Monday, October 1, 2007

Atlantic Street Gets a New Kitchen and Tile

This is the open expansive view from upstairs at the "little house on the prairie" on rough, rugged Atlantic Street.

Beside all the violence on the street and in the drug lots scattered throughout the neighborhood, the back end of the house offers a peaceful, serene view of river scenery, streaming water from the Potomac and water lillies and other vegetation along the canal.

This calm and relaxing body of water is Oxon Creek which reaches out to a scenic cove on the Potomac River straddling the border between DC, and Maryland.

So why are we renovating? Because of the splendid view? Because the tenants had just moved out and this was an opportune moment to make drastic improvements on a house that suffered through a fire just two years ago.

Amanda was a great tenant since I purchased the house in 2003 -- even with the small fire in the bedroom and the subsequent smoke damage.

I remember getting the call when I was assigned to Guantanamo Bay -- it was heart wrenching -- especially since there was little I could physicall do.

My Alstate insurance did go up for the next five years.

Insurance is usually purchased in advance.  For Atlantic it was around $750/year.  I purchased two years of insurance.

Prepaid Insurance:     $1500
    Cash:                           $1500

By December 2006, one year of insurance would expire.

Insurance Expense:   $750   (expense)
     Prepaid Insurance:     $750  (asset)

In preparation for our new tenants -- Sabrina, I wanted to renovate the kitchen and tear out the carpet in the living and dining room and install tile.

So we decided to do the following:

1) New countertop
2) New base cabinets
Both items were installed by James Crudup shown here

3) New tile in kitchen
4) New tile in the dining room/bedroom
5) New carpet
6) Electrical work of $250

We decided to install a nice classic tile design using Mexican tera cotta tile from Morris Tile in Hyattsville, Maryland.

We also decided to use this special 18 inch tile in the living room and dining room. Essentially, we were virtually tiling the entire bottom floor. Working with large tile is challenging. It's more difficult to measure and cut. It's also more difficult to make ensure that it is level. But when it's done, here is nothing more spectacular.

Total price for the tile and labor from Alphonso Richardson is $4,279

So now we have a brand new kitchen. I'll be interested to see what it looks like in a year or two after the tenant has stayed in the house for that long.

We also took the opportunity to purchase a new stove at Home Depot for $538.

This was a prepaid expense since I purchased it a month before we needed it.

 It was a Credit cash, Debit Asset.

Finally, James painted the house for $1500.

Credit cash $1500. Debit Accounts Payable $1500.

Accounts Payable    $1500  (current liability)
            Cash                   $1500                     (asset)

An asset is decreased as a credit.
A liability is decreased as a debit.

Interesting that this project required the work of all my contractors. Jeff Bishop helped out with replacing the kitchen piping and venting. He also repaired a hair-line crack in the plumbing. He charged me $2150