Updated: Jun 3, 2020
The work on Unit 2 has been going on for a little while now, and thanks to Covid (especially the lack of travel for my job) I'm saving some money and doing a lot of the work myself! This is a good thing because it keeps me occupied and prevents me from going stir crazy as we deal with the shelter in place order, but it also has been keeping me extremely busy from week to week.
When I went out initially I was pleasantly surprised by how the unit looked...generally it seemed to be in relatively decent shape. As I got further in it got worse. I had to get an exterminator out immediately because there were roaches everywhere in the kitchen and bathroom-there goes $575 to exterminate all 4 units. The kitchen cabinets were rotted out and the floor was sloping pretty badly, a result of some damage downstairs in the ceiling supports. Still don't know the damage to my wallet.
Once I pulled together the scope of work I got started on the very minor demo I needed to do. in the kitchen all of the cabinets needed to be ripped out, as did the sink, the old linoleum floor, and some of the subfloor underneath once I realized the sloping problem. None of it was terribly difficult (aside from roaches crawling everywhere)
Afterwards the only remaining items to demo were the vanity in the bathroom and some trim throughout the bedroom and living room. The vanity stayed in place for a while so I still had a sink in the unit, and eventually pulling it out proved as easy as you would expect. In the bedroom and living room as I got ready to paint I noticed a couple of weird things - the trim around baseboards turned out to be nothing more than an unfinished 1x2 board, the ceiling and top of the baseboards had a very thin strip of flat trim, and there was quarter round around the corners of all of the rooms. Once it was all ripped out it was time to paint!
Once I had a nice pile of garbage taken to the dump and a number of additional bags full, it was time to begin painting. The walls were covered with wood paneling, so rather than take it off and deal with replacing the drywall behind it, I decided to go with a relatively light grey Behr Premium paint from Home Depot. I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out!
I painted the grey throughout the living room and bedroom, and painted the baseboards, trim, and ceilings white (again using Behr Premium that I picked up at Home Depot). There is still some detail work to do throughout both rooms to touch them up, but I'm lucky to have a girlfriend who enjoys doing that! So I got the paint far enough that I could begin laying flooring, and left some of the minor spots to be touched up later.
I've started to really enjoy laying flooring as I've gotten better at it. A fellow veteran and investor let me know that Lowe's was having a sale on laminate flooring for $0.49/sqft, so I had to jump on it. Add to it that I could take an additional 10% off due to their military discount and I picked up 860 sqft for around $400. Not bad at all!
Now I know the first thing a ton of people are going to say in seeing the pictures is "YOU'RE COVERING UP ORIGINAL HARDWOODS?! WTF?!?!"
Yes, I most certainly am. Here's why.
-Refinishing the hardwoods would cost north of $2,000; between flooring and underlayment I spent $600
-With refinished original hardwood floors the unit would rent for $700-750. With laminate it would rent for...$700-750
-With refinished original hardwood floors, in a year or two I'd have to do it all over again and eventually they would get past the point of refinishing them. With laminate it can take a beating from tenants and I can ultimately rip it up and refinish the hardwood when I sell
Covering up the original floor is an absolute no-brainer when you realize it's an investment! Refinishing them may provide a little sentimental value for someone, or may make them feel better about restoring old glory or something like that, but the unit isn't for them! It's for the tenants! Make sure you consider your ROI at all times when rehabbing your property!
Things are getting close and looking wayyyy better, but I still have a lot to do! Next step is to tackle the bathroom-paint, install the vanity, and lay flooring. Once that's complete I have to trim all around the completed rooms, clean up & paint the stairwell, and then it's just a matter of fixing the kitchen!
More to come!!!