Thursday, December 30, 2010

Landlord…You have to start somewhere…

I have been getting a lot of questions about being a landlord. Several people have expressed interest in pursuing the landlord world. Some of the question that have been asked are like:

  • “How do I respond to someone that doesn’t pay rent?”
  • “What is the law on heating?”
  • “Where do I place my advertisements for my rental property?”
  • “How do I get background checks?”
  • “What is considered a repair and/or improvement expense?”
  • “Will I get rich?”
  • I had the same questions when I started this little adventure back in July 2008 (In the Beginning). With a lot of hard work and upfront planning, I’m happy to say that I’m successfully on my second tenant for my second floor apartment. This coming Spring, I’ll be accepting applications for the first floor apartment (my current residents). By Fall 2011, I hope to have a second property that will be accepting additional tenants.

    To be honest, I really don’t know how I’ll  initially respond to a tenant that doesn’t pay their rent. However, if I conduct my pre-application credit and background checks appropriately, I don’t expect to experience this… Although I do know that if a tenant did do this, then I’ll need to send a “Pay or Quit notice”… What is a “Pay or Quit Notice”…. Well it just that, pay the rent or Quit the lease, thus move out. However, evicting someone in Massachusetts isn’t that easy… There are many more rules that need to be followed when evicting a tenant. But, let me stop you here… We could do this all day, you ask me a question, then I answer. Then you ask another question and so on… But the real question that you should be asking is, … ”how do you know all these answers?” My answer to you is, I certainly don’t know all of the answers, but I do know where to get it. That is the key… So let me help you get started….

    I was once told that you can give a person a fish and they will eat for a day.. Teach a person how to fish and they will eat for a lifetime or until the pond dries up… However, I’ve always wondered, does the person already know how to cook a fish? But I guess that is another lesson…

    Anyway, back in 2008 when I started this little adventure, I quickly realized that getting the “correct” information was a little more difficult than I originally thought. I began my research by utilizing the internet and by visiting the local book stores. All of the information that I encountered were extremely general. Because the books were too general, I could not find the appropriate information that I needed.

    Here is one piece of information that you should certainly know… Every State has their own laws and requirements with regards to renting to tenants. So you need to find out what they are. I say this, because I remember someone telling me, “Because you live in a duplex, you can tell people that you don’t have to accept them because they have children.” Let me tell you this, in Massachusetts, that is against the law, so good luck with that battle in court…

    To be honest, it wasn’t until I took a Landlord Tenant Law class that I had realize that statement to be false. When the apartment upstairs was ready for its first occupant. (April 2009) I happened to be reading the newspaper and found that a local college was actually offering a class on being a landlord in Massachusetts. In the class, I was taught the “ideal” practices of being a landlord in Massachusetts… The class covered how to: generate a lease, get credit history, understand sanitary codes, communicating with tenants, generate eviction notices and procedures, manage security deposits, advertise within the law and so on…

    The biggest thing that I took away from the class was the horror stories. The repeat offenders that understand the law and use it to their advantage… Basically they take advantage of a landlord that doesn’t require the background checks. The class was taught by an experience landlord that saw all aspect of being a landlord. The one thing that was stressed within the class was to conduct the credit and background checks on ALL applicants. I feel that by doing the background checks on all potential tenants, 95% of the would be bad apples, would not apply. The other 4% would get caught… And the 1% will be the new beginners… I highly recommend this class and/or a class like this…

    Second advice, you have to realize that your rental property is now a small business. You have to treat your property like a business… You need to be able to manage the property, the tenant and finance, like a business. I’ve experience cost overruns and mental breakdowns. Those issue may have been caused by weather (Where's the tarp), injuries (Thank you) and/or life in general (I give you cabinet doors)… But, I’ve overcome the stated stresses because I’ve created a plan and was able to fall back to working the plan… (Finally some motivation) Most importantly you need to be patient. 

    Managing the three items can be a daunting task. But everything comes in stages… The one thing that is certainly a constant is finance. As a small business owner, we don’t start a business wanting to be in the red all of our life… So create a budget… Do the required research on your property: i.e. local rental cost, compare benefits, compare amenities, insurance, taxes, current utility expenses, improvement cost estimate and repair cost estimate. I would recommend basically do a cost analysis on your property. Your goal within that cost analysis is to have your expenses less than your income. Basically you want to generate a profit… However don’t shoot for the stars when it comes to profit. I have to admit, you are not going to be rich overnight… But the extra income certainly helps around Christmas time…

    By having a rental property, the government recognizes your property as a small business. Thus you are permitted the same tax benefits that a small business would have, with limitations of course. Also remember, your tax season is really all year long… Everything you purchase that is required for the rental property can possibly qualify for some type of tax break… Be it a repair, improvement, overhead expense, and so on… I highly recommend the book below if you are going to be become a landlord. The book gives excellent recommendation on financial bookkeeping for landlords. If you don’t feel comfortable in doing your taxes, you can always hire an accountant to do your financial books and taxes… But remember, that will cost you money as well… When doing your tax returns, Turbo Tax, the Premier version is extremely helpful for people with rental properties.

    tax book
  • Paperback: 547 pages
  • Publisher: NOLO; 7 edition (December 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1413312772
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413312775
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 7 x 1.2 inches
  • tax book2
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: NOLO; 1st edition (February 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1413309119
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413309119
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • I’ve been fortune enough to have some excellent tenants. I think partly because I’ve been honest and upfront with them. (Its Official) The relationship of a tenant and landlord should be just that, tenant and landlord. Being a friend to a tenant is possible, but it become difficult if issues arise. However, getting to this point requires you to be diligent in doing the required background and credit checks up front.

    I personally have an outside company that conducts the required background checks. The information is all stored with this company, thus if they fail your criteria, the company denies the tenant. Basically the company only gives you a Yes or No recommendation. Thus if the applicant feels that they were denied incorrectly, they must contact the company. Additionally, one item that I’ve told my tenants, “if you know you’re not going to be able to pay the rent on time, please give me advance notice of the issue.” For example, if the first of the month is on a Monday and you don’t get paid until Thursday, I can wait… But don’t wait until Monday to tell me… This has certainly helps both the tenants and me.

    I also recommend that you read a lot about how to fixing things around the home. Visit the hardware store, ask for advice, go online… It’s ok to purchase the Big Box Hardware store self-help books, they are filled with so much useful information. If you are not comfortable with tools, it might be helpful to take a woodworking class. Many schools still offer after school programs for adults. The cost of doing things yourself is both rewarding and less expensive.

    All of this becomes especially helpful when you have to hire a license contractor. Basically when they are trying to explain things to you, you have an idea of what they need to do. Or better yet, realize they maybe over-charging you… For example, I had a contractor tell me that to replace my windows it would cost me $1000 per window. That would include the window and installation… I have over 32 windows or $32,000… I read a couple of books and realized that I only needed to remove 4 screws and install a replacement window… At my local big box hardware store, I found some replacement energy efficient windows for about $150 per window… If I replaced all 32 windows, I would have saved over $27200 by doing it myself…(How much again...)

    For my final advice, I can’t guarantee that you will be rich. I can’t guarantee that you are going to find the model tenant. I can’t guarantee that you will find the perfect multi-family house that doesn’t need repairs…But when you are fixing your place, remember it’s just a rental property… What I mean by this statement is, when you are debating on 2 different colors of paint that are extremely similar, however, one is just a smidge lighter… Does it really matter? It’s just a rental property…

    I hope you enjoyed this segment. I know it’s a departure from my normal postings, but it’s the New Year and I’m not in the fixing mood… If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask within the comment section… Until next time, Happy Building and Happy New Year…
    new year baby

    Tuesday, December 28, 2010

    What beautiful snow…

    2010 Christmas has come and gone. However, this year, it wasn’t the traditional white Christmas until the day after. It was actually a blizzard that hit the northeast. The weather was so strong that a Sunday Night football game in Pennsylvania was postponed to the following Tuesday. In some areas of Massachusetts, snow thickness reached well over a foot.



    With a fresh layer of powder on the ground, I awoke to clean the driveway. I walked down to the basement to get the proper equipment to complete the job. My lovely snow blower has been comfortably sitting in the basement next to the B-1 bomber furnace all year. The snow blower has been enjoying a wonderful vacation in the cool basement during the hot summer nights. But now it’s time to get to work.

    I went through the pre-start checklist: gas level, oil level and key. Ok, everything is a go… I pulled on the start cord.. But nothing… I repeated to pull on the start cord… but nothing again…I repeated to pull on the start cord for several minutes… But still nothing…Then the first curse word was mentioned…

    I realized that I didn’t do my pre-season snow blower preventative maintenance checks. A couple of weeks ago as I was sitting outside enjoying the fall weather, I happened to notice a neighbor doing his preventative maintenance checks to his snow blower. At that time I thought, “Yea, I have to check my snow blower out as well.”

    Yea, that is correct, I didn’t do it… So there I was standing there in the cold basement wondering what could be the issue. While I stood there, I happen to realize that my snow blower has an electric starter…Basically I get to press a button and it should start. So I plug in the required cord into their respective outlets. I then pressed the electric start button… The starter whined… But, yet nothing… The second curse word was mentioned…

    So there I was standing there in the cold basement wondering what cold be the issue… The next thought was the possibility that the spark plug may be old. I had removed the spark plug to find some carbon build up. With snow still in the driveway, it would be difficult to get another spark plug. Then I had a thought, “Maybe the lawn mower might have the same spark plug”

    Bingo… It worked. The spark plugs were the same. But the snow blower was still not starting…I realized that the gas maybe stale. If gas is stored in a snow blower for a long period of time, the potency of the gas will degrade. It’s a good idea to put gas stabilizer into the snow blower at the end of the season if the gas tank is not empty. The stabilizer would refresh the gas for at least two years. The third curse word was mentioned.

    I had already installed fresh gas into the snow blower, thus the issue maybe the gas within the fuel lines. So I pressed on the gas primer and the electric starter for several seconds, in hopes that the bad gas would flush out. The snow blower finally cranked over. I was finally able to finish cleaning the driveway.

    The lesson here… Do your preventative maintenance checks prior to the season. Anyway, I want to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year. Until next time… Happy Building…

    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    All engines are a go…

    Winter is right around the corner… You know what that means… Snow, Christmas, winter coats and the wonderful B-1 Bomber of a boiler starting it’s engines…Yes this year the boiler began its’ wonderful thunderous banging that sounds like a locomotive racing through my basement… This was an issue last February (Empty Shelves) that was not completely fixed. But prior to addressing this issue, my hip/back injury decided to resurface once again. So I decide to take a break throughout the month of November. So doing things around the house was a little limiting.

    Also part of my limitation of doing things around the house was due to a wonderful holiday that just passed… Thanksgiving… I love having a gathering of food, family and friends in once place. This year, I had family and friends came over for a wonderful dinner. Basically I was able to show off the new kitchen. I’m happy to report that there were no issues with the new dishwasher, sink and/or counter. I got positive feed back from family and friends with the accomplishments of the kitchen. Here are a couple of pictures showing the family in the kitchen.

    IMG_1482Nieces Audia and Nylevea

    IMG_1484  Mom, Nylevea and Fredy

    I was certainly grateful that the dishwasher was installed. After eating dinner, the dishwasher had efficiently cleaned all of the dishes prior to me going to sleep.Thus my cleaning time was reduced by 4 days…

    The following morning the B-1 boiler had started it’s engines. At 5 in the morning, the pipes began to violently bang. The banging had carried on for about 5 minutes. I was unable to fall back to sleep.  I was extremely exhausted and frustrated that I decided to contact Ken.


    IMG_1500  IMG_1503  The wonderful cause of all of my problems

    Ken evaluated the piping and realized that the vents that I had installed were incorrect. The vents that were installed are for high pressure water systems. My issue  is that I have a high pressure steam system. The furnace/boiler would produced steam within the pipes when kicked on. Well once the room within the house reaches the required temperature the furnace/boiler would shut off. The pressure within the pipes would be trapped within the returned water. This would cause water that is generated from condensation to bounce back and forth. Basically the high pressure steam had no place to go… The new vents would allow the pressured steam to escape and minimize the hammering within the pipes.

    IMG_1509        The new vent

    Since installing the new vents, I have not heard any noise since. I am finally able to sleep through the night… So it is certainly a good start… Well believe December will be a slow remodeling months. Thus I hope everyone will have a safe and joyful Christmas. Well until next time, happy building…

    Sunday, October 31, 2010

    Time to install the floor…

    For me, returning home from any trip is always pretty dreadful. It’s not that I hate travelling I actually like it… It’s really just the feeling of having to return and deal with things around the house.. The enjoyment of going on any trips is the excitement of not doing any house work… Although in reality, I’m only delaying my responsibilities for another day… or actually….another week…

    The month of October has been pretty exciting in the travelling department. The lower back pain that haunted me during the summer has made me a travelling fool for the month of October… I have to admit, the cold weather has helped with my travelling decisions. I was fortune enough to travel to San Francisco, California and San Juan, Puerto Rico… With the relaxing view below, you can see how the trip was worth it… Ok, I have to admit, the view of my foot and crusty toes may not help in your decision.. But, the warm water, 95 degree weather and cloudless sky might influence you…

    IMG_6441My girlfriend and I, sitting by the beach in San Juan taking in some rays…. Boy did I need some sun 

    IMG_1325 Here I am at Fort San Felipe del Morro “El Morro” in San Juan

    IMG_1344Sentry Box at the “El Morro”

    IMG_1247A couple of house in Old San Juan

    While walking around in Old San Juan, we came across some property that looked pretty interesting and decent (Picture below)…Then of course the gears in my head started to crank… The smoke started to flow from my ears…What if I purchased a vacation home in Puerto Rico? What if I purchase a little house that I could rent year round? What if I purchase a 2 family home in Puerto Rico? One permanent resident and vacation home… HOLD ON!!! Pump the brakes… Pump the brakes… I need to slow things down… I need to finish my original project before I jump onto another one… Ok let’s move on… But the idea is certainly in the back of my mind…

    IMG_1245The house on the right is the property we came across…

    Anyway, now that I have fulfilled my vacation quota for the year, I guess it is time to really get back to working on the house. I can now say that I have a new motivation in getting thing done. Like the vacation home idea, but also the news that I will be hosting both Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve at my house this year… You know what that mean, set a bunch of goals to finish certain projects before the holidays and actually do one project out of 25… 

    However this year, I feel pretty confident that my project list will be much least than last years. This year, the biggest project was the kitchen and that is almost completed… After this weekend I’m certainly one step closer in finishing… This weekend I decided to finish the floor.

    IMG_1421  The green monster

    I first had to clean the room and remove all of the stuff from the floor… After doing so, I realized I had missed painting the base boards…



    Once the trim was completed, I began to remove the excess shims from the cabinets…



    It is certainly not an Angel moment unless I get injured somehow… So here we go… I was using a utility knife to cut a line across the wood shims… After doing making the cut, I would take a flat head screwdriver and lift on the shim and snap, the shim is cut perfectly in line with the kitchen cabinet.. Easy, right? Ok so, I’m on my hands and knees cutting and lifting, tooling along… I’m on the 4th one, when  I’m lifting on the screw driver, my hand slips off… I slip forward towards the floor, my hand instantly tries to brace for the impact against the cabinet and floor… But instead of feeling a solid thud, I feel a sharp pain in my left hand ring finger… As I quickly remove my hand from the sharp object that stabbed my finger, blood trickles down my finger…A shard of glass was momentarily stuck to my finger and fell to the ground…

    IMG_1453  Good cut… Bleeding through the bandage..

    After cleaning and placing a bandage on my finger, I started to clean the floor. I swept and mopped up all of the dirt prior to placing the peal and stick tiles down.

    IMG_1445 So it all started here…




    Well the kitchen is almost there… About 95% complete thus far… I still need to fix a couple of electrical outlets.. I also need to install the window trim… But until next time, happy building and Happy Halloween… 

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    I give you cabinet doors...

    A couple of weeks ago, I was flying home from San Francisco and had a brief stop in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. As I sat by my departing gate, I began to think about my life of travels. At that moment, I happen to notice three young men walking together towards the exit of the airport. The three men were dressed extremely different from each other. However, their stride was together, as if they are going to the same destination. Each person was carrying a vanilla envelope with their military orders taped to the outside.

    Seeing these three young men, reminded me of my walk with my vanilla envelope. I remember the bus ride to Sand Hill, Fort Benning, Georgia back in 1993. The moment the bus entered the base, I remember a big knot formed in my throat. I also remember my gut turning when the bus stopped... I remember the Drill sergeant walking onto the bus. The bus was extremely quiet while he stood there… You could have heard a pin drop if it did. The Drill Sergeant inhaled for a second and began to yell. All I remember him saying was, “Get off my bus!!!”

    But that was many years ago, as I sat there at the airport, I had looked at their young faces and was reminded of my baby face when I reported for duty. I had such a young face, that I was able to shave every other day. Today, that is a different story... Looking at these young men now, I’m proud to see that young men and women are still answering the call of duty. But, I certainly pray for them. I pray for these young men to come home quickly and safely… These days, the demands on the military forces are extremely high.

    I mention this observation because, I’m proud of these young men. But most importantly, when you happen to see a young man and/or woman with a vanilla envelope, you’ll have an understanding what they are about to do. That they have joined a brotherhood of men and women that volunteered their lives to protect us and our way of life…

    The layover was really because I took a mini vacation trip to San Francisco. I was able to see the Golden Gate Bridge, a Giants Game and Alcatraz. Here are a couple of pictures from my trip.

    Golden Gate Bridge from Fort Point

    Here I am standing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge

    If you ever happen to be in San Francisco and plan on taking an Alcatraz tour… I recommend the night tour. The tour was a lot of fun and extremely informational. Also a little spookie...

    But my first free weekend since returning, I was able to install the cabinet doors… Here is a picture of my kitchen with the cabinet doors and hardware installed..

    The only thing that is left in the kitchen is the floor and window trim… After that, I can move onto another project within the house.. Until next time, happy building…

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    The Envelope Please...

    My motivation level over the last couple of weeks has been focused on things other than the house. To be honest, it feels like I’ve peaked after installing the dishwasher. My summer has been limited to a couch, bed, chiropractor, back specialist, physical therapy and sometimes floor… Just to name a few things... Not sure if you remember, but I was walking kind of tilted to one side for a good part of the summer. I am happy to report that I’m slowly starting to feel human again…So I’ve been trying to enjoy what is left of the summer of 2010. It is certainly hard with temperatures starting to drop.

    With that said, I want to mention that every so often an invention is created to help progress our life. At the moment, I would like to nominate my dishwasher as the Invention of the Century… Ok… Ok there are other things that deserve the award… But for the last couple of weeks, I have been finding more time to escape the house. The 45 minutes of dishwashing by hand, has decreased down to 5-10 minutes… That is just loading the dishes and pushing a couple of buttons… The true bonus is the clean smell in the kitchen now. I’m also using fewer dishes with the new dishwasher. Although, I have to admit, the trash barrel smell is starting to come into question now...

    Looking around the house, it feels like things are almost complete… But, the little details still need to be done… The plan is to complete the kitchen and then move on to another room. To accomplish that plan I need to paint, fix some electrical outlets and install the new floor...

    So here we go… So here is the kitchen...

    Cabinet Doors removed and primed

    Tin Roof taped

    Cabinet Doors primed

    Trying to be a little artsy with the camera

    New look

    Old hardware

    New hardware

    Problem hinge...

    I had a problem of getting the right replacement hinges from the super large orange box hardware store... I even went to a couple of local hardware stores searching for this hinge… But still no luck… So I had to special order them online… So until the new hinges get in, the kitchen will look a little odd with no cabinet doors…  I should be receiving them sometime this week… Anyway until next time, happy building…

    Sunday, August 15, 2010

    No More leaning towers of dishes....

    Throughout our lifetime, we will encounter responsibilities that will never go away. If we are lucky, we will be able to pass those responsibilities onto someone else. But the odds of that are extremely slim…The responsibilities that I am referring to are household tasks that never go away. As a youth, household tasks were usually delegated due to a punishment and/or a source of allowance. Some of the household tasks that never go away are laundry, dishes, trash removal, and mopping. I personally believe that most of the tasks mentioned are minimal in time to accomplish…But are needed to satisfy our cleanliness meter... I mean, to be honest we really don’t have to clean anything, but people would start to talk… There is one task that I truly dislike. That responsibility is dishes. Here is an example how much I hate dishes… As a teenage I actually had quit a job because I was scheduled to wash pots and pans for 8 hours straight. I could not deal with the soggy factor, thus I quit…

    I honestly dislike the dish pan hands after spending 20 minutes of washing. Additionally the wasted time spend standing over a sink of dirty dishes. My problem is that I enjoy cooking. I would cook a large meal and have an excess amount of dishes. To be honest, I would be ok with cooking, if someone else did the dishes. However, I live alone in this house, but that is truly another story….

    I have to admit that my dish washing quality is really not up to standards… I mean I fall short of the 100% cleaning mark by half. It’s completely embarrassing to offer someone a drink and realize a spot of muck on the glass. So when the installation of the dishwasher was next on the list, my motivation was extremely high… I was even more motivated when I realize that the dishes were piling higher and were beginning to fester something frightening.

    Prior to installing the dishwasher, I had to cut an access hole into the side of the sink base cabinet. I then had to adjust the existing electrical outlet closer to the dishwasher access hole. When I installed the sink, I purposely installed the drain line for the dishwasher, so I would only need to install the dishwasher drain directly. Surprisingly the manufacturing dishwasher instructions were extremely easy to follow.

    For the dishwasher, since I didn't want to hard wire directly to the power, I decided to install a 3 prong plug that came with the dishwasher. I figured in case of emergency, it would be easier to disconnect the dishwasher power without any true issues. I also changed the existing plug with a GFI (also known as GFCI) which means Ground Fault (Circuit) Interrupter.

    Whenever electricity is used in a damp location, a minor fault can cause a dangerous shock even though the circuit is properly grounded, thus a GFI is used to interrupt that shock. Basically, a GFI outlet monitors the current flowing through both the hot and neutral wires. If there is a difference between them that usually means an external source is causing a current differential. That external source causing the differential is usually a person. The GFI watches for this difference and shuts off power to the circuit if an imbalance is detected.

    When wet, you become a conductor and the GFI will detect the current flowing through you and shut the power off. A normal breaker will only shut off if your body happens to overload the circuit, the odds of you overloading the circuit is unlikely.

    So let’s get to the point. So prior to installing the dishwasher, I wrote a little note on the wall… I figured someday someone would want to revamp the kitchen as well. This will at least give them an idea when it was last updated.

    Here is the dishwasher installed prior to actually using it.

    You will note the cluttered counter top with the dish rack.

    Now look at the counter without the clutter… Nice, I’m extremely pleased with the new look. So now the dishwasher is installed. Next on the list will be to paint the walls and upper cabinets in the kitchen. Then install the new floor…That is it for now… until next, happy building…

    Sunday, August 1, 2010

    If this was your vacation, I'd hate to know what you do for fun...

    Now that the bat situation is somewhat under control (I like to believe it is). I can now move onto other things around the house. Over the previous week, I’ve been on vacation from work. It was the perfect time to begin a large project. One that would require a lot of attention once it began. The biggest problem was that I had a serious back problem that required a lot of attention. So I called in re-enforcements to help me with the kitchen… my nephews. Without their help, I’d probably still be struggling with lifting the cabinets alone.

    Prior to the bat situation, I’ve been patiently working on the kitchen. I started with the ceiling, by exposing the wonderful tin and installed the crown molding. I also half heartily painted the walls… I wanted to paint the walls completely prior to installing new cabinets but my vacation time was coming on too quickly. So I paused on the painting and started the kitchen update.

    Let’s review the reasons for the cabinet update

    Cabinet doors did not close properly
    Drawers face missing or damaged
    Repaired drawers with duct tape

    Duct tape drawer
    No dishwasher

    Everything needed to be removed from the kitchen prior to actually doing any demolition. For the next week, my house was completely turned upside down from empting the kitchen.

    Kitchen table with pots and pans in the bedroom
    Cleaning supplies and utensils in the living room


    Once the old cabinet was removed, through the wall it would appear that there was a door. It looks like the previous owners had installed a wall to cover up the door that goes into the back hallway. I’m ok with the wall because it gives more space for cabinets in the kitchen.
    Next was the main cabinet. The base under the sink was pretty dilapidated. Additionally, the faucet was old and it leaked. The wooden handles were started to get moldy as well.

    The plan was to remove the dual sink and replace it with a single sink. To fit a new dishwasher within the current space, I had to get a smaller sink base thus it required a smaller sink.

    A new drain assembly will be needed. A new hot water outlet will be needed as well to supply the dishwasher.
    Within 30 minutes, the entire kitchen was completely demolished.
    I then installed a new subfloor to support the new cabinets.

    For the new subfloor, I cut out holes for the water, drain and power lines. I created a template to cut the holes out.
    Once that was completed, Fredy started to help out by drilling in support boards into the walls

    The cabinets were then drilled into the walls, shimmed and then together.

    Once the cabinets were in place, Fredy helped me put the counter top on.

    The main cabinets were then installed. For the sink base, I used the same template that was used for the subfloor to cut out the access holes.

    Fast forward a couple of screws, shims and heavy lifting, the kitchen cabinets were completed. The new kitchen cabinets now have an access spot for the new dishwasher.

     For the new dishwasher, I then needed to install a new water line to the existing hot water pipe. After shutting off the water supply, a new “T” copper spacer and valve were soldered on. To protect the cabinet from getting burned by the torch, I used a flame retardant cloth.

    Once that was completed, it was time to install the new sink. I used blue painters tape to outline the new sink. Note the light coming through the window...

    Because of the limited space using the Jig saw to cut out the access hole for the sink, I had to use a hand saw to clean out the last remaining portion of the counter. You may notice the darkness out of the window. It took a long time using the hand saw...

    Once I was conformable that the sink would fit within the new access hole, I installed the faucet and drain to the sink. The new sink assembly was then installed to the counter using clips and silicone.

    The next portion of the kitchen upgrade was installing the new drain assembly. The PVC piping was aligned prior to being cementing together. Note the black marker lines to ensure that the PVC piping was assembled properly. Also note the new drain pipe for the dishwasher waste line.

    The moment of truth!!!!!

    Yes!!!! Water is running with no leaks…

    I can happily state that the main renovation of the kitchen is completed. The next portion of the upgrade is to finish painting, install the dishwasher and upgrade the floor. I also want to upgrade the kitchen hardware. I’m certainly pleased with the upgrade thus far. Yes I still need to wash dishes by hand... But not for long...

    The upgrade thus far would not have been completed if it wasn’t for my great nephews, Fredy and Devyn. Without them, I probably would have destroyed my spine. The bonus was listening how they both enjoyed learning how they were able to use power tools. Well until next time, happy building...


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