When I look back on the many remodels I’ve worked on over the past few years, I realize how much I’ve learned about what to do and what not to do when flipping a house. Here are some of the biggest mistakes that I recommend you avoid the next time you are remodeling.
Estimating Your Measurements
You know that old saying, “Measure twice, cut once”? Well, I had to learn the hard way just how important that little bit of wisdom actually is. Trying to estimate your measurements or measure quickly to get a brief idea of what you’re doing is fine if you’re dreaming of future renovations in your own home. It’s not okay, though, when you’re getting ready to buy new materials and make large design changes to an investment property.
Never assume that you know a measurement already or that you can simply estimate it. Get all of your heights, widths, and depths figured out exactly before you start buying supplies and making changes. This is important for every room of the house, but it’s absolutely essential in the kitchen and bathroom. You don’t want to get to the end of a rehab and find out that your new refrigerator doesn’t fit in the kitchen or that there’s no room to walk between the toilet and the vanity in the bathroom.
Jumping Into Demolition Before You Have a Design Plan
Want to make sure that you never save money on a rehab? Gut the entire house and demolish all of the old materials and appliances before you start your design work. I learned this lesson in the beginning when I was trying to speed up a house remodel so that I could get it on the market faster. I found out later on that the old countertops and a few other key pieces could have been reused. This would have saved a lot of cash.
So, before you start demo, do a thorough walk-through of the property and look for any details that you might want to save, things you can work with, or things that you might want to use for another flip house. Then do your design work, and then get started on demo.
Skipping Important Details
I remodeled a house once that had one very strange design “feature.” One of the bathrooms didn’t have a door, and it opened right into the living room! If you were in the living room, you couldn’t see what was going on in the bathroom, but there was also no way to close or lock the door if someone was using it. I knew this was going to be an problem from the start, so I might it a priority to fix it as soon as possible.
Can you imagine though if I would’ve left the bathroom the way it was? Everyone who would’ve walked in the house would had some major questions about that bathroom! If you want to sell your house fast, make sure you don’t skip important details such as this.
There are certainly many other mistakes you can make when designing a remodel. These are just some of the biggest ones I’ve made and seen along the way to becoming a successful real estate investor. If you avoid these, you’ll be a few steps ahead of where I was when I started! Who knows how far you’ll go?