The Columbia Rental- The Rest of the Renos

Apr 12, 2019 | Investment Properties, Investment Property Series, Whole House

With the kitchen and bathrooms out of the way, the rest of the renovations at the Columbia rental were just as exciting! Actually they weren’t, but let’s try to show some excitement for ceiling scraping and column covers. Yea!

One thing that dates a house more than anything is textured ceilings because they’re visible in every room. They were a staple in the ’70s and ’80s and are just so blah now. It’s funny how when houses were built then, if you didn’t have textured ceilings, that was not only weird, but it meant that your space was not as finished. Case in point, the ceilings in the Columbia house were all textured on the first floor, but in the basement, where it is not as finished with its wood paneled walls and large storage room, the ceilings were smooth. Textured ceilings = finished, maybe even classy, spaces.

In this rental, I had the oh-so-popular, stomp ceiling texture which looks like stucco. I asked my contractor to install recessed lights throughout the house, another thing I always do in my rentals, and he had to open up small sections of the ceiling to fish the wires through. Because he had to repair these anyway, I told him to just smooth the ceilings to update the entire look of the house. It cost me $1,200 to do but it was well worth the money to not do it myself.

Stomp ceiling texture

It is a MESSY job and when I would pop in to check on the progress of the house during the ceiling project, my contractor would always be covered in drywall dust. I’m so grateful that he smoothed the ceilings and not me! I did paint all the ceilings throughout the house which I would normally grumble about since it’s backbreaking, but I didn’t this time because I kept thinking, at least I’m not smoothing the ceilings…

Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of the exact spot in the bathroom that was post-smoothed ceilings, but you can tell from the above photo of the living room that the ceilings are now as smooth as a baby’s bottom. And painted after hours and hours of work, not that I’m complaining. 😉

Besides the recessed lights and smooth ceilings, we also boxed in an ugly support beam in the basement and built a box around some eyesore copper and PVC pipes.

The entire house also got a new coat of paint and the walls went from a pale yellow with sometimes dark brown trim to a pale gray with all white trim.

There were a ton more behind the walls, never to be seen, projects that we did as well like hooking up an A/C duct that was never properly installed or redoing some of the wiring. These are all projects that we picked up during the renovation since we couldn’t see them beforehand or uninteresting repairs that I knew needed to be done because the inspector caught them. These behind the scenes repairs can sometimes be just as time consuming, aka costly, as the ones you see with your eyeballs. Luckily, in this house there weren’t too many of those, but in general, you have to budget for these projects just like you would the fun ones.