Yesterday, Lee and I went to meet up with one of our contractor partners to look over the Mattress 8 house in Temple, so he could put together a bid. Lee had already started by giving him a list of the things he wants to see done (the repair estimator!), but there’s nothing like actually seeing a place to make clear what the priorities will be. And since this house is quite a mess, we will definitely have to prioritize.
One thing I noticed is that much of the “yard” was once paved, but grass has grown over it. There is an asphalt “something” right behind where the snazzy collection of trees in tire planters sits. We also have to put on a new roof, for sure. We are thinking about putting a metal roof over the current one. Why? Because there are a lot of metal roofs in the neighbhorhood, so it will fit in.
There are all sorts of cracks in the stucco on the exterior. That is easily explained by the fact that the house leans and sags in multiple directions. Luckily it’s pier and beam, which is easier to level than a concrete slab. Once the house is level, we can patch things up.
In addition to replacing all the windows, there are some nice touches on the exterior that we hope to emphasize eventually, such as the shutters and decorative exterior beams. The house can be quite cute, even without spending too much money.
I still think those trees in the front have to go, though. While they don’t hit the roof, if they blew over in a storm it would be bad. Removing the trees might enable us to put more of a front porch on, like a deck or something.
Yes, it’s a mess. It appears that someone had planned to renovate the house and stopped (maybe they got a bid on leveling!). But then they apparently let people live there. Or they were using the place as storage. In any case, carpets have been removed, walls worked on, and old things removed. There is a good amount of vinyl floor tile in one bedroom. We’re going to figure out how much there is, and if it’s still usable, we will put it in some combination of rooms, to make it look on purpose.
Besides that, the back yard has a pallet with white tile on it. Some of it is broken, but a lot looks just fine. There are large squares, small squares and some curvy tiles. We figure we may as well use those in a backsplash or in the bathroom (which is actually a good size).
There are a few walls we’d like to remove, including the one between the dining room and living room. We will consider removing the one between the kitchen and dining room, too, if it’s possible and not too expensive. We’ll find out when the bid comes in!
We noticed a few odd things about the house. For one, the “third bedroom,” which is very small, does not have a closet, so really isn’t a bedroom. Hmm. Previous renovators may have walled off part of the living room to create that. It has a lot of nice windows that would significantly brighten the living area if it weren’t for the wall. We’ll have to decide what to do with that room.
The other thing I enjoyed a lot was the collection of interesting wallpapers in the hallway. One is quite colorful and dramatic. I’d consider keeping it, if it hadn’t been so poorly applied. Whoever hung the wallpaper did not bother to line it up so the panels flowed together. But, it’s sure happy!
Our instructions to the contractor was to bid for “rental” quality renovations. We have driven the neighborhood, which is working class and fairly well maintained (a mix of nice places and ones about to fall down; typical around here). We will aim to owner finance the house, so we do not want to over-improve it, but, in keeping with our mission, we want to make the house clean, livable, and functional for a family who might otherwise have trouble buying a home. We will make it bright and safe!
We will update you when we get moving on the rehab!