Eyes bigger than stomach: describes a situation where someone takes more food than they can eat
Life has been pretty busy over here at Rancho 1500. When the girls go back to school, I flip the switch back to Full Throttle Home Improvement Mode. The tools come out of summer slumber and I start building again.
Mindy and I have owned our current home for slightly over two years. Back in September of 2019, the deal was just too good to pass up. We knew we’d be able to put some work into the home and make a healthy, tax-free profit sometime down the road.
Now, the deal is looking better than ever. We bought the home for $365,000 and will put around $100,000 into it. If the home was finished and we sold it now, it would fetch somewhere north of $650,000.
I had hoped to be farther along with remodeling. COVID set everything back. I have also found it difficult to find time to work on the home.
In FIRE life, my eyes are bigger than my stomach. While I enjoy the construction process, I’d rather be working on this blog, my podcast, hiking, or reading. When I left work, I was so worried about being bored. Now, I have to practice self-control daily (saying “No”) so life doesn’t overwhelm me.
However, the house is far along and most of the work is done. So far, I have (chronological order):
- Remodeled a bathroom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FB4CuLY5l08
- Finished most of the basement. This was the single biggest project and involved:
- Manually digging out and installing an easment window
- The basement didn’t have rough-ins for a bathroom, so I had to break up part of the floor and tie into the main waste line
- Framing, plumbing, wiring, and insulation (I paid someone to hang/finish the drywall)
- Installing vinyl plank flooring
- Installing a kitchenette
- I still have to finish the bathroom
- Windows and doors: I replaced them with fiberglass units. In areas where we cared about sound, I installed triple-pane glazing.
- Built a deck and pergola: This was the second biggest project. The curve on the deck and the 25′ pergola span with no middle support made these projects complex. However, the result is great and we spend many hours on the deck, so this was totally worth it.
- Moved a kitchen wall and built a mini-loft: I had to move the refrigerator back to make room for an island and this solution worked great.
- Replaced most of the carpet in the home with vinyl plank.
We got very lucky with our construction timing. I bought most of the materials for the basement remodel in January of 2020 and the deck materials in March. Had we waited another 3 months, I would have been paying triple the cost for some of the materials. Close call!
This will be our last live-in flip. We don’t need more money; just more time.
Shed And Solar And Kitchen! Oh My!
Right now, I’m working on three projects:
Our home has a small garage and little storage. The tools and bicycles don’t have a proper home, so I’m building a shed:
In the summer, the bikes will hang off the right side of the structure, so I’ll install a little roof there to protect them from the elements.
DIYers in-the-know ask why I’d put solar panels on a home that we may not stay in long-term. Solar panels are expensive and the payback period is not short.
The previous owners installed vinyl siding on the home. When the summer sun heats up the roof, it melts the siding. <sarcasm alert>Great product!!!</sarcasm alert>
It turns out that solar panels don’t get nearly as hot as shingles. While shingles will heat up to 160 degrees, I found that solar panels stay at least 30 degrees cooler. So, a solar panel close to the problematic siding will cut down the heat and keep the siding from melting.
DIYing my solar is also cheaper and more fun than putting new siding on the home. I’ll spend $13,000 on the solar project (about $9,600 after the 26% tax credit). Note that installing solar would NOT have made sense if I paid someone to do it. I got one quote for fun and it was over $30,000! Oof! And no thanks.
I am suspect of IKEA quality, but after MMM’s writeup of an IKEA kitchen, I decided to explore the idea of purchasing cabinets from them. It turns out that IKEA makes pretty great cabinets, so I’ll be installing an IKEA kitchen shortly.
And, I have helpers for these projects. My local friend Todd is meticulous, super-smart and he’s helping me out with my panels. Thanks Todd, you’re awesome! I wouldn’t (and couldn’t) have done this without you.
Another local friend, Jim, also volunteered to help me with the panels. Thanks Jim!
Finally, Chris from TicTocLife offered to fly out and help me as well. I’ve never met Chris, but I could always use an extra hand, so I readily took him up on it. We’ll focus on the kitchen, but are going to make some time to run a 5k too.
It will be nice to roll into 2022 with the home mostly done. I’ll finally be able to move on to another super-delayed project that I’ve wanted to complete for years…
More 1500 Days!!!
You can also find me (and the dinosaurs) at:
Mile High FI podcast:
- EconoMe: Hey look, I’m speaking at EconoMe later this year!
- Facebook: Facebook group and page
- YouTube: My channel is mostly devoted to home improvement, but I have some other material coming up soon too.
- Instagram: Pretty pictures of dinosaurs, sunsets, and nail guns!
- Twitter: Spontaneous, often insane, ramblings
- Coworking space: On the surface, MMM HQ is a coworking space. Look a little deeper and you’ll see that we’re really building community. The members of MMM HQ are some of the finest people I know.
Other resources I like:
- Camp FIs are amazingly fun! I hope to attend Rocky Mountain and Joshua Tree this year. See you there?
- Need to learn how to invest? The Simple Path to Wealth is all you need.
- New to FIRE? Need some FIREy guidance? Check out Fiology and the accompanying workbook!
Join the 10s who have signed up already!
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*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.