TimBRRRR 1.0, a step by step BRRRR

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December 6, 2019 update

  1. Tile: Monday – tile, Tuesday – tile, Wednesday – tile, whats for dinner – tile, hey Tim want a drink? Sure ill have some tile, whats your favorite color? Tile. Can anyone guess what Tim has been up to lately. Yup it’s tile. I used to like tile. It was a really quick visual satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment. That was until I decided to tile a 2,000 sq ft house by myself. Now don’t get me wrong, its nowhere near as bad as my nemesis drywall but its getting close. Currently I have completed 100% of about 25% of the house and have tiled but not grouted another 17.0782% of the house. Which means that if I did my math correctly car A will arrive at 8PM with 4 watermelons. And that folks is how math works.
  2. I finished a room! Great googly moogly batman I actually finished something. The guest bath is done. I now not only have running water INSIDE the house but also a toilet. A real toilet everyone! I am currently almost at month 3 of the rehab and have been without water or a toilet the whole time. Feel free to do with that information what you will… Amazingly I don’t have a funny story here (other than the no toilet comment). I installed and plumbed the vanity without issue and the toilet went in in about 15 min. Go figure, apparently I can actually do something quick and easy.
  3. Paint: I painted more, no mishaps and amazingly the paint is starting to grow on me. Once the tile got laid and vanity / toilet installed it looked really nice. Yeah no that’s a lie, I still hate it. Ha imagine the emotional rollercoaster of a ride my wife enjoys with that kind of flip flop happening in my head all the time
  4. Gutters: So my gutter guy didn’t install my downspout extenders (or whatever they are called) or splashpads (again probably not the official term but better than my first guess of water distributer thinga-ma-jingy). I left a couple texts with the company and didn’t get a response for over a week. But hey, I wasn’t worried since I had only paid them 50% of the bill. Eventually they called me (go figure) and asked me to pay. I said sure, no problem, as soon as you finish the job. And what do you know, my splashy thing-a-magoos and down spout extendomatics were installed the very next day. (I googled it and those were in fact the official terms. Plus you guys all know what I am talking about don’t pretend you dont). They called to let me know they were installed……..and to get immediate payment over the phone of course.
  5. Door: I installed a door! The first one of the house and the first one I have ever installed. I had no idea how to do this but figured how hard could it be. Yeah well its not completely intuitive how to do it immediately. However once I googled it things went a lot faster.
  6. Dance party: so I have one more funny story which is of course at my expense. After you tile you have to grout (if you didn't know that maybe a BRRRR isn't for you). Anyway, grout. So I grouted and then wiped it down once. After it hazes up you get the joy of wiping it down again…..and then again if you didn't get it clean the second time. All the while changing out water constantly. This part is really annoying (I can see you all shaking your collective heads yup right now) especially when you have a lot to wipe down. But I have found out that instead of wiping it down with clean water you can just scrub it off with minimal elbow grease with a dry towel. I simply stand on the towel and move my feet around. It creates a good amount of dust but its about 15.820 times faster than wiping it down with water. I was fried when I got to this point. I was at hour 16 of my day and just wanted to be done. So I put on my respirator and safety goggles to keep the dust off me because as you might remember from previous posts it's always safety first with this guy! I then cranked up some music to give me energy and I threw the towel down and went to work. I guess I really got into it b/c about 20 min in I was full on dancing around the room. Now the house is on a busy corner lot and this is the room at the end so its got lots of windows. Its dark out and fully lit up inside (because Im not a vampire and don't work in the dark, try to keep up here people). So dark outside, bright inside, full of light, lots of windows and busy corner lot. And there I am, dancing around like a fool, respirator on, safety goggles on, all while staring at the floor so I could see what I was doing. I can only imagine what I looked like and what passerby's thought. For sure it had to be something like "wow, that guy is several sockets short of a picnic." That's how the saying goes, trust me.
  7. A week off: I have this week off from the rehab. Just the rehab though. I happen to be in this really looooooong workshop at work and it just means I cant get over to the house after work. So I only have to work 10hr days and one job this week instead of the usual 16hrs. Woo Hoo!!! Always try to see the silver lining everyone. Im like Polly Positivity over here.
  8. Next up is more tile (surprise!), doors and trim. Finish work though so it makes you want to continue on as you are finishing things. Hmmmm maybe that’s why its called finish work (Im kidding guys, Im not that dense). The target is to be done with this adventure end of January. I have 3 weeks off in December so that should really kick things into high gear.
  9. Tile! And some sweet new bigger pockets swag too!
  10. Bathroom before (ha, imagine if this was my choice of after colors/style)
  11. Bathroom after.  TaDa!  I have since put in new outlets and cover plates too.  Just didnt have a pic of that.

Tip that I heard (but haven't tried myself yet) in case you still have more grout to do. Normally you would spray a sealant on the tile after grouting (or maybe that's only if it's marble, not sure) -- but if you spray the sealant BEFORE grouting, then the grout won't stick to the tile as much and is easier to wipe off (downside: your dance party doesn't last as long).

@Jake Moran I thought the sealant was more to seal the grout and keep that clean?  Not the tile. Plus give up my dance party!?  I’m not sure if I can handle that kind of sacrifice 

Nice work! I have never seen drawers on the bottom of a bathroom vanity before. Is this a new thing or have I been blind for a while? Thanks for sharing your journey and keep on dancing your way through!

Too long, didn’t read – Tim’s usual shenanigans occur, house rents in the end, before and after pics too

  1. I finished I finished I finished oh sweet churros on a stick I finished!! Is what I would be saying to myself right now if this was any other rehab except this one. Or perhaps all rehabs go like this. Technically 100% of my rehabs have had every issue imaginable as this is my only major rehab so far. I got REALLY burnt out at the end and just couldn’t keep up with updates here. I was working 15hr days 7 days a week to finish up and bigger pockets updates just fell to the side. So I have about 8,290 stories I could tell but I'll stick to the last few to keep this down to only 6 chapters. Seriously, these are just the very last 2 stories that have happened in the last week.

  2. I Finished: So what I mean is that I really did finish. To the point where I had the place cleaned and listed for rent. But of course the flying spaghetti monster hates me and had other plans. Hey you have your religion and I have mine. While doing my final walk through I noticed that the small 40gal hot water tank for the master bedroom wasn’t creating hot water. Which kind of makes it useless if you ask me. The wife agreed and we decided to add hot water back in as a nice benefit for the master bedroom. Apparently this hot water tank has some stealth field around it b/c I had a ridiculous time getting people to look at it and fix it. The plumber said he couldn’t find it. I mean I said its in the master bathroom, inside the closet but hey, its not like it’s a giant hot water tank. Its easy to miss. So he came back and managed to locate it and says its not getting the 240V it needs to heat. Ok great, well not great, that just means my electrician stepped down that line when replacing the panel but he’s not getting a call b/c this is about the 3rd issue I have had with his work. So I get a different electrician out who ALSO cant find the hot water heater! I had learned my lesson and was very specific when telling them where it was. I even told them about the other hot water heater and explained that one was the wrong one. But he found the 80gal and said yup, this is definitely the one! It was in fact not the one. It was not in a closet, it was not in the master bath, it was not a 40gal tank. I really don’t know what is going on, its almost like I'm on some candid camera show. Anyway I guess it was actually a minor blessing since the line to that tank had shorted out. I had already fixed it once but apparently it shorted out again. Its an aluminum wire and that’s a big no no folks. I knew this, I just decided to do nothing about it and of course it bit me in the arse. So the electrician calls me AFTER he has left the house and done a temp fix for it. Long story long he is going back today to replace the aluminum line and upgrade the line to the 40gal tank. Assuming he can find it… That seems like enough for one week right? HA! You thought I only had one $hit show story to tell. Please scroll up for reference. I have an unlimited supply over here people.
  3. I finished (part 2): When I got the place cleaned the cleaning lady mentioned my shower was draining slow. I knew I had a slow drain in the bathroom and had a plumber coming out to roto rooter it. This is all in parallel to the hot water nonsense mind you. So the plumber comes in and tells me he has to come back another day. His auger is too small and I have a ton on roots in the line. Super. So he comes back with a bigger auger and tells me actually ya know what, your septic tank is full. Go get that pumped. Ok no problem, I'm sure that will go off without a hitch and the tank is fine and I can go watch dancing with the stars (everyone get that podcast reference?). I am pretty sure at this point everyone knows where this is going. Dollar signs are going off in your head and people are groaning thinking about this project. So the tank is in bad shape (surprise!). It will need to be replaced. But doesn’t need to be replaced TODAY thank god. Oh, its $9,500 for what I need in case you were wondering. But only $280 to empty it. I went with just emptying it for now. So the poo is gone, the drains drain, the hot water tanks make hot water, the electrical lines carry the right amount of electricity, the out of code aluminum wire is gone and life is good. Actually I have no idea if that last sentence is true. I am simply putting positive vibes out as at the time of me writing this I haven’t gone back out to the house to check the drainage and the electrician is supposed to be there today to finish. So for once, please flying spaghetti monster let it be a good day. I really want to catch up on dancing with the stars.

  4. It rented! Seriously, it rented. Before all the above fixes were done too. I rented the place in less than 2 weeks! I'll also do a final numbers post since this is kind of buried but I am too excited not to post this. I got top dollar for it at $1,800/month. This is top dollar in the market its in as no comps even came close to this. I was really worried I wasn't going to get what I wanted. But I mean I should have since the entire house has been remodeled. I actually got $200 more than my original estimates. When I bought the house it was listed as a 3/2 (incorrectly) and I upgraded it to a 4/3 with an additional office. Refi is in progress now but regardless this will be a good cash flowing property at around $230/month after $270 a month is put away for CAPEX/Vacancy/Repairs. So I can go replace that septic in about 3-4 years paid exclusively by the renters. Fingers crossed it will last that long. But everything else has worked out for me so I'm sure that will too…

  5. And now the good stuff, before and after pics.  All pics are taken in the same spot, so if there is all of a sudden a wall where there wasnt thats b/c I put one in!

@Tim Bradley - Looks great! 

I'm curious about your first bathroom pic, maybe I am missing it from the photo, but it appears that there is only painted drywall for the tub/shower walls. I would imagine this will be an issue without having tile or some waterproof material. Do you have some waterproofing going on here? 

@Joseph Konney There is definitely tile everywhere.  All that white is actually white tile that I had reglazed.  There is tile on all the walls in that shower.  Water damage is not your friend.   

Originally posted by @Tim Bradley :

@Joseph Konney There is definitely tile everywhere.  All that white is actually white tile that I had reglazed.  There is tile on all the walls in that shower.  Water damage is not your friend.   

Aha, I see you camouflaged the grout lines on me! DIY kit from a big box store? 


Feb 12, 2020 Update:

I’ve decided to become Buddhist. Clearly my faith in the flying spaghetti monster hasn’t worked. I went out to the house yesterday and literally nothing that I had hoped to be fixed was. The electrician was unable to come out and will now be out Friday. So the wires don’t carry the right current and the hot water tank doesn’t make hot water. The septic tank was successfully pumped out. However I have two septic tanks. Can anyone guess if the correct tank was pumped? I mean of course it was the wrong tank! I just laugh at these things now. I gave the company access to the house to see where the issue was but they decided to just guess instead b/c “they don’t like to enter the house.” And why would they. That means they could identify and fix the issue and check their work. What a horrible idea. They will be back out either today or tomorrow to pump the right one and hopefully that clears the blockage in my one bathroom.  So the poo isnt gone and the drains dont drain.  The renters move in on the 19th though so this will all be fixed by then no matter what! 

@Nicholas L. the refi is currently in work. Closing date is 6 months to the day from original purchase date. Haven't had the appraisal yet and that will tell me my final numbers for the BRRRR. Will post when I get them. This is a traditional loan though at 75%LTV

@Tim Bradley

Tim, buy 3x clean 5gal pales with lids, mix your whisper and look at me greys together. You don’t even have to measure if you’re okay with pouring them between buckets about 5 times or so. Mixer on a drill until even, mix with the one beside, pour half out, mix with the other, repeat x5.

I've learned in dealing with any third party contractor, whether it be on my own house, my day job (IT), or my side bus/limo business to try to always be present when they're there to do any work. I've had too many instances similar to yours where people don't show up when they're supposed to, don't fix the right thing, or don't test their work. I test everything before I allow them to leave, about 30% of the time (by the way did you know 80% of all statistics are made up?) I find something not done right and make them fix before they leave. They hate it but I'm a big fan of a job done right.

I'm fortunate in that my day job allows me to set my own schedule and I can take personal time almost whenever I need, it definitely makes things easier.

@Tim Bradley There is just so much awesome information in this post. Thank you for taking the time to share your story. It is very inspiring regardless of all the roadblocks. The final product looks great!

On a lighter note - I almost stopped reading after I saw that Canes hat! Go Noles! I kid.

Update Feb 19, 2020

Whoever I have wronged to deserve this I am truly sorry. I declare for the whole world to see and hear and read I am truly sorry. Seriously. This is crazy at this point.

Electrical: Ok so electrical is supposed to show up last Friday. I call in the morning to verify they will be there. They say yup, its on the schedule, they will be out, I'll call you later when they are done. I text them around 5 to see whats going on. I immediately get a call from the owner of the company. Lets just say when the owner of the company calls you it's not to tell you things are great, no worries, head on out to happy hour. So I'm talking to the owner. He informs me that not only am I not on the schedule but they had no idea they were supposed to go back out to the house, period. The scheduler / admin apparently was as useful as a one armed man in a clapping contest and she has since been let go. As in within the last 5 hrs since I talked to her. So he apologizes and promises to come out first thing Monday morning. Which he actually did. He also cut me a deal on the bill too which was nice. Amazingly, after only 3 attempts here folks, the electrical is fixed. The hot water tank now has 240V going to it and makes wonderful hot water. Well I am assuming it does as the tenants decided to move in early before I could go back out to the house and verify that the tank now works. But I mean everything else has worked out for me so I'm sure its fine. Right? As of today I have not heard that it doesn’t work though and I'm assuming the tenants are the kind of people who shower at least every other day and would have let me know if they didn’t have hot water.  Now that I am thinking about it if they are the kind of tenants that would not let me know they dont have hot water even better!

Plumbing: here is where things go off the rails, or farther off the rails. So the plumber goes out Friday as well. Still can't clear the line and says he needs to bring the owner of the company out to help him figure out WTF is going on. Now for the people following along at home, remember it’s NOT a good thing when the owner is involved. They come out Monday and decide the house has a THIRD septic tank. What the heck!? A third tank! So I will just empty it and life will be good…. I mean does anyone actually think it would be that simple? Haha, simple. We left simple a long time ago. Anyway no, it’s not that simple. The previous owner poured a pad over the tank access to install a workshop and laundry room. Like I cant even put into words how stupid this is. What was this person thinking? This is some new septic tank system that never requires access or pump out? Bafjdklsa;f jdksla fsd!!!! I remember this little voice in my head when I walked that bathroom in the very beginning saying hmmmmmm, that’s weird that they would completely remove the vanity from this bathroom and run a separate drain for the washing machine in addition to the in wall drain. But then I said to myself self, calm down, I'm sure its nothing. NOTHING I said. Haha. So, back from the squirrel tangent. The fix is to jackhammer the laundry room floor, run a line to the other septic tank and re-cement the floor. The only good news in all of this is that they are going to jackhammer a barren cement floor and not rip up any newly installed tile. This will of course cost a fortune and totally screw up my money left in the deal. But the vodka in me says it's ok and to just relax, which is what I am doing. As of now the job isn’t scheduled but the plumber has the go ahead. I'm just waiting for them to tell me the start date. So more to come!

@Richard A. appraisal comes back this friday. Ill do the final BRRRR numbers then. I was looking good up until the plumbing fiasco.

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