Reno Realities

Flip Updates

I don't mean to leave you guys hanging with flips- I post a reveal and then say nothing else for weeks?  Not fair. Dori-after-kitchen-4

Well, Dori's still up for grabs.  The super hot summer market seemed to drop out the second we listed this flip.  Sad trombone.  While we're certainly antsy, we're still confident she'll sell for a decent price as soon as the right people see it.  Waiting isn't our strong suit, though.  Luckily we've moved on to other real estate distractions.

We're buying a condo!  Not to live in, but to rent out!  I'm taking off my "Nicole Curtis" hat and putting on my "Scott McGillivray" hat temporarily.  Rentals has been one of our goals since starting flipping and it was finally time.  I'm not going to go into toooo much detail since we won't officially own anything until the end of the month, but I see another kitchen renovation in my very near future.  Gotta make this tiny, gloriously '80s, laminate kitchen shine so that every renter ever will want to live here.

condo kitchen before1

condo kitchen before2

If you've ever watched HGTV's Income Property you know the caliber of the property will dictate the caliber of the tenant- and we want a good tenant!  I'm probably going to go pretty basic in here- white cabinets to the ceiling, subway tile (because I already have a stock of them and they'll look bright and nice), and granite countertops.  Granite vs. laminate was already a debate, but for such a tiny kitchen, the cost difference is so insignificant and granite will be longer lasting.  We're hoping that once we take ownership I can get my contractors in to bang this kitchen out so we can get it rented out for the beginning of the year- Fingers crossed!!

Until then, I'll be busy frolicking in this unseasonably warm weather we've been having this week.  Have a wonderful weekend!!!

On the Rail

With my house finally coming back together after the floor/stair/railing reno, I have TONS of awesome DIYs planned for you guys.  For some strange reason, however, Hubby's pretty insistent that I install baseboards and door trim and finish painting before I start decorating.  Silly boy.  So basically, big, exciting things are coming, but my house needs to look like a house first.  Sad Trombone. I thought I'd pop in quickly today and show you that we are no longer at high risk for falling down the stairs- we have a railing!!!  I coerced my contractor (since we're still awaiting permit on the flip) to come and install this beaut.


With 2 super sexy newel posts that used to not be super sexy.



After all my crazy patching, I ended up painting it with a base of solid stain, then countless coats of Polyshades to give it a multi-dimensional, stained look.  I have some touch-ups to do now that they're installed, but I humbly think my paint treatment worked!

It's weird that we never realized how low our old railings were until we got one of the proper height.  Don't get me wrong, we knew the height was off, especially at the top, but check out the hole where the old railing hit the wall- a good 9 inches lower!


The entire old railing wasn't 9" lower, just the return at the top, but man was it awkward.  As you can see, 2 spindles are missing and replacements have been ordered.  For some reason, my count was 1 less than was actually needed since we changed the configuration a bit (the top newel post moved up a step) and one snapped during install.  No sweat, I've been assured by my contractor that I can install them myself without issue.


Now we just need to get used to not only using and seeing a railing again, but one that is the proper height!

Next step for these stairs? A runner!  These buggers are slippery now that they're refinished.  Slippery + already steep stairs = runner as necessity.

Welcoming Back Character

I could never live in a house while it's being flipped.  I know some people do it and it's a great way to save money, but Hubby and I are too much creatures of habit.  With our entire 500sf second floor displaced to get the floors refinished, our routines are severely outta whack. But OMG the floors kind of look amazing now. Once I pulled up the carpet, pad, and plywood, the floors were looking a bit worse for wear and I wasn't sure if they were salvageable.  Big gaps, nails everywhere....

Old pine floors before via Year of Serendipity

But that's why I called in the pros for this part and didn't attempt a DIY.

antique pine floors refinished via Year of Serendipity

It would be creepy if I hugged the floors, right?

Hubby's office, my office, and the majority of the hallway are sanded, patched, and shiny and newly refinished.  We were lucky enough to be able to patch with old salvaged pine pieces from our realtor's own antique floor (thanks Amy!!) and you can barely tell!

antique pine floors refinished via Year of Serendipity

Hubba hubba, am I right?  Perfect color and patina.  We had him darken the floor just a bit with a Golden Oak stain and it was totally the right move.

Starting today we'll be able to start emptying out the bedroom onto these floors so I can pull up the carpet and plywood and do the same in there.  Sadly, though, that means we'll be a little off kilter for the next week or so too, but at least once the floor is done, it'll be done!

Did I mention the stair treads are getting refinished and the railing is getting an update too?  Hubby's still not sure why I'm insisting on this part, but the railing has bugged the bejeezus out of me for 4 years.  That orange, bowed wood, 90s railing feels so out of place to me in a house from 1900.

old stair railing

I'm still contemplating reusing the spindles, but certainly not the newel post.  Those are getting an update... or a regression, I guess would be more appropriate.

antique newel posts

I found this pretty pair of antique newel posts at an architectural salvage warehouse in New Hampshire and I already feel like they belong in my house.  Right era, right level of detail, right scale.  Now I just need to patch them up and build up the bottoms a bit so they are the right height for a modern railing.  I never make projects easy on myself.

I can't wait for the stairs and floors to be set!  4 years of daydreaming about no more wall-to-wall carpet and a 'new' vintage-styled railing.  Hubby's understandably eager for me to start on the next flip, so I'll stop making new project for our own house.  I'm apparently an addict.  I can stop whenever I want..... I swear!