Fixer Upper Monday // 6.20.16

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. My friend from high school was in town so we just relaxed Friday night, ate at my fave vegan restaurant Darbster on Saturday and then yesterday the hubs and I spent probably 10 hours between the house and Home Depot trying to build a horizontal gate. Let’s just say the employees knew us by the end of the day.

Friday was the day of our kitchen counter installation, which took five hours and was painful to watch. The slabs weighed a total of 200lbs and parts had to be cut out to make everything fit perfectly especially that area of wall the counter wraps around. It is not at all how they show it on HGTV where they just carry it in and attach it then leave. I didn’t feel very prepared either as they asked for my kitchen faucet (in storage somewhere) and cooktop (also in storage). They didn’t prep me at all with what I needed so I was frustrated. This resulted in my rushing to our storage unit, moving boxes and a mattress to get to everything in the rain dressed in work clothes. Not fun, but ta-da! our kitchen counters came out amazing.

// White Quartz in “Pure White” //white-quartz-counter-install-modern-home-renovation

// We did a 12″ overhang with a waterfall off the side of the island //white-quartz-countertops-kitchen-home-renovation

// Kitchen Sink opening and one for the cooktop //kitchen-counter-install-fixer-upper

The painters have been working on the interior paint for three days now, they sprayed the ceilings, then primed the walls and on Saturday they painted the trim which came out fantastic. These are pictures of just the primer on the walls but the white is pretty close to the actual white we chose for the house so it will look very similar to this. This week they will touch up drywall in some spaces, then they roll the actual wall paint on. Once the paint is done the electrician can come in and set up all of the light fixtures and hook up the AC unit so we have air. Yay.


// Finished trim //white-paint-primer-fixer-upper


Here is the fence we built yesterday connecting the side of the fence to the house. We are going to cover the two black metal sides with hedges and bougainvillea so you won’t see them. The gate that you see will have horizontal wood pieces across it stained gray. Staining was a huge issue yesterday as we bought two colors of stain that were tagged on Pinterest and neither of them came out gray at all. Luckily I only bought samples so it wasn’t a huge loss but we can’t connect the cedar without some kind of stain on them so they don’t get ruined. Tonight’s project haha.


// With gate attached //IMG_8662

On Saturday the plumber comes in to hook up all the plumbing fixtures. We also get our garage door installed one of these days which will really add to the house. We are almost there – it is finally exciting feelings instead of crazy stressful feelings like this day may never come and we may die before ever living in this house that took us almost two years to build.

For those interested the next steps in the process are getting a 4 point inspection (if your home is over 30 years old) and wind mitigation report done so you can bind your homeowner’s insurance and have it reduced. We should have a fairly good rate as everything is brand new and we have impact glass and an impact garage door as well. Once the home is done we are also going to have it reappraised and look at refinancing to get our mortgage payment down. I will keep you posted on how that all works out.

// Final Punch List //

Garage Door Install (this week)

Interior Paint color rolled on (this week)

Electric Final (Thursday)

Plumbing Final (Saturday)

Tiling of master shower floor (by next weekend)

Appliance delivery & install (next weekend)



  1. Hi Beth!

    I’ve been following your 203K project blog & am sooo glad you guys are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

    I am learning so much from your experience. My husband & I are currently researching all we can find online about this process as we would like to begin our project next spring. We have a lot of moving parts to our situation, so I am hoping I can reach out to you when I need some advice….pretty please lol.

    Right now, we are in the 1st stage: Talking to Agents/Brokers, making a list of 203K-experienced Contractors, 203K Consultants, 203K-experienced Lenders etc. We’re meeting with a promising young lady on Sat. who is a Real Estate Broker that has experience working with this loan program. So husband & I are getting excited.

    I also just wanted to reach out to you, to let you know, your blog is so helpful and that your words are not going unread. I don’t see any comments to any of your entries so I wanted you to know…I am reading EVERY word, taking notes on the do’s & don’t’s and I appreciate your time.



    1. Thank you so much Kim!

      Your comment means so much to me. Feel free to reach out to me any time for help along the way. I don’t think many people know about the 203k program or they don’t go through with it because theres money up front and it is daunting. Doing your homework is always the best bet so I agree, working with people who actually understand the loan is huge. Anything I can do to help let me know and good luck! xx, Beth


      1. Thank you so much!

        Well, I think we’re on our way. We met with the R.E. broker, yesterday, that I think we will use to help find our fixer-upper. She has some experience working with clients that used a K loan & made us feel comfortable, giving us some direction, options & being clear that she will work according to our timeline…no rush. We’d planned to be well into our process by early next spring.

        I originally thought I’d read that you could do this loan with “no money” by rolling ALL of your costs in, but apparently you probably have to at least have a down payment (fees & closing costs MIGHT be allowed…making a larger loan?). We are pretty cash-poor, lol, so we will probably be selling our rental property to help finance this, which I’m pretty sick of being responsible for anyway.

        Our next stop:
        *Financing (choosing our HUD approved lender, getting pre-approved)
        *Interviewing Consultants
        *Interviewing GC’s
        *Speaking to their past clients

        Have I missed something? lol


        P.S. Sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for your next entry : )


      2. Hi Kim,

        From my experience there were many up front costs including closing costs such as a survey, appraisal, architectural drawings, etc. It is an FHA loan so you don’t have to put as much money down which is helpful. If the house you buy is not habitable they will roll 6 months of living costs into your mortgage. A lot of things will depend on just how much work it needs, what it appraises for and your purchase price. We bought our home for $107k, it appraised for like $256k so the leftover is what we had to renovate with, which wasn’t enough as it needed so much work. It is also hard to find a GC who is willing to front your project with no deposit and wait to get paid, if you interview any who seem too good to be true they probably are. I would definitley interview at least three who have worked on 203ks before and do not go with the lowest bidder. Our realtor recommended our GC who happened to be the lowest bidder which was the biggest mistake we made, he really couldn’t get the job done right and to code with the little money he was budgeted and he wasn’t a big enough company to front the job. Honestly, the consultant is pointless – you have to have one but they don’t work for the city so they don’t even check that things are to code. Our approved things that were not done properly and gave out more money to the GC on items that weren’t 100% complete which is the other way we got screwed. I think taking your time is key and interviewing GC’s is probably the most important thing you can do! Also, choosing a house to fix up that maybe doesn’t have to have every piece of it renovated because (like everyone says) it takes twice as long and costs twice as much, it is annoying but those people are right! Hope this helps you.

        xx, Beth


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