Flipping Houses | Home Renovation and Improvement

Hole-y Colonial Flip House: Before

You’ll have to excuse the poor quality images. We didn’t exactly have documentation in mind when we bought this one. The first picture shown, taken as we peered through the window just before bidding began at the courthouse, told us most of what we needed to know.

image looking through a window at the colonial flip house before purchase with holes in the ceiling and a mess every where but we saw potiential

A House Flip Assessment

Notice the hole in the ceiling. This means:

  • Drywall Work (there’s probably more than what we see here)
  • Plumbing Repairs
  • Probably Bathroom Renovations
  • Interior Paint
Cost Saving Potential
  • Cabinets in good condition
  • Countertops & backsplash were nice enought to keep
  • Solid hardwood throughout most of the downstairs

Outside we took note of the condition of the roof, windows and foundation as well as the HVAC unit’s age. These big ticket items are important to take into account when determining your highest bid at an auction.

On the Inside …

As the story goes, we ended up getting past the upset bid period and won! (Read: How the auction process works in Raleigh, NC – coming soon). Once inside, more drywall holes were found throughout, hence the name – The Hole-y Colonial.

The hardwoods looked to be in good condition and only needed refinishing and a fresh coat of plyurethane.

dining room of flip house before renovations
The Dining Room, Before
master bedroom before renovation at flip house in raleigh. room is in disprepair with holes in the walls
The Hole-y Colonial’s Master Bedroom, Before

Although the tile in the master bathroom wasn’t all that offensive, the shower size was less than ideal with a teeny tiny door low ceiling. I always wonder – why did builders do this in the 80’s?? The only reason I can imagine is for warmth when showering.

We believed this bathroom to be the reason behind the gaping hole in the kitchen ceiling, so added a full gut to the scope of work.

Lessons Learned @ this Flip

I’m not going to make a dedicated post on lessons learned at this flip house because it’s written in retrospect, several years later. But I can share a few things we did here that either taught us something new or may teach you.

Painting Tile with Epoxy verses Demo & Re-tile

Due to budget constraints, when faced with the decision to demo and re-tile the upstairs hall bath or getting creative, we chose the later. Hexagon shaped floor tile defintiely made this choice a little easier and we ended up paying a company to Epoxy the shower and floor tiles. Want to see how it turned out?

In the end, we found epoxy application by a professional to be only slightly cheaper. I’m still not convinced it will stand the test of time, especially when talking about application on the floor. If you were going to DIY the expoxy application, this route would be worth your time to help you stay well within budget.

When to keep or pitch existing cabinets in a renovation

Although we do love new white cabinets for a kitchen, when you happen to be dealing with a house that has solid wood cabinets and no water damage – they are worth saving. The older white cabinets in this house showed a bit of wear, but they were in too good of condition to paint. Cleaning, a light sand and coat of polyurethane did the trick.

Reglazing Windows

When in doubt, replace the windows, unless they are:

  • overall in good condition
  • single pane
  • comparable to other homes in the neighborhood

There’s another option: consider reglazing them! Reglazing involves window cleaning, edging the surface around the outer edge of the glass, where it touches the casing or interior window trim and applying glazing to create a seal.

Always Cover Your Drains!! *Big Lesson Learned*

Tile jobs can get messy and sometimes messy contractors don’t pay attention where their grout or shards of tile waste fall. Rest assured if you don’t cover the drain of your newly installed shower, they will find themselves there and cause problems.

This is exactly what happened at the Hole-y Colonial flip AFTER we were all done! The shower drain became occluded with tile debris and leaked in the *exact* same spot of the kitchen ceiling we had just repaired.

image looking through a window at the colonial flip house before purchase with holes in the ceiling and a mess every where but we saw potiential
this one

You can bet we now have an addendum to our subcontractor agreement that states subs will be backcharged if construction remnants are found in the drains.

>>See the Hole-y Colonial, After Renovations<<

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