The twenty-four hour maintenance marathon


Last week I had the pleasure of turning over my upstairs apartment in only 24 hours. Actually, it was less than that, because the old tenants were an hour or so late in vacating the apartment, and the new ones called early in the morning on the first, wondering if they could start moving some things in. Valiantly, I pulled an all-nighter working in the apartment — doing general turnover maintenance and also squeezing in some improvements. I got a lot done, but it took me a few days to recover (as my father thoughtfully informed me, “I’m getting too old to be pulling that kind of thing anymore”). Thanks, Dad. Yes, and I also know that I’m an old maid for not being married at 30…

I had my to-do list all worked out, but things rarely go according to plan.

(MOSTLY) BETTER THAN EXPECTED
The departing tenants left the place clean as a whistle. They also patched and touched-up any holes in the walls, and left their extra paint, as requested…in all but one uniquely turquoise-colored room. Unfortunately, there were several large holes in the wall in that room, so it would have to be repainted. I didn’t want to spare the time to drive to the store, and knew I wouldn’t be able to match the color, so I painted it back to white (sorry, new tenants. I know how you feel about white.)

ALTERING THE PLAN
I knew immediately that I wouldn’t be painting ceilings, if I had to patch holes and do two coats of white in this room. I did ge the ceiling in that room, though; it’s a lot easier to do when you’re also painting the walls the same color.

I spent a lot of time painting around some shelving that they had left up; it was a nice addition to the room. However, I quickly realized that I would spend several hours daintily painting around it, and would get much less done that night as a result. I decided to take the shelving down, and will later put it up in my unit (thanks, tenants!)

YOU CAN DO A LOT IN ONE NIGHT
By shortly after dawn, I had:

  • Filled the five million cracks in the plaster in the bathroom, and scraped off the peeling paint (no bathroom fan. yet.)
  • Painted the walls, ceiling and trim in the bathroom
  • Caulked the wainscoating in the pantry, scrubbed a stain out of its carpet, and painted the walls and ceiling
  • Realized that the white on the trim in the bathroom and pantry were now a much brighter white than the trim in the adjoining kitchen, and so, painted ALL of the trim in the kitchen.
  • Put two coats of stain/polyurethane on the new windowsills in the sunporch
  • Scraped off and touched up the peeling paint around the front porch windows
  • Replaced all of the batteries in the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detector (I know that code doesn’t require me to furnish a carbon monoxide detector, but I figure better safe than sorry. Especially with an older furnace.)
  • Replaced the painted-over outlet switchplates
  • Touched up some spots that the tenants missed on the walls
  • Installed a new robe hook in the bathroom
  • Removed paint from the woodwork and floor in the living room (the downside of letting tenants paint the walls)
  • Replaced a missing set of miniblinds (with one of mine from downstairs — quicker than running to the store)
  • Ordered a pizza around 2am, and greeted the delivery guy covered in paint
  • Listened to a nice rain that fell right before dawn
  • Thought I wasn’t going to make it by about 6:30, until I caught my second wind at about 8, and started wrapping things up.

I’m glad that I stuck with it, and didn’t decide to take a quick nap or something, because at about 9:00, the new tenants called, wondering if they could move some things in early. I was all done in the apartment, and looked very organized and prepared. If not covered in paint, and possibly a little out of it. But they were in moving-in mode; I doubt they noticed.

I gave them the keys, went downstairs, and took a nice long shower. My feet were aching from being on them all night — I debated whether I could go get a pedicure and deduct it as a rental expense…


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One thought on “The twenty-four hour maintenance marathon

  1. Whenever my tenants ask if they could paint any part of the rental, I always have them give me a color swatch so that I could approve it. I only approve the neutral tones. They also have to sign an agreement stating that they they must paint it back to its original color (antique white) if they are requested to do so at the end of their lease or thier security deposit would be deducted.

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