Hicks House

From Builder Basic to Beautiful


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Condo Before and After Shots

Since the condo is officially on the rental market and after all the talk the last few weeks of all the work that we’ve been doing to the condo I thought it was about time to show you some before and afters.  Since I’m new to this blog thing and didn’t get before shots (in my defense most of the work started pre-blog) I tracked down the original MLS photos from when Ken bought the condo back in late 2009.

Some rooms are more drastically changed than others, personally I think it looks much more updated in person than the pictures convey… but maybe I’m biased.

I actually like the original exterior shot better...

I actually like the original exterior shot better…

So maybe not the best photo to start with since the previous agent took a better exterior shot… but it’s a condo there is only so much we can do to the outside… Moving the agents car before taking the photo so it’s not in the lower corner should have been one of the things done.

I'm not sure you can tell in this picture but there used to be nasty wallpaper

I’m not sure you can tell in this picture but there used to be nasty wallpaper

In addition to removing the wallpaper and painting the walls, the weird wood window valance was also removed (Ken literally just grabbed on and pulled it off), as was that old corner TV. We stopped short of de-almondizing the kitchen.  We completely realize this badly needs to be done.  But we’re renting and that’s a huge expense… so almond EVERYTHING is.

Another room from the kitchen facing the living room

Another room from the kitchen facing the living room

It’s easier to see the nasty 80’s fabulous wallpaper that used to be in there from this angle.  Also, is that a corded phone?!  We don’t even own one of those.

dining room

Right off the kitchen is the dining room which got a fresh coat of paint, more modern curtains, white trim and a brushed nickel chandelier in place of that old brass one.  (extra points if you can spot Chloe’s photo bomb)

living room

living room

This room’s biggest problem was the furniture layout, it didn’t make any sense, we also removed those wall mirrors, replaced the carpet painted the walls, and the trim (that wood piece didn’t get done before the photo shoot… the TV was too heavy)

master bedroom

In addition to saying adios to the toothpaste green color in favor of a dark cool grey, we also painted the trim white and replaced the carpeting.

second bedroom

second bedroom

One of the bigger projects, in addition to patching all the walls (we mainly used this as a gym and some weights may have collided with the wall), painting the walls a more neutral color, and painting all the trim; Ken also made this awesome built in desk in one of the two closets.

upstairs bathroom

upstairs bathroom

Another de-wallpapering project.  The previous owner LOVED their wallpaper! This room got a coat of a cool light gray, white trim new doors and just to the left of this shot used to be a brass shower sliding door.  (Eww it even had frosted glass)  That was removed in favor of a bowed out shower curtain rod and modern white, and gray curtain.  I unfortunately didn’t get a picture of the new shower but I have an old one just to give you nightmares…

AHHHHHH!!!!

AHHHHHH!!!!

Here’s some bonus photos I don’t have before’s of:

upstairs hall.  Hello pretty white trim!

upstairs hall. Hello pretty white trim!

downstairs hall, the white trim and new doors look fabulous if you ask me

downstairs hall, the white trim and new doors look fabulous if you ask me

another de-wallpapering project

another de-wallpapering project

I have mixed feelings about the half bath. Granted this is a terrible photo.  We picked this paint color out two years ago and just got around to putting it up.  Now neither of us like it… it may be safe to say we hate it (which is odd because as you know orange is my favorite color).  I’m pretty sure if it went up when we first bought it I may have liked it.  Hopefully whoever rents it likes it better than we do.

So what do you think?  Two months of hard work, better before or after?


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Painting the Stair Trim

This is sort of an addendum to the post on the trim in the condo Read That Post Here since the stairs we a much bigger undertaking than the nice straight trim over tile and hardwood… It warranted it’s own post.

The first thing to do in order to prep for the job was to make sure it was adequately taped – top and bottom.  The top is easy enough, its nice and straight although on an angle.  It’s the bottom on the carpet that is the challenge.  Here’s the nifty little trick on how to move the carpet out of the way:

Use a paint scraper to push the tape down into the gap between the trim and carpet

Use a paint scraper to push the tape down into the gap between the trim and carpet

You’ll notice I am using masking tape… DO NOT USE MASKING TAPE! Learn from my mistake and pay the extra money for painters tape. There is a reason painters tape is more expensive, because paint doesn’t stick to it! Ingenious I know. As you can probably tell the masking tape was a pain and a half to remove and took a good chunk of the paint with it.  I have learned my lesson.

All taped up and ready to paint!

All taped up and ready to paint!

Once its fully taped you just get to painting it making sure to push the brush down into the grove you taped down to paint as close to the carpet as possible. I started on the right side of the stairs, and since I’m right handed it went pretty nice and smooth and I was starting to think maybe this project wasn’t going to be as bad as I thought…

First coat on the right side

First coat on the right side

At this point I was feeling pretty good about myself and jumped right into the left side. It was every bit the nightmare I anticipated this project to be. Right handed people are just not meant to paint the left side of stairs, it’s like cruel and unusual punishment. I probably should have started at the top and worked my way down, rather than working up then the angle would have been slightly better.

It takes 3 coats to get the right amount of coverage to actually look nice, so this was weekend two weeks in a row. 🙂

I think it was worth it, it makes the walls stand out so much more and looks clean and modern.  What do you think:

White stair trim

White stair trim


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The Condo Trim Gets a Coat of Paint

Now that we’re back from our Wedding and Honeymoon it’s back to reality full time.  We spent our first days back before returning to work (and just about every night after that and the following weekend) working on the condo getting it ready to put on the rental market.

It’s still a work in progress, but one of the things on the to-do list is to paint all of the wood trim white.  It looked like this:

Ignore non-painted bathroom interior - that's on the list too

Ignore non-painted bathroom interior – that’s on the list too

And like this in the upstairs hall:

wood trimmed hallway

wood trimmed hallway

It just looked old and dated.  Since being able to rent this place out quickly is of the utmost importance, we thought giving the trim a quick coat would brighten it up and help bring it into the 21st century (the trim had clearly not been touched since the 1980s).

Of course there is no such thing as a quick coat of paint on unfinished wood when going for as drastic as white.  It requires taping and at three coats of paint plus a touch up coat, plus some spackle especially in the corners and caulk along the top edge.   So after a couple weekends and a few nights it’s getting there.

Look at the difference one coat on just the outside makes!

Look at the difference one coat on just the outside makes!

It looks so much brighter already! Here is another shot of the slider door, it will look even better once we remove the tape.

Instant Update

Instant Update

We’re also replacing all the interior doors which were the plain flat panel regular wood doors to white 6-paneled doors.  The two projects together should make the place look much more modern.

So here’s what we still have left to do (that I can think of off the top of my head)

– Finish painting the trim throughout the entire condo

– Power wash and paint the deck

– spackle and caulk the trim throughout entire condo

– paint half bathroom

– paint guest bathroom

– patch all holes in walls from hung pictures – touch up with paint

– deep clean the entire condo including shampoo carpets and clean inside of stove

Oh yeah and list it for rent, pack, move out, and hopefully get a tenant by July 1st.  Geez I’m exhausted just thinking about it!