2014 in Review – THANK YOU!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 49,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 18 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Master Bath: Sneak Peak

With Christmas fast approaching, construction at the Century Home has come to a pause for now.  Our crews plan to get back at it next week.  With rough plumbing and electrical finally complete, our drywallers will be kicking off the New Year with spot repairs throughout.  Soon as they’re done, our tile guy will begin rebuilding the master bathroom.

While my wife and I certainly love to pick colors and tile, we are not interior designers.  Far from it.  Fortunately for us, with online resources like Houzz and a brand new Tile Shop nearby, we don’t need to be!

The great thing about The Tile Shop is that each store has TONS of kitchen and bath vingettes located throughout the store, so you can easily envision what the tile might look like in your home.

We opted to recreate the Eleanor Bath, with a few alternations of our own. Can’t wait to show what they are, but for now…here is a sneak peak of the tile we’ll be using in our master bath.

Elanor

Demo Here; Demo There; Demo Everywhere!

Why do we yawn a creation and thrill a destruction? 

I have no idea, but destruction is my favorite part of a renovation! The process of wiping the slate clean and starting fresh is extrelely rewarding.  That, and hitting walls with a sledgehammer is a great way to relieve stress!

Demo is largely complete at the Century House and we’ve begun to put it back together, but I’m a little behind on the blog so let me catch you guys up!

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Demo’d butler stairwell in the kitchen and closed off access. Increased size of the kitchen dramatically!

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Cabinets gone. Drywall gone. New electrical being installed. Oh, and 10 foot ceilings!

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New can lighting being installed in the living room. We removed numerous sconces throughout the room in favor of overhead lighting.

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This used to be a four seasons room which was enclosed at a later date, but some of the exterior aspects remained. We removed / closed off some of the windows and framed over a door which was an awkward second entry to the first floor bath.

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Master bathroom. Drywall removed in preparation for new plumbing. Window over tub closed so we can have a full wall of tile!

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Kid’s bathroom. Drywall removed in preparation for new plumbing. Window over tub closed so we can have a full wall of tile! The cast iron tub is almost 350 pounds!

Until next time!

 

Dance Floor. Lets Work!

My wife and I own/operate a few properties that we rent to the students of our Alma Mater, John Carroll University.  We’ve heard plenty of landlord horror stories, particularly those related to college students, but (*knock on wood*) all of our tenants have been tremendous thus far.

Anyways, we’re planning a kitchen remodel at one of the properties over their Christmas break.  I started a text message thread with the kids to make them aware so they could get their stuff out of the kitchen.  As expected, they were thankful the work was being done.  After all, they’re getting new cabinets and granite. Why wouldn’t they be happy?

Then came 1:12AM on a drinking night.  Apparently, they forgot their landlord was on the thread:

jcu texts

Century Home: Second Floor Layout

Old homes present interesting problems, especially with the intention of flipping. One of the most common characteristics of  homes built during the 1920-30’s is the lack of bedroom space.  In the early 20th century, families typically spent their time together on the first floor and rarely retired to their bedrooms for anything but sleep.  Living rooms and dining rooms were huge, but bedrooms and kitchens were tiny.

Today’s buyers, however, want space and lots of it.  Master suites with an attached bath are huge selling points, but rarely seen outside of new construction.

With that in mind a quite a bit of space to work with, we’ve decided to do a little bit of rearranging on the second floor.  The home has five bedrooms and two full bathrooms on the second floor, none of which are all that big. As you can see in the architectural drawing below (thanks, dad!), we’re turning the home into a four bedroom property.

The current plan is to create a large master bedroom that makes up the entire right side of the second floor.  The cost in doing so was pretty nominal (demo two closets & build two walls), but I think it adds tremendous value and appeal to the property.

2nd floor

 

 

New entryway to the master bedroom, looking from the hallway.  Closets used to separate the two rooms.

New entryway to the master bedroom, looking from the hallway. Closets used to separate the two rooms.

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. 

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

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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.