If you have ever watched Love It or List It or you’re familiar with my work, you already know that I love to work with my skilled remodeling team on projects. But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy getting my hands dirty too. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been so successful in this business – I’ve gotten really good at telling the difference between jobs I should do myself and jobs I should hire my contractor to take care of. Knowing what to do myself and what to leave alone has certainly saved me both time and money over the years, but figuring it out in the first place can be rather hard. With that in mind, here are a few projects that every real estate investor should be able to do on all their fixer upper properties.
Light Demolition and Clean Up
For just about every remodeling project you take on, you’re going to have to pay the professionals to take away the trash that’s left over when you demo the existing carpets, tile, cabinets, countertops, etc. And you’re going to have to bring in the pros to take care of the bigger demolition projects. However, if you and your friends or family can tear out cabinets, pull up carpets, and do as much demo and clean up as possible before they get there, you’re going to save time and money. So roll your sleeves up, grab a hammer or a crowbar, and start working on the demolition process.
Professional painters are always going to be faster than you are because they have an entire crew, ladders, paint, brushes, and all of the equipment necessary for fast set-up and teardown. I don’t necessarily recommend taking on all of the painting in your rehabs, but you should know how to tape off and paint a room if you need to. That way, while your painters are working outside to get the exterior of the house done, you can take care of the bathroom or one of the bedrooms. Then you’ll be able to work faster and get the whole job done on time and on budget.
The Most Basic Electrical Projects
Now, I’m not referring to rewiring the whole house. But I am talking about climbing on a ladder and hanging a new fan or light fixture. Most of the fixer uppers I’ve worked on started out with really awful, totally dated light fixtures, broken or damaged fans, and other electrical fixtures that needed to be replaced.
While I could get my contractors and their employees to do these jobs, they usually have larger things to take care of. Having them take care of replacing these fixtures would have increased my bill and wasted time. You don’t have to be an electrician, and you don’t have to do anything you’re not comfortable with, but you can learn how to hang a fan or replace a light fixture on YouTube. And you can save a lot of money when you do it yourself.
There are other projects I like to get my hands on with some of my remodels, too. I like replacing faucets and other basic plumbing fittings or putting down the tiling in a bathroom or kitchen when it will save my contractor’s workers time and help move the project along. The big thing to remember is to stay out of the way on the more labor-intensive, skilled jobs and to only take on the jobs that you can do well and that will really help pick up the pace. If you’re not sure about it, you should probably let your contractor take care of it.