in here, you couldn’t close the door while using the toilet.  The term ‘pantry toilet’ has actually become part of our inside joke vocabulary from this project  :mrgreen:

Nice of the listing agent to say this was a 1.5 bath house, too.   🙄

The upstairs bath:

The linoleum around the toilet was sagging from rot and there was mold everywhere.

There were beautiful hardwood floors in all the rooms.  Or at least beauty was possible.

This house was really the ideal flip candidate.  Most of the work was just cosmetic.  It had great structure and original woodwork, plus cool glass knobs on the doors.  I finagled with the bank and got the house with the stipulation they remove all the junk (which they did).

I did the majority of the work myself.  I had a room by room breakdown of what I wanted to do and had priced it out so I could stick to my budget.   The only things I had done by someone else were the roof, sanding down of the floors, some new electrical outlets and removal of the pantry toilet cast iron waste pipe.

I spent a *lot* of time just cleaning up the place.  Once the carpet was removed, wallpaper was stripped and all the woodwork was cleaned, it smelled so much better.  I also noted that underneath the pink tile floor in the dining room was hardwood, so I ripped up all the tile and under layment.  That was the most physically difficult day.  I was so sore and tired from that.  I had to do it myself to keep on budget!  I was obsessed with my budget.

The most emotionally difficult day for the flip was me trying to sand the floors.  Keep in mind there were 3 bedrooms, the living room and dining room that needed sanding.  There were years and years and years of varnish buildup, so my rented floor sander was clogging up constantly after going a few feet.  I was in tears because I couldn’t get the job done and I didn’t know what to do.  It would have cost a mint to have the whole house refinished.  I think I called John several times that day in tears.  After making some phone calls, I was able to find a company willing to come out and just sand the floors down for me for $1000.  I would have spent probably that much in sanding disks, not to mention many days of frustration.  They got in and out in 2 days.  They were also nice enough to lay down the initial coat of poly and resand it (must have felt sorry for me).  That first coat raises the wood grain up and has to be sanded down again prior to using the poly for the final coats.   The things you learn.

My first real moment of “What did I really get myself into” came after gutting the kitchen.

The sink faucet it still hooked up here because there was no shut off valve in the piping, only the master shut off for the house  (I had that added).

Scary, eh?  Well – the transformation was wonderful.

Living room:

The dining room:

The kitchen (I even managed to squish a dishwasher in there):

Tile countertops.

Granite would have been nice, but the roof cost a good amount of money and I had to swap things out in my budget.

The upstairs bath:


The project took about 3.5 months (my budgeted timeline was 3 months).  I stayed very close to my budget.  I was only over by a few $100.  The house sold in 2 or 3 months.  I can’t quite remember now.

I still can’t believe I did this myself!  It is one of those things that I am most proud of having done.  I was waaaaay out of my comfort zone and I did so many things that I never thought I could do.   Girl Power!!!

I did one other house and then the housing market fell apart.  I really wish I could still be flipping houses, but the financing market is terrible for flippers right now.

I could have talked tons more about everything, but I don’t need a novel.  Thanks for reading!

And yes – I am for hire  :mrgreen:

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27 thoughts on “The rehab projects

  1. Kathy W.

    I loved this post! The house looked beautiful when you were finished! We live in an 1800s farmhouse & a ton needs to be done. I would hire you too–any plans to be in OH for a few weeks? 🙂

    1. Lori Post author

      A bet your farmhouse is gorgeous! I would love to live in one of those. Old houses require so much upkeep, don’t they?

  2. Jane T.

    Wow, that’s really impressive! No wonder you’re so good at doing projects around your own house. It’s great to be so handy–saves a lot of money, too.

  3. Kimberley

    WOW! I AM IN AWE! I am super duper impressed with your skills. I knew you were handy, but didn’t realize the extent of your super powers. The difference in the house is tremendous…what an accomplishment.

  4. Cammy@TippyToeDiet

    That was fun! Potentially lucrative, too, as I never considered converting the unused bottom portion of my pantry into a bathroom! I think there would even be room to close the door. 🙂 Your finished project is awesome!

    So far, my best bit of outsourcing was the removal of layers and layers of wallpaper from several rooms. I spent a long weekend on half a bathroom wall and was envisioning months of weekends and post-workday hours spent on getting it all off the walls. I paid a company to come in and 3 days later, they’d finished what I’d hired them to do, including wall repairs. A lot of them. 🙂 Now I wish I’d gone ahead and had them do the kitchen.
    Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog post ..We Can’t ALL Be Wrong

    1. Lori Post author

      Yes, there are times when it actually saves money to have someone else do something. Time also equals money and that is a factor.

    1. Lori Post author

      Yes – I needed John’s help to hang the cabinets, but we had already done that at our current home, so we knew how to do it. It’s not hard at all, just awkward.

  5. Helen

    YAY! My post! Simply gorgeous. I know it was rewarding to see that finished product and not just monetarily. I want to do tile floors in my kitchen and bathrooms and foyers… want to come to Connecticut and help me do it? I could take a few days off work and I’d feed you really well! 🙂
    Helen´s last blog post ..Tuesday Ten

  6. Ali @ Peaches and Football

    Wow – you’re so handy! It looks just gorgeous and bright. Who ever would have known?? Lucky the pet urine didn’t seem into the hardwood and create staining – my parents experienced that in a house they flipped.

    It just looks gorgeous. Come over and renovate our new home 🙂
    Ali @ Peaches and Football´s last blog post ..Crockpot time

  7. Sharon

    Maybe you should just become a traveling household “project” manager. Looks like you’d get plenty of business online. Add me to the list. All I want is a simple kitchen remodel. I’d even provide room and board and you’d get to live at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!! Was this in NY or before you moved back?
    Sharon´s last blog post ..For The Love of Reading!

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