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Watching Paint Dry….Rental House Update #4

Holy paint, Batman! Who would have thought a house could suck up so many cans of this colored liquid? I’ve never done so much painting in my life, and we’re still not done!

(See all of our Rental House projects here)

Rental House Update #4

I initially wanted this project done by Christmas – well that has obviously come and gone. The new, more realistic time-frame is to have everything done by the end of February and to have a renter in the house by the end of March. Before I get too far ahead of myself again though, let’s take a look at everything we’ve done in the last few weeks (since the last update).

1) New Glass in the Windows

I’m not sure I ever mentioned it, but Fannie Mae had a very strange way of “replacing” cracked windows (I wish I took a picture of it…you can kind of see them through our plastic coverings in the photo below). Basically, they take break out the glass that’s cracked, then put up a couple of wood 2×2’s with bolt running through them to the outside, where they connect to the plastic window that covers the hole. It’s pretty messed up, and it kept us from painting window trim for quite a while since the wood planks were placed directly over the woodwork.

rental week 3 living room

Last week, I finally said enough is enough and ordered the five glass pieces that would fill the holes. I got some glazing from Menards, watched a YouTube video, and installed the glass panes myself in the frigid 20-something degree weather. Brrr! But, the glass looks good (hope it doesn’t fall out!) and we were able to continue on with the painting.


2) Painted the Bathroom, 3 Bedrooms, the Hallway, and the Stairwell

Like I said…we did a ton of painting. Since the window panes were in now, I wrapped up the trim work in the living room. Liz painted the bathroom so we could start installing things again (life’s been tough without a toilet…we’ll just leave it at that).

My parents came over and helped us paint the hallway and some closets. And, we painted the main bedroom, the stairwell, and the two upstairs bedrooms! Here’s a look at a few of the rooms now that they’re painted. Let me know what you think of the colors!

Main floor hallway
Main floor bedroom
Upstairs bedroom

3) Re-Built the Bathroom

The bathroom floor was pretty ugly – old linoleum with a terrible pattern. I tore it out, then saw some rotting boards by the tub. Thankfully, the joists were still solid, so I just leveled the floor with some cement compound that I had handy. Then, I laid the new laminate, installed the light fixture, and placed and hooked up the sink and the toilet. Presto! We’ve got ourselves a brand new bathroom!




4) Replaced Some Hardwood and Started Sanding

Remember when I pulled up the carpet and discovered that there were areas of the floor that were actually plywood boards instead of the beautiful hardwood I was expecting? For $600, I was able to get these three patches replaced with the appropriate wood (I would have had no idea how to do this myself), one of the steps fixed that was severely cracked, and the whole stairwell sanded and ready for stain!

Take a look at the before and after pictures. This floor is going to look great!

Before: with plywood board
After: with new hardwood!
After: with new hardwood!
Before: painted steps with crack
Before: painted steps with crack
After: Newly sanded steps!
After: Newly sanded steps!

Next Steps in This Renovation

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll have to:

  1. move the electric stove wiring to make our kitchen more functional
  2. finish painting the trim in the stairwell and upper bedrooms
  3. install the back door with dead-bolt lock (a must for a rental property)
  4. sand the main level dining room, living room, main bedroom, hallway, kitchen, and two upper bedrooms (you might want to say a prayer for me on this one…I’m a rookie when it comes to sanding floors!)
  5. place three coats of polyurethane
  6. lay the baseboard trim and quarter-round in the living room, dining room, and upper bedrooms

These “next steps” will likely take me a solid three weeks, but once these steps are complete then it’s time to find us a renter! It’s been a ton of work to get where we’re at, and hopefully it’ll all be worth it in the end. Can’t wait to let you know what we got done in our next update!

Money Rental Property


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. Great update!

    We are looking at some of the same issues coming upwith our Bungalow to Duplex conversion!

    Can’t wait for the next update

    • Cool. Hopefully my updates will help you out with your future renovations!

  2. All of the updates look decent and Im sure you will find a good renter. I would ask for 1 to 2 years of rental history payments, and a credit check as standard precautions. Good Luck.

    • Yup, we’ll definitely do the credit check and ask for rental history. Thanks for the tips!

  3. Everything looks great! Love following your progress!

    • It’s fun doing all these project knowing that there are so many people following along! Keeps me motivated to do the next thing!

  4. Looking great! You’ve had to adjust your timetable… how’s the budget? Is it what you expected?

    • Good point, Jenna! I really haven’t tallied the dollars lately. I can’t imagine we spent all that much, but will include a full summary in the next post!

  5. You managed to salvage quite a bit of the old bathroom. Well done!

    We need to decide what we’ll salvage in our bathrooms. Although we’re currently living in the property, I expect that it will be a rental in the long term, so we need to walk very carefully between wanting nice touches for now, and not wanting to maintain said touches in the future.

    For cheap paint- always check out your recycling center. Our entire house has been painted by stuff we got for free* (plus the cost of painters tape, rollers, drop mats, etc.)

    • Yup. We just need a mirror now – oh, and some baseboard trim. But then it’s basically done! It doesn’t look amazing I know, but it certain looks decent!

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