Do you remember this line from the Eagles 1976 hit Hotel California,”You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”? That perfectly describes this house and it’s looooong renovation:)
Bill and the guys renovated the house this winter for a friend of ours who does house flipping. Her name is Erin, and if you’re looking for a house in the Pittsburgh area, you can’t go wrong with one of her houses. Her company name is Pittsburgh Cash Buyers. -check it out!
The area where The Hotel California house is located is in a great area of Pittsburgh-Bethel Park. The train into downtown stops at the end of the street, so it’s an easy commute. If I were to move to Pittsburgh, this would be the area I wanted to move to.
Disclaimer: The before photos were pulled off of Facebook with Erin’s permission and may be a bit blurry, but I really wanted you to see how far this home renovation came along, so hopefully you can just squint a bit and enjoy!
Well, when renovating this house, Bill and the guys couldn’t seem to get done and out of this house no matter how hard they worked. When I say they worked hard, I mean it. They would travel to the house Monday morning, and work 14 hour days until Thursday evening when they would return home for the weekend. Interestingly enough, Bill would inevitably have a furnace or sink or toilet that would go bad here at home; he would then end up spending all day Friday fixing things at our houses here in Hooversville, extending his work week even longer, but that’s another story.
After going 2, 3, 4 and more weeks over schedule, the guys christened the house Hotel California! They thought they were destined to stay there forever. I’m becoming convinced that in construction, however long you think something is going to take, you should probably double your timeline. When you’re watching house flipping shows on TV, you know how there’s always some unanticipated problem that comes up during the flip? If you didn’t know better, you would think it was just to add drama to the show. Yeah, No! That happens on every flip, and then some!
The Basement-from Work Area to Living Area
The house flip started with a waterproofing company coming in and drying up the basement so it could be converted to useable living space. Another group of gentlemen tore down an inside cement block wall to open the space up for the family room. The guys then framed in a new laundry room and bathroom. The new bathroom took some work as they had to cut open the cement floor to run the new plumbing. If you ever have the opportunity to do this, it requires a big specialized saw and blade and lots of dust! In the bathroom, they installed a shower, vanity, toilet and ceramic tile laid in a herringbone pattern.
The rest of the basement got drywall and bamboo flooring. I think you can see it made a huge improvement!
The Outside Spit and Polish
Outside, the porch posts were replaced on the front and back porches and new doors were installed. The guys painted the porch and the shutters, and Erin had someone come in and install faux stone on the front wall. Another gentleman came in and installed a new garage door and I worked on doing simple landscaping.
If you want to try something interesting, try purchasing mulch and bushes in February in the mountains of Pennsylvania. The garden center I went to for the bushes was unfazed and simply figured out how to get me the bushes I needed. The Lowe’s I went to for the mulch, not so much! The lady acted like I was a nutcase but I persevered and walked out of there with my bags of mulch.
Upstairs- From 1950 to 2017
Upstairs the guys gutted the kitchen and bathroom. They demoed the half wall between the kitchen and dining room and then the kitchen got a new layout, new cabinets, quartz countertop, appliances and backsplash. The bathroom got a new tub, tiled tub surround with niche, tile flooring and a new vanity and toilet.
The doorway between the dining room and living room was enlarged to create a more open concept layout and the fireplace feature wall got a complete makeover; the old wooden paneling was removed, and the wall was drywalled. The biggest change however happened to the mantel and fireplace surround. The mantel was custom built (using a photo from Pinterest as inspiration, of course) and then the old brick was covered up with new tile.
The rest of the house got patched and painted, the entire house was rewired, new lighting was added and bamboo flooring was installed in the upstairs as well.
So, that’s the story of the Hotel California House. This house flip was done eventually and is now under contract (in less than two weeks)!! Congratulation Erin!!
We love doing house flips, so if you enjoy looking at before and after photos of some of our other amazing transformations, check these out:
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