House Flipping: Avenue House - Weeks 8 + 9

How to get started flipping houses | house flipping on a budget

This is a series of posts about our latest endeavor as newbie house flippers! We give updates every few weeks on our house flipping adventures that include timelines, budgets, problems, and before + afters. If you want to start flipping houses, I hope you'll follow along with this series!

Week 1
Weeks 2 + 3
Weeks 4 + 5
Weeks 6 + 7

One month left, guys! I'm freaking out a little because I still feel like we have a million things still to do (and we kind of do) but at least we have moved on to the fun stuff! The original hardwoods were sanded and stained this week and I am thrilled with how they turned out. We chose Minwax Provincial - a stain we haven't used before - and I love it. The color is super rich without looking too orange and dark enough to camouflage water stains without making the house feel heavy. I think the stain color also tones down the reddish brick throughout the house. I don't have a ton of photos because the poly is still drying so we can't get in the house yet, but here is a little glimpse of how different the kitchen looks. Can you believe those floors were hiding underneath that vinyl?

Refinishing Pine Floors - Before
Refinishing Pine Floors - After | Minwax Provincial

I am FINALLY done with the majority of the painting with the exception of touch up (also still have a wainscoting project to do in the bathroom) and I am so relieved my rolling days are behind me. One lesson I've learned with this house is I think it would be better going forward to just hire a painter for this large of a project. Painting a room here and there is one thing, but we had to paint this entire house, including the ceiling and trim in a few rooms. It was just a lot for one person to tackle. The very last room I painted was the bathroom, and it feels so much better to have a fresh coat of Silver Strand on the walls.

1930s medicine cabinet before
1930s medicine cabinet restored

Brian insulated the entire crawl space (there was no insulation before) and also laid down a vapor barrier. Our realtor informed us that some lenders will not lend to borrowers for homes that do not have a vapor barrier which I found interesting. It took him the entire weekend to finish both projects up but it was definitely a necessity, especially with us adding central air. Clearly, this was a dirty job. Mike Rowe would be proud. :)

While he was in the crawlspace, he found treasure! When we opened up the brick patch in the living room fireplace, I was almost positive there would be a coal basket. Alas, once we got the brick demoed, it was just an empty cavity, but still better than mismatched brick! During insulation though, he stumbled upon the original coal basket and we got to re-install it! Ain't she a beaut?

Discovering the original coal basket

Our personal home is starting to look more and more like a warehouse. I have furniture, lighting, tile, sheet vinyl, and even a toilet sitting in my office. I am ready to get this stuff into the house it belongs in so that I can reclaim my house! It really is amazing how much physical stuff goes into a renovation (and how much comes out!). One small task I accomplished last week was removing the curtains from all of the rooms. This was the most drapery-heavy house I have ever been in. Every window had multiple rods and layers of fabrics and it made the whole space seem dark and drab. The curtain rods were also hung on the window casing, completely hiding the trim work and making the room feel stumpy. I am using my table cloth curtain hack for the Avenue House. Hopefully having simple, white drapes in each room will make each space feel bright and airy.

Budget wise, we are still doing okay. I think. The plumbing and electrical invoices have yet to come in so I really don't know if we are on budget for those big-ticket items. Everything else we have basically stayed on target or we were able to move some dollars around (saved a little on lighting, spent a little extra on insulation). This house is still a gamble - the location downtown is what I would consider an up and coming area - but I still feel pretty good about things. There are hardly any truly move-in-ready homes on the market, so hopefully that will work in our favor. We just really need to be smart about our finishes to get the most bang for our buck.

On the docket for this weekend is the kitchen! Cabinets are arriving Saturday and appliances are arriving Sunday. We have to get the cabinets installed ASAP so that we can order the countertops since they have a three week turnaround time. We're basically creating a duplicate of our kitchen (same cabinets and appliances), so we were able to take some measurements preemptively to hopefully speed up the install process. (If you are thinking of installing cabinets yourself, check out this post.) This is our first time installing cabinets in a kitchen this small, so I am praying I measured correctly as there is not much wiggle room for error! If time allows, we are also going to try and hang all of the light fixtures which will make a big difference visually. I think my progress photos for the next update will be a little more dramatic!