07.3.2015 / Dori the Flip House w1

I hope you enjoy these weekly updates as I learn to navigate through the business of flipping houses.  My latest flip house, Dori sports the 3 L’s in real estate, but will need more than a bit of creativity to make the house sellable. You can find more about this house and about my 4 previous flip houses here.

So this week I deconstructed. A lot.  And by deconstructed I do mean smashed.  And made a big mess.

Dori Flip House Demo

It turns out that the previous owners were masters at covering up issues.  If you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist, right?  Like termite damage.  It doesn’t exist if you put paneling over in and a new toe kick on the cabinet they completely feasted through….  Luckily for me, it’s not active and they dined on one cabinet and paper wallboard only, leaving the studs completely alone, but I’m treating it anyway. No bandaid fixes for this flipper.

Dori Flip House Demo termite damage

Tell me this wasn’t a bit creepy to find behind paneling:

Dori Flip House Demo

But on a less creepy note- the kitchen has bid us adieu and my new plans are coming together nicely.

Dori Flip House Demo Kitchen

I’m going for a completely different feel here than the other houses.  My goal here is funky condo alternative.  I won’t even be using my go to subway tiles.

Dori Flip House Prelim Kitchen Plan

The most tedious thing so far has been getting rid of the darn brick veneer wall.  They used some good adhesive because I had to tear that sucker down brick by flippin brick.

Dori Flip House Demo Brick

I’m hoping that by the end of next week, all the interior deconstruction can be DONE.  2 weeks of demo would far surpass Millie’s 2+ months of demo.  I’m eager for this house to be a blank slate (and stop being an assault on my olfactory senses) so I can start rebuilding!



07.1.2015 / Floored!

This post is written in partnership with GoHaus.com

You guys, floors.  Between my own floor refinishing and starting the new flip, clearly I’ve had them on the mind lately.  I’m hopping on my soapbox here, although I doubt you’ll be shocked.

The right flooring can make or break a space.  I repeat- the RIGHT flooring can make or break a space.  It’s more important than the paint color and even the decor.  The floor is your foundation both literally and visually.

Gray floor via GoHaus.com

image via GoHaus

As a designer, I know this, but its nice to be reminded.  Refinishing my upstairs floors has been not only a reminder, but a full on smack in the face.  Before we even closed on our house 4 1/2 years ago we knew the carpets had to go.  I hated them so much I did my best to include as little as possible in any pics that I shared with you. Dingy carpet, plus cheap IKEA rug- I was embarrassed. So was Bear.


Then we dragged our feet for years.  And now I’m wondering why in the world we waited so long!  I’m so eager to start moving furniture back in today!!

refinished antique floors via Year of Serendipity

Night and day!  Don’t get me wrong, wall-to-wall carpets have their place, they just felt like a poorly planned afterthought here and didn’t fit with the character of the 115 year old home.  Now with a fitting foundation, my mental design roadblocks have dissolved and all the pieces can fall into place.  It’s amazing what a good floor can do!

Flooring is also going to have a HUGE impact on my latest flip.  Picking the right flooring for the right spaces will help the house feel cozy, warm, fresh, and welcoming.  Yes, the floors will do that!

This house is a tiny on-slab ranch with layers of stained vinyl tile stuck directly to concrete.  Is there anything about this floor that makes you want to live here?  If you say yes you are either lying or need you head checked.

Dori-vinyl floor

Now picture cozy plush carpeting in the bedrooms and engineered wood throughout the living space.  This is where wall-to-wall carpeting makes sense- it will serve to warm up the small bedrooms.  Breaking up the flooring for different spaces in this house will help to delineate the more ‘public’ living spaces from the cozy private spaces.

I’m almost always an advocate for real wood floors, but every material has an appropriate application and real wood on concrete slabs is a big no no.  GoHaus has a great post detailing the pros and cons of real hardwood vs engineered hardwood.  Engineered is 100% the right application for this space.  By installing wood floors in the living area I’ll be adding a classic feel with the warmth of wood and the versatility of being adaptable to any decor style.  Perfect for resale!

Attic Floors via GoHaus.com

image via GoHaus

GoHaus.com is a growing resource for flooring info.  Pop over and check out some of their awesome articles.  I personally recommend The Do’s and Don’ts of Mixing Wood Stains (“Don’t: Be Too Matchy-Matchy”  AMEN!) and Flooring Terms Explained to demystify all the words that get thrown around when trying to decide on the proper flooring.

I’ll step off my soapbox now since I think I’ve driven my point home.  Flooring is awesome.  Thanks GoHaus.com for enabling today’s rant!


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06.29.2015 / Meet Dori, Flip House #5

On to flip house #5!  Since we didn’t close until Friday afternoon, I wanted to wait until today to show her off.

Meet Dori!  She’s clearly a bit of a change from the last house, but still quite a challenge in her own right.

Dori the flip house Exterior Before

As always with my flips, this house is named after it’s street, but this time there’s a bit more to it.  The name of the street is the same street name (although a different state) that my Grandma lived on for 50+ years, so this house is getting named after her: Doris or Dori since she’ll soon be a modern gal.

Dori the flip house Exterior Before

Dori the flip house Exterior Before

Dori the flip house Exterior Before

Dori really doesn’t have any character to speak of, so any personality this house will have in the end will be brute-forced in by your truly.  What this flip house does have going for it are the 3 Ls- Location, Location, Location… ok, I’ll add a 4th “L” to that since she also has a very generous Lot for the area: part grass and quite a bit of woods behind.


I’m still working out the details, but the basics include, new windows and doors, new drywall walls and ceilings and trim everywhere, new flooring in all but 1 room, a new bathroom, a new kitchen, updating the wiring and plumbing, making the utility/laundry room look less like a horror movie, sprucing up the yard and garage, and adding a bit of curb appeal.  That’s nothing, right?

Dori the flip house Kitchen Before

Dori the flip house Kitchen Before

Dori the flip house Kitchen Before

I’m going to try REALLY hard to take a bit more hands-off approach, but we all know I cannot actually be hands-off.  I can’t let the contractors have all the fun!

Dori the flip house Dining Before

Dori the flip house Dining Before

My pet projects where I’ll be getting my hands the dirtiest here will be making the small kitchen highly functional and pinterest-worthy, and making the laundry/utility room a space where you might actually want to do laundry.

Dori the flip house Laundry Before

Let’s just say, the whole house currently smells the way it looks- smoky, musty, and dated.  (Dated can be a smell, right?)

Dori the flip house Living Before

Dori the flip house Living Before

There’s no escaping that fact that Dori the flip house is a starter home, but with a swift injection of creativity, she’s going to be a fun/funky little home for the right family- I can see it now!  Use you’re imagination when looking at the pics- just picture clean and fresh walls, snazzy new floors, crisp trim….

Dori the flip house Bedroom 1 Before

Dori the flip house Bedroom 1 Before

Dori the flip house Bedroom 2 Before

Dori the flip house Bedroom 2 Before

Dori the flip house Bedroom 3 Before

Dori the flip house Bedroom 3 Before

Dori the flip house Bathroom Before Dori the flip house Bathroom Before

At only 1068sf there’s a whole lotta ick packed into each square foot.  I need to get her to a blank slate before I can start adding character.  My mind is racing with all the things that I need to do and coordinate.  Let the games begin!!

Friday I’ll be resuming my regular “Flip Fridays” and show you how destructive I get this week with my buddy the sledgehammer.

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