With popular television series showing home improvement gurus transforming doldrum houses into gorgeous getaways, many investors have dived into the fixer-upper game. According to Green Residential, it’s not for everyone, but if you love real estate and aren’t afraid of getting your hands dirty in a fix and flip project, it’s an excellent way to make money.
The hands-on investor will try to make a bigger profit by pitching in and doing some of the work. Depending on the situation, some investors will take the DIY approach for the entire project.
Unless you’re a certified contractor, however, it’s probably not wise to tackle the project on your own. There are some things you can do yourself and others you should outsource to a professional.
Use this guide to make the distinction.
5 DIY Projects You Can Do
Here are a few things that most people can handle if they’re physically fit and have the right tools:
Demolition is relatively simple and fun for anyone. With a little brute strength, a sledgehammer, and safety equipment, you can rip out cabinets, tile, sinks, etc.
That being said, demolition can go wrong in the blink of an eye if you’re not aware of your surroundings. A sledgehammer through the main plumbing line would be catastrophic, to say the least!
If available, pull out the blueprints of your home before diving into anything. If no blueprints are available, ask your contractor before proceeding.
Anyone can paint with the right equipment and quality tape. Pay the extra money for painters tape that sticks well and will leave clean lines, and use popular neutral colors to appeal to potential buyers.
Tiling isn’t difficult, although it takes the right tools and an eye for precision to get it just right. You’ll want to watch a few YouTube videos for tips and tricks on laying tile correctly.
Vertical tiling, such as for a backsplash or a shower, is even more complicated. You can do it with a little practice, but you’ll need the right tools and expertise to lay it perfectly without it bowing or sliding.
Many fixer-upper projects involve knocking down walls, ripping out cabinets, and other major changes. As a result, you’ll need to do some drywall and patching. This is a simple project, and you can learn the basics from a thorough online tutorial.
When the project is complete, you’ll want to stage it well to attract buyers. Homes sell for 73 percent faster on average, according to TheMortgageReports.com. You can save a lot of money by staging it yourself rather than hiring a company to do it for you.
Decorating comes second-nature to some, but it may be more difficult for others. Refer to design magazines, Pinterest, and other inspirations to help you get the look just right.
5 Things to Outsource to a Professional
The first five items on this list can easily be accomplished with your own hands without any expertise. Before trying to do the next five on your own, seriously consider hiring a professional. You could be dealing with an expensive, dangerous mistake if you try it on your own.
It’s true that plumbing is just a group of pipes connected together with pieces anyone can purchase from the hardware store, but it’s a lot more complicated than you might think. And a single mistake in piping could mean extensive water damage throughout your entire house. The expense of hiring a plumber is safer and less expensive in the long run.
Even more catastrophic than a plumbing mistake is an electrical mistake. One wrong move could result in your home burning down, and you never know if someone might get hurt. An electrician is trained in safe practices that should ensure you have a safe, updated electrical system without risk of fire.
Like plumbing, roofing looks simple but it’s actually very complex. Roof mistakes are the most common causes of roof leaks, which create serious problems throughout a home. Buyers see a roof leak and immediately turn the other way–don’t make that mistake when you’re trying to sell a very expensive construction project for a profit!
While you might be able to handle a very small concrete project on your own, leave large ones to the professionals. Concrete dries quickly, and you can easily end up with a slanted or rocky driveway. Laying concrete improperly could lead to cracking later on as well. It’s very expensive to fix it, and you’re better off hiring a professional from the get-go.
Knocking down walls seems to be a favorite choice for fix and flippers, but it’s not usually a simple process. Knocking down a load-bearing wall could mean challenging the integrity of the entire house, and installing a load-bearing beam is very expensive and requires an architect’s expertise.
With your next remodeling investment, a healthy mixture of DIY projects and outsourcing to a professional will set you on the right road for a profitable flip.