I have this big old house, as many of you may know, however, I do not occupy the entire thing. The bottom floor and basement are all mine. The top floor contains two, one-bedroom apartments that I rent out. One currently houses a woman who has lived there for over 20 years and will probably stay there until the end of her life. The other was vacated in June of 2016 and I spent the summer, instead lying poolside, slaving away over my first major renovation project since becoming a landlord two years ago.
The first room I tackled was the kitchen. It was disgusting. The tenant who moved out loved to cook but didn’t love to clean, so there was like a week’s worth of just removing grease and grime off of the cabinets.
The next step was repairing cracks in the walls, removing the blinds, and working on the cabinets, followed by two coats of paint on the ceiling and walls.
We decided to remove this countertop thing, it was very heavy and sagging already. It looks a lot better without it.
Everything now looks so much more clean and refreshed. I’m happy with the way it turned out.
My second project was the walk-in closet. This apartment has amazing closet spaces, with one in each room. I removed carpet, patched up cracks and holes, scraped shelf liner off the shelves and painted the ceiling and the walls. It’s a killer closet.
The Living Room and Bedroom.
These were the easiest to tackle because they needed the least amount of work. In the living room we removed paneling from one wall, patched up a huge hole with dry wall, and scraped and painted it. I also painted the ceiling.
In the bedroom I replaced a window shade and curtain on one window, dry cleaned the other two. I cleaned up the doors and baseboards and cleaned the carpets. Easy.
The bathroom project was my biggest cause of stress in this whole process. It was the most difficult, it involved things I physically could not do myself or I did not know how, and it was the most expensive.
First up, we had to deal with the “Mickey Mouse Pipe Job” done on the shower. It’s hard to see in the first picture but the pipe came out and up over the shower and was steadied by a broken shaving handle. So I hired my buddies Vino and Andy, regular customers of mine, and they tore out the wall, the old pipe, replaced the shower and the wall. It looks great now.
In this process I learned that the tile had to come up and a portion of the subfloor around the toilet, as well as the toilet itself, all had to be replaced. So I removed the tile with a heat gun and scraper, my least favorite part out of all of this. So sticky.
Then I hired my friend, Eric, to come in and remove the toilet, tear up and replace the subfloor, lay down tile, and install a new toilet.
He did a lot of other little odds and ends to help me out. He built this wooden box to sit between the toilet and the wall because there was a noticeable gap between the two. He hung some blinds and lights and provided some much needed comedic relief at the end of this long journey.
Overall I’m very happy with the way everything turned out. It was very hard. And trying. I cried several times out of feelings of frustration, exhaustion, and hopelessness. However, thanks to the support of so many people I conquered the task at hand and know I’m stronger, and better for it.
Up next….painting my kitchen. The fun never stops at 1921.