DIY

5 Questions to Ask Before Investing in a Fixer-Upper

by Brandon Turner | BiggerPockets.com

 

So should you invest in a fixer-upper? Despite a few cons, I would say yes, you should definitely consider it because of the overwhelming pros. However, before you jump into your next project, ask yourself these five questions about the deal.

5 Questions to Ask Before Investing in a Fixer-Upper

1. How bad is it?

There are many levels of severity when dealing with fixer-uppers. Some properties need just a few thousand dollars worth of paint, while others need a complete overhaul. As common sense would suggest, the less work a property needs, the less risk you’ll have that something will go wrong during the rehab.

At the same time, however, the less work a property needs, the more competition you’ll face. This is why I generally look for properties that appear to need a lot of work to the general public but that actually just need minor fixes. For example, homes that have a bad smell because of pets or cigarettes are a prime candidate for me, because smells are easy to rectify. An ugly exterior paint job or a bad roof are also fairly easy (if costly) to remedy, but they scare away more potential homeowners. So, before you buy a fixer-upper, I encourage you really look at the property and have an accurate estimate of what it’s going to take to fix it up. Don’t go into a fixer-upper blind.

 

2. Is it worth it?

Let me ask you a question: Is it better to buy a house for $120,000 that needs $30,000 worth of repairs, or a house that is $150,000 that is 100% finished? With all other factors being equal, the finished house clearly has the advantage. However, many investors fail to comprehend this logic and instead think “fixer-upper” automatically means “great deal.” It doesn’t!

Often, the cost of rehabbing a project will negate any discount you might get. On the other hand, if you could get that same property for $90,000 and put $30,000 into it to make it worth $150,000, now we’re talking!

3. Do I have the time?

Whether you plan to do the work yourself or not, fixer-uppers take time! You have to be present at the property often to make sure the work is being finished correctly, or maybe you’ll end up having to do the work yourself. I have a friend who bought a fixer-upper triplex with plans to live in one unit and rent the other two out, but it took him three years to fix up the two other units and get them rented! While this friend may still have a great investment on his hands, he lost close to $40,000 in potential rent over those three years because he didn’t have time to handle a fixer-upper.

4. Do I have the skills?

Most people who are looking to get started with fixer-upper rental properties plan to do the work themselves. I actually encourage this, as long as the work is on a small scale. Being able to do your own rehab can save you a ton of money and can help you get a good feel for how long projects take so you can better manage the hiring out of those projects in the future. However, if this is your plan, do you really have the skills to take on the project? If not, see the next question in this list.

5. Do I have the drive?

Or more importantly, do you have the mental skills and motivation needed to learn how to accomplish those projects? My first home was a fixer-upper, and I had never swung a hammer in my life! However, I picked up a book on home improvement and began learning on the job. I also called in a lot of favors from other people I knew and had them teach me how to do things. By the end of the project, I could install carpet, tile a bathroom, lay laminate wood flooring, solder copper pipes, and fix a leaky roof—not because I had the skill, but because I had the desire and motivation to learn.

By answering these five questions for every project you are about to take on, you can better decide whether it is the right path for you. Fixer-uppers can be a great way to supercharge your wealth creation, but they also present increased risk. Just be sure to do your due diligence on any fixer-upper you plan to buy and accurately account for the hurdles you might face. Then take action, and get a little dirty!

 

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BUILT-IN BREAKFAST NOOK

When we purchased this East Nashville project house earlier this spring, one of the things that first drew us to the property was this little room off the kitchen that was just BEGGING to become a built-in breakfast nook!

Here’s the before photo …

Isn’t the upgrade amazing?!

For this post, we partnered with Walls Need Love. They have beautiful options for removable wallpaper, murals and wall decals. We chose the Ida Removable Wallpaper for our nook.

I don’t normally wallpaper ceilings, but in this tight space it creates a high impact, pulled together look. I am BEYOND pleased with how this turned out. And the best part is you can install this wallpaper yourself in a weekend.

The first step for this project was to build three benches, customized for the space. Collin removed the trim in the space, framed out the base of the benches and then added the seat back last.

The next step was to build the table. We’re not going to full DIY instructions (although let us know if you’d like to hear them all in a separate post), but Collin built a farmhouse-style table, perfectly fitted for the benches. The table top is about two inches smaller than the floor space between the benches.

If there are any vents or outlets on the wall, they should be extended to outside of the bench, not covered up.

For paint, Collin used two coats of stain blocking primer and then two coats of glossy untinted acrylic paint.

The next step was to install the wallpaper.

Our best tip is to be patient. Collin started by installing one strip from the front of the ceiling all the way down the back of the wall, and then worked out from there. For a continuous pattern, you can’t make it match from every angle, so we prioritized the front facing angle. The sides of the wall to ceiling don’t match, but the pattern hides it very well.

Last, Collin installed a fresh new light fixture.

When shopping for wallpaper, always order samples. I always order way too many samples, but it’s helpful because some of the time they look different in person. Samples can also help you get an idea of scale.

Wallpaper – Ida Removable Wallpaper by Walls Need Love, Light – Luna Pendant in Black by Schoolhouse Electric.

I’m happy we went neutral in this space because I can style it with pillows, flowers and baskets to reflect each season. I am SO EXCITED to have guests stay in our new home and I hope they love it as much as we do!

My partner in crime was in town and got to see our new property for the first time. I bribed her with some cinnamon rolls to snap a few photos … always works!

I hope this post has inspired you and shown what a HUGE transformation a little wallpaper can make! It made this space so much more thoughtful looking. It would have been nice without it, but with it it’s really special!

If you’re one of those people who has been terrified of wallpaper, this next paragraph is for you. 🙂

Wallpaper in 2017 is a whole new animal. It’s nothing like vintage paper that takes forever to remove (I am still somewhat traumatized from the painted-over wallpaper in our last home). These days it’s easier than ever to install AND remove. So easy that some of the time you can do it yourself (or at least remove it yourself if you don’t want to do the install). And there are countless new options that look super modern. So give wallpaper a chance.

Thank you so much for reading! I am beyond grateful to have you here. xx – Elsie (and Collin, too!)

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson and Collin DuPree. Project Assistant: Collin DuPree. Photography: Amber Ulmer.

 

DIY Ideas for the Home

JUNE 11, 2017

DIY Home Details
We all want our homes to represent us, these beautiful DIY projects are sure to inspire.

(Today’s features were chosen by Debbie from Refresh Restyle)

 


DIY Library Card Catalog by Sadie Seasongoods

DIY Industrial Pipe Towel Bar by Simply Beautiful Angela

How to make your Furniture Extraordinary with Upholstery Tacks by Just The Woods

DIY Industrial Shelves by Welsh Design Studio

DIY Farmhouse Art by Making It In The Mountains

How to Create a Beachy Colored Look with Paint by Rain On A Tin Roof

Clever Ways to Add or Boost Attic Storage

 

When it comes to extra storage an attic is a wonderful place. There many different ways in which you can turn your attic into a place that provides loads of storage despite its sloped ceiling. So, take a look at the ideas below and hack your attic for boosting storage:

 

1. Design The Walk in Closet of Your Dreams Inside The Attic


Image via: attic works

2. Build Benches with Storage Drawers


Image via: home dit

3. Install a Built in Bed With Storage Drawers and Shelves


Image via: simplicity in the south , houzz

4. Build a Bookcase in Place of The Stairway Railing


Image via: modern home tours , elephant buffet

5. Create Storage Inside a Knee Wall


Image via: new england

6. Build Modular Shelving Along The Walls


Image via: houzz

7. If You Want to Create a Bunk Room in The Attic Then Add Bookcases at The End of The Bunk Beds


Image via: thrifty decor chick

8. Install a Pull Out Wardrobe or Drawers in The Under-Eaves Space


Image via: jerosch , houzz

9. Build a Bookcase with a Bench and Create a Cozy Reading Nook That Can Store Your Books Too


Image via: freddy and petunia

10. Invest in Free Standing Storage Solutions Depending Upon The Size and Storage Requirement of Your Attic


Image via: houzz

Beautiful Bedroom Design Ideas For The Whole Family

“When you invest in your bedroom you invest in yourself”

 

Designer Gillian Gillies shares three bedrooms she designed for a family with two kids. Get her tips on how to create a space personalized to each family member, plus smart bedroom storage solutions that go beyond the closet.

In the parent’s master bedroom, Gillian wanted to create a spa-like retreat, so she used a palette of light green and blue for a soft and serene atmosphere. A built-in wall separates the dressing room, while a custom king-sized storage bed keeps clutter at bay. For the kids rooms, Gillian took a more layered approach with pattern, color and texture. The daughter loves art and is very creative, so Gillian kept the color scheme neutral so she can add in her own prints and accessories. The son’s room didn’t have a closet before the renovation, so adding storage, like a bed with drawers and a built-in desk, was the main focus of the renovation.

See the sources for the items in this video here: https://houseandhome.com/video/family…

 

10 Ideas for Stunning Holiday Lights

Go all out this year with these techniques to light up your house and garden for the holiday season

By Lauren Dunec Hoang

As anyone who has untangled a snarled string of lights or come up 5 feet short on the roofline can attest, the process of hanging holiday lights is more complicated than it looks. A satisfying result depends both on having the right products on hand as well as proper installation. Let us help take the guesswork out of your holiday light setup this year with tips from lighting professionals, including tricks for hiding cords, the best lights for tree-wrapping and how to evenly hang lights along the eaves of your home.

Private Sunken Walled Garden

 

1. Wrap shrubs: Adding just a few lights to the landscape can make a big difference in making the garden an inviting place to walk through or gaze at. In this walled garden in Manchester, England, a pair of clipped shrubs wrapped with white lights makes a lovely entrance to a garden room.

Get the look: To evenly cover outdoor shrubs, pick up “net lights,” which have bulbs distributed over a square or rectangular lattice of cords. Energy-efficient LED net lights often have a more true-white or bluish-white color than those with incandescent bulbs. Read the packaging to be sure the netting is large enough to wrap all the way around your shrubs.

 

Front Porches

2. Deck out your front porch. This front porch in Atlanta — done up with festive garlands, strings of lights and a Santa figurine — looks lavishly festive without being overwhelming.

Get the look: Concentrating outdoor decorations in a single area, such as the entryway or a garden bed, can be a great way to go all out with holiday exuberance without turning your front yard into Disneyland.

 3. Showcase trees. Gardens this time of year are primarily quiet. Highlight the branch structure of deciduous trees by wrapping the trunk and individual branches with white lights. Choose a single tree as a specimen, or illuminate a cluster of trees for greater impact.

Pro tip: To get the professional look in this photo, Ryan Morici of Heritage Oaks Landscaping recommends swapping regular holiday lights for LED mini lights to save on power consumption. “The LED lights allow you to use many more lights per circuit versus the incandescent lights,” Morici says.

4. Line a pathway with luminarias. Welcome guests this year with an enchanting walkway lined with glowing luminarias.

Get the look: You can purchase luminarias or make your own with paper bags weighted with a handful of sand at the bottom. If you’re thinking of a large display, gather some helpers to place tea lights in each one — or use battery-powered candles — and light just before guests arrive.

5. Hang snowflakes. Trade traditional string lights for a set with glittering snowflakes. Hang them where they have room to stand out, such as just below the eaves or along large branches of a tree in the front yard.

6. Illuminate potted branches. You may not have small trees or shrubs to wrap with lights along driveways or paved entryways. But you can light up container plantings instead.

Get the look: Pick up branches from the backyard or a florist, and set them upright in containers filled with sand or gravel. Wrap the branches with lights of your choosing, and use conifer trimmings to hide the plugs and containers.

7. Add magic to snowy landscapes. Lights twinkling like tiny stars hovering over a snowy garden are just about as magical as it gets. To mimic stars overhead, wrap branches that overhang garden walkways or beds to create a softly lit canopy.

8. Light up a treehouse. As if a backyard treehouse weren’t magical enough, this one is fully decked out for Christmas. A Houzz favorite for the past few years — with good reason — the treehouse was built by a Dallas couple, with the help of an architect, to give their grandchildren a place for imaginative play.

A Magical Tree House Lights Up for Christmas

10. Outline the eaves of your home. Perhaps the most classic style, perimeter lighting along a home’s eaves and roofline creates an inviting arrival. Pelham McMurry from Light Up Nashville shares these tips for getting a professional look at home:

  • Upgrade your lights. “Even the most expensive sets of LED lights at box stores are cheap-quality,” McMurry says. “Commercial-grade LED lights purchased from specialty retailers is the way to go if you don’t want to repurchase your lights year after year. Quality lights cost more, but in the long run, you’ll save time, frustration and money by not having to repurchase every year.” To get those perfectly straight lines, where every bulb seems exactly aligned with the next one, attach lights to your trim with commercial-grade clips.
  • Consider a professional. “There are many reasons to hire a professional to install your holiday lightings, but maybe the most important is safety,” McMurry says. To avoid the risk of falling from a ladder or slipping on an icy roof, consider hiring a local lighting professional.

15 Chic Ideas to Decorate Your Kids’ Room with Stripes

1. Dress The Beds in Blue and White Striped Bedspreads for a Nautical Look

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Image via: houzz

2. Create an Accent Wall With White and Colored Stripes of Paint

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Image via: hometown feed

3. Dress The Windows with Striped Curtains in Colors That Compliment The Decor of The Room

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Image via: 100 layer cakelet

4. Cover The Floor with a Striped Carpet or Roll Out a Striped Rug

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Image via: hgtv , icons corner

5. Work on The Fifth Wall, Yes We Mean The Ceiling

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Image via: houzz

6. Go for a Striped Bed Headboard and Use The Same Fabric for The Bed Skirt

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Image via: houzz

7. Introduce a Hint of Pattern with Striped Pillows

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Image via: one kindesign , comforter decor

8. Another Way to Add a Bit of Pattern is a Striped Window Valance

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 Image via: homedit

9. Paint A Piece of Furniture in Stripes

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Image via: tomiannie , just a girl and her blog

10. Hang Striped Fabric Canopies

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Image via: houzz

11. Craft a Canvas Wall Art That Has Stripes

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Image via: etsy

12. Set Up a Reading Nook Inside a Striped Tepee

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Image via: project nursery

13. Hang a Striped Pendant Lamp

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Image via: houzz

14. Craft Striped Hot Air Balloons with Paper Lanterns, Paint and Baskets

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Image via: make life lovely

15. Create a Wood Striped Accent Wall

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Image via: design dining and diapers

 

DIY Crate Tutorial to Set Pumpkins in

 

 

Fall is finally here…  Well, I think it is.  I’m not sure where fall went, though.  It’s suppose to be in the eighties today, but break out the skinny jeans and boots anyway!!!  I have finally finished decorating my front porch on a low budget. There are many ways to decorate for fall for cheap or even free – DIY Crate Tutorial!

diy-crate-copy

This fall, I added some rustic character to my porch by building crates to set my pumpkins in.   I used some pallet boards I had on hand in order to build mine, so I didn’t end up spending any money on them.  Crates are simple to build.  When using pallet boards, the boards are not always straight, so if you are really picky about that I suggest you buy some nice straight boards.  This did aggravate me at first.  However, I didn’t want to spend any money so I got over it fast.

To build your crate these are the supplies you will need:

  • Pallet boards
  • 1×1 boards
  • Wood glue
  • Brad nails or screws
  • Nail gun or drill

First thing, cut all your boards. If you want the crate bigger or smaller, adjust your cuts accordingly. These are the cuts I did:

  • (9) pallet boards @ 21.5”
  • (4) pallet boards @ 12.5″
  • (4) 1×1 boards @ 11.5″

You will notice that my side pieces are thicker than the other boards.  The pallet I used had smaller and larger boards. I used only the wider boards for the sides.  If all of your boards are the same, you will need to cut 6 pallet boards at 12.5″.  After you have finished cutting the boards, stain or paint them.  I did put one together without staining it first and thought it was harder to get into all the nooks and crannies.

board-supplies-copy

After the paint dries, place the 12.5″ board on the 1×1, lining the edges (shown below) one board at a time.  After you have it lined the edges up, nail together using about 3 or 4 nails.  If you don’t have a nail gun, you can screw everything together.  Just make sure to pre-drill your holes.  When I cut my 1×1, I cut it shorter than the height I wanted the crate to be. I wanted my board to hang over a little.  After you place your first board, put the second one on, leaving a little space in between the boards.  Nail it to the 1×1.  Do the other side the same.

first-board

second-board-copy

 

Next, take the sides and line them up on the ends.  Take two of your 21.5” boards and place them on the top.  Line up your edges and nail them down.  Do the top and bottom boards first, then your middle.  This way, it will be square.  When placing your middle board, just make sure you have equal distance between the boards.  I just eyeballed mine.

other-side-of-the-board-copy

Turn it over to the other side and do the same thing.

sides-of-the-boards

 

When you get to the bottom, line your outside boards up with your side boards.  Nail together both the sides. Next, add your middle board, spacing it evenly between your other two boards.

nail-both-boards-copy

 

Now you are FINISHED!!

pumkin-storage-copy

These could also be used for storage.  I was thinking about hanging some on the wall of my craft room to put fabric in them.  There are endless ideas for using crates.

DIY: Refresh Your Bathroom With a New Sink and Vanity

bathroom

Give your ol’ WC a quick update for just a couple hundred bucks and a few hours of your time.

You’re tired of your old, dated bathroom, but not yet ready to do a full-on remodel — it’s a common scenario.

Here is an easy fix that can cost you as little as $200 and about an afternoon’s worth of time: a new vanity/sink combo.

An updated sink and vanity will stand out and draw the eye to it, instead of to other bathroom elements that may be less than perfect. And if you happen to be replacing an old pedestal sink, you will instantly give yourself more storage space.

Many vanity styles are available at your local home improvement store. They come in all shapes and sizes to fit just about any bathroom, even the tiniest of rooms. Some models even have a matching mirror to help you complete the new look of your bathroom.

bath

A new vanity can add personality to even the smallest powder room. Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

The best part is you can save a lot of money by doing the installation yourself. Here are tips to help get you started.

Selecting a vanity/sink combo

  • Consider the size of the room and the space you have available for the sink. You want to select a vanity that not only fits in the room, but also is in correct proportion to the room and the other elements within it. For example, you may not want to put a tiny vanity in a spacious bathroom with lots of light. The same is true of the opposite scenario: Be wary of putting a large vanity in a small bathroom, even if the room technically has enough space for it.
  • Select a vanity that coordinates well with the style and color scheme of not only the bathroom, but also your home overall, and any future updates that you may have planned for down the road.
  • Make certain to purchase a vanity that has no back. This will make it much easier to fit the cabinet around the plumbing, and provide easy access for the installation.
  • Don’t forget about the faucet! In most cases you will need to purchase your faucet separately. Be certain to pick one that is an “easy-install” faucet.

Installation tips

  • Allow enough time to complete the project, especially if this is the only bathroom in your home.
  • Before beginning your project, make sure you have all the tools and materials you need at hand. It’s also a good idea to check the box that the new sink/vanity came in to make sure that all fasteners and hardware are there. There is nothing worse than getting halfway through a project only to find that you’re missing a screw or a drawer pull.
  • Install the new faucet into the new sink prior to installing the new vanity.
  • Plan for the removal of the old sink. For example, if the new vanity is a different size than the old, you will most likely need to touch up the wall paint in the area, and possibly even repair parts of the wall.
  • It never hurts to have a helper. You may need help with removing the old sink and putting the new one in place.

With your new vanity installed, your bathroom will look and feel newer and better, and you will have the pride of having done the job yourself.

10 Cool DIY Bookcase Ideas That Won’t Break The Bank

10-cool-diy-bookcase-ideas-that-wont-break-the-bank-a

 

If the collection of your books needs to be housed in a bookcase then you can make a bookcase yourself too. There are many materials and items you can use or recycle to create a cool bookcase that will not only store and display your books, but will decorate your home too. Along with that we have discovered such bookcase ideas that call for less money. Take a look:

1. Stack Old Wooden Crates and Build a Bookcase

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Image via: tara michelle interiors

2. Recycle an Old Ladder and Give It a Second Life

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Image via: tara michelle interiors

3. Install Ledges on a Wall to Become a Bookcase That Won’t Require Too Much Material to Build

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Image via: two plus cute

4. Re-think an Old Door And Turn Trash to Treasure

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Image via: the elliott homestead , etsy

5. Give a Makeover to An Old Dresser

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Image via: viral upcycle

6. Re-imagine a Cable Reel into a Bookshelf

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Image via: lucht adoption

7. Get Creative with Plumping Pipes

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Image via: pinterest , charliestine

8. Re-purpose Old Drawers and Employ Them as a Bookcase

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Image via: indulgy , pinterest

9. Build a Bookcase from Recycled Pallet Wood

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Image via: pinterest , pinterest

10. Show Off Some Creativity with Old Table Legs

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Image via: layla grayce