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I'm Finally Done!

For some idiotic reason, I decided to do the finish out myself. So, for the last month, I’ve been at the house installing light fixtures, putting up ceiling fans, replacing door and cabinet hardware, putting in new toilets, installing appliances etc. This last stage is crucial. So many times, people do a great job remodeling a place but then skimp on the fixtures and hardware. For the average consumer, this is the first thing they notice. You don’t have to spend a fortune on light fixtures, just be sure and go above apartment grade stuff. Free Toilets!!! I was in the process of replacing the guts of my toilets when I realized they were old and crappy, literally. I remembered that the City of Austin gave new toilets to customers in an effort to encourage them to save water. I called the city and they told me all I had to do was go to their offices downtown, pick up a couple of vouchers for new toilets and take those vouchers to a local plumbing supply place to pick up my brand new FREE state of the art flapperless toilets. I followed the city’s instructions and had my new toilets installed by the end of the day. For more info on free toilets, go to: http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/watercon/sftoilet.htm It took me forever to put all this stuff in but now the house looks great! After finishing this stuff, I decided to clean the house prior to putting the carpet in. I didn’t want the carpet getting dirty after installation. Once I cleaned up, I got bids from several people on the carpet. I decided to go with Brian Dover with Impact floors. His quality, price and service were all excellent. Once again, the key was interviewing several people to find the right guy. After carpet, I put in the new stainless steel appliances. Usually, I buy my appliances from Lowe’s but I found Conn’s to be cheaper this time. So I bought my stuff there. After the appliances were installed, I spent a few more days doing final paint touch up, clean up, putting away my tools, cleaning the garage, etc. Now I had one final thing left, Landscaping! Landscaping adds more value to a property than just about anything else. In the past, I would just go to Lowe’s or HD and buy whatever plants they had that looked pretty and put them in. Most of the time, the plants would be dead in a couple of months. This time, I decided I really wanted to research the correct plants to put in there.I got a couple of guided from the City of Austin on native plants that don’t require a lot of water. These guides are EXCELLENT and available online at: http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/growgreen/plantguide/searchplant.cfm I took the list this guide suggested to several local nurseries before finally buying my plants at Barton Creek Nursery on Bee Caves. The local nurseries have a much better selection and much healthier plants than the big box retailers. Plus the advice they give you is excellent. It only cost about a dollar more a plant which is a small price to pay for the difference in quality. I put the landscaping in and it looks great.I’M DONE!!!I listed the house yesterday and so far the reaction has been extremely positive. Check out the before and after pictures at: http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=8z5vi.81behy8z&x=0&y=-al6yvi I am thrilled with the way this home turned out. It took a lot longer than I expected but it feels good to know that whoever buys it will be getting a really good house in an excellent neighborhood. After doing this for over ten years, it’s still so much fun to take something and make it beautiful again. A part of me wants the house to sell right away but another part of me is really going to miss working on it. Who knows, maybe I’ll decide to sell my little condo and move in…

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