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Gastonia Quad - 99 Problems and a Rehab is Most

Updated: Jun 3, 2020

It's been 2 months since #toiletlady moved out of Unit 3 in my fourplex, and the other tenant was out of Unit 2 shortly after. To say things have been slow is an incredible understatement, but it's coming along nonetheless!

Living Room/Bedroom Progress

#toiletlady's unit is technically listed as a 2 bedroom unit, but the second bedroom has no window or alternate egress and is being turned into a laundry room. The unit is laid out like a studio apartment in a way, where the front door opens up to the first bedroom. Due to the egress and the closet it is officially a bedroom, although it was previously used as a living room instead.

The middle room connected to the bathroom has now been converted into a bedroom with the addition of a closet, and while it isn't the most ideal layout with the attached bathroom and passthrough to the kitchen, given the design of the place it's the best I could do without knocking out walls.

The closet has finally been completed, the flooring has been laid, and the only thing remaining in both of the bedrooms is to add the trim around the edge of the flooring. It's certainly a relief to have that work done so I can focus on everything else once the ceiling has been repaired!

City Inspector and Contracted Work

The biggest delay has come from finding licensed contractors to do the required plumbing, electrical, and structural work. As a result of the city inspection, nearly all of it needs to be permitted simply because so much of the unit was ripped up when he came out. For example, replacing a bathtub (not moving any plumbing) requires a licensed plumber to pull a permit simply because there was no tub in there when the inspector walked through. Talk about a nightmare.

With that said, we're finally moving forward! A contractor will be out next week to repair the ceiling joists, which will really unlock the rest of the rehab! The ceiling is currently ripped out of the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room, and the problems with the ceiling joists are preventing me from moving forward with the kitchen upstairs in Unit 2.

Once the ceiling is repaired, all of the sheetrock can be hung to complete the walls and ceiling downstairs. Each of the rooms can be painted, the laundry room can get the washer/dryer hookups installed, I can work on the upstairs kitchen, and I can really wrap up the final pieces of the rehab.

Lessons Learned

This has certainly be a huge learning experience. This is the first big rehab that I've coordinated, and to say it has been difficult is an understatement. Everything is currently running way over my initial budget so I'm trying to save where I can, but it's requiring a significant amount of back and forth with the contractors. Additionally, the initial plan was shot when the city inspection occurred and the previously agreed upon scope of work became segmented.

Learning how to work best with the contractors is huge, and that's where my primary lessons come from:

  1. Clearly identify the scope of work up front and set the timeline

  2. If the work is interrupted or broken into segments, make sure the contract is clearly defined accordingly. We have a few items that are on hold, some that have been removed, and some that are dependent upon the work another contractor is doing

  3. Consolidate requests and get them in writing. I've found one off items that I sent to my contractor to get quotes on, but wound up sending a bunch of things to him piecemeal. It made everything extremely difficult to keep track of and made things harder on both of us

One of these days, hopefully in the very near future, this will be a success story of sorts! I'm hoping to be done with everything by the end of the month, but I guess we'll see how that goes.

Stay tuned, and check out Instagram for more routine updates!

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