Monday, June 13, 2011

Kitchen Renovation: Before

I wish this were a post all about MY kitchen renovation but it isn't.

You might remember that we bought a two-family house and that we have our first tenants arriving on July 1. We are confident that we have quality tenants arriving and we sincerely hope that they love renting from us and stay for a long time. As any landlord will tell you, turning over an apartment is generally something to be avoided. It costs money and you lose rent during the time it takes. For our first stab at being landlords we wanted to be careful to pick people we had confidence in and we budgeted a couple months' lost rent as part of our move-in expenses so that we could afford to wait for these folks to move in. That also gives us the time to do work in the upstairs apartment if we want. The new tenants have seen lots of pictures so they knew that the apartment they agreed to take had a kitchen like this:

This is actually a perfectly acceptable kitchen for our neighborhood. There are a few luxury condos around but, for the most part, this is a fairly middle-of-the-road kind of place and there are plenty of worse kitchens out there. This one is on par with our two other rentals in the neighborhood and only slightly less-nice than what we have now.

The front rooms of this apartment are nicely painted with gorgeous new hardwood flooring. The back of the apartment has that kitchen, a slightly vintage bathroom, and two small bedrooms with icky flooring. We really wanted to do something to make the back of the apartment more closely match the front both in an attempt to keep our first tenants as long as possible and then turn over the apartment as quickly as possible when it's time to find new tenants.

Some of the problems in this kitchen include a big gaping "open area" that is just crying out for a dishwasher:

Really ugly faux-wood laminate counters with a seam that was never joined:

A plastic "tile-look" backsplash with, um, stick on green leaves:

Green vinyl flooring, and wood-paneling:

The older range is in an unfortunate spot as well.

These old houses have covered fireplaces and the stoves are often oddly-placed as a result. But there was no way to move the stove without starting from scratch with the cabinets and we're not looking to invest that much money into a rental kitchen.

The plan: replace the countertop, including by extending it under the window up to the refrigerator. Install a dishwasher under the new stretch our countertop. Paint the wood paneling (it's old, thin, yucky paneling, not super-nice wood, don't worry!). Paint the cabinets and update the hardware. I haven't ruled out updating the floor with new vinyl tiles but that isn't in the plan at the moment. It is the easiest thing to do in a year or so either in between tenants or to show our appreciation for tenants that stay on. And we're doing all the work ourselves and calling it "practice." I hope the results are nice but I don't think the results could possibly be worse than what we're starting with.

Stay tuned for updates!

1 comment:

melanie said...

You know I love kitchen renovation projects! Will eagerly stay tuned...