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Showing posts from 2013

FSBO - How to Sell by Owner

I apologize for the tardiness of this post.  With the move, starting a new job and the untimely death of my hard drive I've been neglecting the blog.  I'll try to change that.


Our home in Butte was the third home we've sold, but the first one we've sold without a realtor.  Our decision was financially motivated.  Our first house sold in 1 day, the second in 2 days but in both cases the realtors walked away with thousands of dollars for almost no work.  Why not keep that money for ourselves?
We listed our home on July 11th.  Because the local MLS blacklists FSBO homes we did not bother using a listing service.  Instead we advertised on Craigslist and Zillow as well as at our respective employers. I also ordered banners for the front of the house and a realtor-style box to hold flyers for the house.  Although were selling by owner, we wanted a professional look instead of the standard red and white yard signs.
Our marketing expenses added up as follows:
 Craigslist, Zil…

Making It Tolerable

The bathroom has been driving me crazy.  Since moving in we've had to replace a the running toilet, fix the shower that was leaking into the basement and unclog the tub drain.  I've been really tempted to just rip out the whole bathroom and start over, but currently it's our only bathroom and our plans for an addition make it impossible to build the basement bathroom just yet. So for now we're stuck with this bathroom but I just couldn't handle the green walls and ceiling any longer. I had some ceiling paint left over from the last house and I found a half-gallon for antique white paint in the basement for the walls.  I made a curtain out of a spare shower curtain from a previous house. Luke still doesn't like the color (anything but bright white looks dirty to him) but it's a huge improvement over the green.  Maybe I can live with this for another year if nothing else breaks. 1

Mom's Kitchen Makeover Part 2

Now that I've dealt with small problems like stripping wallpaper and light fixtures it's time to tackle the big issue...cabinets.  After reading several reviews we chose Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations.  The cabinet transformation system is not difficult to use, but it requires a lot of work.   All surfaces have to be scrubbed with degreaser followed by multiple coats of paint, glaze and sealer.  But in the end it was worthwhile.  Just take a look.

Kitchen Before
 Kitchen After
Kitchen Before
 Kitchen After

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After
The total cost of the project was about $400 and between myself and my dad we had about 100 hours of labor.  I would recommend this project to anyone, but would suggest not trying it until you have a week of vacation to use.  Fortunately I have yet to find a job so I've got lots of time for such things.

Mom's Kitchen Makeover - Part 1

Hello All,

I'm back.  The blog is up and running again and we've moved into our "new" house in Helena.  But I won't be posting about the house just yet.  Now that I am jobless I am taking a little time to work on some projects for my family.  First up is a kitchen mini-makeover for my mom.
My parent's home was once owned by a cabinet maker, resulting in a large kitchen with tons of storage that was the height of style in 1990.
The pickled oak finish was not holding up well.  I refinished the matching bathroom vanity several years ago and discovered that it is almost impossible to get rid of the finish in the deeper grains of the wood.  The wallpaper was peeling at the seams and along the bottoms of the wall.  And the massive light fixture matched the cabinets, but also made the large kitchen feel small and closed-in.
I used my trusty old steamer to strip the wallpaper.  Six hours later the walls were finally clean. My brother helped me remove the light fixtu…

Our New House

We have another house under contract.I should be excited but the best I can muster is"Meh".
The truth is, like the 1st house we had under contract, we selected this one because it was a sensible decision.  It's not where we want to live, it's not a style or era that we like, but the price was right.  We'll do our thing, fix it up, build a garage, etc but it just doesn't have the midcentury charm of our current house (below).
I haven't seen this house in person.  Luke looked at it and took some pictures so I could see what we bought.  But I wasn't in town and since I'm doing all the packing by myself I don't have time to go look at it.  So I'll do my best to give a little tour based on what I know.
It's ugly.  Perhaps that's not fair.  It's plain and lack the mid-century charm I have grown to love.  It was built in 1978, measures in at 1920 sq ft on a fifth of an acre.  It's not a large lot but compared to our yard in Butte…

Kitchen Before & After

With all these recent posts about the rest of the house it might seem like I have forgotten about the kitchen.  In reality the kitchen has been on the back burner, but not forgotten.  We've been chipping away at it and all those little finishing touches are finally done.  So we're finally ready for a little before and after. 
Kitchen Before

 Kitchen After
(The oven is in the same spot, everything else changed)
 Dining Room Before Dining Room After
 The old kitchen had a closet on the north wall and also housed the washer and dryer.
 We eliminated the closet and moved the laundry appliances to the basement to enlarge the kitchen.
 The old kitchen was open into the hall.

We moved the doorway into the living room and changed the kitchen layout to an L shape.


 We found the granite tile on clearance.  Because it was very similar in color to the cabinets we decided to use a backsplash tile with a lot of color to create a focal point

I'll be posting photos of the family room t…

Living Room Before and After

The living room has been almost finished for quite a while now.  But the last few details like the crown molding and window frames just haven't seemed important compared to all the other unfinished projects.  But as we make our mad rush to get the house on the market we're finally taking care of these last few details.  So after just a few extra hours of work we finally have a room that looks nothing like what we started with two years ago.
The old living room seemed very isolated from the rest of the house.  It was connected to the dining room through the arched doorway. We opened up the doorway to 9' wide and removed the side door. The 70's remodel walled up a doorway into the hall and put this weird screen in it's place.  I guess the strategy was to get all the noise of the hallway without allowing convenient access.  Because of the poor patch job you could see the outline of the old doorway. We reopened this doorway which not only connected the living room to …

Master Bedroom Before & After

Now that we're trying to sell the house and move away it occured to me that I never posted finished photos of several rooms including the master suite.  I kept putting it off because we had a little trim and paint work to do, but everything is finished now and I had better post some pictures before it's too late.
When we first moved in to this house we named each of the four bedrooms to eliminate confusion.  We had the disco room, the pee room, the redrum (red room) and the spiderman room.  As you can probably see from the wallpaper border and paint colors the master bedroom was the spiderman room. Old Bedroom
New Bedroom Soft gray walls and a bigger window make the room much brighter, but because the room faces North is does not get a lot of sun.  To make the room seem brighter (and bigger) we splurged on mirrored closet doors.  Luke is enjoying having a mirror he doesn't have to duck to see himself in. Old Closet New Closet In addition to a nicer bedroom we also have easy a…