Every house we work on comes with a different set of goals. 715 Withington is set on a beautiful tree lined street in North West Ferndale. It’s hard to find a renovated house under $200,000 in this sought after area.

So, we put ourselves to the challenge. Renovate this bungalow to a high standard, maintain the characteristics of the house, while keeping the price affordable for this neighborhood.

This is how we will achieve our goal of an affordable renovation:

  • Keep the attic as-is, leave that for the new owner to decide if they want to finish. This will also give the new owner an opportunity to create equity.
  • Basement is in decent condition, so we will clean off the spider webs and leave it at that. 
  • The siding is slightly faded, but in good shape. A power wash will do.
  • Due to the cold winter weather we won’t be able to paint the garage or porches. This will help keep costs down.
  • We thought about opening up the kitchen to the dining room, but have decided against for a couple of reasons. It is already a bright kitchen with a breakfast nook, and again this would add cost without adding the value. 

Phase 1 – Planning a Bungalow Renovation in Ferndale, Michigan

First, let’s take a look at the bungalow as a whole. Then we’ll breakdown each of the rooms, looking at their current condition and what needs to be done to complete a “Scope of Work”. The scope of work is the first document to put together. This is what you give contractors to receive quotes for renovation work. Once we know what needs to be removed and what we’ll be replacing, we put together a vision for each room. This helps with picking out materials and getting everything ordered for this bungalow renovation in Ferndale, Michigan.

we buy houses Ferndale Michigan inherited sell my house
Front of 715 Withington, Ferndale. We bought this Ferndale, Michigan bungalow at the end of November

We purchased 715 Withington in Ferndale, Michigan from Charlie and his brothers on Monday November 26th. It had been their mother Mary’s home for over 15 years, until she passed away and they inherited the house last year. It’s a great bungalow, and we’re looking forward to giving it the updates it needs, so it can become a great home for the next owners.

We buy houses in Ferndale, Michigan for many reasons. The obvious reason being that we live in Ferndale ourselves (it’s a fixer upper), and that we love the old, quirky and unique houses. Ferndale really is one of a kind, and we love being part of its development and protection.

An old bungalow renovation can come with many obstacles, but it’s worth it! These unique houses need to be preserved, not torn down. We want to share the renovation of 715 Withington, so it may help others, like you, with your Ferndale ranch or bungalow renovations. Breaking it into different staging, we hope to give you a feel for the different tasks that must be carried out, for an efficient, cost effective and seamless project.

Now let’s take a look at the house!

Bungalow House Specifications

  • Sq Ft: 994
  • Year Built: 1921
  • Number of Bedrooms: 2
  • Number of Bathrooms: 1
  • Basement: Unfinished
  • Garage: Yes

The Ferndale Bungalow’s Current Condition, Scope of Work, and Materials

The bungalow is in overall good condition. All the major mechanicals are in running order, helping reduce surprise costs. There is paneling in a lot of the rooms, however, so we’ll have to wait and see what the walls look like beneath it all.

Living and Dining Room – Current Condition

The house has a large living and dining room. Two of the walls are covered with vinyl paneling. Old carpet is found throughout the house. It’s always a nervous/exciting moment to find out what’s underneath the carpet. Is it beautiful hardwood?

we buy houses Ferndale Michigan inherited sell my house
Living room with gas fireplace.
we buy houses Ferndale Michigan inherited sell my house
The living and dining walls have vinyl siding and floor has old carpet.

It was a great moment when we peeled back the old carpet to find original hardwood floors! Refinishing hardwood floors will cost a bit extra compared to carpeting, but the results will be worth it. We won’t know the extent of the condition until the carpets are totally removed during demolition, but it’s a good sign.

Finding out what was under the carpet. It was a great surprise.

Living and Dining Room – Scope of Work

  • Remove carpet, vinyl paneling on walls and fireplace. Remove the current light fixtures and blinds.
  • Refinish hardwood floors, drywall fireplace and add mantel piece, add curtain rods, paint entire room and add new light fixtures
An inspiration board for the new materials and fixtures we’ll add to the living and dining areas.

Kitchen – Current Condition

Many Ferndale, Michigan bungalows have dated kitchens with old built-in cabinets and laminate counter tops. This one is no exception. There is a separate electric stove and oven, with no room for a dishwasher. The old carpet, vinyl paneling on the ceiling, and wood paneling on the walls in the breakfast nook area are in poor condition.

we buy houses Ferndale Michigan inherited sell my house kitchen cabinets
Old kitchen cabinets, laminate counter tops, and carpet will be removed
we buy houses Ferndale Michigan inherited sell my house kitchen breakfast nook
When updated this breakfast nook will be a lovely feature instead of wasted space.

Kitchen – Scope of Work

  • Remove carpet, all vinyl paneling on walls and ceiling. Remove built in cabinets, sink, oven, electric stove and hood range.
  • Redesign kitchen, add new cabinets, sink, stove, fridge, dishwasher, and microwave. Install granite counter tops, tile floor with ceramic tile, add new light fixtures, and repair walls where paneling has been removed.

Kitchen Concepts in Ferndale, Michigan is where we get our kitchen cabinets for all our projects. Alan came out, measured the kitchen and put together a design for us. We popped into their showroom on Woodward to go over the design and pick out the cabinets. We’ve decided to go with the same white shaker cabinets as 458 University (pictured below). The light color will help brighten the kitchen.

New kitchen concept designs.

Bathroom – Current Condition

There is only one bathroom in the house. It has a large steel tub, vanity, and toilet. We will remove vinyl tiling on the walls and an odd extra space to the right of the tub. The shower is not up to current coding regulations and will need to be replaced.

we buy houses Ferndale Michigan inherited sell my house

Bathroom – Scope of Work

  • Remove toilet, vanity, vinyl tile, and carpet. Demo the framing on the right side of tub. Remove the shower head and old diverter.
  • Install new framing to right of tub for shampoos. Install new toilet, vanity and tiling in the shower.

We get our tiles from Fairway Tile and Carpet in Clawson, Michigan. They came out and took all their measurements, which is a huge help. When we go to pick out our tiles, John is able to give us an estimate for the overall price on the spot. His expertise helps when we are calculating and picking the finishing materials, like the bull nose, schluter, and grout.

New bathroom concept.

Bedrooms and Den – Current Condition

There are 2 bedrooms and 1 den in this Ferndale, Michigan bungalow. Bedroom 1 is located at the front of the house and has old carpets and doors. In the middle of the house is Bedroom 2. The interior wall has vinyl paneling, so we just have to cross our fingers the wall is in good condition underneath. This bedroom has two entrances, but only 1 door, an odd set up and doesn’t work for most families.

From the open door-less arch way you can enter the den. This room is the perfect size for a nursery or study. We’ve had a peek, and all of these rooms, including the hallway, have hardwood floors under the carpet.

Each bedroom has original 1921 doors. We love the old look of these doors, but unfortunately we won’t be able to save them. The doors aren’t in the best condition and neither are the lock sets. Finding old lock sets to fit these doors will be difficult. We know that today’s home buyers like new doors and they will be better for resale.

we buy houses Ferndale Michigan inherited sell my house
Bedroom 1
we buy houses Ferndale Michigan inherited sell my house
Bedroom 2. Paneling will be removed, door added and hardwood floors refinished
we buy houses Ferndale Michigan inherited sell my house
Den will be a perfect nursery or office

Bedrooms and Den – Scope of Work

  • Remove all carpets, vinyl paneling, blinds and light fixtures.
  • Refinish hardwood floors, repair wall in bedroom 2, add new light fixtures, add new doors and lock sets, and paint everything!
Bedroom and den concept designs.

Finishing Up Phase 1 of Our Bungalow Renovation

After we’ve put together our scope and have a good idea of materials needed, we’ll get our quotes. We try to get 3 quotes for every contractor type.

For this project, we’ll need the following tradesmen:

  • Carpenter – Demolition and installation of cabinets, tile, new trim, and other details throughout the bungalow.
  • Electrician – Removal and installation of fixtures and kitchen appliances. We always hire an electrician to ensure everything is up to code and safe for new owners.
  • Plumber – Removal and installation of bathroom and kitchen fixtures.
  • HVAC – Service only.
  • Flooring – Sand, fill, repair, and stain hardwood floors.
  • Chimney Mason – Service and certification.

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