We are close to putting this property back in MLS as we near the end of our remodel. This is our first real flip and as such we learned a lot in the process. You always expect to learn something when you do a project this large, but one of the things we didn't expect was how attached we would get to this property. It really started out in rough shape and now it's looking great. We really are going to miss having a place on the lake.

Just as a reminder, this is what we started with:

This is where we started.

As you might expect, renovating the kitchen was the most time consuming, and most expensive part of the whole remodel. What you can't see from these photos are the tile floor and new dishwasher in the kitchen. One of the best decisions we made in the whole project was the tile counter and tile floor. As you can see from the pictures the countertop is fairly complicated and definitely not a 'standard' size. Using tiles allowed us to handle the custom shape easily. It also adds a great deal of warmth to the kitchen and was fairly inexpensive. In total it came to about $5 per square foot, where there was significant sweat equity on my part. I ripped out the old counter and built up the plywood foundation for the new counter.

This is how it looks today with refaced maple cabinets

Another big expense in a kitchen remodel is the cabinets. New cabinets would have swamped our budget so we went with refacing, that is, replacing only the doors of the cabinets and keeping the cabinet carcasses. We painted them white to hide the oak, and put on new maple doors and drawer faces. These are custom order items, each door and drawer face built to order, so if you plan on doing this yourself leave enough time for the order to arrive. These arrived 5 weeks after we placed the order.

Here is another shot of the kitchen.

One of the best decisions we made was adding the structural details like the columns and light box around the breakfast bar. Those are just 2x4's and sheet rock and the total material cost including the lights probably came to less than $300. One of the reasons it was so cheap is that none of the changes we made were structural. The other reason is that 2x4's and sheetrock are cheap. Oh, and from this day forward, the phrase 'like a hot knife through butter' will be solely reserved to describe a sawsall cutting through a sheetrock wall.

Bamboo hardwood floors in the living room, dining room and hallway

Another decision we are happy with, but would probably scale back in our next flip, is the bamboo hardwood flooring. It's relatively inexpensive to buy, around $2 per square foot, but the expenses start adding up if you have to put down a subfloor over concrete like we did here. There is also the time it takes to install, or the cost, depending on if you are doing the installation yourself or paying someone to do the install for you.

The bedrooms got a fresh coat of paint and berber carpet.

The bedrooms got new Berber carpet and a fresh coat of paint. In addition there is a new closet organizer in the master bedroom walk-in closet and all the light fixtures are new. The one big regret on this project is the master bath shower fixture. It's all brand new, we replaced the aging one that was there with a much better design. In reality it probably would have looked just as nice if we had replaced the visible components with exact replacement parts. Instead we picked a whole new system which required me to open up the wall behind the bathroom and replace a good deal of the plumbing in the wall. The whole set of plumbing is now in much better shape than it was before, but all the hard work is covered over in sheet rock and completely invisble to any buyer. And besides, have I ever mentioned that I dislike plumbing with great intensity?