Opening Up the Inside in Clark Pines

Only 5 interior walls are left in this 1,275-sq.-ft. house in Clark Pines, west of Shepherd from the Heights. The 2-bedroom, 1-bath property on a 8,093-sq.-ft. lot is listed for rent — for $2,100 a month. A Swamplot reader reworked the property over the course of 2 years. “This is my first remodel and I’m hoping for feedback,” writes the landlord. (Some feedback has already arrived, in the form of a “possible tenant.”)

What sort of work has been done to this place?


I started by gutting the 1946 bungalow. removing the bathroom completely, and combining 2 bedrooms into one master. I added central HVAC with exposed ducts and rewired. I replumbed and installed an exterior tankless heater and added a 300 sqft back covered patio. I knocked [down the] interior wall separating living room and kitchen, vaulted the ceiling and [added a] king george truss for structural purposes. While i had the sheetrock down, i had closed cell polyfoam insulation sprayed in (the kind that expands instantly and cures rigid). I had a custom steel kitchen built by Bayou City Welding and converted the garage to a study with a utility room for washer/dryer. I installed french doors to the back patio and fenced in the back yard. the bathroom was completely reconfigured with frameless glass shower w/ wall and rain shower heads. Went modern wall faucet for sink and all granite counter tops. I didnt want to go super modern but definitely wanted to update it appropriately.

27 Comment

  • Absolutely charming. Fantastic job!!!

  • $2100??!!


    Learn from Whitney, crack is whack…!

  • Excellent how the modest exterior gives no clue to the interesting interior.

  • uh.. damn. You went LARGE!

  • Beautiful interior but you need more curb appeal. Hire a landscaper and add a porch with swing. Then your home will stand out. Easy breezy !! Way to go !! Excellent work !

  • Looks like the owner does good work. And Robt Boyd…yes, having a “grandma’s house” exterior and personized interior is nothing new but I see it happening in the neighborhood where I live on the East End (30s-40s homes). The neighborhood maintains its cohesive historic character but freedom is expressed inside.

  • Beautiful! Job well done.

  • It’s very nice! Like an upscale hunting cabin – with a great deal of attention to detail. I am so NOT a fan of exposed ducts, though.

  • I agree with @Sonny. A porch and a little landscaping — or even just landscaping — would greatly improve the curb appeal. You did a beautiful job on the interior — well done!

  • I think that maintaining an austere exterior is something of a theft deterrent.

    If it doesn’t look like there’s a lot of loot inside, thieves are less likely to want in. Well, that’s my take anyway and it’s worked for me.

    I’m wondering about that shower. Have they perfected a glass yet that does not ‘spot’?

  • Hahahaha funny never heard that before keep an ugly outside to keep away burglars. Hahahahha. I got one word to say “alarm”. U guys are funny.

  • Sharp! I so want to redo my bathroom and that is pretty much how I would do it if I had the $$.

  • Austere does not have to equal ugly.

    And btw, I have alarms…..2 of them.

  • Not just burglars! An ugly outside keeps away the tax assessor.

  • Yep, the exterior is reminiscent of one of those fake factory cassette player covers that slips over your $$$$ car stereo. Nothing to see here.

  • the interior is incredible–a bit of a shock based on the exterior. I thought 2100 excessive until I saw the interior pics–very well done.

  • The listing says the landlord is paying the water, gas AND electric!?!?! Why on Earth would a landlord do such a thing?

    Awesome project. Not sure it makes any economic sense though.

  • What a great place! The bathroom details are sure to be appreciated by someone in the rental market. If I could add one detail, it would be a bar/counter ledge on the kitchen work surface block to accommodate a couple of seats for folks who want to keep the cook company. What a great update!

  • Oh, check that last comment as I missed the open space under the block to accommodate standing feet. Nice work.

  • Fantastic remodel on the inside, you can tell that you took the time to do it right – kudos to you and your vision. You have given me some good ideas for updates to my house. However, the outside is ugly and if I were driving by to look at it as a rental, I would keep driving. At least throw down some Scott’s weed and feed and fix the car port. Your place makes me think of a Ferrari with a Macco paint job riding on 4 spare donut tires. Fix the exterior and then maybe try charging $2100/month.

  • Nice fix, but the rent is too high.

  • What shade of blue are those walls? I like the way it pairs with the floors

  • JT, Tater, & Markd– it is a stiff market and this looks more like a lifestyle offering than a “price per sq ft” offering. It went pending in 5 days and the listing agent reported multiple applicants.

  • I agree with most of the other comments on curb appeal – a porch/deck would be great, and some plants. Personally, I am a big fan of silverado sage.

    My other thought is regarding what is now a moot point – the removal of the garage. Small storage inside the house is nice, but where do the bigger things go? Bicycles, lawnmower, tool boxes, gardening stuff, camping gear, beer fridge?…

    If not for my own garage, the inside of my home (1200 square feet) would be quickly engulfed by these items.

    Overall however, a really lovely job!

  • Silver Mink is the color of the wall.

    I know i need to landscape. lost the hedge out front and the lawn to the drought last year. waiting for last freeze of the season before the hedge goes up. i do need to fix or get rid of carport. I am contemplating adding a garage in a year or two.

    As far as a swing, the front porch is too small for one, and it doesnt make sense for the back porch. the space is for a dining and relaxing and a swing would only prohibit full use of the patio.

    These comments remind me of that SNL skit with Phil Hartman as the car salesmen pitching the Chameleon XLE. haha

    I am renting with all bills paid because the house is extremely efficient. Hightest elec bill last summer was around 180 and kept it around 69/70. Tankless water heater and spray in insulation helps a lot too.

    Thanks for all the feedback and looking forward to my next remodel!

  • Great job. I did a garage apt over in Montrose, instead of doing a vaulted ceiling I did ten ft ceilings., leaving me with a crawl space to run duct work, reset lighting, etc.,

  • Pretty cool, and I agree with other posters that some landscaping would be nice. Of course, renters won’t take care of it, and hiring a yard man to do so adds cost. However, with a little effort, one can find no care/low care natives(like the Texas sage) or other xeriscape plants to use.