Finally got some high end flooring for the investment condo

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Submitted by gzz on December 24, 2016 - 9:47pm

But just the bathrooms. HD had some really pretty beige marble with pink and white veins at $2.5sf. It looks great. White and grey carrara marble I liked a little better, but it was almost triple the price.

Someday I want a indoor bathtub lined with marble like you see in Roman Empire movies. Like about 5'x8' and 5' deep.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on December 25, 2016 - 5:00pm.

White and grey Carrara sounds nice. But I'm with you, better to go with the cheaper commodity material.

I'm getting ready to do a 1 bedroom and I didn't see any fake wood vinyl at Home Depot for 50c. I see $2.50 It's a second flood condo, so I'll do vinyl flooring everywhere including kitchen and bath. I will do the bath walls with dark tiles for a sexy look. Floating wall hung Ikea vanity with under cabinets lighting. Simple black granite in the Ikea kitchen. Regular 6 inch backsplash. I don't like fancy backsplash in kitchen. Detracts from modern mid century look. Pure white walls.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/MS-Internatio...

Submitted by CA renter on December 31, 2016 - 1:32am.

FlyerInHi wrote:
White and grey Carrara sounds nice. But I'm with you, better to go with the cheaper commodity material.

I'm getting ready to do a 1 bedroom and I didn't see any fake wood vinyl at Home Depot for 50c. I see $2.50 It's a second flood condo, so I'll do vinyl flooring everywhere including kitchen and bath. I will do the bath walls with dark tiles for a sexy look. Floating wall hung Ikea vanity with under cabinets lighting. Simple black granite in the Ikea kitchen. Regular 6 inch backsplash. I don't like fancy backsplash in kitchen. Detracts from modern mid century look. Pure white walls.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/MS-International-Enigma-6-in-x-24-in-Glazed-Porcelain-Floor-and-Wall-Tile-10-sq-ft-case-NHDENI6X24/206821045

Just my 2 cents, but I don't like black countertops. It's not easy to see dirt, which leads to a feeling that the surface might be dirty, and a kitchen counter needs to be spotless. Why not a light/white color, instead? It looks cleaner, IMO.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on December 31, 2016 - 1:57pm.

CAr, your husband is lucky to have such a good homemaker. I agree regarding white countertops..... but this is a 1 bedroom where residents shouldn't cook much. The kitchen should be integrated into the living room which is supposed to be dark with a "clubby" feel. It's on purpose because the space has only one window. I will furnish it like a nice hotel suite.

Anyway, it's just me experimenting with design. We'll see.

Submitted by gzz on December 31, 2016 - 8:34pm.

White quartz looks like a laboratory or commercial kitchen. Light tan stone colors seem outdated, like a mid 2000s renovation or new construction. I think brown, grey, gold, and dark green are nice colors that look modern. And black stone always looks good.

Avocado stone could look good with brand new non stainless appliances, like un update on the 70s.

http://www.kitchen-design-ideas.org/imag...

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 1, 2017 - 12:36pm.

gzz wrote:
White quartz looks like a laboratory or commercial kitchen.

Haha.. you hurt my feelings. I have a white glossy modern kitchen and I love it. It does show all the dirt so you have to keep it spotless. Now when i visit houses, i notice all the dirty and greasy stuff. A lot of people don't clean their wood cabinets and just let the dirt accumulate. CAr made an excellent point about cleanliness.

Submitted by CA renter on January 2, 2017 - 1:51am.

Brian, I'm sure it will look beautiful. It sounds like you're into design and aesthetics; your tenants will be lucky with whatever you put in.

I like the pic in gzz's photo, too.

FWIW, it can be as much of a curse as it is a blessing to have a spouse who's too clean. In fact, I had to change my ways a bit after getting married and having kids...then dogs. As my DH (who is also clean, but far less neurotic about it) says, "houses are for living in, not looking at."

Submitted by gzz on January 2, 2017 - 2:02am.

Something like this?

http://www.completehome.com.au/wp-conten...

There are worse things than having a kitchen look like a lab or Apple Store.

I actually have purchased two solid wood lab tables with the heavy black coating on top. It is probably the only indoor table I could jump up and down on without worry.

From this collection:

https://www.amazon.com/Diversified-Woodc...

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 2, 2017 - 10:31am.

CA renter wrote:
As my DH (who is also clean, but far less neurotic about it) says, "houses are for living in, not looking at."

CAr, i bet you husband knows that it's a lot more pleasant to live in a beautiful house that's clean and airy. Unfortunately for them, a lot of people don't know how to create a nice environment.

Since investing in real estate and visiting so many houses, i think people move when the houses becomes too old and messy. So they just buy new and move. That's part of what led to the American suburbs. But there is now a return to the city which is providing opportunities for people like me to provide fresh housing near the urban core.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 2, 2017 - 10:46am.

gzz wrote:
Something like this?

http://www.completehome.com.au/wp-conten...

There are worse things than having a kitchen look like a lab or Apple Store.

Yes. I believe that Apple is successful because their stores are inviting and their products are beautifully designed. Apple is able to charge a premium for design. Function is basic, but design makes a product premium.

People are conservative in their houses. But they appreciate design when given affordable choices (Ikea is an example).
https://youtu.be/btH0SguXN-Y

Submitted by gzz on January 2, 2017 - 8:58pm.

I'm with you on Apple, but I swore off buying particle board a few years ago. Plastic, metal, and wood are all great. Some ikea items last a long time, like the ones with thick glossy coating. But the melamine ones fall right apart.

I just ended a three-month experiment with Android, and now I am back to iphone.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 2, 2017 - 9:52pm.

I agree with regard to melamine. I wish they would switch to thick plastic or melamine covered in plastic. Even high end kitchen cabinet boxes are melamine, same as Ikea.

Melamine just can't come into contract with any water. I buy fitted under sink plastic trays from amazon for my rentals. Tenants are so careless with their cleaning product bottles. I've seen people throw wet sponges under the sink. WTF?!

Submitted by gzz on January 3, 2017 - 1:54pm.

Yes water contact can quickly destroy the cheaper Ikea items.

For under the kitchen sink, I put in cheap ceramic tiles. It looks classy to have tiles where normally there is mildewy painted wood.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 4, 2017 - 8:41pm.

I just demoed a 1977 kitchen. The boxes were made of particle board that just fell apart. Unlike what some people want to believe, things were not of better quality back in the 70s. It's mostly nostalgia that is untrue. Cars and everything else were a lot worse back then.

FYI, Ikea kitchen drawers are made of metal which Lowes or Home Depot charge a premium for. I love that Ikea has unlimited parts and accessories.

Submitted by gzz on January 4, 2017 - 10:31pm.

The cabinets in the 1967 kitchen in the condo were filthy, but cleaning them, a whole bunch of Howard's Orange Oil Feed-N-Wax, and some clear coat left them looking as good as new. Now I just need to clean the hinges and clean or replace the pulls.

The one thing better about 1977 cars were the fuzzy sofa style seats. Maybe not ergonomic for very long drives, but great for three up front or just lounging in the passenger seat.

I seriously considered trying to save the working and relatively clean/rust-free 50 year old fridge and dishwasher, but the fridge guzzled power and the dishwasher had minor issues that would be easier to replace with a new, modern $350 stainless model.

I loved the thick heavy metal buttons on it and the sound they make when you push them, as well as the fact it just had three of them: on, off, extra rinse.

My grandmother had a 50 year old dishwasher that came with her new suburban house just like it that worked perfectly the whole time.... until it caught on fire. That also scared me away from trying to repair it.

Anyway the work is now 95% done and the tenant is paid and moved in. I told him I charged him too little when I saw it furnished with new paint, flooring, outlets, ceiling, lights, etc together with the near-180 degree ocean view, close enough to see the beach itself and waves crashing, not just a blue blur in the distance (my current house).

Submitted by gzz on January 4, 2017 - 10:46pm.

One retro item that works as well or better than modern ones are digital alarm clocks from the 80's.

During my very brief vacation rental experiment, I put different ones in every bedroom. Now I have a pile of them in storage, so I am set for life.

https://img1.etsystatic.com/058/1/841103...

http://thumbs.picclick.com/00/s/NjY5WDg5OQ==/z/wt8AAOSwaB5XvP92/$/Vintage-70s-Spartus-Alarm-Clock-Radio-Old-School-_1.jpg

That does not match with FlyerHI's "W Hotel Look" though, more like "Ramada Inn That Has Not Been Renovated in 35 Years Look". In an old beach house, however, they looked great by the nightstand.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 5, 2017 - 7:07pm.

gzz, i was at Home Depot today and didn't see any vinyl flooring for a 59c.
They so have wood look ceramic for 68c on clearance. Was $2.69. SKU 1001-698-081

There is white grey Carrara imitation porcelain for $2.79. SKU 1001-399-924

Submitted by Balboa on January 5, 2017 - 7:34pm.

One retro item that works as well or better than modern ones are digital alarm clocks from the 80's.

This is a rare opportunity to evangelize for one of my favorite products! Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light With Colored Sunrise Simulation. Totally changed my mornings. (Not for vacation rentals, of course, given the price point. And I have a 5 year old model. But I love these things.)

Submitted by gzz on January 6, 2017 - 7:55pm.

I got laminate wood flooring for 49 or 59, don't remember now, marked down from 99c.

They have this sale regularly, rotating colors. The boxes are yellow and come in 24 sq ft containers.

Submitted by CA renter on January 6, 2017 - 11:09pm.

gzz wrote:
One retro item that works as well or better than modern ones are digital alarm clocks from the 80's.

During my very brief vacation rental experiment, I put different ones in every bedroom. Now I have a pile of them in storage, so I am set for life.

https://img1.etsystatic.com/058/1/841103...

http://thumbs.picclick.com/00/s/NjY5WDg5OQ==/z/wt8AAOSwaB5XvP92/$/Vintage-70s-Spartus-Alarm-Clock-Radio-Old-School-_1.jpg

That does not match with FlyerHI's "W Hotel Look" though, more like "Ramada Inn That Has Not Been Renovated in 35 Years Look". In an old beach house, however, they looked great by the nightstand.

I love those old digital clocks. Had one just like that myself. :)

FWIW, I hope that your new dishwasher/fridge work out okay. Most repair people will tell you to keep the old ones until they literally fall apart because they are superior to the new ones. We've bought three KitchenAid dishwashers over the past 5 years, and every single one of them has had problems. When I was younger, we routinely had 20-40 year-old dishwashers that never failed. Planned obsolescence is a HUGE pet peeve of mine.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 7, 2017 - 1:49pm.

CAr, you're romanticizing the past. I don't miss much of anything about the past. The products we have now are so much better price/quality wise. Remember, in the past appliances cost a lot more as a portion of income. Now they are commodities.

Kitchen aid are the high end whirlpool. It's all about marketing, but Maytag is rated commercial and have 5 year warranty, i think.

I have an 5 year old IKEA/whirlpool panel ready dishwasher. I love it because it's beautiful and blends in flush with my cabinets. Wish we had more euro style choices of appliances.

If you want spotless dishes, use Lemi Shine detergent booster.

Submitted by CA renter on January 8, 2017 - 2:15am.

FlyerInHi wrote:
CAr, you're romanticizing the past. I don't miss much of anything about the past. The products we have now are so much better price/quality wise. Remember, in the past appliances cost a lot more as a portion of income. Now they are commodities.

Kitchen aid are the high end whirlpool. It's all about marketing, but Maytag is rated commercial and have 5 year warranty, i think.

I have an 5 year old IKEA/whirlpool panel ready dishwasher. I love it because it's beautiful and blends in flush with my cabinets. Wish we had more euro style choices of appliances.

If you want spotless dishes, use Lemi Shine detergent booster.

It's not just about romanticizing the past (though I do like retro-style). I like things that are built to last. Paying $1,000 for a dishwasher that will last 20-30 years is a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a $400-$800 dishwasher that needs to be replaced every 7 years (or less!).

Add to that the fact that planned obsolescence is one of the main causes of environmental pollution -- mining and transporting raw materials, manufacturing and transporting finished products, transporting from point-of-sale to customers' homes/businesses, and the pollution created by transporting and then recycling or dumping the item being replaced. It's a HUGE contributor to environmental degradation.

Personally, I'm a "function over form" kind of person. I like things to be clean and orderly, but don't need extra frills or shiny "new" features that, more often than not, aren't nearly as durable (or as efficient) as what they are supposed to be improving upon.

I would argue that we got better quality for our dollar in years past. FWIW, the Bosch, Viking, and even Miele dishwashers don't seem to be that much better than the KitchenAid dishwashers (based on consumer feedback). We even purchased slightly more expensive KitchenAid dishwashers that were supposed to be more durable. All three (we have two dishwashers in our kitchen, and one already had to be replaced within 3 years!) have had problems, problems that are major enough to render the dishwashers unusable; these issues are well known, but KA refuses to do anything to fix the problem and make their customers whole. That is totally inexcusable. We did not have these problems 20+ years ago.

Not sure if you know this or not, but most of the major appliance companies have been bought out or merged with other companies so we essentially have only one dishwasher manufacturer. Whirlpool owns Whirlpool, Maytag, Hotpoint, Amana, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, etc. The difference between most of these machines is just branding.

I've been trying to convince Speed Queen (commercial washers and dryers that are still built to last) to get into other appliance lines, with no luck so far. Still working on it. ;)

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 8, 2017 - 9:56am.

CAr, yes I know, whirlpool, GE (Haier), and Electrolux are the big 3 appliance companies + Samsung, LG, etc....

I don't think speed queen even makes their own. I think they just use parts from other manufacturers for a commercial look. I have looked at repairmen fix machines at the laundromat in the condo complex where I have rental. It's pretty much the same stuff with some different parts.

Electronics go bad more than mechanical because of water/heat. But trust me, motor, drums, etc... are the same.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 9, 2017 - 2:42pm.

gzz, this is how this designer redid a 100yo+ house.
I need to marry an architect!

https://youtu.be/DXWlLKjALAk

Submitted by CA renter on January 10, 2017 - 9:03am.

FlyerInHi wrote:
CAr, yes I know, whirlpool, GE (Haier), and Electrolux are the big 3 appliance companies + Samsung, LG, etc....

I don't think speed queen even makes their own. I think they just use parts from other manufacturers for a commercial look. I have looked at repairmen fix machines at the laundromat in the condo complex where I have rental. It's pretty much the same stuff with some different parts.

Electronics go bad more than mechanical because of water/heat. But trust me, motor, drums, etc... are the same.

Speed Queen makes their own washers and dryers. They've been doing it for decades, and use higher quality materials because they specialize in commercial units (for laundromats and communal laundry rooms). The repair people will tell you that these are the highest-quality machines out there, and they weigh a lot more than their competitors' machines because they are made of metal, not plastic. They also have mechanical knobs, as opposed to electronic control boards, making them much more durable.

I just wish they would make dishwashers and other appliances, too.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 10, 2017 - 10:06am.

Depends what your definition of "make" is.

You should open appliances sometimes and look at the parts. Manufacturers don't design and "make" everything. They buy and put together or they even contract out and slap on their own label.

Mechanical knobs is the key to durability... electronics are fine, but you have to be more careful not to get wet. Hard to do with busy family. Oh and electronics allow for precise programming to meet performance and energy star requirements.

Think of it this way..... Some companies use ruggedized iPad or tablets for their operations. They could use consumer iPad too. But the employees would have to be a lot more delicate.

Submitted by spdrun on January 10, 2017 - 5:32pm.

Not sure if I agree. A circuit board plus a few LEDs and momentary switches can last decades. A washer/dryer knob often has a lot more moving parts, including a motor, geartrain, micro-switches, etc, all of which can break.

Also, some of the new washer/dryer knobs are just a rotary switch that sends an input to a control circuit board.

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