Condo Renovation: Part 1

Danny and Sharon Lipford's condo in Orange Beach. Ala.
Danny and Sharon Lipford’s condo in Orange Beach. Ala.

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My wife, Sharon, and I recently bought a condominium in Orange Beach, Ala., where our family loves to vacation. We will use the condo a few weeks during the year and rent it out the rest of the time. But, first the interior needed an update from the 1990s to make it more attractive for our family and for potential renters.

In part 1 of our condo renovation, we tackled quite a few projects, including updating the cabinets and countertops, removing the carpet, demolishing the ceramic tile, installing crown molding throughout the condo, and hanging the wall-mounted TVs.

Check out Condo Renovation: Part 2 to see the the completed renovation.

Sharon Lipford removes the kitchen cabinet doors.
Sharon Lipford removes the kitchen cabinet doors.

Updating Cabinets and Countertops

The cabinet doors really dated the kitchen and bathrooms, so we replaced them with custom-built doors and hung them with concealed hinges. To make the updated cabinets the focal point of the kitchen, we added finger molding and crown molding to the top and built a matching panel for the front of the bar. We then painted all the cabinets and doors with an oil-based primer, topcoat (Dusty Road by Benjamin Moore), and glaze.

After creating a digital template for the countertop, we added supports to the bar for the granite countertops that would be installed later.

Installing Crown Molding

We used 16-foot pieces of crown molding, which was a little tricky getting inside the third-floor condo. To ensure snug-fitting joints, we cut cope joints on all the inside corners of the molding.

Watch Installing Crown Molding in a Room to learn more.

Removing Carpet

Carpet is not a durable or practical flooring choice for a home at the beach. Upon removal we found a layer of sand underneath the carpet and pad, the result of 20 years of foot traffic in the beachfront condo. In preparation for the installation of vinyl plank flooring, we cut the worn carpet into sections and rolled it up before disposing of it.

A chipping hammer is used to demolish the ceramic tile.
A chipping hammer is used to demolish the ceramic tile.

Demolishing Ceramic Tile

We wanted seamless flooring between the kitchen and living area, so we demolished the ceramic tile using a chipping hammer to pop the tiles and break up the adhesive. You can rent this piece of machinery for a day to make the job go much more quickly than doing it by hand.

Hanging a Wall-Mounted TV

The first step in mounting a TV to the wall is determining the proper location and height for good viewing. It’s also important to consider the location’s proximity to an electrical outlet and the outlet for cable, satellite or Internet signal, since you will want to extend these outlets into the wall directly behind the TV.

Allen and Danny hang a wall-mounted TV.
Allen and Danny hang a wall-mounted TV.

Most TV mounts have two main components. One part mounts to the back of the TV and the other attaches to the wall. Use this second piece to lay out the location of mounting holes on the wall making sure the bracket is level. It’s best to attach this bracket to studs within the wall. Using a stud finder and a piece of tape applied horizontally along the wall you can mark their locations. If you cannot mount the bracket directly on studs, use hollow wall anchors that are rated for the weight of your TV. Mark and cut holes for boxes adjacent to the bracket, so that they will be concealed behind the TV once it is in place.

Next, use a semi-rigid “fish tape” to run through the wall from the new holes to the existing boxes for power and TV signal. The “fish tape” will make it easier to pull the wires through the wall to connect the boxes and ultimately, the receptacles. When the new outlet is wired you can hang the TV on the mount and enjoy.

Watch How to Hang a Wall-Mounted TV to learn more.

Sharon and Danny Lipford
Sharon and Danny Lipford

Other Tips from This Episode


Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Tennis Ball Scuff Mark Remover

To remove scuff marks on hardwood floors without using chemicals or abrasives, use a new tennis ball to erase the marks left by black-soled shoes. Cut a hole in the tennis ball and attach it to a broom handle to keep from having to kneel. Watch the video.


Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Makita Ultra Magnetic Driver Bit Set

The Makita Impact Gold Ultra Magnetic 21-piece Driver Bit Set is designed for high-torque impact drivers. The insert bits last up to 10 times longer than standard bits, and the torsion section flexes for easy driving. It is available at The Home Depot. Watch the video.


Ask Danny Lipford:
Window Case Molding

Upgrade your interior trim by adding case molding around windows that have drywall returns. Use 45-degree miter cuts at the top and 90-degree cuts at the bottom of the molding. Once the drywall and molding are painted, it will look like a fully cased window. Watch the video.


  1. I watch the Danny Litford show each week and looking forward to the remodeling of the condo as I do all work by Danny and his crew.

  2. Watching your condo redo show and wondering if you put it on a rental program yet. We recently bought a little condo in Fort Morgan and after shopping around, we decided on Poole in Gulf Shores. They only charge 15% as compared to 20 and 30 at some others, and can take care of everything. We have been very pleased with their service.

  3. Loved the show on the condo, wondered what are the rental fees and what dates are available. We are retired and want to find a nice place closer to home.

    • Thanks for watching, Marcia! Danny and Sharon are looking to rent it out starting in fall 2016. We’ll post the details when the time comes.

  4. Loved your condo redo part 2. For some reason my local TV station didn’t air part 1.
    Wonder if you could tell me exactly what primer, paint and glaze you used on your kitchen cabinets? The cabinets in my 15 year old condo need repainting and I want to use something that will bond well and hold up to use.

  5. Hi, we hit Orange Beach every August and I know which condo bldg this is, because it’s the same one we stay at…on the eleventh or twelfth floor because my mom likes to be high and see far…watch Dolphins. We’ll be there this August …2nd week…if we see you, I’m going to say hello!


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