Buying a fixer-upper and turning it around to make a profit is a dream for many people. Some people are able to make good money from flipping houses. However, these people are always very careful and do their best to make smart decisions. If you want to renovate a property that has seen better days, you have to go about it in the right way. Whether you buy yourself a home, or you have plans to sell, the success of your project depends on planning. There’s no point spending more on a fixer-upper than a property in perfect condition. If you want to start fixing up a rundown house, start with these steps.
Choosing the Right Property
Getting the perfect property to renovate isn’t as easy as you might think. You can’t simply pick and cheap property and start renovating. If you’re not careful, you might end up with a house that might as well be torn down for the amount of work you need to do. You have to be thorough to find out how much you need to do and how much it will cost you. Ensuring that a survey is conducted to find out any problems with the property is essential. It’s important not to underestimate the cost of a project. Budgeting everything down to the last cent you have is not a good idea. If anything goes wrong, you could end up having to take out loans you can’t afford or even stall the project.
If you’re planning to sell or rent the property, you have to give even more thought to what you buy. It’s not just about whether you like it, but about whether other people will want to live in it. That means you need to take the location into account, as well as the type of property. If three-bedroom family homes aren’t in demand in that area, it’s not a wise investment. You could, of course, consider the potential for a property to become something else. A single-storey home could have additional storeys. Or large rooms could be split into smaller ones.
Financing Your Project
Renovating a property can be very expensive. Obviously, you want to keep it within a budget. Being able to finance your project is an essential part of ensuring that everything goes ahead. Some people will have savings they can use to pay for everything they need to do. However, if you don’t currently have the money, you will have to explore other options. One thing to do is to take out a loan. You can borrow the money to fix the property and pay it back, perhaps from rental income or the proceeds of the sale. However, you need to avoid the trap of taking out further loans to finance unexpected costs. Your debts could end up adding up until you’re in trouble.
If you don’t mind taking your time with renovations, you might choose to save for one job at a time. You could get the money together for a particular task and when it’s completed move onto the next one. However, this could take a long time, depending on how much work you have to do. If the property is intended as an investment, you might not want to wait that long to cash in on it.
How Much to Do Yourself
You’ll want to save money on your renovation in any way that you can. Doing some of the work yourself will sound tempting, since you will only have to pay for materials. However, the question is just how much you can do yourself. There are many DIY jobs that the average person would have no problem with. You just need to be able to follow instructions. Perhaps they might not always manage as neat a finish as a professional, but they could get the job done. However, there are tasks for which you will need a contractor.
You should research which jobs you could do on your own, or with some help, and which need to be left up to a professional. For example, you might be able to install a new bath, but you need a plumber for major plumbing. Perhaps you can put in a lighting fixture, but you need an electrician to do any sophisticated wiring. It’s better to have a professional do everything right the first time. The alternative is to try it yourself and need someone to fix it. Plus, some work is dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. You have to make sure you’re safe and that you follow building regulations.
Hiring contractors for your project could be a lengthy process. You might need only one or two people. But you might have various contractors coming and going for months. Some of the people you hire could include roofers, electricians or painters and decorators. The best place to start is always be getting recommendations through word of mouth. Talk to friends and family, as well as to others you know who have renovated a house as an investment. You should be able to collect some names that you find useful. Searching on the internet is another easy way to find local services. Research different companies thoroughly to make sure you make the right choice.
Starting with the Structure and Exterior
When you start on your project, the first thing you need to do is make sure the property won’t fall down. Hopefully, you’ve made sure that your purchase is mostly, if not completely, structurally sound. Dealing with any issues you might have in the structure and exterior of the building is important. It might involve addressing the foundations. Or you may need to hire local roofers to repair or replace the roof. You might want to put in new windows or doors, or even add some extra rooms onto the house. It’s important to start with these issues to make it easier to work on the inside.
Major Changes to the Interior
Once you’ve made changes to the exterior of the property, you need to start on the interior. You might have some structural or layout changes you want to alter. For example, you could choose to knock through some walls to create a more open space. You could split a larger room in half to give the property more bedrooms. It’s essential to be aware of certain issues, such as which walls are load-bearing. These large jobs aren’t something you will be able to do yourself. However, you might be surprised by how quickly you could get some of them done.
Plumbing and Wiring
Another thing to consider is whether you need to put in any new plumbing or electrical wiring. These need to be completed before you can take care of other details in the house. If you’re planning on installing a new bathroom, moving a kitchen sink, or putting in new lighting fixtures, you may need a plumber or electrician. You’ll need a plan for what will go where. And you’ll need to consult with a contractor to find out what’s possible.
Kitchen and Bathrooms
Once you have the layout of the property completed, you might turn your attention to putting in various fixtures. A renovated bathroom or kitchen can add value to a property. It will also benefit you to add in extra bathrooms if you can. Replacing a kitchen or bathroom suite doesn’t have to be that expensive. You can keep costs down if you look at the right materials and choose the right appliances. You might also be able to do some of the work yourself. Remember to keep your purpose in mind when planning the kitchen and bathrooms. If you’re renting or selling the property, you need to give people want they want.
There are many things you might have to do to finish off the property before you begin decorating. This could include changing fixtures and fittings, such as bathroom faucets or door handles. You might need to replaster walls or caulk window frames. There are plenty of things you can do yourself if you want to save some money. However, some tasks such as plastering are better left to the professionals.
Painting and Decorating
When you’re finally ready to decorate, you have to decide whether to do it yourself or hire an interior decorator. Even if you come up with some ideas, you could do the work or hire decorators to do it. How you choose to decorate will depend on whether you intend to rent or sell the property. If you keep it to live in, you can do everything you want to make it feel like home. However, if it will be someone else’s home, you need to keep them in mind. It’s best to leave things neutral so they can do what they want with it.
Renovating a fixer-upper is no easy feat. It takes a lot of work, so make sure you plan everything carefully before even buying the property.