Embarking on a substantial home renovation project can indeed be a formidable undertaking, particularly for those new to the real estate investing game. In this article, I'll dissect the intricate stages involved in completing a home renovation from inception to completion, equipping you with the knowledge and confidence needed to tackle your next fixer-upper like a seasoned pro.
Step 1: Strategic Planning
Successful renovation endeavors start with a well-thought-out strategy. Begin by assessing the project's scope, but don't stop there. Convene a strategic meeting with your chosen contractor to gain their valuable insights and finalize your renovation roadmap. Delve into essential aspects like repair methodologies and potential layout alterations. If you've enlisted a dedicated contractor, leverage their expertise to streamline project management, as they liaise with other specialists and keep you informed. This would most likely happen before purchasing the property as you would need to do this to come up with a budget.
Step 2: Define the Project and Get Materials
Once your project's scope is crystal clear, and you’ve got the property bought, collaborate with your contractor to draft a meticulous schedule, often a prerequisite for lenders. This schedule should detail the sequence of tasks. I would recommend working out a payment plan for your contractor to be paid after each part of the project is done. Also, depending on your business I would also supply the material myself, this would negate upfront material bills the contractor would produce and I know I’m not getting up charged for material.
Step 3: Demolition
Drawing from experience, prioritize demolition as an initial step. Arrange for a dumpster, assemble a skilled crew, and efficiently clear the site of debris, encompassing kitchen and bathroom fixtures, drop ceilings, paneling, and flooring. This decisive cleanup lays the groundwork for a smoother renovation journey. Decide at this point what flooring needs to be removed along with trim and doors.
Step 4: Exterior Enhancement
Shift your focus to the home's exterior, commencing with the roof to safeguard the interior from the elements. Concurrently, consider upgrading windows and siding. Don’t overlook the lawn or shrubs; many times I’ve had to remove obnoxious weeds and bushes from properties and their fence lines. Promptly completing these tasks can attract positive attention from neighbors and passersby, enhancing the property's curb appeal. If you have a couple different crews working on the property this can also be done at the same time as the interior. Start early so you have extra time in case of weather delays.
Step 5: Electrical, Plumbing, and HVAC
After demolition you will have a blank slate to work with and possibly some open walls. Get the utilities turned on and check for leaks or other issues. Make any repairs or changes before you get to the drywall repair. HVAC is important because it can be expensive. If there is repair needed that wasn’t budgeted, get this done and figure out what future project you can cut out of the budget. It’ll also be advantageous and more comfortable to have working HVAC for the remainder of the project.
Step 6: Structural and Subfloor Work
Address structural concerns, which may entail replacing deteriorated wood, erecting new walls, or demolishing existing ones. Pay particular attention to areas intertwined with plumbing and electrical systems.
Step 7: Bathtubs, Vanities, Cabinets
Now is a great time to install your new cabinets, vanities, bathtubs, and showers. Keep the protective films on the new cabinet to keep them from getting damaged. If you are ordering counter tops now is a good time to have the company out to measure as it could take a couple weeks for delivery and install.
Step 8: Drywall Mastery
With major systems in place, shift your focus to drywall installation. Evaluate the condition of existing walls and decide whether replacement or patchwork is necessary. Make note of any walls that have wallpaper or paneling that still needs to be removed and be prepared for additional drywall work on those, as they could be damaged and you just can’t see it yet. A meticulously executed drywall job can breathe new life into an aging property. Don’t skimp on your drywall contractor. Paint cannot cover up a bad drywall job, and could hurt your overall value.
Step 9: The Art of Painting
With drywall complete, it's time to paint. Apply primer or an initial coat to the walls, rectifying any imperfections before applying two final coats. This phase plays a pivotal role in transforming the property's appearance. Don’t forget to paint any trim, baseboards, or doors that need updating.
Step 10: Flooring
If your changing the floors, now that paint is done you can lay your floor. LVP flooring makes it quick and easy to change the floors in any home. Don’t over look transitions, or stairs that may also be needed.
Step 11: The Finishing Touch
This is the finishing touches, encompassing meticulous details such as outlets, switch plates, mirrors, blinds, drawer hardware, door handles, closet rods, and light fixtures. A flawlessly executed punch out phase is essential for elevating your renovation to the highest standard.
Step 12: The Grand Finale
Time to get your finished property sparkling: mop the floors, wipe down walls, cabinets, trim. Clean the windows. If you're supplying appliances get them installed and make sure they work. Test all the light fixtures and make sure all the doors and windows open and close smoothly.
Step 13: Marketing Mastery
Upon completing the renovation, embark on a strategic marketing campaign. Timing is key, and it's generally advisable to showcase the fully renovated property to potential buyers or renters. Something that is overlooked by real estate investors is photos. HIRE a professional to take photos of the place to use in your marketing.
By diligently following these steps, you'll confidently navigate the intricate world of real estate renovation, transforming your fixer-upper into a market-ready gem that stands out in the competitive landscape. After going through this a couple of times you will build a habit of the process and make your real estate investing more efficient and more profitable.