“They say time changes things, but actually you have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol
So much of real estate is personal. Our clients share with us their hopes for their life, dreams about having a family, wants and needs for where they will live, financial information, and much more.
Through the process, we learn so much about our clients, and many of the people we work with end up to be much more than clients in our lives. They are friends, our connection to the community, and, in short, they are what make real estate special. It isn’t about the houses. It is about the people.
Since you have shared so much with us, we want to share our next place with you.
A couple of weeks ago, Ken and I bought a house in Lafayette. It is on Atlantis Avenue, right by Waneka Lake, and it is the fixer-upper of all fixer-uppers.
It’s going to sound like we basically threw out every piece of advice we’ve ever given our clients. (“Don’t buy too much of a fixer upper, it will make you crazy” and “It will be very expensive and will eat up your time”).
All of that is still true. However, if you know exactly what neighborhood you want to live in and the only thing on the market is a serious fixer-upper at the time, then, well…you know.
The first time we saw it, were a toilet and all of the shower-heads mysteriously missing from the home, had the previous owner removed every drawer and cabinet pull from the house, and was there a thriving family of wasps living in the hot tub? Yes, all that is true!
And that is just the beginning. Currently there is also a pizza box sized area of duct tape that has been painted over and is holding some siding together on the side of the home, the front porch tilts more than a little bit, and there are no less than 300 screw and bolt holes in the drywall throughout the home due to the previous owners knack for hanging art and fake ivy.
The home needs just about every project that you can imagine done to it, and as we complete them, we thought it might be helpful to share the processes and costs for any of you considering similar projects for your own homes.
Periodically, I will be posting pictures of our progress, and since our home needs so much work, I will be breaking down the projects that all of you talk about frequently.
Whether it is removing popcorn ceilings, re-doing a bathroom, new windows, or remodeling a kitchen, we will be doing it all.
So what is Project #1?
The dreaded popcorn ceiling.
Ladies, you know what it is, and you hate it! And I do, too! Since we need to install new carpet into Atlantis before we move in, it seemed like the time to do popcorn was ASAP. It is a dirty job, so scraping on new carpet did not sound like a good idea.
So what are the steps to scraping popcorn, how much does it cost, and what tools do you need?
Step 1: Test the popcorn ceiling for asbestos. Asbestos is a fiber that can be harmful to your lungs if inhaled. You can learn more about asbestos by visiting the EPA website here. You can have a company come test your home for asbestos, or there are DIY testing kits, too.
Step 2: If you have asbestos in your popcorn ceilings, you should have a certified asbestos remediation company remove the popcorn. They will take the necessary precautions to make sure the asbestos fibers are completely removed from your home. There will be additional costs associated with removing asbestos-containing popcorn from your ceilings.
Step 3: If the ceiling does not contain asbestos, then you can scrape it yourself, if you are so inclined.
Here is what you need to DIY your popcorn ceilings:
-Sprayer to wet the ceiling
-6 inch putty knife (the bigger the blade the better)
-Plastic and painter’s tape to cover the floor (we didn’t do this as our carpet will be removed after the ceiling project)
Step 4: Pick the room you want to start in. Remove hooks, ceiling fans, and lights from the ceiling.
I think it goes without saying to turn off the power to your home before doing this, but I will say it here for good measure: Turn off the power to your home before messing with lights and ceiling fans.
Step 5: Cover the floor with plastic and cover the vent holes so no water or dust from the ceiling gets into the HVAC system.
Step 6: Spray a section of the ceiling with water to start. Make sure you soak it pretty well as the wetter the ceiling is, the easier the popcorn comes off. After you spray, let the water soak in for 5-10 minutes.
Step 7: Scrape away! It is a pretty satisfying feeling to see that popcorn come right off.
Ken and I scraped the first and second floors of the house it took two full days of work and we spent about $50 on materials. We already had the ladder so it was super easy.
We decided we would not be able to re-texture the ceiling and have it look good. So we did the scraping, and some drywall contractors are working on sanding, mudding, and re-texturing the ceiling. All we will have to do once we move in is paint.