Century Home: Mud Room Inspiration

The Century Home we’re currently rehabbing has a wonderful mud room in the rear of the home, but it’s largely an empty space that is calling for a wonderful built in storage unit. In that we’re assuming a move-up buyer with 2-3 children will be buying this home when it’s complete, we thought it’d be appropriate to build a custom storage unit with both seating and ample storage for the kiddos.

Our inspiration is below.  Which one do you like the most?



Century Home: Interior Before Pictures

We’re officially on day 6 of construction at the Century House.  So far, our HVAC contractor has been removing the existing radiators and associated plumbing in preparation for a whole-house forced air system.  Our general trades will begin demo of the kitchen, bathrooms and a few walls on the second floor this week.  We’re beyond excited to be in the full throws of rehab.

I stopped by the house earlier this week to take a few “before” interior photos.  Below is a quick photo tour of what will, in 3-4 months, be a beautifully restored home in  a storied neighborhood.

Note: The home was vacant for two years and was broken into by some punk kids, who decided to add a little bit of their own vulgar graffiti. 


Butler stairwell and butler’s pantry off the kitchen. Both will be demo’d to increase the size of the kitchen by 40%.


Kitchen – cabinets and soffit to be demo’d this week. Increased square footage will allow for a center island.

Dining Room - love the coffered ceiling!

Dining Room – love the coffered ceiling!

Looking down from the stairwell to the front entry.  To the left, the living room.  To the right, the dining room.

Looking down from the stairwell to the front entry. To the left, the living room. To the right, the dining room.

Center hall colonial - stairwell leading to the second floor.

Center hall colonial – stairwell leading to the second floor.

HUGE living room.

HUGE living room.

The hardware in the home is tremendous!

The hardware in the home is tremendous!

Third floor.  Will make for an amazing rec room.

Third floor. Will make for an amazing rec room.

Second floor hallway.

Second floor hallway.

Current master bath.

Current master bath.

Reader Email: DIY or Hire a Contractor?

Hi Guys.  Love the blog! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us; it’s awesome to see.  Flipping a house is something my husband and I have wanted to do for a while, but aren’t really sure where to start. We both have full-time jobs, so I’m not sure if we even have the time.  Do you do the work yourselves, or do you have contractors? Thanks so much.  I can’t wait to see how your latest project turns out – it’s huge!

– Joan

Hi Joan,

Thanks for the email and the
kind words! Great question. We’ve done both.

For our first property (a rental) we basically did everything ourselves (paint, tile, flooring, bathrooms, finished basement, etc).  The rehab took a total of 63 days, with my father and I working most weeknights from 6-10 and then weekends from 8am – 8pm.  We subbed out plumbing and the garage rebuild.  Between my full time job and the rehab, I was working about 80 hours a week.  It wasn’t ideal, but we saved a lot of money. We also do most all of the work at our other rental properties.  If you’re not afraid of putting in the time, then by all means do the work yourselves!  It’s a great way to appreciate and understand everything that goes into a rehab.

That said, I’ll probably never do that again.  For our Century Home flip we’ve subbed out the entire scope of the project, from electrical and plumbing to paint.  There is certainly pieces of the project we could do ourselves to save some cash, but given the size of the house there is no way we’d be able to meet our project timeline.  Managing a crew is a full-time job in and of itself, so while I may not be laying tile I’m sure I’ll be glued to my phone.

Good luck!

The Century Home

Hi there! It’s been awhile.

It’s been a pretty hectic time on our end! My better half will probably be giving birth in the next week to a beautiful baby girl and over the last few weeks we’ve been focused on getting her nursery finished. We’ll share those pictures with you soon!

As if that weren’t enough work, we’ve spent the last few weeks interviewing contractors for our latest rehab. Typically it shouldn’t take this long to get a scope of work and bid in place, but alas this house is MASSIVE. Like, you can fit all of our other properties inside of it big.

All told, the house is about 4,000 square feet spread across three stories (not including the basement) and is in need of some love in pretty much every room.

Nestled near Coventry Village in historic Cleveland Heights, it’s a center hall colonial style home that has been occupied by the same family since it was built in 1914. The previous owners did some work here and there, but it’s very much been untouched since it was built. It looks pretty shabby today, but I imagine that it was wonderful place to call home 100 years ago.

We’re hopeful that we’ll have a contractor selected in the next week and have construction begin shortly thereafter. We’ll be sure to keep you in the loop.

Until there, here are some exterior shots:

Grandma’s House: Before & After

I promised before & after pictures of our latest rehab property and here they (finally) are. The rehab was completed a few weeks ago and our new tenants, three college students from my Alma Mater, moved in just a few days ago.

The house was purchased from an estate, with the previous owner occupying the property since 1973. Challenges includes a structurally deficient garage, water intrusion in the basement, as well as carpet and wallpaper throughout that were stained by years of cigarette smoking. In addition, kitchen and bathroom were in need of updating.

The most time consuming aspect of the renovation was the removal of the yellow-tinted wallpaper in every room in the house. Even on the ceilings! After the wallpaper was removed, the drywall was full of gashes and pot-marks that needed to be filled and sanded. This alone took more than a week to do. What’s more, all of the beautiful trim in the house was stained yellow from 30+ years of cigarette smoking. Nothing an industrial paint sprayer can’t handle, though!

Dining Room & Living Room: After the wallpaper was removed, the walls were coated in Kilz Primer (to seal the smell of smoke) and then painted using “Pip” by Martha Stewart. Trim was painted, chandelier replaced and hardwood refinished. We also updated the hardware on the beautiful built-in cabinets.

Kitchen: The cabinets were recently updated and in fantastic shape, so we decided to keep them. I’m not thrilled with the finish, but the new granite, backsplash and hardware does certainly ease the pain. We also installed luxury vinyl tile throughout the kitchen, which is a breeze to install (peel & stick!) and can truly pass off as more expensive tile as the seams are grouted.

Kitchen 2

Bathroom: We replaced the vanity and toilet, painted the walls after removing the wallpaper and installed the same LVT as we had in the kitchen.


Basement: This was quite the headache. There was a tremendous amount of water intrusion in the basement, so we opted for an interior waterproofing system (B-Dry). Once that was completed, we framed out half of the basement to create a finished play area.


Bedrooms: Most of the bedrooms were straight forward; remove wallpaper and paint.  One of the smaller bedrooms has an unsightly closet that made the room feel even more cramped than it already was.  Looks much better without it!




So, with that, on to the next one! We have a few in the works right now, including a 3,300 sq. ft. home built in 1914 (!!!) and a gorgeous duplex in a historic part of town.




Kitchen Update – Granite Selection


Selecting finishes is everyone’s favorite part of a rehab – it’s when things finally start coming together and your vision becomes a reality.  While much of the house is still in full throws of rehab, the kitchen demo is complete and is finally ready for a little love.  We’re still bouncing around ideas for flooring and backsplash, but my wife took a quick trip to the local granite supplier to pick out the countertops.

Granite was the first finish we selected as it will dictate our backsplash and flooring selection.  In that the existing cabinets have a  natural oak finish, my wife select a rustic granite with hints of cream, beige and brown.   Doesn’t it blend perfectly with the cabinetry?  You’d think she’s done this before!

Given the granite selection, my wife suggested we go with a darker floor covering and simple and light backsplash. I agree!  We don’t have anything in mind just yet, but will be heading to TileShop to make our selection.  They have such a diverse product offering (much better than Home Depot or Lowe’s) and their prices are similar, if not better.

Sneak Peak: 3rd Floor Bath Remodel

It only took four weeks of on-and-off work and innumerable trips to Home Depot and Sherwin Williams, but my wife finally has the third floor bath she’s always wanted.  The rehab included: new tile flooring, wainscoting, a new vanity, restoration of our clawfoot tub, a new chrome “telephone” tub faucet and paint.  Lots of paint.

I’ll hold off the full reveal until we install the vanity and decorate the space, but for now here is a quick sneak peak:

House Flipping Couple