Scott Street

Scott Street
THE house

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The main floor bathroom is FINALLY done!

Hello and happy holidays,

I am taking a little break from the house down in Louisville and Cori is probably working her bottom off while I'm gone.  Heading home tomorrow so I can't wait to see what she's done.
 I have a few extra minutes in the hotel so I thought I would post some pictures of the bathroom  that is finally complete.  (the upstairs bath is almost done, too!)
I am putting before pictures of the tub area that used to have 2 sinks with a built in vanity.  There is also an alcove with the toilet.  It used to have two entrances.  One came off of the addition room but Cori blocked off that door so the toilet is more private.  Before the toilet area had a rotten floor and a bad wall behind the toilet from moisture.  There also had been a yucky shelf unit and old medicine cabinet across from toilet.  We found an old glass door cabinet on Craigslist that Cori built into the wall.  If you remember the dresser we got in September from Craigslist, it is now the cool vanity.  It came out gorgeous by cutting a hole for the sink and putting on a new faucet.  The floor by the toilet was tiled by me but Cori did a great job on the tile surround by the 'relaxation' tub.  The pine floor by the tub and vanity came out beautiful after being sanded (a lot) and stained.  It doesn't even look like the same room.   We love it!

Got to go see my grandon!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Taking a break from the house for this....

Brandon was 31 yesterday so I drove to Lousiville for a few days.  And I get to see my grandson, Isaac!!  He was 2 in September and I hadn't seen him since 4th of July.  Man, has he changed.  He knows letters and colors and can walk up and down stairs and runs a lot.  I am watching him all day while Brandon is working and Nicole out of town.  He's napping, so I'm resting...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Great deals


I have been waiting to post our finished downstairs bathroom.  But it's not finished!  We were on a deadline to get it done before Thanksgiving because Dad and Sis are coming for the holiday, but our plumber went on a 2 week vacation hunting.  How dare he!!  Anyway, since we got delayed, we started on the upstairs bath.  Again, Cori used her awesome talent and made a cool bench/cubby/towel or robe hanger in the corner (bottom pic). It's not quite finished.  We are hanging 3 hooks and painting it gray.   The original bathroom had a corner vanity  (top picure) which we pulled out and we are putting in an old dressing table as our new vanity ($30 at Habitat Restore).  We got a deal on a sink -$3.50! (again at the Restore), and $60 off a faucet at Menards today.  I finished cutting the hole for sink today but we have to wait for the plumber to finish his plumbing duties! 
Family will start coming tomorrow. I am taking a few days off to eat and relax...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Creative and Talented Sister

Just looked at the last post.  Wow!! Time flies.  I can not believe it has been more than a month since I posted anything. 
We have been working almost everyday and making lots of progress. (We did take time off to go to my niece's wedding in the Keys ).  In a few days we got two rooms done-the back room (with the new roof) and the dining room.  They were pretty simple once we had the drywallers do the ceiling and back wall.  Cori watched them and now is better than the professionals.  She closed up one of the doorways into the bathroom because it opened right into a view of the toilet.  After mudding and sanding, you can't even tell a door was ever there.  In the photo, the door was on the right.  (the other door is a closet) .  The color is an olive green with antique white trim.  The dining room is more of an olive gray with same color trim.
We are almost done with the bathroom.  It is going to be soooo wonderful.  (I'm going to enter it in a before/after contest !). We only have a few things left to do and then I will post pictures. 
Here's what Cori did today- We had an old cold air return in living room that was falling apart.  It was large and would be expensive to get a new one, like $200 for a vintage one.  Well, Cori looks at it, grabs some wood, air compressor and steel and makes a cool perfect one.  She is awesome. She gets an idea in her head and can whip it up in an hour.   (the floors look bad now, but after they are sanded and stained a little darker, they will be beautiful.  photos on that in a few months :)  )

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Back room getting done..

Good morning,
We are whittling away at projects the last few weeks, so nothing has really been completed.  I learned that when you work on a house that has sooo much stuff to be done, you can't just concentrate on one room.  There is always something that pops up that needs your attention first, or you run into problems, or you don't have the right tools, or the weather is nice and you have to get the outside projects done, etc. etc...  We have been trying to get the main floor bathroom done.  So far, we have all the drywall up and floor underlayment down.  Next, we are going to tile.  Will send pictures later... But, I have posted pictures of the addition room on the back of the house.  This room had a flat ceiling and was rotted and disgusting looking, especially after the first day when I took down the drop ceiling.    The roofers came in and took off the whole roof and put a new slope on it.  Cori and I put in insulation between the studs this week and the drywallers came to do the back wall and ceiling.  They did it and the dining room ceiling in ONE HOUR!  Then a lady 'mudder' came over to mud all the seams and corners.  It takes her 4 days because she waits for it to dry between each coat. ( She is the one that makes it pretty so her cost is 3 times the drywallers).  After that is all done, we will blow in insulation through the unfinished closet ceiling and add some paint and then that room should be done. (all except wood floors , which will be done right before we put it up for sale )
Cori just texted me-it's 8am on Sunday morning! I better get over and help her do some projects this morning..

Thursday, September 22, 2011

ROOF- 3 days turns into 3 weeks !

The roof is finally done!!  What was supposed to be 3 days took over 3 weeks to complete.  The problems started when I noticed on the 2nd day that they were putting on the wrong color shingle.  After that, a roofing crew left to go do another job, a few guys quit and a few got fired.  Then came Labor Day weekend and I think noone wanted to come back to work.   They ran into problems with the attached garage.   The last people who attached the garage and roofed it (50yrs ago?) kinda just threw it on there.  There were valleys and bulges and holes and saggy places all over.  After 3 different ideas, they went with one which included building up a slope on the whole back of the house.  They had already ripped off the flat roof which was on the addition on the back of the house and made that a slope, so they incorporated that into the garage addition.  The garage 'workshop' area ceiling is about 3 foot higher than before, so we have a loft in there now-ha! The whole thing looks wonderful.   Better than I hoped for.  And a little more money than I hoped for, too!!  Now we need to get new gutters and power wash the house and it will be (almost) brand new.
We got all 4 basement windows repaired, reglazed, repainted and back in, so Cori and I are putting in window wells today.  That way we can bring in a load of  dirt and build up around the foundation so water flows away from house.  Of course, it looks like we have a chance of rain for the next 7 days!  At least we got a new roof to keep us dry...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


The last couple of weeks have been crazy at the house with all the workers doing their 'thing'.   Yesterday the electricians wrapped up their work and are finally gone.  They will be back to install ceiling fixtures and switch plates and anything else that needs done in the next few months as we slowly finish.  They did leave a mess all over house and I am going to have to call the boss this morning to talk about it.  Especially after I gave him the BIG check yesterday.  By BIG check, I mean REALLY BIG.  This is what happened- I called this electrician that I had used before for my rental and he lives 3 blocks away so I thought it would be convenient.  (He did it on the side from his Monday thru Friday job).  We walked through the house and I gave him a list with 11 things that I needed done.  He called early one morning, on a Wed, and asked to be let in house to start the work.  (this was before I got any estimate).  I asked how he could do it on  a Wed and he said that he had his own business and he had 2 guys working for him now.  After 2 days of his workers doing WAY more than I wanted, I called the boss and asked for estimate and he put me off  til over the Labor Day weekend.  After that, I asked 2 more times before he finally told me the price.  It made me swear outloud!!  They did a TOTAL rewire of the whole house, including smoke alarms in all rooms, CO2 alarms, cable wire, telephone jacks, and a bunch of other stuff not needed or wanted (the above picture is a bedroom where they destroyed the walls-making more labor and $ for us-to put in the new outlets). When he asked for money yesterday, I had a talk with telling him I never asked for any of that and he never gave me an estimate upfront, etc etc.  Well, I am soooo weak, that I gave in, paid him and then life goes on...LIVE AND LEARN...
Next, I'll be giving updates on finished roof with pictures.  What a difference...

Saturday, September 10, 2011


The room we are trying to finish first is the main floor bathroom.  As of Thursday afternoon we still hadn't found a vanity for it, so Cori (sis) and I headed to Menards and Lowes looking for some cabinets we could use to make our own.  After we saw the prices-$300 or so, we went back home so we could think about it.  Within an hour, Cori was looking on Craigslist and there was a perfect old dresser and mirror set for sale for $35!!  She immediately emailed them and we picked it up yesterday. ( It was only 2 blocks away from the house! ) The mirror we will use in the upstairs bath cuz it matches perfect.  But the dresser will replace the 2 sink vanity. (see before pic)  Livi did a good job of taking the picture of the new vanity-we told her she better NOT get our beautiful, hard-working faces in it!

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Crazy Things You Find!!

My sister and niece made it here from San Diego-Yippee!!  Finally, some family close by.  Never in my adult life have I lived by any family members and I am so excited and happy...Family is Everything!
Back to the house project..... The first picture is what you find when you take out an old-type medicine cabinet from a really old house-TONS OF RAZOR BLADES!  There is the little slot in the back of cabinet where men used to put their used blades.  I guess it was for safety reasons.  They probably weren't thinking that somewhere down the road, you might want to remodel.  Does anyone know any craft projects using razor blades?  ha!
So, I let my sister and niece sleep in their first day and we headed over to house yesterday.  Livi (niece) wanted to work on getting all the carpet tack strips out of stairs so their dog wouldn't get hurt by stepping on the sharp buggers.  (is that how you spell buggers? or is it boogers?).  The roofing crew still there and wandering through the house-they climb in open window upstairs instead of using ladder-I don't know why.  They did get the garage roof and add-on framed  in and will be back today.  More on our new 'garage loft' later...
The electricians are still there, too.  Today is their 7th day on the job and still not done.  Got the 'estimate' from boss and almost threw up (more on that later, too).
The second picture is the main floor bath before anything was done to it and the other pic is a surprise we found after pulling off 'nice' 12x12 mirror above tub-The old back door!!! They had glued those mirrors right to the glass on the old back door!!  We knew the bathroom used to be the old back porch but we couldn't believe that they just left the door there and never did anything about it.  Wow-this is one  crazy house so far!
gotta go and let roofers and electricians in and it's just after 6:30am...bye

Sunday, September 4, 2011


The electricians showed up early Wednesday morning.  Two men worked all day Wednesday, Thursday and half a day Friday because of the holiday weekend.  And they still aren't done.  They have done waaaay more than I thought they would be doing.  I finally called the boss to ask if he could give me an estimate (I never got one!) because all I was thinking was "cha-ching-$$$$".  He said he would give me one on Tuesday after the long weekend.  Well, by that time I will probably already be handing him the money for the job. 
  The above pictures are the before and after of the room that used to be a kitchen when it was a 2 family home.   It had paneling and the electrician asked if I was going to be taking it down and drywalling.  I said 'yes' and he said  'is it all right if I take it down so I can put in outlets easier?'  Silly me.  I didn't think it was going to look this bad!!  My niece, Livi, will be here in 2 days and this was supposed to be her room!  It is unliveable right now.  She is going to have to take the ' wonderful purple' room til we get done with this one.  The door is taken out and framed to be a window now.  They added a slope roof instead of a flat one that was on the addition on the back of the house.  The roofers left the hole for the window and left on Thursday having it wide open.  Today I pulled up and a cat was on the roof.  I quick screwed the old screen door over the hole so animals couldn't get in the house.  I hope there weren't any in there because now they can't escape!
Sister, Cori and niece, Livi made it to Illinois from San Diego.  DeWitt, Michigan next stop!
I'm going to watch a movie now. Take my mind off the house for a few hours :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Good morning!
This week is going by fast.  The roofers showed up early Monday morning.  There was about 8 of them working hard getting rid of all the shingles before new ones were delivered at noon.  I tried to stay out of their way and would drive by or ride bike over every so often.  At 7pm when I went over to lock up for the day the main man told me that when they took off the roof of 'attached' garage, it was done so bad that they were going to have to reframe the whole thing but he would keep the cost under $1000.  I knew the garage was going to be a problem.  Whoever had attached it years ago, didn't know what they were doing and it was only held up by 3 nails toenailed in.  So the roofer said it would be another day of labor for the crew.  I showed up at 7am to let them in on Tuesday.  I had things to do and drove by once at 2pm and then again at 7 to lock up.  It was then that I noticed they had put on the WRONG color of shingle!  It was a golden brown (which doesn't go with the light blue) and I had ordered a grayish color with flecks of blue, green and terra cotta.  Well, I thought that I was imagining things so I climbed in dumpster to get a scrap piece and put on my reading glasses so I could see better.  Sure enough, all this shingle had was browns and golds in it.  So I called roofer and left a message telling him that I think they had put on wrong color.  I thought I would do some more research so headed back over to house and found the bundle and brand - Everest, and color was Sunset Cedar.  Well, I had ordered Mystique, and color was Cedar, NOT Sunset Cedar.   Finally got a hold of roofer.  I felt so bad but I knew it wasn't my fault.  Everything got taken care of the next day.  I even went with roofer to make sure I got the right color.  The store said that because of the names being so close that there are mix ups all the time.  But, never this bad because the house was halfway done!  Framers never showed up yesterday and never got a call so don't know about them but new shingles being delivered this morning.
Also, got a call late Sunday from furnace guys so they installed the new furnace Monday.  Had to work around the roofers but what I have learned is you plan, plan, plan and it never works out how you expect it to.  oh well....
Another also,  electrician called at 7:30am (!) yesterday and wanted to get in the house to start his job.  It was already opened because I had got up at 6 and went to unlock it for the roofers. Two electricians showed up and worked til 4pm and still not finished.  There is a lot more electric work to be done than I thought.  All new outlets in each room (4-8 per room), new outside lights and outlets, smoke detectors in bedrooms and upstairs hallway, ceiling lights in 2 rooms that didn't have any, outlet for dishwasher and garbage disposal since they never had one, special outlet for microwave and all those fancy GFCI outlets for bathroom and kitchen.  The upstairs had its own electric box because it was an apartment at one time so they removed that and combined with the one in basement.  And there's other stuff they have to do according to code.  This is going to be a bigger expense than I was budgeting but new owners will never have to worry about electric, plumbing, roofing or furnace!
Bye for now, got to go and make sure I am getting the right color shingles

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Good thing it's not winter!

Gas company came over first thing this morning and turned on the gas.  I hadn't needed any since its summer and I didn't need the hot water heater since I didn't have any water until a few days ago.  An hour after the gas company left, the furnace guys came to install furnace.  They were first going to remove old furnace and then go pick up the new one.  When I went there 3 hours later, I was surprised that they were gone.  I thought they finished pretty fast.  But, when I went down to basement there was nothing there.  Then I found a note that said the new one hadn't arrived so they will be back when it comes in.  Whenever that is!! My phones were out all day today because I switched providers so first thing tomorrow I will give them a call.  Luckily it's August.....
Roofers showing up tomorrow-we'll see...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Finally got a working toilet!

This is my daughter, Amanda, after she helped me put in the new toilet.  It's kinda of a temporary fix.  We'll have to take it out again when we decide on what floor to put in and what we want to do with the exposed vent pipe to the attic. I hope my niece won't be too afraid to use it when they get here from Cali.  Now that the plumbing is all done, we have a kitchen sink with water and the toilet.   Now no running home to use one..
The furnace is being installed Thursday and the new roof is starting Friday.  It is supposed to take 3-5 days.  Labor intensive because there are 4 layers!  Also, the addition has a flat roof that they are making sloped.  No more flat roof for the Michigan weather!
bye for now..
p.s  I did want to mention that the plumber took the cast iron tub out all by himself!  His friend never showed up so he put it on his back, like a turtle, and carried it down the stairs.  Plumbers are strong!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Now you see it, now you don't!

The tub is gone and it wasn't a big mess either.  The plumber had a friend come over and help him haul the heavy cast iron tub out in one piece.  I had brought 4 32-gal garbage cans, a bunch of rubbermaid totes and all the buckets I had, just in case they were needed to haul all the pieces away.   I'm sure I'll find enough garbage to fill all of them in the next few months.  A family that  Amanda knows is also remodeling a house and they have a huge dumpster they rented sitting in front of their house.  They said we can use it to dump our stuff.  I'll be taking them up on the offer pretty soon. 
As of a few hours ago, the plumber still wasn't completely done with all the pipes.  It's ok if I don't have water yet because we have other plans for the weekend and won't be spending much time there anyway.  But, it looks great so far.  All new PVC for the drains and PEX for water lines. I'll  hook up the new upstairs toilet I bought at Lowes yesterday on Sunday.  I won't have to run to the local park restroom anymore!
The town Ox Roast Festival started yesterday.  The house is only a block away from all the fun.  Heading there now...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Plumber started ripping out pipes and drains yesterday.(i dont know if 'ripping out' is a plumbing term-ha!). He threw the main cast iron pipe and some galvanized pipe out in the yard. It smelled!  I'm saving it for my friends, the thrifty sisters, so I had to throw a tarp over it hoping no other metal scavengers got it overnight.  The kitchen is a mess! When the plumber cut out one pipe that extended across the width of the room, he said it was filled with black stinky stuff and it poured all over him and the floor.  I noticed when I went back to the house that he had changed his shirt and after seeing the kitchen I realized why.  Today he is supposed to demolish the beautiful turquoise tub.  Darn!
I signed the contract to get a furnace.  It should be installed in the next 5-10 days.  Hopefully we won't need to run it for months!  As soon as it is put in, I need to get ducts cleaned.  They have probably 75 years of dust,toys,spiders and who-knows-what in them.  I don't want Livi and Cori breathing that.  Then we will add our own dust in the next 6-8 months!
I stopped at my favorite store yesterday-Habitat Restore.  I bought a brand-new, still in box, all-in-one utility sink for basement.  It comes with sink, faucet, hoses and P-trap.  In a store it runs about $100 but I got it for $38.  (call me Thrifty).  Also, I got an antique dresser/desk that can be used to make a vanity in the first floor bath.  When we get to that project, I'll send before and after pics.
Got to get going for the day and buy a toilet!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Today the water company is coming to put in a pipe to the water meter.  I guess they remove it when houses are foreclosed so people don't use the water in the house for free when it's empty.  Then the plumber should be there to demolish all pipes and the cast iron tub.  He asked me if I wanted to do it and save myself some money. After watching the videos on youtube, seeing how hard it is with a sledgehammer, I decided I'd pay him to do it.  I bought 2 32-gal garbage cans to put pieces in.  I don't know how he'll carry it himself since he doesn't have any help. He said it takes 2 days to get rid of everything and 1 day to put in all the new pipes and drains.  That seems pretty fast to me but at least I'll have water and a toilet by the weekend!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Tomorrow the plumber is coming to finally give the house some water.  When I had the house inspected, the bank's real estate agent said that the house wasn't properly winterized (in MI you have to do that!) so the pipes had burst and they didn't want the water turned on to make it worse.  I decided I was going to buy the house anyway and take my chances that there wasn't too much damage, like mold.  I started getting estimates to fix the pipes. It was suggested that I get all new plumbing because through the years it had been fixed by people who might not have known what they were doing (there are 5 types of pipes/drains in the house).  After 4 estimates, I finally picked the plumber yesterday.  For the last week, we have been exposing all the pipes and drains.  The plumber told me that I have one more wall to do in the upstairs bath to expose the vent stack that goes up through the roof.  Gotta head over there now..

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15, 2011

Hello Family and Friends!!
I thought I would make a blog if anyone was interested in seeing the progress on a house I bought 2 weeks ago and plan on flipping in 9 months or less.  It is going to be a lot of labor (and $) but I have my (little) sister, Cori,  moving to Michigan from San Diego to help.  I know I can't do it without her!
This house was a foreclosure that I couldn't pass up.  It is 1.7 miles from my own home in a town that I have lived in for 19 years and love.  I hope after we are done with the house, a family will move in that will love the house and town as much as I do.