Rental Property SH #3 Update (March 30, 2015)


Here are completed pictures of Rental Property SH #3 renovations. The scope of work included renovating the majority of the house, which we were able to complete in about two full months. Shout out to my good buddy David who helped me snap the eye candy early first thing in the morning!


Half Bathroom

We did decide to keep the original medicine cabinet/mirror and lights.

Full Bathroom

Those LED bulbs are really, really bright, especially in the bathrooms.

White Carrara Vanity Top
Close Up
Matching Brushed Nickel Hardware
Living Room
Kitchen and Appliances
Start of New Laminate
Laminate Stairs

Laminate flooring throughout the house.

Master Bedroom
Bedroom #2
Bedroom #3
New Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors
New Front Entry Door
2 Car Garage

Here’s what the place looked like before renovations:

Half Bathroom
Full Bathroom
Close Up
Bedroom #3
Bedroom #2
Old Toilet

Quite a transformation, right? As usual, I tried to focus my efforts on the everyday items that I think will make a big impact on a tenant’s day-to-day quality of life. Specifically, I made sure to upgrade: laminate flooring throughout the house, brushed nickel faucets/shower set, doorknobs and hinges, new outlets, light switches, plates/screwless plates, toilets, LED lights (recessed in kitchen/living room/hallways and domes in the bedrooms), etc. Most of these items aren’t necessarily high-ticket ones, so you can definitely get a lot of bang for your buck.

In regards to budget, I had originally allocated $10,000. Shortly after the project began, my partner and I decided to go ahead and update both bathrooms, which increased the budget to $15,000. The finally tally for all work, both labor and materials came in at $16,386. So, we went over by $1,386. Not the end of the world by any means, but a learning experience since there’s definitely room for improvement!

Here’s the full scope of contractor work:

  • Remove popcorn ceiling from entire house; both 1st and 2nd floors.
  • Re-paint kitchen and both bathrooms (semi-gloss swiss coffee).
  • Re-paint and texture all bedrooms, hallway, living room, and common areas (interior flat swiss coffee).
  • Install recessed lighting in living room, hallway, common areas, and kitchen (14 lights total).
  • Install dome lights in all bedrooms.
  • Install laminate flooring throughout 2nd floor (all bedrooms,closets, common areas, and stairs).
  • Install laminate flooring in 1st floor closet.
  • Install new baseboards throughout entire house; both 1st and 2nd floors.
  • Re-do master bathroom. Replace tile, toilet, tub, vanity, mirror, medicine cabinets, ceiling fan, etc. Install sliding door and 3 piece quartz set for shower.
  • Re-do half bathroom. Replace tile, toilet, vanity, ceiling fan.
  • Patch up doggy door.
  • Replace scratched laminate planks in living room using left over materials provided by previous homeowner.
  • Paint and clean garage.
  • Replace all door hinges.
  • Clean, recycle, and dispose of all waste materials.

Most of the house was renovated, but we did not touch the 1st floor flooring since the original laminate downstairs was in good shape. We just had to remove a few scratched planks; luckily, the previous owner left behind spare parts that let us do so. Also, the kitchen was in good shape so we left that alone, for the most part. We just replaced the lights with recessed lighting and scraped off the popcorn overhead. The older appliances (stove, microwave, refrigerator, washer and dryer) are in good condition and can be re-used.

In addition to the contractor work, I did the following:

  • Replaced all electrical outlets/light switches/GFCIs/cover plates, etc.
  • Changed all doorknobs/deadbolts, closet handles, etc.
  • Installed all smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Installed wireless doorbell.
  • Replaced ceiling/wall registers.
  • Replaced gold hardware with brushed nickel to match new hardware.
  • Caulked bathtub.
  • Backyard trimming and landscaping.
  • Lots and lots and lots of CLEANING!

I didn’t get too hands on with the work, as I spent most of my time driving around shopping for materials, instead. I let the contractor team do the heavily lifting as I tried my best to not interfere and get in their way… But I definitely would like to get more hands on with the repair work, as I still have a ton to learn.

Anyway, this project is now complete! Currently, we are working aggressively on marketing this unit, and hopefully we can get the higher rents that we so deeply covet.

All-in-all, I had a blast with this project and am looking forward to the next opportunity to work on a house again.

Until next time! 🙂

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Adam @
5 years ago

House looks great. We’re trying to get in to our first rental this year.

No More Waffles
5 years ago

Great work, FF! Would love to live in a place like that! 🙂

5 years ago

$16K for all that seems like a bargain!

I may request for your contractor’s contact info at a later time 🙂

Great job, looks prime for rental…or a flip…??? 😉

5 years ago

Looks like a complete different place, you guys did a great job!

No Nonsense Landlord
5 years ago

Great job. I would have used a semi-glass paint in the rooms, as it is easier to wipe off dirt than paint after each tenant.

The laminate will be MUCH cheaper than carpet, in the long run.

5 years ago

FI, can you send me your contractor details if he/she is local to the Bay Area. I am planning a small remodel on my own house. My current bathroom looks like your “before” pics…lol

Sunline Mesh
4 years ago

The work on these renovation is simply brilliant! I wish I could replicate the same at our apartment. Are those wood floors real parquet? I don’t quite get it when you mentioned they are laminated. Thanks!