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Another exciting project in Ferndale!  This is one of the nicer homes we have purchased.  Most of the houses we purchase come with list full of surprises.  This one has been as straightforward as the come!


When we were in the process of purchasing this house, the homeowner was in a tough financial situation.  So we wanted to offer her as much as possible to help her get things under control.  Since we purchased her house for such a high price, our challenge now is to complete a high end renovation within a tight budget. How are we going to do this?  Sweat equity!  Normally we don’t swing hammers ourselves, but we need to cut our costs down some how.  This is how we’ll achieve our goal:

To cut down labor costs, we’ll take on the easy stuff!

  • Demo – Remove kitchen cabinets, flooring, interior doors, wall paneling, bathroom vanity, shower insert, carpets, wall paper
  • Light carpentry – Installing interior doors, base trim, window and door trim, painting throughout, light drywall repairs
Fiona’s taking down the kitchen!

Lets keep the skilled work for the tradesman:

  • Electrical – Update electrical to code
  • Plumbing – Update plumbing to code.  Run new lines for showers in both bathrooms and new connections for sinks
  • HVAC – Replace existing furnace with brand new furnace
  • Carpentry – Install new tile on bathroom floors, shower walls, backsplash in kitchen.  Install kitchen cabinets and vanities.
  • Hardwood floors – Install new hardwood in kitchen and entry way.  Refinish hardwood throughout
  • Drywall – Installing new drywall throughout the second floor, bathroom, and kitchen

Now let’s take a look at the house!

Phase 1 – Planning a Home Makeover in Ferndale, Michigan

 House Specifications

  • Sq Ft: 1300
  • Year Built: 1966
  • Number of Bedrooms: 4
  • Number of Bathrooms: 2
  • Basement: Unfinished
  • Garage: Yes

The Ferndale House’s Current Condition

We purchased this home from it’s original owner, who lived here for 53 years!  Well taken care of over the years.  She spent some money on essential repairs (new roof and siding), but the rest of the house needed to be modernized to fit today’s standards.

Living Room – Current Condition

Large living room with hardwood floors.  Floors in need of refinishing.  We normally don’t add stain when we refinish our floors.  We love the natural look of hardwood.  In this case, we will have to consider using a darker stain because of the pet stains.  Stains like this deep will not come out when sanding.

Pet stains and entry way to kitchen

The living room has 2 access points, one from the entry hallway, and the other from the kitchen.  This gives the home a natural “open” feel without having to remove any walls.

Dasan keeping a look out for us from the hallway!

Living Room – Scope of Work

  • Refinish hardwood floors with dark stain.
  • Install new base board trim, hand curtain rods, apply fresh paint

Kitchen – Current Condition

Straight out of the 60s!  Wood paneling galore!  This house came with a large kitchen, but the way it was set up reduced the space.  Hanging cabinets separated the cooking area from the dining area.  Almost making it feel like 2 separate rooms.  Kitchen also has laminate flooring which will be removed and replaced with beautiful hardwood.

Dining section and entry to back deck
Cooking in tight quarters
Hanging cabinets cut off kitchen from dining area

Kitchen – Scope of Work

  • Remove cabinets, flooring, wood paneling, counter tops, and light fixtures
  • Redesign kitchen to include an island.  Re-position stove along exterior wall
  • Install new cabinets, counter tops, hardwood floor and refinish
  • Install new drywall, and skim coat walls where panelling was removed
  • Update electrical and plumbing

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. Working with Kitchen Concepts makes our job much easier!

First Floor Bathroom – Current Condition

This is a situation we see far too often.  The previous owner was a senior citizen on social security.  Her finances were very tight, but she needed to re-do her bathroom to make it safer as she was aging.  The company she hired saw she was a vulnerable senior and charged her an extremely high price for a low end renovation.  Installing cheap floors and a cheap plastic shower insert.

Cheap flooring and old vanity
Plastic shower insert

Bathroom – Scope of Work

  • Remove existing flooring, vanity, shower insert
  • Install new vanity, ceramic tile flooring, bathtub, and wall tile

First Floor Bedrooms – Current Condition

The bedrooms are self explanatory.  Great size without a lot of work needed.  We’ll just have to freshen them up a bit.  We will not be refinishing the floors in the bedrooms.  We are fans of bedroom carpets.  Makes it feel more comfy, especially waking up on a cold morning.

Bedroom 1
Bedroom 1

The second bedroom came with old carpets.

Bedroom 2
Bedroom 2

First Floor Bedrooms – Scope of Work

  • Remove carpets, doors, and closet inserts
  • Install new carpet, shelf and clothes hanger in closets
  • Install new doors, base trim, and fresh paint

Second Level Bedrooms and Bathroom – Current Condition

This house just keeps on going!  The upstairs comes with an additional 2 bedrooms and a full bathroom.  The previous owner had plans to renovate the upstairs, but was never able to finish it.  When we purchased it, most of the walls have been demoed and all the electrical was already ran to code.  This was a great surprise for us.  Usually when there is unfinished work, it takes a big effort getting things back in order.  She even had insulation installed!

Walls studded and insulated
Going to be a nice bedroom!
Soon to be a toilet
Bathroom ready to be completed

The fourth bedroom had some panelling on the walls and ceiling, along with old carpet.

Light demo needed in bedroom 4

Second Floor – Scope of Work

  • Remove carpet and existing panelling in bedroom 4
  • Install new drywall
  • Install new doors, base trim, and fresh paint
  • Install new carpet in bedrooms and hallway
  • Install new vanity, ceramic tile, toilet.  Re-frame new shower and install ceramic wall tile

Stay tuned for our next post as we continue to share this exciting renovation!

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