The World's Ugliest Condo: Scope of Work & Budget

Renovation Diary

Welcome to the second installment of renovating The World's Ugliest Condo. (Extra points go to those who saw humor in the hyperbole.) If you missed the first part of this series, get caught up here. You'll especially want to see the before pictures.Here's the floor plan, looking all spiffy (and not brown I might add). The model is not perfect in any way, but you get the idea. It's about 890 square feet, including the balcony. There are two bedrooms and two baths. The spaces with no doorways are closets and utility areas, which I am going to ignore. Because I think we can all agree that closets and utility areas are, for the most part, boring.

If you recall, this is a second home for my in-laws, who are retiring this year and hope to spend part of the winter down south. The finishings won't be high end, although I can't guarantee I won't splurge on a few things here and there. I am also not moving any plumbing or major electrical, because everything is just fine as is. We'll use some things we already have, but will end up having to replace a lot. (Especially those kitchen cabinets. I don't care what y'all say. They are outta there.) My goal is to use craigslist and eBay to the extent that I am able, but I will have to also rely on places that ship.

I've debated about whether or not to reveal the budget. Money is a very sensitive thing. But then, that's a HUGE part of the renovation process and it will be a much richer, more informative series if there is that context. So I'm going to take one for the team and include it. Just know I am girding my loins for the reactions sure to follow this post. Here it is:

$30,000

Some DIY and frugal-minded folks just did a sharp intake of breath. Other contractors and interior designers in the crowd are going, "I think you are being optimistic." Regardless, I'll continue to share costs as we go along, come what may.

Here's the to-do list, in terms of renovation work:

Entire Unit: pull up carpet and remove tack strip; chip up kitchen and bathroom tile; remove vanities, fixtures, mirrors, baseboards, cabinets; demo kitchen ceiling soffit; and scrape down popcorn ceilings. Sand, prep, and repaint ceiling; repair drywall; repaint walls and trim; install new hardwood flooring; replace baseboards; fix sliding glass doors; and install new lighting fixtures.

Kitchen: enlarge opening in wall between kitchen and dining area; install recessed can lights; hang kitchen cabinets; tile backsplash; replace countertop; new sink and faucet; and install new appliances.

Bathrooms: install new durarock; retile and grout floors and wall surround; put in new tubs, sinks, toilets, vanities, bathroom fixtures; hang new mirrors; and install new lighting.

So, wish me luck. Because I need it. This is the first time I've done a renovation all in a concentrated amount of time. And I'm feeling it right about now. Next step: Hire a contractor.

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