Measure Twice, Cut Three Times

I obsess about the big picture – am I on budget, will I meet my project deadline, are my partners happy, are the contractors doing good work – things like that.

My wife…my wife obsesses about the finishes.  She’ll spend 15 minutes debating me about shades of gray (hehe), the placement of the kitchen island, the budget (“but for $200 more, this is light fixture soooo much better”) … and that’s exactly what I need!  I have little interest in being bothered with that kind of stuff; I’ve got far bigger issues to deal with.

With that said, it’s no surprise that I missed a rather glaring issue in out master bedroom that she saw within the first 5 seconds of stepping in the room.

As we’ve wrote about in the past, the master bedroom went through several iterations – we ended up expanding the size of the closet and adding a large fireplace.   This all happened after we had drawn new electrical for overhead lights.   You get the picture … the lighting placement just didn’t look right after we moved things around.

The first time we moved the light placement was after we expanded the closet.  I told my electrician to “center it.”  I never looked at it again.

My wife, however, quickly realized it wasn’t “centered” with the fireplace…it just looked off.  Fortunately for me, my father is an electrical engineer and charges me $0 per hour.  A little father-son bonding and 1 hour of work, the lighting was moved for a third and final time.

Check it out below – far left hole (placement #1), large hole in the middle (placement #2), final hole centered with fireplace (placement #3).

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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

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!

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: 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.

We’re Back!

So, I’ve been MIA for awhile! I’m sorry!

We’ll have more regular updates over the next several weeks as we transition from our latest rental property rehab to some DIY projects around our house in anticipation of our baby girl’s birth in late October. My wife is ready to kill me as I haven’t even started the nursery 😮

Until then, I have a lot to share – we recently completed the rehab of our first rental property, bought a second one and are on the lookout for a third. It’s been an interesting journey thus far, with far too many “Oh shit, I didn’t budget for that” moments and late nights to boot.