Fatigue is the Best Pillow

Fatigue is the best pillow.
– Benjamin Franklin

We are in the midst of remodeling 4 different properties. Here’s a sneak peek.

We’re doing a Ronald Reagan (“Tear Down That Wall”) in the first property:

We are still in the middle of the remodel, so I don’t have an After picture yet. Here is a glimpse mid-construction:

Another property is in need of some major concrete repair work:

My favorite new project is a house that is over 100 years old. There are FOUR leaded glass windows. Be. Still. My. Heart. Here’s a before shot of the entry hall:

Benjamin Franklin was right. I’ve been sleeping like a baby lately.


Nancy Drew is a Verb

Craig and I thoroughly enjoy remodeling homes for resale. The properties we choose are loaded with potential especially if they have been neglected. It is tempting to pull out all the stops and transform each home into a dream house. Budget? Pshaw!

HGTV Dream Home 2009

Thankfully, we have a system in place to keep from overdoing it. Before we purchase a property to remodel, we have already decided 1) what rooms to rehab and 2) the extent of the rehab.

Rooms to Rehab:

The process of deciding whether or not to remodel a specific room depends largely its current condition. We ask questions like:

Are there wood floors under that carpet?

Will paint alone be enough?

Are the kitchen cabinets salvageable?

Is that a load bearing wall?

Extent of Rehab

The extent to which we rehab a home depends largely on its neighborhood. We always plan to be the nicest house in our price range but not excessively so. The MLS has a wealth of information about real estate neighborhoods. So we put on our sleuthing hats and scope out River Heights.

We investigate similar homes that have sold recently as well as homes currently on the market in the neighborhood. Pictures on the MLS listings offer information such as:

What type of countertops are in the kitchens of this neighborhood?

Are the shower walls tile or a plastic surround?


Does it have a garage?

That's our daughter #2!

After we “Nancy Drew” the remodel project, we practice self-control. A kitchen can still be beautiful without granite counters. It allows us to keep the price of certain homes within reach of more families.

Sleuth and budget. Works every time.

Linked to:
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage


Peek at the Stairs

We prefer to take pictures before any of the contractors get their hands on a new rehab project.  In the case of our new brick home project, however, I had two sick kids strewn on the couch and needing extra love.  As a result, the Before pictures of this property were taken after the first day of work.

As you can see, the painters had already begun repairing the walls.

The stairs in this house are fun.  I love the way the last tread wraps around the wall into the living area.

Pardon the construction dust

I also love the hidden compartment.

Wonder what was stored in here?

We will be restoring the wood on the stairs to their original condition, not painting them.  Painting the risers and the trim can look beautiful, but it really is a matter of personal preference.  We’ll let the future owners make that call for themselves.