A little ways back I wrote a post called Let’s Upcycle That Spring, Put It Out on the Curb and Slap a For Sale Sign On It. In it, while wrapping up my Spring, I made the comment that it just rushed by. For Summer, well, and as much I hoped otherwise – the same. Ha! Two vacations in August, a trip to Memphis (St. Jude with Brizo), travel softball, gymnastics, the kids early back to school (I mean – what’s with going back before Labor Day anyway?) and like that – my dreams of Summer DIY glory sped right by … *full doppler effect* or something.

“BUT, you know, this Fall, I’m gonna …” and I am not even going to go there.  And forget about even trying to explain myself.

It’s a lot more enjoyable explaining someone else anyway. Take my wife, Mrs. Moxie, for example – she completed her second whole house flip remodel, listed it, and had a contract on it after just the second full day. Superstar! (And Oh! Our anniversary is today. I know, Thank You. Thirteen blissful years.)

Flip Kitchen Remodeled

The story of her first flip is here >> Bride of Building Moxie Does with Flipping Houses and while truthfully, I think that first house presented a great story (a Live Baltimore Best NeighborhoodShowhouse“); this one ended being a more impressive remodel. Complete tear out and redo, a whole house remodel and just a lot of plain old hard work. I kept it off the internet (okay most of it) until settlement was done and … done.  She closed in early August (Celebrate!) and I did now finally wanna give her (and her partner Mr. Paul) some props. Insights for your next home remodel?  Well, that would just be a bonus.

Before and Afters (but the “Afters” Come Before)

At the bottom, I’ll discuss both some of the challenges that Mrs Moxie faced (with Mold Remediation specifically). Also two features that no flip can do without. a.) A Finished Basement & b.) A New Driveway.

* Exterior – Front

exterior front after

exterior front before

* Exterior – Rear

exterior rear after

exterior rear before

* Kitchen

kitchen after

kitchen before

* Kitchen – Desk Wall

kitchen desk wall after

kitchen desk wall before

* Dining Room from Kitchen

kitchen to dining room after

kitchen to dining room before

* Dining Room

dining room after

dining room before

* 1st Floor Bath

1st floor bath after

1st floor bath before

* Living Room – From Stairs

living room after

living room before

* Sitting Room

sitting room after

sitting room before

* Living Room – Stairs

living room to upstairs after

living room to upstairs before

* Finished Basement

basement after

basement lolly column before

* Basement Bath

new basement bath

basement bath before

* UpStairs Hall

up stairs hallway

upstairs before


Only a few city blocks away from us, this house was a bungalow. Bungalows are pretty common in our neck of the city, and I have even written about remodeling bungalows before. While their remodel ran somewhat in line with some of what I wrote, this one presented some items that I think deserve noting.

* Mold Remediation

In this case, this house – and a big part of how the Mrs. Moxie and her partner approached it had to do with known mold issues.  While at first a full tear out was not the plan, as they got in and began work – conditions warranted it.  Using a negative pressure window unit on lower floors, but only spot hand scrubbing on upper floors, a pro remediation company addressed it for them. While adding costs for testing, successfully treating and retesting, as well as the additional costs of re-drywalling and in some cases, reframing, etc. – it was absolutely necessary and in reality only of nominal cost. (Read more on Mold Remediation.)

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* Finished Basement

The wife (and I, though osmosis) has learned quickly that in our market finishing a finishable basement is almost a no-brainer. This gave them the opportunity to add (as you can see above) a full bath to the lower floor.  Relative cost to return seems to be through the roof. Read more about Finishing Basements.

* Self-Compacting Stone Driveway

After a little back and forth, and as their budget was getting a little tight, they were faced at the end with finishing the driveway.  While they priced both concrete and asphalt (with concrete actually coming in slightly cheaper), they decided instead to go with a self compacting gray stone.  Doing it themselves one weekend, the entire project saved them idk more than a $1000, easily.


That’s it and back to my schoolwork for me.  As they shop for their third property (now), I’ll leave you with a “progress” slide show in no particular arrangement. Thanks. ~jb