Flip #4 · Uncategorized

Flip 4: Week 1

I’ve said it a hundred times before, in house flipping- expect the unexpected. I knew going into Flip 4 it was going to be a beast of project. I knew there would be surprises, curse words, & chaos.

I just didn’t realize we’d hit all that in the first week.

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I’m glad this almost 3,000 square feet house had most of the popcorn ceilings scraped…but I still had 3 bedrooms, the hallway, and 1 bathroom worth of popcorn scraping to do. And let me tell you, it sucked. It’s not that it’s difficult (I may do a tutorial post in the future because I get asked how I do it a lot), but by the end of the week my right hand was throbbing! I didn’t do it all in one setting. I’d get one room done & reward myself by doing a less horrible task!

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The largest project that started this week was hooking to city sewer. The house was previously on septic, but city requirement made us hook to the sewer. This was a very massive, very invasive, and very expensive project. It took two full days to get it done–and they still have to come back next week to do some final touch up work.

We had hoped to run a straight line from the sewer line to the city street. Unfortunately, an angry neighbor and two large trees prevented that, so we had to dig up the entire yard…starting in the back, all around the side, down the front, across the driveway, and across the other side of the driveway. I wasn’t lying- it was invasive!

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Hooking to city sewer is quite the ordeal in normal situations. This was NOT a normal situation. The previous homeowner covered his septic tank with a driveway. This is the only house in the city with a covered septic & the only time the plumber had seen this in 40+ years. So let this be your official PSA- DO NOT COVER YOUR SEPTIC TANK WITH A DRIVEWAY.

Since the septic was covered with a driveway, we had to bust up a large portion of the driveway to access the septic to drain it, fill it, and then recover. Then we had to repour the driveway. Again, I wasn’t lying when I said it was invasive!

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In total, I had several trucks, trailers, plows and, as my nephew would say, tons of other Bob-the-builder tractors. I’m sure the city and neighbors love me– a portion of the road was blocked off. But it was worth it– at least to me!

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After they repoured the driveway, most of my yard was roped off with caution tape for several days. I often wonder what the neighbors must think!

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While all the septic and driveway chaos was going on, I tackled a few projects like the screened porch. I really think this space has so much potential, but the layers of dirt and grime are inches thick. The carpet that covered the floor was moldy, filthy, and partially rotted. The next step is to clean up the existing floor and repaint it. And the screens will need replacing too!

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I also tackled the basement staircase. It was covered in filthy carpet. After I removed the carpet, I got all of the tack strips removed. My next step will be to fill in the holes and sand. I’ll be giving a tutorial in the future about how I refinish those stairs. I know, they’re ugly and not much to look at now, but hang with me a bit!

While I was at it, I removed the partial paneling from this hall. Once I removed the carpet I noticed the stair treads didn’t meet up with the paneling which caused an awkward gap between the stair and the wall. So I’ll be sheetrocking the wall to fill in the gap.

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The kitchen is in rough shape, obviously. I started by getting the appliances out and then removing the existing countertops. Since I’m going with granite countertops for this flip, I didn’t use my typical method of countertop removal. The countertops were one of many DIY jobs & were only attached with a few screws, so removing them was pretty easy- luckily!

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Despite the septic chaos, the never-ending project list, and all the grime of this house…the biggest obstacle in week 1 was my contractor. If you follow me on Facebook, you already know that by Day 2, we were 2 days behind. In a 6 week flip timeline, that’s catastrophic to be behind schedule that early.

If being behind schedule wasn’t big enough, every project he was touching was costing me more money and more time. One of his projects was to install a PREPAINTED door. Obviously the benefit of a prepainted door is that I don’t have to paint it. He mismeasured the handleset opening, drilled extra holes, and this is how he left it. Do you know what that means? It means I have to paint the prepainted door!

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One of his other projects was to build casings around the basement windows. After finishing the project, this is what I find. I mean I was (and still am) totally baffled how someone thinks this is an acceptable finish! So, needless to say, I told him to rip them out and redo them.

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After he finished the window casings the 2nd time, this is what I find. Split sides with nails sticking out. I mean, really? I thought he had to be joking. He wasn’t. So, again, I told him to rip them out and start over. I guess 3rd time was charm, so I finally don’t have awful looking window casings!

So, at risk of stating the obvious, that contractor no longer works for me. Time is money and his time was costing me a lot of money. As of today, I still do not have a contractor for this flip. You can imagine the stress that is causing me right now. So I’m sure more curse words are in my future. Luckily, though, my awesome painter and drywall guy starts this week and he’s doing A LOT of work, so visible progress is heading my way!

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Week 1 wasn’t all bad though! I was able to hit a 1 day flooring warehouse sale. I was hoping to score some cheap carpet for the basement, but they didn’t have enough. I did, however, find tons of beveled subway tile for the master bathroom shower. I got TONS of tile and trim for less than $150. I was so excited!

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While at the warehouse sale I found some special order tiles I fell in love with! Unfortunately, they weren’t part of the sale, but the money I saved with the subway tile, I decided to spend in the hallway bathroom. This tile is so on trend right now, and I’m totally obsessed. I posted this photo on Facebook and you all came out in droves to give your opinions on which one I should choose. I’m still wavering between the two styles; they’re both beautiful!

If you want to stay up to date with the happenings at Flip 4, be sure you’re following me on Facebook & Instagram. I’ve been posting Instastories and snapshots of all of the Flip 4 shenanigans!

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19 thoughts on “Flip 4: Week 1

  1. Looks like you have your work cut out for you with this one!!! I have had those, you just have to laugh interactions with contractors….how on earth do they think those things are ok?!?

  2. I had intended to comment previously on how your contractors seem to be on target with your vision. Obviously, things can change in a heartbeat and there is no reason to hang on to those time wasters. It is hard finding competent subs and I don’t envy having to go down that path. We built two houses and I learned so much; one of which was/is, don’t give in to their shenanigans. I also envy your ability to sniff out the sales and deals you seem to find. Good job.

  3. Go girl GO! I’ll be moving to Florida in less than 2 years and will be working on a DIY myself. I’ll be watching your flips with lots of interest to get ideas and see how it goes! You’ve got great taste and apparently, the patience of Job 😉 Did you try a site like HomeAdvisor for your contractor? Hiring an unknown is always scary, all you can do is due diligence. Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing!

  4. Woo Hoo Congrats!!! your first REAL Flip!, this one will be a game changer for sure, cant wait to see your progress. I wish I could stay diligent posting my progress, but have fallen so far behind, im not sure where to pick up. Love your Blog!!!

  5. Every flip we’ve done we have gone into without a contractor, specifically for the reason you’ve discovered: some aren’t worth having on the job, and the ones that are are usually booked months in advance. You’ll survive, and you’ll discover new skills you didn’t know you had. More DIY fun!

  6. Just wanted to say you go girl!! One thing to help that throbbing hand from scraping ceilings is a magnesium spray. I use EASE by activation products.com. After a hard days work legs cramps, arms ache this stuff really helps. Our bodies hurt from a lack of minerals. I also take Solaray mega multi minerals, I am a lot older than you but work hard like you and all of this has helped me work harder and longer.

  7. Wow – that plumbing issue was astounding, but the carpenter’s shoddy work was HORRENDOUS. How frustrating ! Love the porch tho’ – that’s going to be a fantastic spot for some serious R & R.

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