A Guest Post From …

…..the Wife!!

Hi there! It’s Harriet – i’m the reason for all of the large bills from Home Depot, Build.com, Pottery Barn, Sherwin Williams and Restoration Hardware, just to name a few.  Yep, I’m the reason projects always seem to come in over budget.  With good reason, though!

I know my husband is focused on the budget, but when you are trying to beautifully rehab a property,  you sometimes need a little pizzaz! Unfortunately, pizzaz = money.

Over the weekend we did one of my favorite shopping trips for the Century Home – lighting! We shopped at two local lighting stores to find just what the flip needed…a little sparkle!  While we always try to leave plenty of room in our budget for lighting and other finish projects, our daughter Mila couldn’t take her eyes off of one of the most expensive (and sparkly) chandeliers we’ve ever seen! Definitely castle worthy!

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Here’s a sneak peak of the dining room chandelier we chose – a slightly tarnished silver that will definitely go well with the 100 year old sconces we were able to salvage.

We haven’t been updating the blog as often as we should, but I have to brag for moment.  When you seen the end result … the transformation … your jaws will drop!  My hubby is an intelligent man, but with all of the stress he’s been under to hit project deadlines, I think he’s been too distracted by the little things to realize just how beautiful the Century Home flip will be.

Ladies, this home is something we fantasize about.  The walk in closet is the size of most bedrooms.  The master bedroom is just as big and has a gorgeous fireplace, where the crystals radiate more than the flames.  The kitchen is inviting and will be perfect for hosting large parties.  Stay tuned, we’re just a few weeks away from hitting the market!

Xo,
Harriet + Mila + our little dog Zeus

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Master Bath – Tile Sneak Peak

Construction is moving fast! Much faster than I can keep up with on the blog!  Our crews are finishing up some minor drywall repairs, installing trim around the new doors and windows, crown molding in a few of the rooms and, most importantly, tile in both the master and kids bathroom!

Here is a sneak peak, with compliments to The Tile Shop for their awesome product selection and design inspiration. Can’t wait to show off the finished product!

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On to the Fun Stuff!

Who knew holding down a full time job, flipping a house, managing a few rental properties, helping care for our newborn daughter (it’s mostly my wife), building a website for my father-in-law’s homebuilding business, managing a blog, trying to find some alone time for my wife and I, plus all of the other small projects that come up (tax season, ah!!!) would be so, well, time consuming?   As someone who likes to have more on my plate than I can handle, even I didn’t realize it’d be this difficult!  So you have to understand my apologies for not updating the blog as regularly as construction at the Century Home flip would allow.

So, let me catch you up to speed!  We’re about a week behind our construction schedule, but overall the project remains largely on budget. We passed our electrical inspection last week and our plumbing inspection yesterday – remember, our scope of work called for all new plumbing and electrical in the house. With all of the rough work (incl. demo & framing) done at the house, we’re finally able to move on to the fun stuff!

Our drywallers will begin hanging sheetrock tomorrow and cement board is currently being installed in both of the bathrooms in preparation for tile. Tile! My father and I delivered about 3,000 pounds of marble floor and wall tile earlier this week, which is no easy task.  The plan is to have both bathrooms tiled by the middle of next week.  After that, we’ll be moving on to tile flooring in the kitchen, which still needs to be picked out.

To be sure, there is still on ton of work to do, but the finish line is in sight.  At this point, it’s mostly picking out finishes – paint colors, light fixtures, countertops, etc.

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:

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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.

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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.

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: