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We are just about ready to start our 2012 home renovation projects, but before we can begin we have a few projects to complete. We moved into our 2012 renovation the first part of October. The move was lengthy due to the fact we also had to re-establish a shop in the new place, but that is a story for a later date. Once we had moved out of our old home, we had a lot of work to do to get the place ready to rent.

The first task was to redo the cracks in the sheet rock and repaint. Once this was done it was time to redo the floor. We went with an inexpensive laminate floating floor from Lumber Liquidators. I’ve always said I would never use a fake wood flooring product, but in this case I couldn’t resist the low cost. We will see how it wears in a rental unit but I will have to say I am impressed with the ease of installation. It doesn’t look too bad either.

The field of floor took an afternoon to install. The snap and lock system is very easy to install. Trimming out the baseboards and transitions between the laminate and carpet or tile took another afternoon. I made the the transitions out of 1×4 oak flooring ripped into 3/8 x 4″ strips. I beveled the edges and finished with polyurethane. Using finish screw with plastic anchors installed into the concrete slab. Once again I made my own quarter round from flat stock poplar.

I used the sprayer to paint the ceiling so there was a lot of over spray on the soffit above the kitchen cabinets. Instead of repainting, I decided to cover them using 12×12 inch vinyl tiles. Another inexpensive easy way to dress up the place.

The final task was to install the closet doors. That was one project that we had intended to do for the last 4 years. We considered several different styles of doors but in the end we decided went with a sliding track and slab doors that match the rest of the doors in the house.


Except for some miscellaneous minor repairs the place was ready to put on the market right before Christmas. We put an ad in Craigslist to sell or rent the property but the only inquiries we had where from real estate agents. That wasn’t a surprise but we were disappointed with the few rental inquiries we got. The last 2 times we put a house on the rental market, they were rented the same day we made them available. The good news was that right after January first we began to get quite a few inquiries about renting the property.

Once again we opted to go with a Tulsa Housing Authority (THA) Section 8 Program. We will get about $125.00 a month less each month than a normal lease, but the peace of mind that we get the rent on time each month is priceless. Unfortunately getting a property to pass the THA inspection process can have a price. Once we had a rental prospect I went through the property carefully looking for anything that might cause the inspection to fail. I made sure I had the proper ventilation in the hot water furnace closet. I added ground fault interupts (GFI) near all sources of water, and tested each recepticle around the house for proper ground. I was confident the place would pass easily, but I was wrong.

The inspector arrive right on time and met me in the garage while I was sweeping the floor. She immediately stopped at the garage door and pulled out her note pade and began to make notes. She let me know that the garage door opener must have a dedicated outlet near the motor. The extension cord I was using would not be allowed, even though it was a 12 gauge cord. She then went to the utility closet. Once again she began to make notes. I assumed that she would tell me that I would have to raise the hot water heater an other inch off the floor, but instead she said that the PVC relief drain I was using needed to be changes to brass, copper or CPVC. It had something to do with the fire rating of schedule 10 PVC. I was a little disappointed at this stage but at least both of the were very simple fixes.

By this time the prospective renter had arrived and I left the inspector while she was checking outlets for ground, to greet the renter. I took here around the garage and explained the issues the inspector brought up. By the time I caught up with the inspector, she was once again making notes. She was standing by the master bedroom windows. She mentioned that the small window size bothered her. Even though these windows were the same size as the original windows, they were too small for todays code. Bedroom windows must be large enough that a typical adult can crawl out of them in case of a fire. She told me that it would have to be replaced. Now this was a huge surprise, but I immediately agreed to replace the window. I even told her that ti would be done the same day. Although I don’t think she believed my, nor did the tenant, the inspector agreed to come back the next morning to reinspect. I was on my way to Lowes while the inspector and tenant were still in the driveway.

I picked up a single stock sliding window that would closely match the opening of the two small windows I would be replacing. The sliding window was the same height but about 8 inches narrower that the existing opening. I stopped by our new house to get as many tools as I thought I would need and returned to the rental property. With in an hour I had the old window removed and the rough opening reframed with new window installed with 2 screws just too keep it from being blow out by the wind. I took inventory of any additional supplies and tools I would need and went back to Lowes and home to restock. Carri came by after work about 4 and helped clean up while worked on the hot water drain and outlet for the garage opener. By 8:00 that night I had the window intalled and trimmed and ready for paint the next morning. The inspector arrive just as I was cleaning the paint brushes the next morning. She compliment me on the job, and signed off on the inspection.

Looking at the picture it doesn’t really look like ther is much difference between the window sizes. However, there is a significant difference between the size of the opening when the window is open. It would have been very difficult for a normal adult to crawl though the original window in an emergency. In the end it was time and money well spent.

Well, the tenant has moved in, and I finally get a break. Or at least I can begin working on our new house. I can’t wait to start on it and begin the blogging process on the experience. This next project is going to be fun!

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