Our Home Remodel Photos

I think the last time I wrote before OD was taken offline (sometime in 2013), Chris and I just bought our first home in National  Harbor.  It was a beautiful, brand spanking new townhome.  We lasted there a whole two years before deciding we didn’t really care for the area.  We bought it right before the housing market made a bounding return, and we sold in 2015 for nearly $100k more than we bought (and we literally put nothing additional into it).  Talk about good luck and good timing.

That year, we bought a single family home on nearly a quarter acre (unheard of in the DC metro area) in Alexandria just up the street from my brother.  It was built in 1970, had a single owner, and was in dire need of updates.  Because of that, we got it for a really great price.  We did a lot of work on it ourselves, including some of the plumbing.  If you remember back to my days in Nashville with David, you’ll remember that I’ve done a lot of this kind of work before.  But for most of it, I found a really great labor-only contractor.  I designed everything and bought the materials, and he and his team did the work.  We put in about $30k in updates (I am a master at finding deals), and sold it last March for $65k over purchase price.  Not bad for three years!

Anyway, I thought it’d be fun to share the before and afters.  I still have all the MLS photos from when we first bought the place.  We never even got the chance to use the new MLS photos since we sold it three weeks before we intended to go to market.  But, hey, I’m not complaining!

Exterior in 2015
Exterior in 2018. New front door, all new windows, new lighting, completely repainted siding. Photo was taken in winter, so no plants in bloom.
No changes to the living room (other than a fresh coat of paint), so I won’t post the old photos.

Again, no changes in the dining room besides fresh paint.
The original kitchen. Doesn’t look terrible in photos right? But yeah, it was bad. Those are the original cabinets, and they’d not been painted or maintained on the interior. The floor was vinyl stick-down tiles, and they tried to grout them. So within just a couple weeks of moving in, the grout crumbled because it was so thin.
The subway tiles on the back were original too. They were yellowed in person, and many of them were cracked. Oh, and that ceiling fan! So weird.
Updated! We kept the original cabinets because, even though they were icky on the inside, they were good quality and in good shape. We painted them inside and out.
New dishwasher, new sink faucet, new subway tiles, fresh paint.
And of course, new tile plus we swapped out the ceiling fan for a sleek light fixture that made the room look bigger. Oh, by the way, we swapped out ALL of the interior doors. They were all original single panel doors, and we installed six-panels in their place (three-panel for this tiny pantry door).
No major changes to the master bedroom, expect a fresh coat of paint and a new ceiling fan.
The master bath was completely unusable when we bought the house. The floor was the same vinyl stick-down tiles, and the cabinet door was busted. The shower had leaked significantly at some point, and the wall behind the tiles was completely rotted out.
Complete gut and remodel! Plank ceramic tile floor, and subway plus marble tile shower. Went with retro fixtures to match the age of the house. And I love, love, loved that bi-fold glass door I found! There wasn’t enough room to have a typical shower door, and I did not want to hide that beautiful tile work with a curtain!
Here’s one of my own photos that better shows the flooring.
Second bedroom. Again, no changes here beyond fresh paint.
Second bath. It was… special. That taupe toilet, man. And yes, that’s a laundry chute. Obviously the cabinets and counter were new, and the floor was covered with that same stick-down tile and grout.
We did a partial remodel of it. Kept the cabinetry, and found a matching wall cabinet for more storage. Pulled out the laundry chute, repainted a more neutral color, swapped out the toilet, and retiled the floor and added wood baseboards to match the rest of the house (not sure why the photog didn’t get a shot of the tile).
Here’s a photo I took after the work was done that shows off the floor and new baseboards. Lighting’s a little wonky. It wasn’t as yellow in real life as it looks in this photo.
Just a fresh coat of paint in the third bedroom. I used this as my craft room.
Basement family room complete with a 1980’s fireplace insert that didn’t work. And some really, really gross carpet.
Check out that sweet flooring next to the patio door.
New carpet, new laminate in front of door, new gas log set, fresh paint.

Oh, and new lighting too.

This basement bathroom was even worse than the master. Stick-down tiles, a leaky toilet, a dingy and gross shower insert, and a broken cabinet painted to make it look better than it actually was. Seriously, the entire bottom was busted out of it and there was a giant hole in the wall behind it.
Another complete gut and remodel. Again, I really wish the photog had gotten a better picture with the floors because they were beautiful!
Here’s a photo I took right after the work was done that shows off the floor and shower tile better.
And another I took that shows off the cabinetry.
And finally, the basement (fourth) bedroom. That wall color was awful, and there was no lighting.
Fresh paint, new carpet, and new lighting. Oh, and of course, the new closet door.

I was really proud of all the work we did on that house.  But you know what?  I am SUPER excited to be moving into a new home where I don’t have to do a damn thing to it.  Move in ready.  I can spend the next many years just relaxing and enjoying my home!



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May 15, 2018

the house looks very nice! we bought right before the market open up too. We have had people knock on our front door and offer us 200,000 more than we bought it for. but they could offer 500,000 more and I would not move. I love this area

May 15, 2018

great photos