Friday Roundup: The Light at the End of the Tunnel, Rental Renos

Aug 6, 2021 | Friday Round Up, Whole House

This week has been full of contractor activity both at our house and the townhouse. When we bought our home, we thought (and were told) that it would be a 6 week process to get the renovations completed, then we could could move in. After our move, we planned to renovate the townhouse that we bought earlier this year that we were turning into a rental. But, because of so many contractor delays, it’s now month 4 and we’re still living with contractors everyday at our house.

We’ve moved in, but we definitely have not settled in. It’s been a frustrating process especially since with the work they’re doing, we can’t move our furniture into place yet. Everything must be kept away from the walls for the baseboard installation. With having to wrap up the renovations at our house, the townhouse renovations were put on hold. And with that, we’ve been paying 2 mortgages… Not fun!

However, there is good news… We are now starting the renovations at the townhouse and I hope to have those done in the next couple weeks so that we can find a tenant for September. But, let’s break down the current renovations at each house to give you sense of where we are.

Our House

At our house, I think (🤞) that we’ll be done with contractors hammering and sawing by the end of next week. They are finishing up the baseboards and also completing little finishing items on the punch list to include painting all the baseboards with the new shoe molding. They are also adding trim to the stairs and touching up paint throughout the house.

The biggest thing yet to do is putting up the chandelier in the music room which I can’t wait to see installed!

This is one that I chose for the music room

Also on the house list is a landscaper coming next week to maintain the gardens. I love gardening and normally spend at least an hour a day in the spring and summer weeding, planting, and whispering sweet nothings to my plants. But, this summer, I’ve barely had a chance to go outside because I’ve been so busy with unpacking, managing contractors, and now being the general contractor on the townhouse renovation.

So, we’re biting the bullet and having landscapers come out with some frequency to maintain the yard for us. We also have an extensive irrigation system with 24 zones and they are fixing any and all sprinkler issues. Also, with about 200 outdoor lights, some working and some not, they are going through and testing each one to make sure they are in good working order. These are little things that if I had the time, I would learn how to do, but this summer, I’m allowing myself some grace in not trying to tackle it all and I’m leaving this job to the professionals.

My Assistant

I had a really great assistant to help with all the little things that I couldn’t do this summer, but she’s recently gotten a full time teaching job (yay for her!), so she can’t help me anymore. I can’t tell you how sad I am to lose her because she made my life so much easier. I’m now on the hunt for another assistant just to get me through the renovations of both houses.

Rental Renos

We have a lot of experience with rentals and even have one in the same neighborhood as this one. So, I know what types of renovations are needed to get top dollar in rent. I’ve hired contractors to paint, renovate the kitchen and bathrooms, replace some carpet, and do other odds and ends to get the house rent ready. I should say that in this market because so many people are clamoring for housing, you don’t really have to make your house stand out from the crowd like you used to have to do. But, I take pride in being a good landlord with clean, well appointed properties, so I always go above and beyond in my renovations.

The biggest change that I’m making is in the kitchen.

I’m having the cabinets painted an off white and will also replace the countertops and have my contractors install a tile backsplash. I’ll also have them shiplap the back of the peninsula and might even paint that a different color. Most of those changes are happening next week.

I’d like to have the house ready to go by August 20th so that I can find a tenant by September 1st, but I’ve learned over this last year that when you’re working with contractor’s timelines, you’re on their timetable, not the other way around. However, this contractor so far has been the absolute best to work with and I’m hoping to keep him working with me for the long term.

Figuring Out Furniture Placement

Our last house was a classic colonial with rooms that were defined and segmented. Because of that, there was plenty of wall space for furniture placement and art. This house has a more open concept plan so we’re struggling to decide where to put things.

Even though this house is bigger than our last one, we feel like we have too much “stuff” for this house. Don’t get me wrong, I love our house layout and the fact that because it’s open concept, there’s so much light coming into each room, but it does make for a design challenge that I’m not used to… We’re figuring it out though. I have to keep reminding myself that this house is not going to look like a house magazine cover probably ever but definitely not right away. I have to have patience.

New House Items

We’re slowly buying things for the house and this week we’re focusing on a stair runner. When our dogs go up and down the stairs, they slip and slide and with one dog who’s already had 2 knee replacements, we’d like to keep injuries at a minimum. I bought one initially that was too rustic for what I was going for. The weave was too big so it looked like… something you’d wear if you were a rugged lumberjack living in North Dakota. Not the look I was going for. So, I ordered a new herringbone runner with a small scale pattern and tight weave and am hoping that it will work.

Another thing that I’ve had my eye on but haven’t yet pulled the trigger on is this doorknob to replace all the ones in our house.

It’s so beautiful but a bit pricey so I’m trying to find a lower cost option. I think to replace all the doorknobs with this particular knob, it would’ve been about $5,000. 😬 So, yeah, a lower cost option is necessary!

Okay, that’s it for this week. What is everyone doing this weekend? Something fun I hope!