Getting the house ready to rent

It’s been awhile since my last post, so I thought that I’d throw out some random notes from the past several weeks. The person we had lined up to rent the house and care for one of the dogs had a last minute change of heart and decided to go a different route. After several of months of preparing for their moving in, this left us scrambling to come up with a plan B. Unfortunately, there was no turning back on reclaiming my position at the college, so we forged ahead with new plans and different goals for preparing for the big adventure. Our Feb. 20 departure date was definitely off the table.

We contacted a few property managers and had meetings with them to see what we can expect to get as far as rental income and to compile a list of projects that will have to be done on the house in order to rent it out. We have decided to go with Sandra at D&M who we met through a friend who has worked with her before. We walked the property and made a long list of repairs to keep me occupied while PJ flew back to Rhode Island to help her parents after her dad was hospitalized with blood clots in his lungs. She was gone for a little over a month returning last week to the elation of our four legged friends.

 Eddie was happy as a clam to see his PJ come home


In the meantime, my friend Randy came over and we got busy fixing things up. We dug down and stubbed off the gas pipe so it no longer stuck up from the patio area, removing a tripping hazard for future renters. I hired Ronny, a laborer, to add a couple more rows of block along the back retaining wall to insure that none of the dirt and mud from the bank would run off and fill my new French drain, undoing the hard work we had already done.     Recreating the rotten portion of the door


I sanded down the wooden French door that leads from the dining room out to the patio. We had some rotten wood at the bottom, so we had to do some millwork on this one also to recreate the bottom of the sidelite door. We also made a new threshold piece because the old one was completely rotted out.

I restained the outside and put on a couple fresh coats of varnish. Should get a few more years out of this door also. For the final touch, I broke out some steel wool and polished all of the tarnish off of the brass door knobs.

Randy got to work rebuilding the damaged white French door leading out to the small patio off of the bedroom.

Lots of wood rot at the bottom, so he fabricated a new post and we filled some of the damaged areas from dogs trying to scratch their way in during the fireworks from Legoland.

Custom milled the post as we were unable to find a matching piece of lumber with the proper dimensions used in the 20 year old door.

Randy used his table saw to create the small pieces that go between the panes of glass and to mill the door post to match the rotten one we had removed. Lots of work and amazing skill at woodwork and it soon looked like a new door had been set.


Lots of painting and caulking and replacing baseboard. The results here of 45 minutes of rubbing on the door knobs with steel wool.


I went ahead and grouted in the paving stones PJ had set in a pattern around the giant bird of paradise

Another thankless task was removing all of the ancient wallpaper from the hall bathroom. After many hours of soaking and scraping, it was finally ready for some texture and paint. My advice to anyone else considering wallpaper – don’t do it!

After the shower pipe corroded off and flooded the carpet, I had to cut a whole in the drywall to properly dry beneath the shower and had the blower on for three days getting the carpet and pad dried out.

I’ve also been taking stock of missing and broken screens and I am replacing and repairing them as I go.

So that’s where we are at. Slowly moving forward and getting things squared away. Not sure what people’s conceptions are about the retired life, but I can guarantee you that there is not a whole lot of napping going on! We have moved past having a set departure date but are hoping to be mobile soon. Until then bring on the next project.