Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Bungalow Flip Tour

I purchased this property October 31, 2016
Bought it at $70,000.


I hope to put it back on the market in the $195,000 price range once the renovations are complete.
It is a four bedroom bungalow, located in small town South Western Ontario, in Chatham-Kent county.

 Work on this house started January 2017.
First order of business was the crawl space floor joists and plumbing. 
The house was abandoned before I bought it, a bank repo.  During that winter the water pipes burst.
The crawl-space was covered in water and mud.

This past winter (January 2017), I hired a company to dry out the area and lay vapour barrier.
Then new floor joists were added to jack the floor that was dipping in sections of the house.  And to add extra support for the house.
The foundation is good.

Plumbing was addressed next.  Replaced and ready to go.
Then we discovered the sewage pipe was backed up.
It was an intense and expensive fix to run new piping underground.
For three days straight there were tons of people, tons of vehicles, a digger, you name it and it was there.
But the job got done and plumbing is flowing the way it should.

So let's take a tour of what the house looks like now with some before and afters.

The Outside
Bit of a jungle.
First thing in the Spring I started to clear some of the trees.  Bring in some sunshine.
Just a few trees, not that many.  I like the look of the house nestled in among the trees.


As of  April 24, 2017
Still early spring and the leaves haven't grown back. But a few trees have come down at this point.

Clear this garden bed.  Yup, that is a massive boulder in this garden.  
Will clear away the weeds and go from there.

The backyard.  Scary....simply scary.
I introduce it to a lawn mower once the snow left in the early spring. 
There is a small travel trailer in the back and a steel box/shipping container.  Looking to remove both of them.
The pool.  Although it is super dirty right now, I do entertain the idea of cleaning it up and keeping it.
But if I want to keep the pool, I will have to consider putting a fence around by-law.

The Interior

Here is a look at the before.  Before the demo started.

The living room and dining room.

The first order of business with this reno was the all panelling came down.
Then drywall went up.

The long rectangle shape space comprises of living room and dining room.
It saw the biggest change in renovations.
The living room area and front foyer went from 8ft to 9ft.
And the dining room area went from 8ft to a vaulted ceiling.

The renos under construction.

The kitchen

Gone is this kitchen.  I will be using this room for storage or an office.
Since the house does not have a full basement, storage areas are limited.
I thought this would work for that.  Or this room could be used as an office or bedroom.

The new kitchen area.
I moved the kitchen into the master bedroom and ensuite section.
Giving the kitchen a new large and roomy space.  The bay window gives a view of the backyard.
The door to the left leads to the backyard deck and pool.
New supports were installed in the ceiling.  However it remains at 8ft.
This room is side by side with the family room, and it has an 8ft ceiling.
I wanted the new kitchen and the family room ceilings to be symmetric.

Family room
Not much will change in this room.
It will get the same flooring the rest of the house is getting.  And a fresh coat of paint.

The bathroom
  This room will not see much change.  New flooring and maybe a new sink cabinet.
A new toilet has already gone in, I did that the same time as the plumbing changed back in the winter.
But the burgundy bathtub stays.  I will style it with a shower curtain to take away the bold colour as best I can.
The door leading into the bathroom has to be replaced.
The old door was cut in such a way that the top of the 6 panelling door was missing.  It looked very odd.
So I had my crew change the 77inch height opening and install a new 80in height.
All the interior doors are 28inches wide.

The bedrooms
Three bedrooms are located behind a door leading off the foyer/living room area.

The lilac room
This room will see little change.
We have already removed a built-in bookcase.  The closet area to the left of the photo below will be removed.
The new closet to this room will be built to the right of the old one.

The yellow room

After (as of May 22, 2017)
The old closet you see in the pic above was converted into two closets.
To the left is a six foot space for the new master bedroom.  And beside it is a new 3ft smaller closet for this room.
Other changes to this room is the protruding closet from the lilac room.
Literally the boxed in closet just sticks out into this room.  Leaving this room with weird dimensions, a chopped up space.
The said closet is coming down to allow an open space for this room. The new closet will be built at the entrance to the room.
Not a great picture below, but hopefully you get a gist of the plan.

The blue/pink room

After (as of May 22, 2017)
This room is the largest of the three bedrooms.
And since the old master bedroom got converted to the kitchen, I choose this room as the new master.
It had a small plywood closet.  We removed this small closet and built a new 6ft one.
This room is getting new drywall, flooring, light fixture.

The alcove

The old master bedroom
As mentioned, is the new kitchen.

Take the before tour and the updated after renos as we go along.
Don't miss a post - click or look for them under the label "The Bungalow Flip"
  Follow along on  FB or Instagram, I update daily.

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Bungalow Reno Updates

The Bungalow renovations have been steady coming together.

Over the winter we worked on the crawlspace, adding floor joists for extra support.
Major plumbing done outside, a problem with the septic lines, problem now solved.
And a new roof was installed on the house.
This month I slowly started to work on the interior.


What a mess....

Then changed my mind completely on how I wanted it to look.
So we started all over again....luckily we were not that far along.

Getting started with the interior....
Before works gets started I took samples of the ceiling to the Health Lab to get tested/checked for asbestos.  There were none....yeah!
I do this with all my houses I renovate.  Safe then sorry right!

The entire inside of the house was paneled top to bottom.
We started to pull all the panelling down, to replace with drywall.
When the drooping ceiling came down, instead of replacing it with drywall, we constructed a vaulted ceiling with what was there.
I am so glad I went this route, it was what I wanted from the beginning.
I had a vision for this house and I made it happen.

I want to style the house with an elegant, relaxing, rustic theme.
My colour thoughts are white, brown, neutrals, bronze, brass and vintage.

The kitchen got expanded.
I am going with Nimble white shaker cabinets.

This light fixture will be going into the new vaulted ceiling dining room.
I ordered it online from Wayfair
Once I placed this order, I got super excited about how the dining room is going to look.
Isn't it beautiful!!


I'm going with dark flooring.
White walls.
White kitchen.

The new kitchen is the Nimble white Shaker cabinets.
Getting them from Lowes.

Outside, the landscaping is seeing some changes.



 I am burning the debris coming from the renos....I try to keep as much out of the landfill sites as possible.
Tree thinning is happening to make the lot look cleaner and groomed.
They all get loaded onto a trailer and taken to a city waste management site to get mulched.  It's free to drop off your branches, trees, shrubs. 

In a few weeks I will be painting the back deck.
And the front door is getting a facelift with a 6 panel steel door.

Our projection date to get it on the market is the first week of June.
So we are working steady on this house.
Everyday the changes inside are just starting to look amazing!!
Follow the renos along, I check in everyday on Facebook and Instagram

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Friday, May 5, 2017

An Interlude On My Journey

That what this feels like, an interlude.
An interesting pause in my journey to achieve this goal of mine that I'm working so hard on.
I spoke of it on my previous blog post, and if you're following on Facebook
you will know how passionate I was about a vacant lot I fell in love with.
A beautiful rural setting, lots of space, quaint town nearby.
It would have been a perfect location to build my home.
My goal to be mortgage free, living in the country.  I was this close.
Won't lie, it's disappointing for me.  I was so close.

But the lot had a history, a sad history, and spooky all at the same time.
I had to move on from it.  It was just a bit too much for this lady.

The beginning....
I view a vacant lot.  Feel in love with it.
There is an abandoned, non registered cemetery on this site.  No headstones.
No info on it's history, only local legend.
I begin to research.

What the officials said....
As I dove into my inquiries to build on this site,
the local government sent me as much info as he had.  He talked about a similar situation in town.
I knew of this situation from a newspaper article written up about it.
A family bought a lot, started to build, came across remains.  They had several.
 Based on the info he sent me, he too suspects there was a private cemetery at one time at this site.
 An unregistered graveyard.
I asked him how that ended with the family from the article.  He said they abandoned the build and the Township made it into a small cemetery.

Here were some of my options.....
As I gather research and info on the vacant lot,
 it is starting to look like there likely are human remains on the property.
When I talk with the Provincial Government offices about what to expect,
he said there could be a possibility to exhume and re-inter them elsewhere.
I would have to have an archeological assessment, and a title search.
And lots of paperwork.
I forwarded my research onto this Government office.  Here's hoping something comes of it.

My research....
The name of this long ago graveyard is Gibson Cemetery.
 Headstones were discovered and moved to a section on the site that is bush.
I did not see these headstones when I was there.
Also know as Butler Cemetery, I think it was given this unofficial name/nickname because the name on one of the tombstones is Butler and he was middle aged, maybe someone influential in his time?
Looks like the timeframe of the burials are mid 1800's.
A guesstimation that nine bodies were buried on this site.  They were buried in groups of three.
There could be more.
Ranging from ages 4, 7, 52, 70, 78.
Some headstones ranging in size from medium to very large, too heavy to turn over or move.

 Leave them or move them....
It weighed heavy with me, I loved the lot, even with the cost of installing the well, septic and so on.
However, when it comes right down to it, it's a moral thing.
Do I leave them undisturbed? They have been there over a century, resting in peace.
It's kinda like the Titanic thing.

One of my FB friends mentioned that eventually someone may come along and move them.
I thought about that for a longtime.
If I had bought the lot, I would have unearthed them, identify them.
Moved them to the back corner of the lot.  Give them their headstone, or if need be a new one.
Not let their life be lived in vain.  Something can be said about the phrase "Here Lies...".
We found their headstones, let's put it on the right body.
Remember they are unmarked graves.  There's something so sad and lonely about that.
Let families for generations to come, visit them. Identify with them.
I did with my great, great grandmother when I found her headstone in New Brunswick.
I live two days away, but I made the journey to connect with this part of my history, my family.
She was my mother's, mother's, mother.  Maybe I looked like her.  Maybe I had her eyes.
But she was right there, under my feet.  And in a small way that gave me comfort.

However, in the end I knew such a task would be too much expense.
My heart was in the right place.
I pray the person who does buy that lot, when they go to build and move those souls, will keep them all together on that lot, and not ship them out to some cemetery miles away.

So that was my little interlude on this journey of mine.
Did I dodge a bullet, no.
 I consider myself one more person who now knows about nine lives that are buried deep in unmarked graves.
And now from my FB posts and these blog posts, thousands know about them as well.  Thank you internet.
We now know you lived on this earth for a short period of time, we just don't know who you are.

But I will march on.  I will continue to look for country lots to build my dream home.
And I will continue flipping my houses!

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