Rehabbing a house can be a very expensive task that can easily get out of hand and over budget. Today more and more people are looking for ways to save money remodeling their home. I'd like to share some of my insight and experience on ways to save money when doing a rehab property or flip piece of real estate.
Here is my list of the top 10 ways to save money Rehabbing / Remodeling a house.
1. Be Your Own General Contractor - Being your own general contractor could save you substantial money. However, I don't recommend this approach to many people. You really do need some knowledge of the house remodeling industry before you try to take on this large of a task. You must have good negotiation skills, a sense for the construction trades, and an eye for design. If you're successful at being your own general contractor you could save as much as 5% to 10% on your construction project.
2. Buying the right piece of investment property - can save you money when you begin your remodel project. The type of house you select can be one of the best ways to save money when you invest in real estate. Buying old or out of date construction types can cost you a lot of money because of the investment necessary to bring the property up to code. Choosing a simple rectangular house with simple roof lines and standard windows compared to a complicated geometric house can save you lots of money. Choose nice siding, paint and landscaping instead of an unusual house design.
3. Sweat Equity - There's no better way to save money than to role up your sleeves and put some sweat equity into the project. Home Improvement and DIY are so popular today that most home owners have tackled a project or two trying to save money. You can take those skills and apply them to your remodel construction project. Most contractors will agree to let you do certain phases of the project if you discuss them before construction begins and identify those items in the contract. If you have certain skills that you feel comfortable with then discuss them with your contractors so you can save some money. I'll discuss some of the more popular tasks below.
4. Job Site Clean Up - Helping keep the site clean is one of the simplest ways I know how to save money when remodeling a house. Having a clean and orderly job site makes everyone work a little more efficient and careful. Having the sense of an organized job site will ensure your project gets finished sooner with few problems and that means less money from you. Even slight delays in the project can mean substantial interest payments and temporary housing costs.
5. Salvage Materials - Using salvage materials will help you save money and it's the Green Thing to do. Today there are salvage yards that specialize in recycling building materials. Things such as doors, windows, cabinets, plumbing and electrical fixtures are all available at very discounted prices. You'll be saving money while helping out the environment so it's certainly an idea worth considering.
6. Reduced Price Products - Buying floor models, remnants and slightly damaged products is one area that I've seen many of our real estate rehabbed save big money. Many building material stores sell discounted projects at huge summer time yard sales. When you're looking for fixtures make sure to consider about floor models, discontinued models and even damaged products.
7. Painting - Most people that consider themselves DIY'ers have no problem painting. If you paint your remodeling project inside and out you can save $2,000 to $10,000 easily. Painting your rehab house is a project the whole family can help out with. I've seen people that have a painting party with family and friends and paint an entire house in one weekend.
8. Flooring - Flooring is another project that I've seen customers save a substantial amount of money on. Most types of tile and wood flooring a re easy to install with very little tools. Even if you can't install the flooring yourself check out sales for discounted materials. You can often find discontinued material and use it to tile the basement or laundry areas.
9. Landscaping - Doing the landscaping yourself can save thousands of dollars. It takes very little skill to do and can save you a ton of money. Bring along friend and family to help. It makes for a great group project. Chances are you'll save money and do a better job in the process. You can easily plant your own trees, shrubs flowers to save money.
10. Keep It Simple - I have seen too many investors and flippers over build a rehab project and finish it exactly the way that they would want it. The problem is that no two families have the same taste. I have often driven past these homes months later to find the paint a different color, the landscaped ripped out, or even worse, everything is dead. Build the project to meet the standards of the neighborhood and make sure that everything is clean, operational, and that the home is ready to move in. NOTHING MORE. Give them a clean slate to start their new life with in the rehab home you've remodeled. You waste a lot of money on things that the new buyer may not like. It is better for you to save that money and offer it to the buyer as an incentive for buying or to help them with closing costs. It will end up making the deal close faster.
Doing any one of these items the next time you build a new house can save you money. The most important advice I can give you is to be speak with your builder openly about these ideas. Tell your builder you'd like to save some money by doing certain tasks yourself. Most builders will be open to this arrangement so long is it's discussed ahead of time and properly addressed in the contract.