Spring the Flip – Week 8 & 9

Hi.  Thanks for stopping by to my blog.  I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures in flipping.  In case you missed it, here’s last week’s adventure.  And as always, please feel free to reach out to me for design services.

How in the world has it been 2 months already!  It feels like time is flying by and at the same time slow as molasses.

So in week 8, I gave myself a birthday present & went to Brimfield with a friend & her new bundle of joy for the first time.  My littlest one & I had a blast.  Being ALL boy he loved the antique pedal cars.  Sorry kid but mommy can’t afford those.  I don’t usually lean towards antiques per say but I do tend to enjoy more industrial pieces.  I felt like I was walking through a museum of eclectic interesting things.  We saw a boat my grandfather would love, a table that I need … well because (which I didn’t buy), drafting tables & stools and much, much more. I really enjoyed seeing how some retailers show their items off in unique ways or pairings.  I’m not sure I would buy an eye painting but put a bunch of them together and it’s rather intriguing … or creepy, you pick.



I unfortunately didn’t find all I was looking for (mirror and shelf brackets at a reasonable price I’m talking to you).  I felt pretty good restraining myself from spending too much & walked away with only a couple of items.  One of which included this cute item which will be used to stage Spring once she’s listed.



Ok now that I’ve bored you with antiquing, here’s the update on spring.

A LOT has happened.  you can see the full list below but here’s some picture snapshots.  My carpenter was hard at work on the exterior.  Stairs & deck framed & approved.  The flashing on the “doghouse” aka back door is now under the shingles instead of on top. The window sill by the new stairs which previously had a pile of dirt in front of it hiding the massive amount of rot on the outside has been replaced.  All rough inspections are complete.  Most appliances have been purchased from a place literally less then 2 minutes away from Spring.  I really wish I had known this place existed when I was doing my house.  I got a great deal on some slightly dented models.  I now have two locations with running water (huzzah).  And last but not least check out the cabinet by the front door.  Isn’t that awesome!  I felt that with this being a split entry, there really was no place to drop your shoes when you came in.  This is where the big Swedish furniture store came to the rescue.  It took me 10 minutes to assemble & my carpenter about 20 minutes to install.  It is supported by the studs & some extra framing in the wall supporting the stair.  I think the new owners are really going to appreciate having a place either display pretty things or a place to land their shoes right here.  Don’t you?


Last I leave you with this image from Spring’s front yard:


Accomplishments these weeks:

  • Framing approval
  • Rough electrical approval
  • Rough plumbing approval
  • Rough gas approval
  • Back deck complete
  • Flashing on doghouse fixed & re-shingled
  • Misc shingles fixed and/or replaced
  • Three foot section of termite damaged sill plate on interior replaced (it was literally mush)
  • Insulation installed in basement
  • Concrete in basement bathroom area poured (hooray no more hole)
  • Sump pump & sump pump piping installed back in its proper location thanks to my handy father-in-law
  • Water meter hooked up
  • Gas meter hooked up
  • Outdoor spigot & washer water supply installed (finally water!)
  • And I cleaned, cleaned & cleaned (took the trash that had been collecting out & swept all the dirt/mud caked floors)
  • Purchased washer, dryer, stove, & fridge (no dishwasher purchase yet & the microwave seems to work)
  • Purchased a drywall hoist & hand cart for moving aforementioned large items
  • Started stripping the supply vent covers
  • Misc stuff (I’m sure I missed something)


More exciting things to come next week.  See you then.


Spring the flip – Week 7

Hi.  Thanks for stopping by to my blog.  I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures in flipping.  In case you missed it, here’s last week’s adventure.  And as always, please feel free to reach out to me for design services.



The first round of sanding has been wrapped up this week as well as starting to filling in holes.  However, until my HVAC system is fully functional I can’t plaster the larger holes due to the fact the house is still full of moist air.


After finishing up most of the framing in the basement, the carpenter added a door & started on the deck.  Isn’t it going to be so nice to be able to go to the backyard from the dining room?  As you can see there used to be a door to the backyard & a deck, but the previous owners decided they’d rather have a larger kitchen & fridge where the door was instead.  I think access directly to the backyard is crucial.


We permanently installed the sewage ejector pit (I know very photo worthy) thanks to the help of my father-in-law (jack of all trades).  I also helped my plumber out by installing the pipe that goes into the ejector.  File off the end of the pipe at an angle, Vaseline the end, stick it in the gasket, put some blocking in the ejector (to reduce movement) & on the end of the pipe (to prevent breaking the pipe), slam blocking at the end of the pipe with sledge hammer & voila, pipe is installed.

The insulation company insulated the attic which is nice to see.  We can’t insulate the basement yet until we get all our rough inspections.

And lastly, the random things that got done which included a louver getting installed in the attic, having my new toy (I mean) paint sprayer arrive, and lastly the saga of the bathtub.  So I originally tried to buy an overstock bathtub for under $100.  I unfortunately missed the sale but bought one that was only $10 more. It was supposed to arrive 2 weeks ago.  I’ve been calling every day since it was supposed to arrive.  Major retail box store didn’t know where it was …. It looked like it was at the distribution center but nobody could find it … So lucky me, they let me take home a tub they had on hand in the store for the same price I paid for the lost one, which ironically is the same bathtub I missed out on the great deal in the first place.  So here’s a tip, if you are buying a new tub, I suggest you get a tub that has the foam pad already adhered to the bottom.  It requires no setting in mortar and (after a bit of finagling and taking a small amount of drywall so it would fit) is relatively easy to install with two people.  And yes two women installed the new tub.

There was a lot of activity this week which is exciting.  One day there was even 5 or 6 cars parked at the house at once.  I like seeing all the activity & look forward to more.

Accomplishments this week:

  • Attic insulation installed
  • Rough framing in basement complete
  • Attic louver purchase & installed
  • Additional electrical outlets & switches in basement installed
  • Additional plumbing pipes for bathroom & washer/dryer installed
  • Tub finally arrived & installed
  • Back door installed
  • Back deck started
  • Sewage ejector installed
  • Sewage ejector pipe installed
  • First round of sanding complete
  • Some of the small holes in the walls upstairs filled in
  • Purchased & received my new Graco paint sprayer

More exciting things to come next week.  See you then.


Spring the flip – Week 2

Hi.  Thank you for joining me on my adventures in flipping.  In case you missed it, here’s last week adventure.  And as always, please feel free to reach out to me for design services.


Week two was a bit slower in activity.  I had several more contractors give me quotes.  I should be able to make a decision on a heating & plumbing contractors by Monday at the latest.  Building department decided my chicken scratch sketch was not enough information for a permit.  How do contractors seem to get away with it but I can’t …. Oh well.  It means I’ve been working on some plans which I’ll be able to share with you in a later post. I also added vapor barrier to some of the existing foundation walls so that water will not ruin my newly dry-walled basement when its done.  For those not in the construction industry: vapor barrier is a fancy word for big thick piece of plastic; a must for any basement that is going to be finished.

If you follow me on Instagram or twitter you would have seen that I’ve fixed the existing kitchen cabinet doors & spent a lot of time getting a nice upper body workout with a steel grinder on the existing columns in the basement.  All but one of the columns cleaned up looking almost new on the first pass.

img_1706[1]   IMG_1720

At the end of the week I got the privilege of going into my daughter’s school and presenting about what architects do to her entire class.  It was a ton of fun!  My husband showed them cool technology while I showed them all sorts of really cool materials that we use in buildings.  I think they learned a lot and they seemed to be fascinated.

IMG_1722  IMG_1723

After the presentation even though I was exhausted (have you ever spent time with 19 kindergarteners?), I went back to the flip for some limited demolition.  I got out the saws-all and had at it.

IMG_1726  IMG_1727

Ten minutes later, the disintegrating wood studs were gone!  Hello, firewood.

Lastly, some promising landscaping appeared:



Accomplishments for this week:

  • Fixed Kitchen cabinet doors
  • Ground the steel columns
  • Close to hiring the remaining contractors
  • Demolished a wall
  • Added vapor barrier to some of the existing foundation walls

More exciting things to come next week.  See you then.


Spring the Flip – Week 1

Earlier this week I gave a brief introduction to spring.

Spring is an approximately 1000+sf split level ranch home in which the upstairs was in pretty good shape for being a foreclosure and abandoned for somewhere in the range 1-3 years.  Downstairs on the other hand is a different story.  Spring upon purchase had no running electricity, plumbing or heating.  Yes you read that correctly. If you’re asking yourself “Is she flipping crazy?” the answer is yes.

I’m considering this week as week 1 because this is the first week I can work on her as my full time job.  When in reality she was purchased a couple of weeks ago.  The week before week 1, my electrician was hard at work trying to get me some power so I can get to start using some tools, oh and run the sump pump so the basement stops flooding.  For those not living in New England, the water table here is pretty high so whenever it rains or snow thaws in certain areas the water can seep in.  No running electricity = sump pump no worky = basement flooding.  Which generally speaking is never a good thing.

Well enough of the talking and lets give you the full visual tour:

Let’s start with the exterior.






Now to the interior

This kitchen is in really good shape.  It just needs a few new parts & finish work.
Dining Room
Living room (yes with a fireplace)
This is why this style home is called a split entry.


I don’t understand why someone would use a paint ball gun in their house ….



This is in really good shape.  Not my style per say but the tile looks almost brand new.

And then we go downstairs …..

Very illegal wiring hanging all over the place
And last but not least, the very illegal plumbing installed by the previous owner.


Accomplishments for this week:

  • Got quotes from HVAC & Plumbing contractors in order to get competitive pricing
  • Electrician finished up the service last week & National grid installed a meter (hooray!)
  • My electrician hooked up my sump pump to an outlet so the basement would stop flooding (again, hooray!)
  • I swept, and swept, and swept, oh yeah and I swept.  With the basement regularly filling with water from the sump hole, dirt also came along for the ride.  Every day I swept more would come off the floor.
  • The floor’s last puddle finally dried out.
  • Removed cabinet doors to fix the ones that need minor fixing (the stile & rails were separating)
  • Last, I steel brushed the existing steel columns that run down the center of the house.  While they are structurally stable, they’re a bit rusty near the bottom and needed a cleaning.

More exciting things to come next week.  See you then.


A Flip & A Flash

Recently I went to check out a house to possibly flip. It was not that far from me and it looked like it might be at the right price. More on that later.

I wanted to use this post to show you the importance of proper flashing. I really love the diamond shaped windows that are pretty popular around this area. Most of the time they are loved in the stairwells to bring in light. However, most of them have one common problem: because they were installed so long ago the flashing has completely deteriorated. The other issue is that because the window is angled there is one point on the exterior where water can possibly collect. So unless you are diligent about maintenance, water can easily leak in and cause damage. And this house was the sadly the result of very little maintenance.

Window Damage
Window Damage

And to prove it even more look at the “fix” that was done to the sink! Nothing says quality like duct tape.

Beautiful Duct Tape
Beautiful Duct Tape

I feel like this house has huge potential to be beautiful. There are a ton of nice woodworking details. However, with knob & tube, some asbestos lined plumbing, and a dirt basement floor, even at the price they were asking you wouldn’t able to make enough money on it to be worth flipping.  I really hope that someone does buy this house & saves it because it’s a very cute little house in a nice neighborhood.

Oh well, on to the next potential place.