Saturday, June 27, 2009

Repairs and the Weather

We started on the repairs on the rental unit. Murphy's Law: a heat wave hits, with temperatures soaring into the triple digits. Of course, the electricity has been disconnected in the rental unit and there is no air-conditioning.

The first order of business is planning.

We decided to start with the kitchen and the utility room. We measured everything and the I drew a scale drawing of the utility room and of the kitchen cabinets. We wend down to Lowe's to look for ideas and prices.

For the kitchen, we found that they had a series of off-the-shelf cabinets which we priced. The estimated cost of replacing the kitchen cabinets using this series totals $1,310 for the wall units and $620 for the island units. We plan to salvage the counter tops. We also looked at flooring, planning to replace the linoleum with new linoleum, but there is some low-cost manufactured "hardwood" flooring that seems to be both thin enough and cost-competitive.

For the utility room, we started with the idea of using marine plywood. However, we discovered cement board. Our new plan is to replace the particle board with one half inch plywood as a subfloor, with 0.42 inch cement board on top of that and ceramic tile for the flooring. We now plan to add a lip around the edge of the floor and a floor drain in the center. This will extend into the half bathroom, as well.

We will do some more planning, then check the prices at Lowe's and at Home Depot.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Our Tenant Moved to Fort Belvior, VA

It has been quite a while since my last entry. Much has happened, but we will concentrate on our now empty rental unit. The unit is a fourteen foot wide, seventy-eight foot long, double-wide mobile home, with five bedrooms and two and one half bathrooms.

The United States Army decided that our tenant has spent too much time in Central Texas. Net result, they decided to move him and his family to Fort Belvior in Virginia. They moved out just before the first of June.

When we inspected the place, just after they left, we found a number of problems that we expected. Unfortunately, we also found a major problem we did not expect.

  • Of course, they took their refrigerator. They had just bought it, after all.
  • The kitchen cabinets show significant wear, including tears in some of the vinyl covering over the particle board frames.

  • The dishwasher is missing. We knew it no longer worked, anyway. I think they thought they were doing us a favor be taking it to the dump.
  • They had replaced the faucet in the kitchen with a really nice one, with a built-in sprayer. They did not plug the old hole for the sprayer, however.
  • The linoleum on the floor was badly worn in several spots.
  • Throughout the structure, there are a number of holes in the wall board where door knobs were drive through.
  • One of the living room windows is broken.
  • The walls need to be repainted, especially in the children's bedrooms.
  • The skirting needs to be reinstalled in four spots.
  • The vinyl siding needs to be cleaned and to be repaired in three places along the roof line.
  • Outside, although they did police and clean up the yard, they did leave several gasoline cans, a lawnmower and several barbaque grills.
  • They left their oldest daughter's speed bag and body bag, along with the frame which supports them. I think she will be quite upset when they unpack...
  • The portable front steps are severely weakened by use and time and need to be replaced.

There was one big nasty surprise, however. In the utility room, hidden behind an access panel and the washing machine, there was a leak in the cold water pipe. Somewhere, in the past, someone (probaly the previous owner) used silver duct tape to close the leak. Surprisingly, this worked for quite a few years. I know this was not done by our last tenants, because they use "Army green" duct tape. Anyway, this jury-rig started to leak.
Over time, this weakened the particle-board flooring. In some places, the floor was broken through when the washer and dryer were removed by the movers.

All in all, they were the best tenants we have had in the unit. We will miss them.