Before and after: Renovating a dilapidated rental property in Japan


Renovating an apartment in the middle of Tokyo is a DIY inspiration.

In Japan, September 23 has been dubbed “Real estate day“, because this month is considered a busy time for real estate, and the number” 23 “consists of the digits 2 (” fu “) 10 (” dou “) 3 (” san “), with”fudousanMeaning “real estate”.

Our Japanese speaking reporter Go Hatori decided this would be a great opportunity to take a trip down memory lane with a personal real estate highlight – this moment he renovated a rental property in Tokyo in his early twenties.

Go is now in his 40s, so 20 years have passed since he rented this property, which was in such a hellish state that the owner allowed him to do whatever he wanted with it. However, he still remembers the process as if it was yesterday, so he took out his photos to show us the whole renovation, which took place inside a building. a five minute walk from Shinanomachi station in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district.

▼ Shinanomachi Station is located in a bustling area of ​​the metropolis.

The rent was 52,000 yen (US $ 473.31) per month and the apartment was approximately 21.5 square meters (231.4 square feet). It was rented to Go as office space, but even though it was not classified as a residential property, for some reason the owner said if a man rented the space he could live there as well.

In addition, unless there has been significant damage to the area, Go’s security deposit would be returned in full, which is not always the case with rentals in Japan, especially if you had to completely renovate the space, which Go was allowed to do.

â–¼ This little manga snippet shows Go’s first reaction to space, where he says “It stinks of mold!” and “It smells of death!

We can almost smell the mold ourselves just by looking at the photos of Go’s apartment, especially when we can see the actual extent of damaged concrete on one of the walls.

Despite the state of disrepair, Go had a vision for this space, and it took six months and 1 million yen ($ 9,103.36) to finally see this dream come to life. His photos of the process show just how patience and determination can take you, and Go hopes his experience inspires others to take the same leap as he does to make their own dreams come true.

â–¼ Go low, pretty much literally, as the apartment was on the ground floor of a multi-tenant building, behind a staircase.

His cozy little rental was behind this door …

▼… although, let’s face it, there is certainly nothing comfortable about this space.

â–¼ Every corner of the room was dirty.

â–¼ As he surveyed the area, Go couldn’t help but wonder what had happened here in the past.

â–¼ The walls were dirty and the linoleum on the floor was decrepit.

The air in the room was charged with a musty smell.

â–¼ Go had the courage to turn on the vintage air conditioner, and when he did, little bits of cockroach poop flew at him.

â–¼ At least there was a Japanese style toilet included, but that too needed cleaning.

There was a gas outlet, but nothing to tie it up.

â–¼ And there was a surprise electrical outlet behind the veneer wall.

â–¼ None of this fazed the spirited 22-year-old, so Go just got down to business.

▼ He started by peeling off the veneer panels from the concrete side of the room…

▼… which revealed the true extent of the mold.

He pulled out nails that had been driven into the concrete …

▼… and removed the sink full of cockroach eggs.

It was a dirty job, but removing it all was the best way to tackle the mold problem and really create a fresh, clean space.

The veneer panels simply hid the mold on the concrete, but Go was determined to fix the problem rather than just hide it.

â–¼ And there was a LOT of mold to deal with.

▼ Day in and day out Go did what he could, cutting back on small tasks like separating garbage and getting rid of it properly…

▼… sweep the dust off the floor, with a gas mask to protect his respiratory tract…

▼… and bringing vacuum cleaners and power tools to help with the transformation.

â–¼ He used a grinder to cut and smooth the nails that remained in the concrete.

He also rubbed and sprayed the mold on the concrete

Removing the mold was a particularly difficult job, but by the time he was done the difference in appearance and smell was remarkable.

Go decided to keep the veneer panels on one side of the room that wasn’t affected by mold, and once the walls were sparkling clean he gave them a new undercoat of paint. .

â–¼ He then went for a touch of bright yellow for the walls, to really brighten up the space.

After trying a number of different colors for the ceiling, Go decided to leave it white as it made the room light and airy. And when the room is bright, the spirit of Go is also light.

Go painted the baseboards black for contrast, and he liked the effect so much that he decided to go for a black floor.

He carefully glued the squares of black lino one by one.

â–¼ Once that was done, the room was finally full!

â–¼ After six months, the room had been transformed from an unwelcoming, damp, gray space into a cool, cheerful apartment!

â–¼ Even the sink was sparkling, offering a splash of red color in the corner.

All Go had to do now was move all of his work stuff around the room, as he decided to only use it as office space, and when he did, it became the space. of work / mancave of his dreams!

Go was able to stow his scooter here as well, and the retro arcade game Capcom and PC monitor gives you a feel for what it was like in Go’s office 20 years ago.

â–¼ At the time, he and a designer friend of his were working together on the production of a manga periodical here.

However, after only about six months of working here, Go fell ill and ended his career as a manga artist. At the same time, they decide to close their little yellow office.

Sometimes Go wonders what happened to the bright office space he has invested so much time and money in, but instead of feeling a sense of nostalgic nostalgia for the place, he feels a sense of pride. to have been able to engage in the project and to see it from start to finish, especially at such a young age.

This bodes well for his current project of renovating an entire house in the Japanese countryside with our boss Yoshio, who bought the property with a piece of land for a bargain, for $ 9,100.

Images © SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]


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