After remodeling 5 properties and spending in the six-figures doing so, these are the top 7 mistakes I’ve made along the way that you can avoid – and hopefully this will end up saving you a lot of money in the future! Enjoy! — Feel free to add me on Snapchat / Instagram: GPStephan
- Going with Cheap Materials. You save a lot of money upfront going with cheap materials. Especially as a rental, it’s a fine balance between the cost of an item and what gets the most return from rent. Although cheap materials might save you in the short term, they end up costing you more money long term when they break or need to be replaced. Cheap flooring is one of the big ones – spend a little extra money on durable, long lasting floors. Same with paint.
- Not fixing everything you can. Don’t put something off because it doesn’t need to be repaired right now. When remodeling a property, it’s a lot easier to get it done the right way, immediately, than put it off until it gets worse. For me, this has frequently been electrical and plumbing. Do not let it get to the point of breaking at 1am before you take action to fix it – get it done now, spend the extra money because you’ll need to do it anyway at some point, so get it done sooner than later.
- Going with carpet for rentals. Carpet is another one of those things that’s cheap to get done, looks good, but needs to be replaced so often. In a rental, carpet gets dirty and disgusting very, very quickly and needs to be changed out between renters. Replacing carpet once will be more expensive than just having done laminate floors from the beginning.
- Underestimating repairs. It’ll always be more expensive than what you think. When you start remodeling, you begin noticing all the other small items that you should fix. Unexpected items always come up. When you start to open walls, you find more problems. I recommend adding on 10-20% of the project in your mind and expect to go over budget. It’ll cost you more than you think.
- Underestimating time. It always takes longer than you think for that exact reason. You end up doing more work, it takes longer, people run late, it happens. Give yourself an extra few weeks for every process to give yourself a more realistic time frame.
- Not knowing what I was doing. Don’t be completely blind to the process and do your own research. Landscape example. Watch youtube videos.
- Trust the workers entirely. People are people and they make mistakes. Even if they don’t, sometimes what you have in your head doesn’t translate and communicate well to someone else. You’ll need to supervise and watch over the work to make sure it’s being done as you want it.
Overall, follow these 7 mistakes that I have made and learn from my experiences. Hopefully this will end up saving you a lot of money if you end up renovating your own place!