A Toe Dip into Real Estate Investing: AirBnB-ing your own home, Part 1

Wendy and I get so. many. questions. on investing in real estate by flipping homes to rent out on AirBnB. Wendy’s definitely more of a pro at it than I am, as she has two dedicated AirBnB properties now - one of which I stayed at during my last visit to Phoenix!

Spoiler alert: I am not going to be talking about how to build a portfolio of short-term rentals, or how to run the numbers to evaluate if a property will get you a good ROI by using AirBnB. Because, while I can talk about the basics/logistics - like how properties that I would never consider as a flip to sell may be perfect for it, or how they can be way fun to design because eclectic is sometimes better for short-term rentals - I’ve never done it myself and so therefore I don’t really think I’m qualified to talk in-depth on the topic.

What I WILL be talking about is how to earn money (aka: investing in real estate!) by AirBnB-ing your own home. Either all of it, or maybe just one part of it, like a guest room or basement.

Part 1 (aka this one) of this two-part discussion will be on setting up your own home, that you already live in, as an AirBnB rental - the whole thing, meaning that you can’t stay there while it’s rented. People usually do this for big events that mean that there’s lots of tourism coming to an area, which usually comes with peak prices on lodging due to the high demand - meaning you can make some pretty good money by vacating your home. Part 2, coming up in the next couple of weeks, will be on AirBnB-ing out part of your home (which means while you’re there) on a more consistent basis, to earn some supplemental income - as well as some things to look out for if you’re currently in the market to buy and want to explore this as an option.

DISCLAIMER: Before you dive into this, make sure you know your city’s laws and regulations on short-term rentals, and your HOA’s if you have one. You may also want to check with your homeowner’s insurance. PLEASE PLAY BY THE RULES - if we don’t, that’s what gives cities ammo to want to shut AirBnB and the like down completely, which ruins the fun for everyone. Don’t be a fun-ruiner.

Back to the program. So before you think I sound completely crazy - “hey get out of your own house so you can charge people money to stay there!” - I’ve done this. I rented my entire house out for the Kentucky Derby last year and my dog and I went to stay with my parents - and I pocketed a profit of over $2k in 3 days. No, I’m not exaggerating.

living room

living room


How to maximize your profit: Step by Step

Step 1: Identify weeks/dates when you can charge the most money

Here in Louisville, it’s the Derby. But: there’s usually at least one annual event like this in every city - maybe it’s a professional golf tournament that happens every year, maybe it’s a traveling event like the NCAA Final Four or the Super Bowl, maybe it’s a convention like the Farm Machinery show or NRA convention, maybe it’s a Comic-Con, or Mardi Gras or halibut fishing season in Alaska, whatever. The point is, identify the events in your city that will command a premium for lodging, and start there. Make sure you (and your pets!) have a place to stay lined up for these dates.

Step 2: Prepare your Listing

In order for people to rent your house, they have to be able to find it: which means you need a listing on AirBnB.com (or Vacation Rental By Owner/VRBO.com, and/or maybe a local site - whichever you prefer).

The biggest part of what people use to choose an AirBnB is the photos of your place, so make sure you put your best foot forward here! This is a lot like taking listing photos for selling a house. Make sure everything is neat, tidy, and generally clean - the deep scrubbing will come later. Take GOOD PHOTOS (tip: point your camera into the corner of the room rather than a focal point like a bed or couch - it will make the room appear bigger).

Then you’ll use these photos to populate your listing! Load the photos, label them, and then decide on the specifics of your listing, like the dates available, house rules, check in/check out time, whether you’re going to provide coffee, etc.

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Step 3: Choose a Price and get it rented!

Since you’re renting your entire home out and finding somewhere else to stay, this must mean that the price you can get is pretty high. How do you price it? Pricing for AirBnB’s is a function of 3 main factors: how many people does it sleep, proximity to the event venue (and other city attractions), and how many bathrooms there are. What I did was check out comparable listings I then priced my listing at about the bottom third of the price range of those listings, because I wanted it to FOR SURE get rented and not leave it up to chance. I was also late to the game actually getting my listing live, because I had our Alcott flip going at the same time and was spending most of my time trying to get that finished up.

Second guest bedroom

Second guest bedroom

Step 4: Prep the Host Materials

Trust me here: Anything you can get done ahead of time, DO IT. The week/few days before your guests arrive are going to be busy, because you’ll be vacating your house for a few days to a week - and CLEANING.

What I mean by “host materials” is that info guide that hosts leave in the house, and send out beforehand to renters. If you’ve ever stayed in an AirBnB, you know what I mean. This can be pretty minimal - house rules, logistical info like WiFi password, alarm codes and parking info only - or it can also be essentially a guide to your neighborhood, complete with your favorite brewery, hiking trail and brunch spot. It’s up to you.

Here’s what I’d recommend to include at a minimum:

  • Access to house: where the key is, alarm code, etc.

  • Parking info: designated parking spot, is parking on the street overnight allowed?

  • WiFi network name and password

  • Any house rules: no smoking, the hall closet is off-limits, etc.

  • Emergency utility information: location of electric panel and water shutoff

  • Your phone number in case of emergency

  • TV/cable box/Netflix etc. instructions

  • Closest ER/Immediate Care Center location and hours

  • Closest pharmacy (CVS/Walgreens/RiteAid) and/or 24-hr pharmacy

  • Closest coffee shop

  • Checkout instructions: where should they leave the key when they leave? Do you want them to strip the beds? Do they need to take out the trash?

That’s the minimum. And you can stop there if you want. But, part of what is so awesome about staying in an AirBnB as opposed to a hotel is that it makes someone’s stay in a strange place a little bit more personal - it’s almost like a personal conceirge. I look at it like being a tour guide of my city - what impression of my city do I want people to leave with? Things like attractions a bit off the beaten path, your favorite restaurants, some good hiking trails, etc. would be great examples of things to include in your host materials.

Step 5: Prep your House

I don’t care how organized you are or how well you’re able to keep up with every tiny detail in your house: MAKE A LIST. When you decide you’re going to rent out your house, you’ll start noticing things you need/want to get done before that week gets here, like buying more towels or finally fixing that broken doorknob. Keep a running list in your phone’s notes app, on a shared Google doc with your spouse, whatever. I promise, you will forget things if you don’t.

My list included registering my house with the city as a short-term rental, buying additional towels, patching the two holes in my walls, installing blinds in my living room, fixing the door handle in my bathroom, washing couch cushion covers, installing extra towel hooks in the bathrooms, pulling weeds and landscaping, scheduling a cleaning service for a deep clean and doggy day care for the day prior to my renters arriving, and completing and printing host materials from #4 above. And SO many more things, but you get the idea.

First guest room

First guest room

I know this sounds like a lot. And I won’t lie, I spent a TON of time in the two weeks leading up to my renter’s arrival taking care of the items on this list; in addition to my full-time job and our flip project. But, some of them had been on my house to-do list FOREVER and it felt SO GOOD to finally cross them off. Some of them (like spring landscaping) needed to be done anyways, so it just put them on a deadline. And some of them were things that you don’t really NEED to do, but you SHOULD do, so you just put them off and never do them (like cleaning out under your bathroom sink. Yeah, that.) - but renting out your house MAKES you do them. AND, it’s an excuse to schedule a deep cleaning by a professional service, and have part or all of that cost subsidized by the cleaning fee that you charge your renters! When I came back to my house after my renters left and had NOTHING that needed to be taken care of around the house - It. Felt. AWESOME.


Step 6: Prep for your Guests to arrive

I also call this “get ready to get out”. It involves cleaning and removing personal items. It’s kind of like going on vacation, but x100. This is where you take everything you need with you, like clothes and toiletries; but also remove everything from your bathroom counters, make sure your dishwasher is empty and your laundry baskets aren’t overflowing, etc.

Things you need to remove from the house and/or hide or lock up:


  • Valuables like jewelry

  • Personal electronics like laptop, tablets, iPods, cameras and lenses, etc.

  • If you are a gun owner, they need to be removed from the house or locked in a gun safe. No exceptions.

What I did is put everything I didn’t want to leave out into laundry baskets, and hid them in the unfinished storage area of my basement. Alternatively, you could install a deadbolt or padlock on one closet and just shove everything in there.

Some of the other things I did to “get ready to get out” that weren’t on my list or cleaned by the cleaning service were setting out all towels and extra rolls of TP in the bathrooms, putting my dog’s crate and food bin in the basement, cleaning out the fridge, taking out the trash and emptying the dishwasher, and leaving out a bottle of local KY small-batch bourbon for my renters.

I would recommend doing your neighbors the courtesy of letting them know that you’re renting out your house for the event week, and make sure they have your phone number. They’ll appreciate the heads up and will probably keep an eye on things for you.

Step 7: Profit!

Now that you’re out of your house and your renters are there - it’s time to relax! You’re 99% there.

Try not to worry. The type of person who rents through AirBnB does it because they WANT to get a little bit more personal feel for somewhere they’re visiting, and they’re going to respect that it’s your personal home. It will be okay! And if disaster does strike, AirBnB insures up to $1m in damages.

When I came back home after my renters left, there were a few dirty dishes in the sink, towels on the bathroom floor, my coffee table had been moved (presumably to make room for an air mattress), and a 12-pack of Bud Light was left in my fridge. Seriously, that’s it. I spent the afternoon washing my bedsheets and towels, setting up my dog’s crate and bed, and bringing my personal items up from the basement - and it was like no one had never been there. And I had $2500 in my bank account that wasn’t there three days prior.

Upstairs Bathroom

Upstairs Bathroom

Hopefully this has helped you feel better about preparing your house for rent on AirBnB - and eased a bit of worry too. Hey, I get it. This is my personal home with all of my things, I was definitely a bit nervous - but everything turned out great, and I used the money I got from renting out my house to pay for my next vacation - with some left over. My house is already rented out for Derby 2019 (at a higher rate I might add) and I have it listed for the Breeder’s Cup.

Part 2 of this post will be up within the next couple of weeks, and will talk about AirBnB-ing a portion of your house on a regular basis to earn some extra income - and some features to look out for while house-hunting that make a property more conducive to this arrangement.

Cheers y’all!

A Plain Design That Will Never Win Any Style Awards: Or, finishing out a basement from scratch

One of the most fun things about flipping houses is getting to design them. Some flippers hire this part out because they're not good at it or they don't like it or whatever, but I LOVE the design side of it. I constantly get to try new things and create some really awesome spaces - and the prettier they are to look at, the better.


The thing that a lot of people don't realize is that good design isn't just about looking pretty. It's even more so about how well a space functions. Because if a space looks nice in a picture but doesn't have the necessary features (or ample space, or enough outlets, or walkway clearance) - then what's the point?

To help prove my point, let's talk about this basement that we finished out from scratch at our Alcott project. Finishing out basements (or, alternatively in other houses, unfinished attic space) is a great way to add value AKA finished square footage within the existing footprint of a house, and there's a lot of different ways it can be done. It can be just an open living area, living + unfinished storage (probably the most common setup around here), or you can add bedrooms, bathrooms, bars, offices... whatever your heart (and budget) desires!

This house was going to be a 3 bedroom/2.5 bath Cape Cod, which is really common in the St Matthews neighborhood of Louisville. Most houses in this neighborhood/price point had finished basements of some level - whether they were still mostly original finishes from the 70's or updated is a different story - and this one was completely unfinished when we bought it. We knew right away we needed to finish the basement to sell for the top of the comps, and began planning a layout right away - which side would be the finished living area, and which side we would wall off to keep as unfinished storage space.

One thing I'd like to point out is that this basement DID NOT LEAK, which was a HUGE blessing. You never want to finish out a basement without knowing that it's waterproof first, because flooded basements suck and that's not something we'd want to pass off to any buyer. In previous projects, we've had to spend money on basement waterproofing before getting started with any renovations.

Here's what the basement looked like when we bought the house:


What was different about this basement compared to other houses is that the house's garage is below grade - and therefore the homeowner will come into the house through the basement, and not on the main living floor. (The door to the garage is the open door you can see in the third and fourth photos above.) That's not typical in this area, and we knew it would turn some buyers away. The laundry was also in this area and would need to be incorporated into our plans for the space.

One of the keys of managing a successful renovation is knowing who your end buyer will most likely be: in this neighborhood, it would likely be a family with kids. With kids comes STUFF - sports equipment, stuff for other extracurricular activities, backpacks, coats, rainboots, LAUNDRY, more food and drinks than you can reasonably stuff into a counter-depth fridge... the list goes on. With all that said, we knew we had to make the entry into the house from the basement an awesome mudroom with plenty of storage and organization space, and also an ample space for laundry: to make it super-functional and turn the basement entry into an ASSET instead of a drawback. Our plan for the basement was to have three separate areas: this entry/mudroom, a finished living area with carpet, and a separate unfinished storage/mechanicals area.

Knowing where to wall off the storage/mechanicals area was easy, as the water heater and HVAC were together in one corner. The steel support columns for the main structural wall of the house ran across the middle of the basement, so we planned the wall placement to encapsulate three of them within the storage area, so they weren't visible from the main living area. This walled off the front right corner of the basement. The rest was pretty obvious - entry/mudroom/laundry where the entry door from garage is, and living area on the other side of the stairs.

With everything framed out, I took final measurements and began planning the mudroom/entry area layout. We were going to build a cubby area, allow a space for a second fridge, and allow for a laundry area to ideally include shelving and counter space to fold clothes on. Here's how it turned out. (Washer and dryer hookups/space are at the very right of the photo, next to the white cabinet end panel.)

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I custom-designed these cubbies for this space. Instead of just having cubbies for four individual people, I added a shelf stack in the middle in order to accomodate for the duct that passed through this area. The bottom shelf is placed purposefully at a height that will allow for tall rainboots to be stored underneath - and yes, I measured my Hunter boots to make sure of that height. Each cubby in the top row has an outlet with USB plugs to charge iPads, fitness tracking devices, anything - and have them all charged and ready to grab and go in the morning!

Tim Furlong Jr. - D Willet - Alcott (47 of 48).jpg

However, we also added an interior wall in the main living area so we could hide the rest of the mechanicals. It would never have felt like a true living area if you could see and hear your sump pump from your couch, would it? So we framed a wall about 4 feet in from the concrete foundation wall - it's the bump out on the left in the below photo, against which the carpet ends. The sump pump, main sewer line, dryer vent, electric panel, most wiring, one of the two main ductwork lines, and all plumbing are concealed behind that wall. It also provides easier/cheaper access for a plumber and electrician in the case of needed repairs; allows for more storage space, and makes it easy for the future buyer to add a wet bar if they so choose - because you can't run plumbing in a concrete foundation wall after-the-fact, but you can in an interior framed wall!

Tim Furlong Jr. - D Willet - Alcott (48 of 48).jpg

The rest of the basement is a large living space. We trimmed out the two visible steel support columns, and ran all the wiring anyone will need. Internet, sound, cable, everything is all pre-wired, and outlets are placed strategically to allow for a wall-mount TV, gaming systems, Blu-ray player, and other electronic devices I've probably never even heard of.

Tim Furlong Jr. - D Willet - Alcott (43 of 48).jpg
Tim Furlong Jr. - D Willet - Alcott (44 of 48).jpg
Tim Furlong Jr. - D Willet - Alcott (45 of 48).jpg

Throughout the process, we made it a point to use materials appropriate for the space. We added can lights in the ceiling to make the space bright and well-lit, rather than dark and dingy, or dependent on lamps. The flooring in the mudroom area is luxury vinyl - a product that will withstand mud, dirt, water, large dogs, you name it. It also allowed us to keep the slope going down to the floor drain, which had to stay where it was. It's technically possible to move it, but that would involve $$$$$ to jackhammer up concrete, move it to the unfinished storage area, and re-slope the floor towards the new drain location - which made it not feasible. Some people may prefer hardwood or laminate in a basement, but I like carpet because of the sound-absorbing quality and also because it was likely that at least part of this space would be used as a kids' play area. Lastly, the cabinets and countertop in the mudroom area were purchased off-the-rack at Lowe's, and the hardware from Amazon - making it easy for a homeowner to purchase matching materials if they decide to add more cabinets or change the configuration of that space, without having to scrap everything and start over.

Guys - this space is never going to win a design contest. In fact, I'd say it looks kind of boring if you just glance at it. It's neutral colors, there's no wow factor, I mean come on it's a finished basement. BUT - the space WORKS for a family - it's FUNCTIONAL! The ugly mechanicals aren't visible, there's plenty of storage space, there's a place for all of the coats/backpacks/sports equipment, there's a second fridge for all of your Costco shopping or Super Bowl party prep food; and maybe best of all - dirty/muddy sports clothes never have to go upstairs - they can go straight into the washer!

(When I was growing up I rode horses competitively, and my mom would have killed to not have my dirty horse laundry brought through the house. I thought of her many times during this renovation.)

We try SO hard to keep function top of mind in all of our renovations. The very first question we ask ourselves when evaluating a floorplan and how it may need to change, or planning a kitchen cabinet or master bath layout, is "How will the future owners use this space - and DOES IT WORK?" We evaluate if there is enough space between the door opening and the sink (and which way the door needs to swing); if a person can still walk past the dishwasher or oven even when the door is all the way open; where a buyer will likely put their TV so we can make sure there are enough outlets in that location... and the list goes on and on. It's something you'll probably never see in a listing photo or Instagram post, but balancing functionality with aesthetics is how good design is acheived (in my opinion, at least). And sometimes, it's why some houses sit on the market for a long time without selling - because they don't function well.

Lastly, here's everyone's favorite - before and afters!


Have a basement you want to finish out but have no idea how to plan out the space? (Or any other renovation, for that matter) I'd love to help! Design consults available. I'll talk through your goals and ideas with you to help create a plan. Learn more on our Design Services page, or click the button below to get started.

After photos: Tim Furlong Jr., RealTourCast Photography

Cabinets: Arcadia Collection from Lowe's

Laminate countertop: Formica Ouro Romano from Lowe's

Vinyl Flooring: Driftwood Gray Vinyl from Lowe's

Cabinet Hardware: Cosmos Polished Chrome from Amazon

Door Hardware: Schlage Bowery series

Before and After: A DIY Kitchen Remodel

I love designing kitchens. This is no secret. I think it's because I love to cook (and eat... obviously), and so the kitchen is where I spend a lot of my time when I'm actually home. I also know that a good chunk of my social media followers stick around and check my posts for design inspiration, either for future design/remodeling ideas for their own home, or if they want to get into flipping themselves - but then aren't really sure if they're ready to tackle a remodel for whatever reason. So I wanted to show off a kitchen that has been remodeled that I love, that's made a huge transformation, and show you that completely transforming your kitchen doesn't have to be ridiculously expensive or involve moving plumbing, walls etc. This is also a kitchen that I DIDN'T do!

Yep, this kitchen is not one of my flips or a design client's. This kitchen belongs to my BFF and her hubby Chris, who live 6 hours away from me - and they did ALL of the work on it themselves, except for the granite countertops. Truth be told, I didn't help with the design of this at all, except for one FaceTime session where I explained to her (and walked her through examples in my house) the different ways she could finish off the edge of the tile backsplash. Did I mention they did all the work themselves? Since they did such an awesome job, I asked if I write about it here to show you all what's possible as a DIY - and they said yes! Thanks guys!

First things first: the after photo!


Gorgeous, right? Let's see where they started:


These are the listing photos from when they bought the house. Not bad by any means, and everything was in good condition and (most importantly) functional. But, it definitely lacked personality - something that can easily be fixed! Almost immediately after moving in, they painted the whole first floor to make a quick and easy difference, until they decided what they wanted to do with the kitchen - and honestly, had the time - they were both starting new positions at work so were working crazy hours. An outdoor paver patio came first, and then they were ready for the kitchen! Here's how they did it.

The Plan:

The layout of this kitchen was pretty good to start with. It's open to their living room, the sink is under a window which looks out into the backyard, and just outside of the kitchen space is a sliding glass door that goes out to their deck.

There were a couple things that they wanted to address: The glass window that was above the range looks into their laundry room, which was a bit weird and unnecessary. There was an open space in between the kitchen and living room that was meant for an eating area, but they didn't use that space, so it was just kind of empty space with no purpose (there's a separate dining room). And, the island was tiny.

When they were ready to take a few weekends to tackle this project, they knew the overall goal was to update the aesthetics without changing the floor plan. In order to address the (minor) issues, they decided to close off the window looking into the laundry room, and extend the island to allow for more counter space and also seating.

Even better (for when you're doing a renovation on a house you live in): They completed this in chunks. This allowed them to never be without a functional kitchen, and gradually make a difference over time without working around-the-clock for a week straight and then being completely useless at work for the next three days while you try to recover. Remember that they both work full-time jobs (and Chris has a long commute) and they still did this around their work schedules.

Phase I:

First, all of the hardware was selected and installed, so they didn't have to worry about drilling through freshly painted cabinets - and I think this already makes a difference. I will never understand why tract home builders don't put hardware on cabinets. After paint colors were chosen, the cabinets got emptied, all of the cabinet doors came off and hardware removed, and everything got taped and sanded. All of the perimeter cabinet boxes and doors were painted an off-white (Benjamin Moore White Dove), doors put back on, and hardware re-installed. Phase I complete!


(sorry there's not more pictures of this phase - picture a bunch of cabinet doors laid on plastic in their garage)

Phase II:

Next up: extending the island. Chris started by drawing out the plans to extend the island:


And set to work building the T-wall off the back of the existing island, which would support the extended countertop to allow seating. He built the frame first, then applied rough plywood to box it in. The metal brackets are to support the weight of the granite countertop without needing posts underneath it, so they don't get in the way of chairs/your legs (which is the setup I always recommend to design clients). Then he applied tongue-in-groove beadboard on top of the plywood for aesthetics, and carried it around the sides of the original island for consistency, and applied trim around the edges. For paint, they picked a grayish marine blue for the island color to add some contrast and color. Phase II complete!


Phase III

Next: granite countertops! This was the only piece of the remodel that they contracted out.


There was a few months' break between countertops and backsplash, since they both are managers in retail and it was time for fourth quarter, AKA retail hell (I can say this because I used to work retail). During this time, Chris removed the window above the range and patched it with drywall on both sides.


Phase IV

Backsplash time! They went with a smoky gray glass subway tile, which funny story, is the exact same one I have in my kitchen, and wasn't picked that way on purpose. This is why we're BFFs.


But, they chose a fun patterned tile as an accent above the range, and used black pencil strips to divide it from the gray glass subway, and also finish off the edge above the cabinets. LOVE this idea and I think the patterned tile brought just the right amount of funky to this space. This works especially well here because they had the vertical space to show it off - their ceilings are 9' and they chose a minimal-design range hood. I wouldn't recommend a pattern this large for a setup that has an over-the-range microwave instead as there's just not enough space to show off a large pattern like this.


The secrets to making a tile installation look professional instead of DIY is to 1) Use a level to draw your starting horizontal line, 2) USE SPACERS - trust me, you need them; and 3) Center the pattern on the space that you're tiling, rather than just starting at one edge and working your way over. This does mean more measuring, more cuts and more time - but I promise, it's worth it. Do what Chris did here - he (and his brother who helped) NAILED it!

If you're a bit uncertain about tiling - Home Depot and Lowe's offer FREE backsplash tiling classes! Check your local store's schedule, they have some sort of how-to class every Saturday, and tiling is a regular in their rotations.

And, since no post about "here's the difference a DIY project can make" is complete without costs, here are ballpark costs that they spent to complete this project:

  • Cabinet paint: $200
  • Cabinet hardware: $150
  • Island materials (framing, support brackets, beadboard): $750
  • Backsplash tile (both subway and printed): $1500, from The Tile Shop
  • Granite countertops, including new granite composite sink and installation: $4600
  • Kitchen faucet: $200
  • Optional tools to make the job faster: sander (for kitchen cabinets), finish nail gun and compressor, and paint sprayer - can all be rented at Lowe's or Home Depot if you don't own them or can't borrow them

They also replaced the kitchen appliances, which was also done in phases. The fridge happened first over a year ago, so they could get the bottom-freezer setup. Next, the dishwasher went out, so they replaced that. Both the fridge and dishwasher were replaced as needed before they started updating the kitchen. Only the range and hood were replaced during the remodel. They went with the new Samsung Black Stainless Steel appliances, which I think is a great alternative to stainless, and also complement the off-white cabinets and the black and gray accents in the granite they chose.

I'd like to point out that neither of my friends have a background in design or construction - they both work retail and have since college or earlier. Chris is a pretty handy guy (obviously) and my BFF picked out all of the materials and colors on her own (I like to think she learned something from my flips over the years, ha!). They also completed this around some pretty demanding work schedules. What I'm trying to say is that DIY doesn't have to be intimidating and that you can do it too!

Altogether, the cost of this project was around $7500, excluding appliances. Which, let's be honest, is still a good chunk of change. BUT - if they had hired this out, it would have cost them probably $12-15k, at least. They're estimating it raised the value of their house about $20k - so, while it's gotten them a great return on the investment they put into it, it's also made their space much more functional. They sit at the new and improved island every day - for meals and whenever they need to get some work done, so the extended island has definitely done its job and made the space way more liveable for them. Plus, it's WAY prettier to look at - both of which make the money worth it!

Here's some more photos of the finished product:


Didn't they do an awesome job?! Proof that you can get a gorgeous finished product for way less $$ than hiring it out, and that you don't have to have a contractor in the family that you can bribe to do it! Great job guys!

Perimeter cabinets paint color: White Dove by Benjamin Moore

Want to tackle your own kitchen (or bath, or basement, or wherever) remodel and aren't really sure where to start or how to get what you want? I can help! Design consulting services available. Click here to learn more, or email me to get started!

Announcing: Flipping School Cincinnati!


Have you been talking about flipping houses for years? Watching all the shows on HGTV and DIY Network? Driving around and re-designing ugly houses you see in your head? Well, maybe you should just shut up and flip a house already - bite the bullet and do the damn thing!

Want that last little kick in the pants you need to do it? We can help.


Join Wendy Doris of FlippinWendy Design and I at our next Shut Up and Flip a House Already Seminar -- aka Flippin' School -- aka F-School. It's like B-school, but way cooler ;) (and I've been through B-school - I can say that!)

Our next Flipping School is July 21-22 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

We held our first house flipping class in Phoenix last month and it was PACKED with information. So much so that we went overtime and then ran out of time. We also realized there was even more information we could bring to our next class. In order to fit everything we want to share into the class, we have extended F-School to TWO DAYS.

Our immersive two-day class will cover all of the following and more:

financing options (we'll even go into your own situation if you like)
finding good crappy houses
evaluating potential flip properties
designing the renovation to receive maximum value and sell-ability
how to sell the home once it is finished
marketing and branding your new business
buying and managing an Airbnb property

The days are split between a relaxed classroom setting and hands-on site visits for real world evaluation with a contractor and Realtor.

F-School Tentative Timeline:

Saturday, July 21
9am - 5pm: Classroom (lunch, coffee and snacks included)
7pm: Dinner with open discussion (dinner included)

Sunday, July 22
9am - 10am: Potential flip property tour and evaluation
10:30am - noon: Potential flip property tour and evaluation
12:30-1:30: Lunch with open discussion (lunch included)
2pm-3pm: Finished flip tour and evaluation

Also included:
With our F-School, you'll receive a copy of our ebook, as well as lunch and dinner on DAY 1 and lunch on DAY 2.

Special Guests:
Flippin' School is hosted and instructed by Brenna Brooks and Wendy Doris. Throughout the weekend, though, we will have special guests stopping in to help deliver ALL the DETAILS. We'll be joined by a licensed contractor, a wholesaler and a real estate agent. We'll also offer a financier for your next flipping project.

There is a block of rooms available at a special rate just a half mile from our Flippin' School classroom. Details about the hotel will be sent after sign up!

F-School capacity is limited to 16 students. This class is set up to be just like our ebook: a casual, real talk, no-BS coffee shop chat. We want an intimate setting to make sure your questions get answered! With Brenna and Wendy as instructors and special guests also in attendance, F-School offers plenty of one-on-one attention.


To sign up for our jam packed two day Flippin' School, the cost is just $750*. But, bring a friend or two and you can take advantage of a 10% discount! Use code FSCHOOL10 at checkout.

The button below will take you to our Shut Up And Flip A House Already site, where you can purchase your seat for the class.

If you have any questions about class content, will this help you, logistics, etc. - feel free to contact me through my website, email or Instagram and I'll be happy to help! Wendy and I hope to see you there!