House flipping: on the job training

Our first full day of labor began with, of course, a surprise.

After unloading all of our supplies at the flip-house, Mr. H and I got busy. I took the initiative to work on removing paint from the door hinges and latch plates. I chose a nice shady spot at the end of the porch. I’d barely settled into my efforts when a city employee arrived to turn on the water.

Soon after that, Mr. H became very excited and did some sprints from the front to the back, around and back again. I got up to see what was going on and he alerted me to … a water leak. The mound of dirt you see at the end of the porch is the result of the hole Mr. H dug to get at the leak. Fortunately, my porch location helped us quickly identify the source of the leak.


Unfortunately, Mr. H didn’t bring his plumbing equipment so we were without water for the duration of the day.

Now, back to paint removal. Here’s a before and after shot of a door hinge that’s been stripped and spray painted.

Our agent reminds us repeatedly not to go above and beyond what is necessary. He mentioned to us this evening that he just reinstalled rusty hinges (i.e. stripped the paint, only) in an older home that he is flipping. This is a challenge for us, so we’ll just have to keep reminding each other as we go.

Most of my day was spent removing outlets, outlet covers and switch covers, and cleaning those items. As a side note, I’m not a fan of the paint-your-outlets approach to interior decorating. The living room outlets had 4 coats of paint. One more layer, adequate to hide the bright blue top coat, would render the outlets useless. There’s a limit to how much paint can coat the interior or the sockets before they’re too clogged for a plug.

I also started general cleaning. I don’t have any noteworthy before/after shots to share. I did get a shot of the kitchen at the end of the day.


Mr. H began scraping up linoleum today, after removing the old countertop and the cabinet over the stove.

Tomorrow we should have water and electricity, so I expect to spend at least 8 hours cleaning the bathroom, the carpet, and whatever else I can tackle before I’m tackled by exhaustion.

About Fran Hart

Disciple of Christ, earning a living as the director of US-based operations for a Taiwanese company, managing an engineering organization while carving out time to write. Wife, Mother, Grandmother.
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One Response to House flipping: on the job training

  1. Bernie Davies says:

    Since moving to Georgetown in 1985 we have had the same waterline break, probably at the same place, three times. The last one was about a month ago. Thank you Texas heat.