Happy Homes: Dudley Court Week 3

On June 6th, we purchased our 6th investment in Colorado and it’s been smooth sailing, for the most part, since. I’m going to try and document the steps, journey, pitfalls and forward motion of our investment.

The last two weeks have been full of windows, dumpsters, sub-contractors coming and assessing HVAC, electric, structural engineering (for the one wall we’re going to remove in the kitchen), attic adventures and cleaning up demo. Sounds familiar.….but here’s what we’ve been up to.

Mike has removed 14 windows, framed out every single one so that the new windows will fit well (basically, doing it the right way instead of rigging something super ghetto & shady). The old aluminum frames are extremely difficult to remove, and he’s often broken the glass windows trying to tap, tap, tap them out. As an experiment, we’re saving all of the aluminum to take to the scrap yard to see how much we’ll get in return. Problem is, the scrap yard won’t take the frames with glass, so we’ve decided to just return the screens and windows without glass, so we don’t slice ourselves to ribbons or waste precious time smashing glass. We’ll see if it’s worth it in the end.

Two weeks ago, we had a donation center come and gather all the lovely items we found in the house that we didn’t want to throw out, but definitely didn’t want. Well, in the last two weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time in the attic and cleared out quite a bit more. We’ve taken two loads of books to our Arvada used book store & there are still two more boxes I pulled from the attic this week. I’ve pulled out more toys, old blankets, weird car parts, old shoes & clothes, vases, old pictures and documents…enough to fill up quite a bit in the dumpster!

I’ve also been deemed cleanup crew, per usual, and have swept up dust, lugged garbage cans full of window sill, carried out the window carnage, and vacuumed up the remaining particles after Mike guts out the windows. Thank goodness for dust masks!

A few other smaller bits to mention….

  • A demo guy came and gutted the kitchen & took out the wall
  • We’ve started taking out the bricks in the downstairs area
  • Moved the stove and fridge out to the garage, after noticing a dent in the fridge, grrrr
  • Mike put our window order in on Friday (June 28)
  • We got an electric bid. We didn’t like it ($$$$$$) so we are getting another one

Some things that aren’t going great or I’m a bit worried about….

  • There is still stuff in the attic. STILL! I need to get it out next week if it kills me..
  • The sewer work that needs to be done outback hasn’t started and although Mike has someone who will help him (the plumber’s colleague loves to run machinery apparently?), I’m worried that this may be a pretty big under-taking. And expensive. But I’m thinking positively.

For a project this size, where we’re pretty much demoing every room, on a house that hasn’t been touched in 50+ years, I still feel like the project is going well and am super excited about the progress!

Cheers to the weekend!

Happy Summer: Biking, Hiking & Coloradical Adventures

Summer has officially begun (June 21st was the summer solstice) and it’s already been an amazing start to the glorious season.

Early May, we headed to Buff Pass for some grueling uphill & fast, flowy downhill mountain biking. The loop I did was 15 miles, 1,369ft of vert – not a bad way to open up the season!

May 20th Mike and I headed to Loveland ski resort to get some off season skinning in. Anyone is able to head out on the mountain for uphill access & it was pretty fun to be at the resort post ski season, when no one else was on the mountain. The skin was a little over 1 1/2 miles, with almost 1,000 ft of vert gained, so not too strenuous, but my first time skinning a resort. Definitely going to be back at it next season!

Hike club has been in full affect since March, and I try to get out once a week, at least! We live in such a spectacular place, with glorious trails only 20-30 minutes from my house, so there’s no excuse not get out on them as much as possible.

I also joined a 100 hrs outside challenge this May, so have been extra motivated to prioritize my outside time. In May & June I’ve hiked the following:

  • North Table Mountain (did this multiple times cause its close, a beautiful loop & has New Terrain Brewing at the bottom!)
  • Berkley Park (not technically hiking, but counting it!)
  • Mt. Galbraith (In Golden)
  • Sloans Lake (more of a walk, but did 5 1/2 miles!)
  • Mt. Falcon (did the shorter loop once, and added the castle ruins on for another hike)
  • Apex (Enchanted forest trail with Winnie)
  • Chimney Gulch (in Golden)

Have also been on my bike more than ever before, which I’m really stoked about. We have even started an early morning bike club on Tuesday’s. Getting up at 5 AM to be pedaling by 6 is one of the best ways to start the day.

In the past two months, I’ve biked to Joyride Brewing & home for happy hour, biked to Berkeley Lake, biked to old town Arvada to hop on the G line then did a tour around the city to celebrate buddies who had run Colfax. On that jaunt, we biked to Briar commons brewery, then to Scratch burrito, then to Zuni Brewery. Over 8 miles, great beer and tons of fun!

And what better way to start or end your day than our in nature, out in the beautiful Colorado sunshine. Our crew headed to Waterton Canyon Trailhead for a Wednesday happy hour spin.

June came and up Mt. Bierstadt we went! It’s the latest I’ve ever skied (June 2nd) and the earliest I’ve ever climbed a 14’er. We slapped our skins on our skies and zipped up the mountain. Over 7 miles and 2,850 vertical feet. It was exhilarating, gorgeous an absolute breathtaking day, one I was extremely proud of myself for accomplishing.

After the 14’er we spent the afternoon meeting a new member of our family, baby girl Harper Weston. A gorgeous little peach!

Another big summer milestone has been the purchase of Happy Homes’ 6th investment property. The property is a mile from our home, so I’ve been able to bike or drive over after work many nights to help Mike. The project will provide countless summer memories.

Mike had a Colorado bachelor party the second weekend in June, so I had a glorious Denver Summer weekend, with brunch on a girlfriend’s rooftop followed by Brewfest, a festival down on Pearl Street with Bluegrass & good beers. Our gang showed up in full force!

Our first camping trip finally arrived, last weekend (June 14), and to Fruita we went, mountain bikes strapped to the back of our car. Three years ago, Mike and I headed to Glenwood Springs, but I had never been to Fruita. First stop: Outer Range (one of the best breweries ever!).

Our campground, NorthFruita Dessert, was off Road 18, with rolling trails right outside our tent. Friday night, we rolled into town pretty late & headed right for Hot Tomato, an amazing pizza joint right in town.

Full moons & fires that evening, followed by a morning of flowy single track on Joes’ run, followed by steep downs and some crazy hike a bike sections. All in all a great morning, although the heat had cranked up by the time we got back to our camp site.

What to do in a blazing hot dessert of a town after a big ride? Head to breweries! A few tasty brews (Suds Brothers Brewery & Copper Club Brewing) then back to camp (with another Hot Tomato pie in tow) for a happy hour ride on Joe’s run. Fruita, you are glorious!

If you’ve never experienced Colorado in the summer, I’d recommend you adding that to your bucket list. The sheer beauty of the trails, mountains, landscape will not disappoint.

Cheers to Colorado adventures! Where are you heading this summer?

Happy Homes: Dudley Court Week 1

It’s been a little over a week since purchasing our 6th investment property, Dudley Court, and so far we’ve accomplished a ton! Taking a look at the last week, I’ve felt proud at the amount I’ve been able to dig into and take care of, especially considering I have a full-time job. But in all honesty, it’s a nice change of pace to be able to get up after 8+ hours on the computer to head to a physically demanding second shift. Nothing cures desk jokey syndrome like demolition!

In past Happy Homes investment projects I’ve not documented much in the way of timelines or blogs, so I thought I’d try to chronicle this property so I can look back in future years to see how things flowed. No two investment properties are alike though, so being able to learn something new from each allows for a more informed project on the next. Unless of course there are major issues, in which case you know what to avoid!

So, here’s a list of the things we’ve done to Dudley Court – and things we’ve discovered along the way!

Week 1

1. All closets are empty. This may seem obvious, we bought a house that someone moved out of. Oh no. These closets were full on hangers, clothes, old computer stuff, toys, you name it, we found it in the closet. First few hours of owning the property were spent emptying the things they left behind.

2. All upstairs carpet & tack strips are removed. Mike was at a bachelor party last weekend (yup, first weekend we owned it, he bounced!) so I spent about 5 hours between Saturday & Sunday (June 8 & 9) to rip out the disgusting carpet. Yes, I carried it out myself!

3. Paint, chemicals & gas cans are gathered for disposal. The sheer amount of items we found that we’re not able to dispose of in a dumpster is baffling. The previous family lived in the house for 39 years and must have painted their home 27 times. From the crawl space, to the garage, shed & worship, boxes upon boxes of paint need to be discarded.

4. All furniture has been removed & put in the dumpster. An entertainment center, old mattress, end tables, plastic dressers, all outta there.

5. Kitchen has been completely demoed. Mike removed all upper & lower cabinets, along with dishwasher, microwave & appliances. I helped clean up the mess and removed backsplash. We’ll keep the fridge and stove (both newer, in great shape) so right now they’re sitting in the living room! We hire a demo crew to demo tile & bathrooms, so the kitchen floor was removed Friday, June 14.

6. Two windows are framed out. This is huge due to the fact that the house is brick, the windows were original and the flanges were hidden. Mike had to frame these bad boys just so in order to get the new windows to fit securely.

7. Had the sewer line scoped. Unfortunately, we’ll need to replace a portion of the pipes, but this is a job Mike will be able to tackle himself, just by renting a machine and rolling up his sleeves.

All in all, we did a lot ourselves up to this point and I feel really good about the work, especially due to the fact that the previous owners left so much junk we had to clear out!

Next steps are completely clearing out the shed, attic & garage (we have a Veteran donation place coming next week), setting up a meeting with the structural engineer (this will be pricey I’m afraid!) to ask about removing the additional walls in the kitchen, to open up the layout, finishing demo (our crew is working this weekend!) and ordering new windows. Lots still to do, but on such a good path!

Happy Weekend – and cheers to all the weekend warriors!