Saturday, February 9, 2013

Refurbish! Just the Name.

Washing Tiles

Finally got the court mandated release of lien on my property in the mail today. The lien was placed by the contractor from hell on November 9th 2007. I had a partially finished studio and plans for a refurbish of my attached rental apartment and several remodel projects I wanted to do in my residence. It seemed important to finish the studio if for no other reason than to generate income. And I did - from the sheet rock on. I even laid tile in the 16 x 21 foot interior.

I like laying tile. But the studio floor was not the small project I told a friend recently she should begin with. Up to that point I had only tiled a small bathroom counter top and my mudroom floor. Floors require yoga and gymnastics. And doing small projects (not the studio floor) means you can pick up cheap (sometimes free) odds and ends of tile. I had several projects I wanted to do that would fit into that small project concept and so I accepted tile odds and ends. But because of the lien which morphed into a major legal battle I lost all interest in putting any money into my property. In the five years I only replaced the back steps to be able to pass HUD approval for housing assistance for renters.

So when the vacating of my rental property came about right after the court decided in my favor I immediately thought of the small refurbishing projects I already had the material for - the rental unit mud room and the wood stove tiled apron. I had everything I needed but grout. That was good since I was broke since the tenants had not paid me in two months. The tile had sat out on the back porch through rain and snow and needed washed.

Mud room floor tile with no caulk yet

Tile of Apron laid out so carpet could be cut

I took breaks from the tiling projects to clean out the junk left behind and do repairs on the damages. And some maintenance routines like caulking. And then since I had the camera out why not take a frivolous picture or two.

Gilt mirror and sconces

The mirror and sconces reminded me that my bedroom was half done when the lien stopped all progress. So they were saved from going to the thrift shop. The mirror is great beveled glass.

Mud Room tile complete

One forgets in five years it is not just about the tile. There is the preparation for the tile. Always wise to paint the walls before doing the tile and then you do not have to worry about getting paint on your new floor. And it seems I had never painted the back of the door either. The above picture shows the tile grouted but the trim has not been put in yet. It is good to paint your trim before installing it too.

And with the apron around the wood stove I had to cut out the carpet. That was way more work than the tiling. The staples they use to tack down the foam and the tack strips are deadly to take up. I would love to be able to replace all the floor with wood but not now. The apron is at least allowing me to get rid of all the worst burns caused by carelessness.

Completed tiled apron

And I had to stain the trim for the tile and install that before grouting. The half tile in beige match the tiles in the entry hall/mud room visible from the living room. So to the shopping list of grout I had to add trim and stain. But because of the studio I already owned an electric ceramic saw, all the trowels and implements for the spreading of thin set (had that left over from the studio) and the grouting.

The two refurbishing projects made a huge difference in the rental unit. Now I have to clean up my mess. Just moving all the tools out is huge.


  1. You are AMAZING! Handiwork is one talent I sorely lack. Oh well. My knee will pay for hiring help, heehee.

  2. Very nice work
    May the universe
    grant you
    a responsible
    paying tenant


    Free at last. I am so pleased for you Jacquin. At long last, relief from that pressure. I hope you can sue the SOB for all of the hassle and upset he caused you too.

    Your work is very professional and I not only love that mirror, I adore your wood stove too. It is a real beauty.

  4. You are such a renaissance woman! Love your projects ... Congrats on your progress!

  5. great work here! Good for you to get back your home and the lien removed.

  6. Everything you do, no matter how hard, always turns out well. You should be very pleased with yourself. I'm in awe - as usual!


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