10/17/2016: John & Carolyn’s kitchen & master bath renovation (part 1)

Turning the blog over to John today. Just got underway with his kitchen & master bath renovation.

Hey you guys, John here. From #90 aka that white house on central Randlett with the big farmer’s porch. My turn to write a guest post because Dave is off at some suuuuuper high level and important meetings with Slow Scott downtown. Or maybe he’s really at the Tree going to cold one city. Hopefully he at least has pants on. Anyway. Whatever.


So Dave asked if I could please do a post on the kitchen and master bath remodel that we just started. I know, I know…another post on someone doing a remodel. But seriously, this blog has been a ghost town in the past week, so beggars can’t be choosers, right?


Back to more important things you guys. Here are the important details of what we’re doing:

● Kitchen scope – Gut and rebuild the kitchen. Opening the dining room to the kitchen, adding an island, new cabinets in a reconfigured L shaped layout; new tile in first floor powder room; replace back door and kitchen windows; move location of door to basement. We’re not replacing any appliances since we just did that two years ago.

● Master bath scope – Rebuild shower with new plumbing, tile, and fixtures; Retile floor; remove radiator and replace with toe-kick or radiant heat; add new vanity; redo drywall and ceiling.

● Contractor: Britton Homes – A family run company that hasn’t done a ton in the area, but has great reviews and a bunch of awards on AngiesList. Super easy to deal with (returns calls, texts, and emails very fast), straightforward pricing, and, at least so far, really keep the job site clean. A++ so far.
● Schedule: 8 – 10 weeks. Broke ground on October 5 and scheduled to be done around December 8.

● Total budget — $125k — $87k for the kitchen; $38k for master bath. Note that this does NOT include $$ or appliances since we upgraded all of those about 3 years ago.

A couple of other notes:

● We did a refi with the RandlettPark.com recommended mortgage guy, George Rodgers. Highly recommend, you guys.
● Contractors are all super busy right now (low rates + high appraisals = lots of homeowners with cash = lots of remodel projects?). Definitely not a buyers market on this front. Was really hard to pin most people down.
● Having never done a project of this scale, it’s pretty nerve-wracking to have someone come into your house and proceed to fill up a dumpster with the remains of your kitchen. Make sure you stock up on bourbon or similar beverages.
● Thinking about putting an after hours padlock on the required jobsite port-o-potty. Sorry Dave.

Anyway, that’s all for now you guys. Expect additional comprehensive updates as the project goes on. You guys.


10/6/2016: How much have I spent on my house so far?

A few people in the hood are about to start major renovations. A few others are looking to buy a house and join in our neighborhood shenanigans.


So I’ve been getting some questions lately about how much stuff costs. Like a basement. Or new kitchen. Or central air. We bought our house in 2009 so I thought now would be a good time to tally up how much we’ve spent so far. Probably gonna totally regret this at the end but whatever.

We closed on the house June 29th, 2009 and spent all of July fixing it up. Previous owners had lived here for 35 years. We put on a new roof, painted the interior, re-finished the floors, added built-ins to the office, moved some doors around and fixed all the non-working windows. This is the living room the day we closed. Total $25k.

142 Randlett old living room

Next we finished the basement. We installed a French drain, finished the rec room and added a full bath. Total $38k. Before pic.

142 randlett basement



Basement after

Then Management went and got pregnant so we added central air. Total $10k.


Next up was the front stairs.

front step construction

Total $12k.


Then the big one: the kitchen & mudroom addition.

142 kitchen

Total $120k.


Backyard got nuked during construction so we did that this summer. New walkway & patio. Total $8,500.


Replacing this old thing with a tankless. Total $5,000.


For those of you not so good at the math, that puts us around $220k since 2009. Yikes you guys. Thank god for home equity which made most of the big stuff happen. Really hoping there’s not another big project in our future.





10/6/2016: Orr Block development meeting tonight at City Hall

The Land Use Committee is having a meeting to hear from the developer of the Orr Block tonight at City Hall. This is the 4th meeting. Developer Robert Korff has purchased almost 3 acres at the intersection of Washington & Walnut and plans to build a 6 story mixed-use building with 150 apartments, stores, offices and 1 restaurant. You guys — this is the block that currently houses Karoun Restaurant, Boston Ballet School & Newtonville Camera.