Story begins

With luck, this story will have a happy ending: this remodel will turn out well, and it will bump up the resale value of my place significantly. Then, I will cash in, retire, and move to Palm Springs to live happily ever after... at least until I wake up dead.

The complex itself dates back to the mid-1970's, and — with the exception of new appliances and carpeting in the mid-1980's — my unit has changed little, if at all since then. And like its owner, it's showing its age. Gold shag carpet. Almond appliances. Faux-wood laminated particle board cabinets. Waxy yellow build-up on all the vinyl floors. You can get the picture. It's time for a facelift.

On your mark! A person could spend a small — OK, large — fortune on a remodel. In this case, I've chosen to invest only in improvements that will come back in the form increased selling price:

  • refacing all the cabinets -- disguise the fact that they're really cheap particleboard
  • upgrade the baths with new tub surrounds and doors
  • new floor coverings -- carpet and laminate
  • fresh coat of paint