This dilapidated two story duplex was not in great shape aesthetically, but the bones were there so Bob Coluzzi, our director of construction, began to work his magic of adding bathrooms, moving walls, clearing debris, cleaning up the lot.

This duplex has one unit on the ground floor and one unit upstairs which was previously accessible by a rickety staircase. During renovations, the layout of both units was substantially changed. Keep scrolling for photos, but don’t miss the virtual tours: See the “before” of unit 1 and unit 2 as well as “after” of unit 1 and unit 2.

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 1

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 2

No Where to Go but Up

The rooms were huge, but awkward. The bathroom was tiny, not to mention it was missing a wall. Every where you turned there was something peeling, cracked, or completely broken.

Unit 1 Layout: Before and After

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 3

Walk through “Unit 1 Before”

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After the renovation, the bathroom was moved from the rear of the house to the front. A third bedroom was created by moving a few walls. We even added a laundry room and storage closet in the hall between the kitchen and living room. The square room just off the living room is the front entryway. Did we even mention the huge bedroom closets?

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 4

Walk through Unit 1″After”

Comparing Before and After

The improved layout len itself well to the fresh and clean style. Walking through the home is now comfortable. Take a look…

The Living Room

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 5

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 6

The Kitchen

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 7

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 8

The Bathroom

Did we mention it was missing a wall? The bathroom ended up being reconfigured and moved across the house!

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 9

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 10

Completely Reconfiguring Unit 2

A similar sight was found in the upstairs unit (unit 2) before renovations. Yuckiness was all around. There was a long, skinny hallway in the center of the unit acting as some sort of tunnel between the kitchen and bedrooms.

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 11

Walk through Unit 2 “Before”

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After working his magic, Bob made room for a luxuriously large laundry room right off the kitchen. The long hallway disappeared and made way for a much more comfortable layout.

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 12

Walk through Unit 2″After”

Comparing Before and After

The improved layout contributed to the new fresh and clean style. Walking through the home is now comfortable. Take a look…

The Living Room

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 13

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 14

The Kitchen

It’s hard to get a handle of things with windows of such varying sizes. Walking through felt like wading through a melting room.

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 15

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 16

Bob added more cabinets and counter space for a comfortable working space. Through the door on the left is the mechanical and laundry room. It’s huge! Plenty of room for storage room too!

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 17

The Bathroom

The only thing we were sorry to see go from this bathroom was the fun bubblegum pink palette complete with hot pink trim.

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 18

The bathroom in unit 2 turned out very similar to that in unit 1. This was intentional. Designing with property management in mind means organization and standardization.

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 19

The Exterior

Nothing on the exterior was safe from Bob’s eye for improvement. The new blue siding with grey gables really pops now that the the debris has been swept up and the driveway has a fresh layer of gravel. And say good bye to any water leaks with the brand new roof!

Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 20
Des Moines Duplex: Before and After 21

Want to Learn More?

If you are interested in learning more about real estate investing or flipping, check out the DSM Real Estate Investing Meetup sponsored by Sell Now Iowa where we meet every month on the third Thursday starting at 5pm. Join our Facebook group to be part of the everyday discussions and receive up-to-date information for events.

Image and virtual tour credit: Coluzzi Virtual Tours, Jessie Echterling, Cat Reeves