This project is a bit of a blur looking back after a few weeks ‘off’ but it was an excellent learning experience and certainly a grand adventure. I had hoped to post more as we went along, but shortly after we got started, the general contractor we hired to help with a lot of the work bailed on the project which left me as General Contractor Amy, scrambling to get it done on time. We ended up doing most of the work ourselves with the exception of plumbing, hardwood refinishing, the roof, and a bit of painting. It was a big project for a relatively tiny house.

Here’s what we did:

  • New roof, soffit and fascia
  • New electrical service and full house rewire and redevice
  • Refinish all original hardwood flooring including attic addition
  • Refinish original kitchen cabinetry, new tile floor and appliances
  • Paint everything
  • New tile shower surround and bathroom floor in main floor bathroom, new fixtures and lighting, refinish medicine cabinet.
  • New master suite upstairs

The project took 8 weeks. I had planned for 4 =)

Here’s what we learned:

  • All contractors are not created equally
  • Everyone thinks they know everyone but most people do not know anything =)
  • Everything is figure out-able, none of it is really that hard and we all have youtube
  • Things take 2-3x longer than you think they will
  • Estimates can run the gamut in both time and money
  • There is a solution for everything
  • It’s usually cheaper to DIY, but…
  • …sometimes paying for help is worth every penny and MORE
  • The end is the hardest, the little stuff piles up and feels overwhelming. Just pick one thing and work on it until it’s done. Then go to the next. It will get done.
  • I could go on….

While I LOVE that we (my husband and I) basically have a full skillset to finish these types of projects completely on our own (which we have done many times over the years) in some cases, it may be advantageous to not be able to. For example, if you didn’t have these skills to fall back on, you might have done more research into the general you hired instead of picking the one who came in the cheapest but never managed to get a plumber lined up the major plumbing addition…

On our next project, we will plan to hire and manage all subcontractors ourselves. I’m sure there will be a lot more learning but I’m excited to get started on the next project. We are shopping! If you’ve got any hot leads for houses that need some love, send them my way please!

Here’s how it turned out! We were lucky to get it on the market and sold within just a few weeks. On to the next!

If you or someone you know has a house that needs to work before selling, please reach out to us! If we can’t buy it, we probably know someone who can, or we can help you make arrangements for the needed repairs before selling. If you’ve inherited a house that needs work or are helping a family member decide what to do with a house they can no longer maintain, we would love to chat about how we can help. It is important to us that everyone feels like they’ve won in these arrangements.

Thanks for following!


Amy Ranae

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