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Good Fences Make Great Neighbors

I’m getting close now so I’m feeling a bit relieved. Even with ongoing rain delays I’m making progress. I installed all the electrical fixtures and this time I spent a little more on Craftsman Style sconces for the porches. Really worth the extra money, check out for some killer stuff. The house numbers and mailbox are from Restoration Hardware again. I replaced the front door with an extra gem I’ve been holding onto after acquiring it from the Hat Trick House last year (some of these old bungalows come with 2 front doors and I always remove one to modernize the floorplan).  I’ll paint it my same brown color when I second coat the porch. This Pine, 6 panel, beveled glass door came from renowned San Antonio developer H.C. Thorman’s personal residence in Mahncke Park that we flipped, it was the first house he built there in 1900 and appropriately on Thorman Place. It looks right at home on our project and seals tighter than new with a modern threshold and new weatherstripping all around. A building envelope test will be coming our way shortly as part of new code changes this year in order to pass final inspections, so the house can’t be drafty.

The 2 ceiling fans on the porch are a nice added touch. Just makes you want to pull up some chairs and have a cold beverage. As you can see I am flying the” Tarrant Realty ~ Coming Soon” sign in the window, we’re getting some warm bites already. I’ve weeded the yard and we’ll be laying out some river rock beds and putting down sod this week while the floors get refinished. 

This door knob is older than you, unless you are 111 years old. It’s the original from our 1900 door that I refurbished. Note the modern weatherstripping, this thing shuts like an airplane door.


The tile job kicked my butt but was worth the effort. The hall bath was fairly easy but this master bath stand up shower and tub box seemed to go on for an eternity. I used white subway tile, river rock floor and a modern white/grey marble accent liner. The shower is tiled inside and out and all the way to the ceiling. Custom frameless glass for the door and picture window are on order from Thad Ziegler Glass. If you guys are flipping houses and not putting shower doors on your new showers at least give them a cheapo, so many times I see all this fancy tile work and expensive fixtures in a brand new bathroom with no shower door. It ranks right up there on my pet peeves list with no rods or build out in the walk in closet.  

The see thru fireplace in the master is my sizzle feature on this project, while the tub side of the fireplace is surrounded by white ceramic to match the bathroom, I chose white and grey marble for the master bedroom side. Very romantic to say the least and all with a flip of the switch. There is a direct line of sight from the master bed location through the fireplace, and to the spa tub and into the shower. It’s sure to keep the fire burning in the future owners love life.


Good fences make great neighbors. In this case we have really cool great neighbors already but its very common with the older neighborhoods not to have good fencing. Part of my business model with redeveloping these urban properties is not only to give the potential buyer a complete package but also make them feel safe living close to downtown. A 6 foot privacy fence and automatic driveway gate (coming soon) usually does the trick. Any attorney, doctor or young professional could feel safe here and these are our target clients. My friend and I rented a hydraulic auger and jackhammer and it still took us 2 days to dig the 20 holes for this section. Nothing comes easy in the South Texas heat. A menagerie of rocks, roots, glass, and ancient plumbing were thrown our way but nothing can get between a cowboy and building his fence.

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  1. 6 Comment(s)

  2. By Kim on Sep 27, 2010 | Reply

    Looks amazing!

  3. By Bilgefisher on Sep 28, 2010 | Reply

    I 2nd that. Tom if this doesn’t sell before you even have a chance to put it on market, I will be surprised. You have raised the bar in my opinion.


  4. By Tom on Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks for the comments you guys! We’ll see how it goes, ya know we dont give these things away either so its always a challenge.

  5. By Sharon Vornholt on Sep 30, 2010 | Reply

    The house looks amazing Tom!

  6. By Tom on Sep 30, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks Craig and Sharon!

    Craig, I’m really glad you didnt put the master suite upstairs on that yellow house you are doing, I think mom and dad would always rather sleep down and kids go up. Keep up the good work.

  7. By dave evans on Oct 4, 2010 | Reply

    wow, tom. great job. i saw morgan the other night and she told me how excited she was with how it is coming along.

    you have outdone yourself.

    i am still working on my friend in fair oaks ranch to sell his monstrous house (read “empty nest”) now that his kids are off in austin. by the time he gets off the schnide, this house will be sold. but such is life. anyway, it looks great. our little section of sa is going to be sad to see you go. most flippers don’t spend a tenth the time or talent on these.

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