Sunday, December 30, 2012


I was researching on the Internet for recycled building material and supplies when I came across the Habitat for Humanity Restore Website. While I was familiar with Habitat for Humanity and the wonderful work that they do, I did not know that they had stores open to the public. There are several location within a 50 mile radius of where I live. The Troy store is the closest and I am planning giving it a visit next Wednesday. With any luck I may be able to score some bargains for our upcoming remodel.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Cost of Water Just Went Up

I got an unpleasant surprised when I called the utility department today - Not only are water rates going up in 2013 but there will be an additional $20+ monthly fee. The Inflow & Infiltration (I&I) fee as it is called comes from EPA mandates for changes to the City's Waste Water Treatment Plant. The city has created a brochure to explain it all - EPA Brochure.  While I find the increase frustrating to say the least, I found the brochure very informative. 


Somethings you just take for granted and utilities is one of them. Here we are with all these grandiose plans and we haven't given a thought to utilities. I wonder how long it will take to move the electric and water from the realtor to me or my son. Like I mentioned earlier we have a very short window till move in. We do have a portable generator if we have to go without service so we can work but it is not quiet. So not much late night work could be done. The backup plan is to have him live with us if he has to until we get things liveable. Details, Details, Details. I will update and re-post how this went when we get to that point.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Occupied Remodel

While the property is currently unoccupied, my son will be moving out of his apartment and into the house the first of February about a week after we close. That does not give us much time to remodel before he moves in.  So we are going to have to do the majority of the repairs and upgrades while my son lives in the house.  Prior to his moving in I hope to have the bathroom and kitchen functional and the bedroom done. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. We (My Son and I) will be burning a lot of midnight oil to get this done before he moves in.

Punch List

Kitchen - Looks like we will have to live with the Shag Carpet for awhile, but we will definitely need a working refrigerator. Clean Cabinets and replace missing knobs. Repair Broken drawer and Light above the sink. Repair electrical outlet above counter. Clean Oven.

Bedroom - Install Door, Ceiling Light, Walls Painted, Carpet Replaced.

Bathroom - Medicine Cabinet Replaced,  Lights and Light switch added, Shower Curtain and Rod, Carpet Replaced. Tub/Shower Wall and ceiling Laminate Clean and painted. Window cleaned/sealed/painted. Shower Head.

Oh and lets not forget the concrete step that needs repaired. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Where to Start?

... one of the keys for adding value to your home is to repair, replace or remove anything that could turn buyers away.

From the DIY Network - 30 Tips to Increasing your homes value

A good quote and starting place to start a remodel. This house has some issues that hurt its value for sure.

Outdated: Both the Kitchen and Bathroom are in need of some TLC and upgrades.

Flooring: Not sure why the former owner went with shag carpet in the kitchen and bathroom, but we will be replacing that with something other than carpet.

Awkward Layout: Traffic flow is also a problem as you have to walk through a bedroom to get to the one and only bathroom

Size Matters: First off it is small -- 576 square feet. It is basically a 24'x24' foot square. There is not much we can do about that.  There is a built in back porch/sun room, but that's not year round living space. The second bedroom is small 6'x9'. The former tenant had converted it to a walk in closet.  We will be changing it back into a small bedroom.

Curb Appeal: I absolutely hate the windows, they just kill the looks of this quaint little house.  Zero landscaping is another big issue we will have to tackle this spring.

Picking and choosing what we tackle first and what we contract out and what we just live with is the fun of remodeling. I am looking forward to the challenge and fun of revitalizing this little ole house with my son Tony who also plans on being the first tenant.

Safety First

One of the first things we will need to address when we become responsible for the property is fixing one of the front concrete steps. This is a safety issue and needs to be fixed right away. The fix looks simple enough -  "How to Fix a Crumbling Step", but I am worried about the freezing temperatures we will be facing in January.  I guess we will have to do a little more research to see what our options are.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our First Project

We were looking for an investment property that wouldn't break our budget. This little house fit the bill nicely so we made an offer and they accepted. The house was built in the 40's and is need of a little TLC. We close in January 2013 so that's when the real remodeling will begin. I am comfortable that most of the repairs and upgrades needed can be DIY. And so the adventure begins.