Pat Starnes Snippets: My Latest Fixer-Upper Before and After

My Latest Fixer-Upper Before and After

Several weeks ago, I shared the saga of the contractor who walked off the job before it began. The post was written "members only", in an attempt to protect the contractor from any embarrassment. As a refresher for ActiveRain members and others reading about this project for the first time, I was creating a pass-through and reconfiguring the kitchen in a property I purchased to provide a more open floor plan. In my excitement (and completely within my right as the owner), I played "fixer-upper" and took a hammer to the sheetrock, trying to decide how large to make the opening.


Here's what the wall looked like after the first few blows with the hammer:

Partial sheetrock removedUpper cabinets and the stove are on the back side of the wall.


The photo above shows two small sections of sheetrock removed. I decided to take out another section to make the opening wider. The structural integrity of the house was not harmed, but apparently the contractor was offended by my efforts as he refused to show up the following day to start the project. 


A few days later, another contractor was hired to implement my plan. Here is what the job looked like midway through construction:

Partial renovation of fixer upper

In the photo above, the wall has been opened and the appliances and cabinets are being rearranged, and electrical and plumbing re-routed. The window behind the refrigerator will be insulated and sealed, creating additional wall space for cabinets and the fridge.


The final photo shows the finished product. I'm pleased with how it turned out, but even more so, the new homeowner LOVES it. (Apologies for the dark photo).

Completed fixer upper by Pat Starnes

The buyer wanted a farmhouse style kitchen so we added beadboard trim to the ceiling and painted white upper cabinets with denim colored lowers. 


I may never know why the original contractor walked away, but completing this project was very gratifying as I helped a single mom on a modest budget provide a safe environment for her family.


If you or someone you know is looking for a home in the Brandon or Flowood area, I'll be glad to help. You can reach me on my cell at 601-278-4513.

Written and Published by Pat Starnes REALTOR

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Pat specializes in Residential and New Home Sales 

Primary Service Area:

Brandon, Pearl, Ridgeland, Flowood and the Ross Barnett Reservoir area

 Pat Starnes, Broker Associate

Front Gate Real Estate, 6700 Old Canton Rd., Suite C

Ridgeland, MS 39157

601-991-2900 - Office

601-278-4513 - Cell


Recent Blog Posts by Pat Starnes:


Greenfield Station in Brandon MS Continues to Grow

Six Easy Tips to Save Money on Your Home Inspection

Should You Consult a Realtor When Buying New Construction?

Homes for Sale in Scottish Hills ~ Brandon MS 39047

Homes for Sale in Hidden Hills Subdivision, Brandon, MS 39047

Homes for Sale in Castlewoods Subdivision, Brandon, MS 39047

Gardens of Manship Neighborhood Information - Brandon, MS 39047


Are you looking to buy or sell a home in the Brandon MS market? Call me!

Comment balloon 19 commentsPat Starnes-Front Gate Realty • June 24 2018 01:44AM


Great job, Pat! These kinds of fixer uppers certainly not for the faint of heart.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC) about 1 month ago

Who knows with contractors Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty  once you find a good one never let them go ..Great job

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) about 1 month ago


Great job, and I am so happy that you made someone's dreams come true.  Have a great week.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) about 1 month ago

Nina Hollander - It really was a fun project and for a very special buyer. I enjoyed it, after I survived the contractor issue!

I'm still shaking my head over the contractor Hannah Williams. I thought we had a good relationship!

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) about 1 month ago

These starter homes are in high demand in most areas, Ron and Alexandra Seigel, but when you can work with a buyer and make improvements for them, it is very rewarding.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) about 1 month ago

I like the improvements and I do like the bead board on the ceiling. It really adds a nice touch.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) 30 days ago

All's well that ends well.  The kitchen looks really neat.  That opening does make the house feel more open.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) 30 days ago

You did a great job for your clients. Good luck in achieving your goals.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) 29 days ago

Good afternoon Pat. I have had my own trials with contractors and yet like you I came out the other end. Nice job.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) 29 days ago

Looks like a job well done and certainly opens things up a bit.  I love seeing before and after pictures of fixer uppers!

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) 29 days ago

Thanks JL Boney, III. I'm a fan of the beadboard look, also.

Chris Ann Cleland - I think it looks nice, too. The first contractor thought it would look "odd". Maybe that's a good reason he walked away!

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) 29 days ago

I was fortunate to be able to help her Gita Bantwal

This contractor really surprised me Sheila Anderson . He came highly recommended and had worked for me in the past. 

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) 29 days ago

Brian England - I love before and after photos, too. Don't you LOVE the turquoise/aqua color in the BEFORE? It really brightens things up!

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) 29 days ago

Pat nothing better than helping this Mom and her kids have a lovely home! You did an awesome job on this one - awesome!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) 28 days ago

Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886 - I don't do many fixer uppers unless they are for me personally. This was a special circumstance and the new owner is very appreciative. 

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) 28 days ago

What a rewarding situation for both you and the buyer...bye-bye contractor!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Condo & Home Sale Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) 26 days ago

Wow... what a difference that made!  Great job, Kathy!

Posted by Carol Williams, "Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services" (U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business.) 20 days ago

Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400 - I was quite upset about the contractor at first as I had to find someone else rather quickly. The remodel turned out nicely though and I have a happy homeowner.

Hey Carol Williams . It's Pat, not Kathy. I'll take that as a compliment! :-)

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) 20 days ago

Good morning Pat - very nice job.  You knew what you were doing and this change made a big difference.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) 19 days ago

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