Eighteen weeks ago we purchased a single family home with the intention of fixing it up and renting it out. In August we closed on the deal of this cute little two bedroom, one bathroom slab on grade bungalow in the town of Morrisburg, Ontario. We purchased the house at a great price and knew we could increase the value by doing a lot of the renovations ourselves. After just over four months, this house is finished and we have a tenant lined up! It was a lot of fun, lots of sweat, some blood, but a surprisingly minimal amount of tears and stress. We loved pretty much every minute and are almost a little sad that it’s over. Real estate investing is kind of addicting so I don’t think we’re finished yet. Here are the final pictures of our rental property renovation, and a summary of what we did in each room!
The kitchen was the biggest change in the entire house and is definitely my favorite room. The house was built in the 1950s and renovated in the 70s. I’m not sure if the kitchen was original or not, but either way it was very very bad, and it stunk. And the laundry machine was in the corner of the kitchen.
In the kitchen we took down the wall between the kitchen and living room, and replaced the large old window with a much smaller one. This allowed us to extend the cabinets a few extra feet and be able to incorporate the fridge and a dishwasher into the kitchen layout. We ended up tearing out all the drywall in the kitchen so Tony could update the electrical and plumbing. Tony replaced the drywall, we built a false wall to accommodate the plumbing changes, Tony built and installed new cabinets, we added a laminate countertop, and then I tiled with the backsplash. Quite a change right?
The living room was full of wood paneling and stinky carpet. The first day we got the house I started tearing out that carpet and the smell improved almost immediately. I had planned to just paint the paneling, but I soon realized there was drywall underneath and it made more sense to remove the panels.
I also took down the half wall, removed the wallpaper, and tore out all the old trim. We finished the living room by adding new potlights, new flooring, fresh paint, and all new trim in the entire house.
The laundry room used to be a small storage room. The washing machine was originally in the kitchen, and it made more sense to convert the storage room to a laundry room. The biggest challenge to move the laundry was the plumbing. Since this is a slab on grade house, we had to hire a plumber to dig a trench through the concrete from the bathroom to the laundry room in order to move the plumbing.
Paint, flooring, trim and appliances, and this room is totally different!
Across from the storage room is the bathroom. This bathroom was complete with carpet, plastic wall tiles, and floral wallpaper.
I removed the carpet immediately as well as the vanity. I had planned to paint the plastic tile, but that plan didn’t work very well. So then I decided to add some horizontal wall panel and incorporate a box frame mirror. We used the same cabinetry as in the kitchen to keep the color palette cohesive throughout the house.
The two bedrooms I would say had the least amount of work to do. I removed all the carpet, old trim and closet shelving, and of course the curtains.
I installed the same the flooring in the whole house. We chose to use vinyl plank flooring which is supposed to be very durable, and also looks really good. I also painted the entire house, the same color. The color I chose is called crushed ice by Sherwin Williams, which is a super light grey. It’s basically not a color, but it makes the house look clean and bright and I love a light neutral color on the walls.
Apparently I forgot to take final pictures of the bedrooms, but you can get an idea of what they looked like. Another major change was all the wiring in the house. Originally there was an old fuse box on the outside at the back of the house. We got the electrician (with Tony’s help) to rewire the whole house and put a new electrical panel in the bedroom.
The outside of the house really just needed a good cleaning and a little TLC.
I pressure washed the entire house, painted the front door and shutters a friendly blue color, moved the walkway out a few feet, added a few low maintenance perennials, and finished off the gardens with some mulch.
Completed rental property renovation
I love looking back at what we accomplished on this rental property renovation over the last four months. We tend to get a lost a little bit in the small details and all the tasks to accomplish each week. But this was a fairly big project and I think we did a really good job at increasing the property value with all these renovations. Now, we will rest and regroup, and I hope to catch up on things at our own house. At least for a little while. I just can’t help myself, I’ve already started looking for the next project.
Demolition: Week 1 Laundry room plumbing: Week 2 Wall removal: Week 3 Prep for painting: Week 4 More demo and some flooring: Week 5 Electrical and plumbing upgrade: Weeks 6 & 7 Drywall: Week 8 Paint: Week 9 Flooring: Week 10 Exterior: Week 11 Trim and closets: Weeks 12 & 13 Kitchen and bathroom progress: Week 14 Kitchen back splash: Week 15
A great job. The new tenants will enjoy your accomplishment. Now you can start a new journal.
Magda Wagensveld. says
Have looked forward seeing all the hard work you did in the house. Would be a great little house for Art and I, but not ready to move from Waterloo.
What a huge difference! Great job!
Wow! Love seeing the ‘before and after’ pics! Amazing!
Lindsay Brown says
Looks amazing Jess! What a transformation!
You guys are amazing!! What a lovely job.
What a beautiful job you’ve done here Jess! I loved seeing all the before and after photos. Bravo1
Jessica Vanderveen says
Thank you so much!
I followed your journey with this house! It looks great! I would love to hear more about your journey with rental properties! Which books/online resources did you find most helpful in your learning…. especially for Canadians?
Jessica Vanderveen says
I have been listening to podcasts for years! Mostly Bigger Pockets, but also Flipping Junkie. Also I’ve been reading a lot of books – my favorites so far are Rich Dad Poor Dad, The ONE things, The 10x rule, The book on rental property investing. But also check out the http://www.biggerpockets.com/ forums. There are a lot of knowledgeable people on there, especially Canadians