First home refurbishing #1: First foreclosure house for refurbishing

Blog entry by Bill posted 06-24-2008 06:02 PM 3646 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of First home refurbishing series Part 2: What do do with the baseboards »

I have not been on the site much lately, but I do have a good excuse. I finally found a house to purchase a refurbish. While not a lot of work to do, there will be a few things needing done, primarily patching a few holes and painting.

In April I looked through a number of houses. Many of these houses, while inexpensive, were not in good areas and/or needed a lot of work. By the time the house was fixed up, there would be no money to be made. With a declining housing market, that would be a bad thing indeed.

Finally, I found a few better ones to look at. Taking my targeted list and my real estate broker to the foreclosure auction in May, we were able to buy the best one on my list. The house is in a good neighborhood, around 5 years old, in a community just a short drive away, and did not need that much work. The house finally closed the first week in June.

I spent the first day looking through the house, making notes and taking a lot of pictures (which I will post some of these later). Then I got started on the painting. A couple of the bedrooms were painted in very bright colors. One room was a blue and green combination, while another was red, yellow, and purple. Obviously, these were decorated for kids. They also had wallpaper, but just strips around the top of the wall.

The first task was stripping the wall paper. Not too bad with a small steamer and a scraper. Once that was done, a liberal dosing of Kilz was in order. Those wild colors would bleed through any paint and show, especially for a lighter color. The rooms needed two coats of Kilz to sufficiently cover the previous paint.

After a days of Kilz in the bedrooms, it was time to tackle the family room and entry area. These had been painted with some dark colors. Ok, not so bad just use some more Kilz. Oh, but did I mention the entry way and family room have 20 foot ceilings? Well, with a ladder, a long pole, and Kilz, these were done in a couple of days.

The house already looks better with the walls covered in Kilz. If possible, the rooms now look even taller. The bedrooms have 9 foot ceilings, and the entry way with the 20 foot ceilings looks impressive. There is some more that needs to be done at the edges, but I will need a very tall ladder for that.

With the rooms basically out of the way, I am now working on the closets. They are white, but need to be redone because of all the scuff marks and such. I tried using some paint on part of one yesterday, and realized I will need to apply Kilz to the walls first to ensure good coverage. Then the closets can be painted. After that, the baseboards and trim and doors, and..well there is a lot of work to do.

My next adventure will be matching the existing pain. I have a sample from a drywall patch I had to cut out and replace (a small hole that was not fixed well). So, now comes the fun part of going to the paint store and beginning the matching process. While not the color I would pick, much of the house is already painted in the same color. So, to save myself some work, I will use this as the color for the walls. The ceilings throughout the house are white, except those painted bedrooms. So matching that should not be a big problem.

The thing I have learned so far is painting is a lot more work than it looks like on all those decorating shows. Especially when you have to cover someone else’s color choices and match the existing decor. Further log entries will cover my fun with painting, as well as the baseboard mess they left. Until then, its time to get back to work.

-- Bill - Turlock, Ca. - http://www.brookswoodworks.com

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131 posts in 5295 days

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8 comments so far

View LeeJ's profile


48 posts in 5295 days

posted 06-25-2008 03:04 PM

Hi Bill;

Congratulations on your house project.

I wish you the best with this endeavor and hope it turns out to be profitable and educational.


-- http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View dennis's profile


90 posts in 5295 days

posted 06-26-2008 04:04 AM

I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you…thinking of Dustys crack house!

-- http://woodsongsfurniture.com

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

121 posts in 5304 days

posted 07-02-2008 12:47 PM

Congratulations on your purchase Bill.

It sounds like you have a lot of work ahead of you.

We wish you a great success.

-- ** Dick, & Barb Cain *************** http://lumberjocks.com/jocks/Chipncut

View Bill's profile


131 posts in 5295 days

posted 07-02-2008 05:06 PM

Thank you for all the kind words.

The main work will be simply painting, a lot of painting. Then there are the baseboards. Someone put in baseboards but did not know what they were doing. The corners do not match, the nails were the wrong type and they show through. So a lot of work is just finish work.

The biggest challenge is painting the 20 foot high walls, particularly behind a curved staircase. I have not determined how I will do that yet, but I will. It might involve a home made stand or something like that.

Do not worry Dennis, this house is in a good neighborhood and nothing like Dusty’s crackhouse tales. He would love to work on this, being that everything is pretty much straight forward and not too difficult to do.

-- Bill - Turlock, Ca. - http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View Bill's profile


131 posts in 5295 days

posted 07-14-2008 04:33 PM

Thanks Ron, but I think I am ok. I have a 24 foot extension ladder and was able to complete the painting of the tall walls.

I still have some painting to do in the master bedroom, as well as some touch ups elsewhere. But, the painting is on the downhill side. Next will be dealing with the mess they made of the baseboards.

-- Bill - Turlock, Ca. - http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View Outnmbrd's profile


20 posts in 5090 days

posted 06-17-2010 04:56 AM

Keep it up! I’ve had good luck doing the clean up type projects. It amazes me that other people cannot see how inexpensive it is to neutralize colors or even look past simple fix ups.

will you keep it, or resell quickly?

-- It's never done...

View Bill's profile


131 posts in 5295 days

posted 06-17-2010 05:13 PM

I managed to sell the house for just what it cost me. The housing market here was not good at the time, and still not good. I had hoped to do better, but was lucky just to sell it. I had no plans to be a landlord.

It was definitely some work, but not as much as most people would think.

-- Bill - Turlock, Ca. - http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View wseand's profile


20 posts in 4497 days

posted 06-19-2010 01:38 AM

It all sounds real good Bill, I have all the sympathy for you though, I hate to paint. If you can get out what you put into something I call that a success now a days.

-- Freedom flies in your heart like an eagle...Audie Murphy --Bill Mesilla, NM

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