Before you begin to rehab, thoroughly inspect the property. Note which items are in good condition and which areas need work. It’s helpful to have a professional inspector walk through with you. He or she will be able to identify things that you may miss. You can find a qualified inspector through the American Society of Home Inspectors. Ask the inspector questions as you go through the property.
The home inspection should include the HVAC system, interior plumbing, electrical system, the roof, the attic, any visible insulation, walls, ceilings, flooring, windows, doors, foundation, sewer line, and the basement.
Once you identify areas that need work, create a rehab scope of work. This will help you stay on track and not miss any repairs. Include both interior (walls, paint, etc.) and exterior items (e.g. landscaping, gutters, and outside lighting
Go through your checklist and decide how much each repair will cost.
An Excel spreadsheet is a great tool to use for your budget. The budget should be itemized for each individual repair. If the cost of your repairs exceeds your budget, you will need to make some changes to the checklist. Budget for unanticipated problems. These are bound to happen. New issues may arise once you begin the rehab process. If you plan to sell the property once rehabbing is finished, consider how much you will be able to sell the property for.
Having a good contractor will make the rehab process much easier. Take your time when you are searching for a suitable contractor. Contractors can be found through referrals, your local building department, real estate investment associations, and general job boards. Pre-screen any candidate to determine if he or she is a good fit for your project.
Once you have chosen a contractor, you may need to do another walk-through of the property. Your contractor can also help you make adjustments to your budget and scope of work .
Permits are typically required for rehabbing a property. Having the required permits in place will help you avoid violation of local building codes. Contact your local building department to determine what you need. This will vary based on the type of work you’ll be doing.
Remove any trash inside or outside the building. Remove any items that are damaged or that you will be replacing (flooring, cabinets, appliances, light fixtures, toilets, water heaters, etc.) Outside work may include trimming any dead trees or bushes and removing garage doors, fencing, sheds, decks, and siding.
If the property needs new roofing, this should be done before you begin working on any of the interior repairs. You do not want any water leaking into the structure. Slab or block-and-beam foundation repairs should be made at this time as well. Fixing exterior issues first will draw less attention to the property while it is being rehabbed.
Exterior doors and windows should be addressed once the foundation is finished. This will protect your property from weather and the intrusion of animals. New windows and doors will also make the property look less like a construction site. Count the number of doors and windows you will need, and take measurements before you purchase the items. New entry doors are a nice way to change the look of a property and add value.
Plumbing repairs may include water heaters, tubs and showers, toilets, and water/gas lines. You may need a new HVAC system or repairs to the existing one. The electrical system can be worked on during this time as well. Be careful if installing an outdoor air-conditioning unit before someone is occupying the property full-time.
You can either install new sheet rock or repair the existing sheet rock. It is cheaper to repair existing sheet rock. Once you are finished with the drywall , you can work on the wall and ceiling texture
Lighting is a great way to change the look of a property and is relatively inexpensive compared to other repairs. The flooring is installed later in the rehab process to avoid getting paint on the floor and to avoid damage from workers going in and out of the house. Because you want your floors to look fresh when you’re finished, you might consider doing the bulk of the interior work before installing flooring.
Once everything is done, go through and examine all of the work that has been done. You may need to touch up paint or do some last-minute adjustments to the plumbing, HVAC, or electrical systems. You should also thoroughly clean the property.
Begin working at the front, because this is what people will see first. Fences, patios, decks, sidewalks, porches, and driveways should be taken care of first. Once those items are finished, add soil for planting flowers, bushes, etc. The back yard should be addressed last.