Week 1 Renovations: Landscaping, Wallpaper Removal & Fresh Paint

October 3, 2022

Written by 

Sarah Richardson

We bought *ANOTHER* house! Ty and I were casually browsing Zillow when I stumbled upon a house in our neighborhood just down the street. Out of curiosity, we had to see it and one thing lead to another and….OUR OFFER WAS ACCEPTED. Fast forward 45 days and here we are… Full speed ahead on renovating this house so that it will be rental ready by November 1, 2022.

Day 1 – Tuesday, August 23, 2022

WE OFFICIALLY CLOSED! We signed the final papers, but since it was late afternoon, we would have to wait until the morning to get the keys. Technically, we now own the house so we will call this Day 1 😉

Day 2 – Wednesday, August 24, 2022

By noon, we got the keys!! I got to work right away by heading over to the house during my lunch break. Since we would have the exterior work beginning immediately, I needed to remove all the trees blocking the home. I removed 3 holly trees and would come back for more. After work, Ty stopped by the house and we ended up removing ALL the trees and bushes from the front yard to start fresh.

Today’s Man Hours: 8 | Total Project Hours: 8

Day 3 – Thursday, August 25, 2022

Exterior repair begins. We hired out the exterior wood rot repair with our friends Tim Jewett at Eagle Brother Construction. As we removed the rotten wood, we found some more pieces underneath so the scope of work grew just a little but not by much. We replaced several pieces of wood on the front around the windows, repaired the open hole in the soffit in the back of the house, and fixed the wooden stairs that were falling off the back deck.

Ty and I came back later that night to clean up the flower bed around the mailbox. There was a rotten lattice and tons of weeds and overgrown flowers cluttering the end of the driveway. We moved around to the back of the house where we cleaned the rest of the perimeter removing rotten box woods and holly trees. We cleaned the back beds across the fence line. It’s starting to look good!

Today’s Man Hours: 20 | Total Project Hours: 28

Day 4 – Friday, August 26, 2022

With the additional scope, Eagle Brothers came back to finish up their work and boy, they did a great job. With all the exterior work, we needed to clean up the property so that the organic waste crew would be able to pick up the pieces on Monday. We also took down a crumbling fence in the back yard that was meant to cover the trash cans but was more of a nuisance. While Ty was working on that, I was busy cleaning up all fallen magnolia tree leaves that were a haven for coach roach beds.

Watch the exterior home tour plus plus all before and afters!

Today’s Man Hours: 6 | Total Project Hours: 34

Day 5 – Saturday, August 27, 2022

Work started early at the house with the tree trimmers coming to cut down three trees in the backyard. We had two cedars that needed to come down: One that was dead and falling towards the others; The other was too close to of a root system to keep without the other. The third tree was a Bradford pear tree leaning towards the house on the other side of the backyard. Removing that tree also opened up the backyard so much! While they were here, they also helped to clean up the lower magnolia branches.

Daily Man Hours: 24 | Total Project Hours: 50

While the tree workers were outside, we had some help from Ty’s parents on Saturday so we got to work inside. Ty’s mom and I got started on prepping the laundry room and kitchen for the paint. I started with caulking all the trim while she cleaned all the trim. Ty and his dad started removing wall paper from the two hallways. By the end of the day, the wall paper had 75% of the top layer removed and the laundry room/ pantry/ kitchen had its first coat all the way around.

Today’s Man Hours: 32 | Total Project Hours: 82

Day 6 – Sunday, August 28, 2022

We were able to get two coats on 90% of the kitchen yesterday, so today we went back and finished up that last little bit. I also had some extra Sherwin Williams Agreeable Grey at our house and thought it would be a great opportunity to try a contrast color on the doors to bring in some character. I ended up painting the entire back stairwell and then asked Ty to help me remove the ugly carpet off of the back stairs. we finally painted the last yellow wall in the kitchen. From there, Ty (McSteamy!!) was able to work on steaming off some wall paper glue.

Today’s Man Hours: 12 | Total Project Hours: 94

Day 7 – Monday, August 29, 2022

We started prepping the living room for paint. While doing this, I started to clean out the fireplace. It had an old, home-made electric insert with a cardboard surround and dated mantle. I removed the old screen and insert then decided I would pull everything off. The mantle ended up being built on the brick but with a little prying, the entire thing came off. We freshened up the fireplace paint and will be adding a new mantle soon. We reinstalled the air vents that we took home to clean in the dishwasher. After that, Ty and I did some “scoping” to determine our next plan of action.

Today’s Man Hours: 6 | Total Project Hours: 100

Week 1 Total Project Hours: 100

Thank you for following along and keeping up with our rental renovations! Stay tuned for all the updates with before and after photos, cost breakdowns, and links to all the video updates.

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I'm so glad you're here. I'm Sarah, a retired NCAA Division I volleyball player who bought my first house after college and fell in love with all things home improvement. From design, DIY, and thrifting, you can find it all here. I hope you will be inspired and encouraged to make your house a home.

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