Friday, September 3, 2010

The New Floors are in!

This is a very happy post for me because I finally get to say that I've ripped up the disgusting old carpet in my rental and have replaced it with wood laminate. Well, I didn't do much but some prep work. My husband is the one who killed his back and cursed over tight spots. Thank you honey! I will buy you more Robaxacet.

I had put up a post on YouTube documenting some of the things we have done to our apartment as a visual record of the time, care and money we have put into our place. Many people have questioned why we would do so much to our place when we just rent but we've lived here for almost six years now and the dream of owning is long gone for us with the prices of real estate in Vancouver. We live in a suburb of Vancouver where a house down the street will sell for over a million dollars. Here's an example of a house in our area for the same age and size and one new. There's no way we can afford the mortgage payments on those, let alone the maintenance. On the flip side, to rent a 3 bedroom in this area would cost us at least $1500/month. That's approx. $500 more than what we're paying now. As you can see, the amount that we invested into our home is equivalent to maybe a couple months rent and we get to live with a better quality of life. So we lose our damage deposit(?!) but it's worth it. I can't tell you how happy, as someone with sometimes intense dust allergies, I am to get rid of that dirt trap of a carpet.
Our 20+ yr. old carpet

The mysterious lumps we found underneath. It felt like sand but we think it was deteriorated underlayment.

To date we've upgraded and repaired the following to our apartment:

-replaced floors in the kitchen, hallway, bathroom and living room
-replaced kitchen counters
-installed subway tile backsplash in kitchen
-replaced cracked toilet with a brand new one
-installed baseboard moldings
-installed a ceiling fan in the main bedroom
-replaced bathroom lights

What has the owner supplied you ask? Well I can't say they haven't done anything because after three years of requests, I was finally able to get a new fridge. (You should have seen my hydro bill) I also got a new oven and a new dishwasher after I poked my finger through a rust spot on the inside of the machine in front of the landlord. So I am thankful for the things they have done.
Here are a few "After" shots:
Front hall through to main bedroom

Living room from hall

Living room from kitchen

So what do you think? We're no "Holmes on Homes" but I think our place is finally turning into a family home.


  1. You guys did a great job! It important to be happy where you live whether you rent or own. Here in the US if you make improvements to your rental unit sometimes you can get money off rent.

  2. Sassypackrat,
    I wish that were true here. We tried numerous times to contact the owners to reach some sort of deal in regards to the renos but we were always ignored. They would've put in new carpet only when we move out.

  3. Actually you could get some kind of reimbursement if you went to arbitration and they voted in your favor. They even say if they don't keep up with maintainance you can hold back rent till it's done. You should really look into it.

  4. Beautiful! So spacious!
    I'm a landlord and I have to pay for everything except paint if the tenants want to change their wall colors. This year I've put in new double glazed windows and had a carpet cleaned because of a leak. I am waiting for an email to tell me about more repairs I have to do because of a problem with the shower.
    I *own* about 6/10ths of the house outright, and my tenant pays enough to pay the remaining mortgage and £20 over each month. But eventually I will sell; this house is an investment.
    My tenants cannot change anything else in the house like carpets, though they can use their own white goods if they want.

  5. Oh. Don't get me wrong, we weren't "allowed" to put in new floors or anything else but it was the only way to get things done.
    I've been a landlord too and I really didn't enjoy it. Plenty of headaches.

  6. Tenants have rights too! Things here are well regulated so tenant and landlord rights are looked after.
    Yes, this is now more of a headache than we want; but financially we now have to keep hold of this until 2014. We had planned to sell up last year...