Flipping houses has become more popular than ever in part because of the shows that feature individuals buying, fixing up, and selling houses for a big profit. If you have become inspired by someone you know or even a show on network television, flipping a home can be a home run for someone that is looking to make a profit. It is important that you first understand exactly what you may be getting yourself into. You simply cannot know every problem or setback that may happen during the remodeling. You also must be familiar with the types of contractors that you need to perform vital work and services in the home before you can make a profit through its sale.
You need to be aware of the components of a house and what work goes into restoring or replacing each. If you are someone who doesn’t have experience in a particular type of repair, it may be helpful or necessary for you to hire a contractor that specializes in each area. The main contractors you will probably work with in your flips are, in no particular order:
You will need a plumber to install the pipes and appliances such as sinks, water heater, and toilets. There is an extensive amount of work that goes into installing the plumbing for a house. Normally the existing plumbing just needs a bit of improvement, but you may run into a few surprises that have the potential to become costly, especially if it involves septic tanks/fields or water and sewer connections/leaks. Make sure that you are using a reputable and properly licensed plumbing company to do the work. Don’t choose them just based on an estimate. If they don’t have a traceable history or a good amount of customer reviews then you might want to look elsewhere.
A critical system of any building that you need to make sure you get right is the electrical. Unlike most other trades involved in home repair and renovation, this is one area where you don’t want to learn by mistake, because mistakes can be often be dangerous and even deadly. Wiring needs to be done properly and up to code, and failure to wire a house correctly could result in fire or shock hazards. You should have your electrician do a complete inspection.
If they detect any problems you need to make sure that they fix it right away. Don’t allow them to cover up the problem or take a shortcut with repairs. The sketchy light in the basement that flickers is not a great selling point for a home. You must make safety a priority. If you are working with a much older home, you might encounter outdated knob and tube wiring. If this is the case, you will likely need to replace all of the wiring in the house. Be sure that the electrician gets the proper permits before performing the work and is properly licensed. They also must have the inspector come out and approve the work that has been done. It is possible that the inspector may order them to change certain things to bring them up to code.
You will need an experienced roofer who knows what they’re doing. Don’t skimp here or you may regret it. A home is only as good as the roof that is on it. A roof needs to be expertly installed and keep all of the elements out. It is the first line of defense against moisture, wind, and pests. If the roof is not properly installed, then you run the risk of creating extensive damage to all areas of the home. Find a trustworthy and well respected roofer to perform the roofing job on your flip. Like any job, but especially one of this price and magnitude, get quotes from several roofers before signing a contract to put on or replace your roof, because you may save several thousand dollars by going with another option.
Almost all flips will require some kind of carpentry work. Carpenters can construct and replace framing in the home, add or replace doors and cabinets, build custom furniture and decks, install flooring and more. A skilled carpenter can really give your home a feeling of quality.
Drywall Finisher and Plasterer
A good drywall crew is essential to most flips, since damage to interior walls is a common theme in distressed homes. Hanging drywall is one trade that looks like it might be easy but involves a sizable amount of skill to do correctly. If you want the interior of your home to look clean and not have unsightly gaps and irregularities it may be worth hiring a professional. Some do-it-yourselfers may decide to hang the drywall themselves but it is certainly hard work and often worth paying an experienced tradesperson to perform.
Concrete and Cement Workers
If your home needs foundation repairs, a concrete driveway, or other work involving concrete you will probably require the services of a concrete and cement worker. Concrete work can often be expensive, so make sure you check reviews and references and get multiple bids for the work.
If you want to add a special flare to your property’s curb appeal, it may be worth hiring a landscaper to beautify the property. If nothing else, it would be worth it to take care of basic trims on the bushes and cut/edge the lawn neatly before putting your flip property on the market.
This is another trade that you will encounter regularly while flipping homes. If you need to demo and rebuild an exterior wall, or are adding new rooms to a home, chances are you will need to have insulation installed. You may also want to upgrade an old home with poor insulation to attract a higher class of buyer who is looking for an energy efficient home.
If your home needs exterior or interior brick work, you may require the services of a brick mason. Make sure you find someone with experience as this work can have a big impact on the look of your home.
Architect/Structural Engineer/Civil Engineer
If you are building any new, significant structural elements, chances are that you will need to hire an architect to design the structure.
They will likely work hand-in-hand with structural engineers (engineering related to the building) and civil engineers (engineering related to everything needed outside of the building to meet code) to design a set of plans that meet your needs and will be approved by the local jurisdiction(s).
There are other trades as well, but this is a list of just some of the major trades you may work with when flipping a home. Managing all of the trades is a skill in itself that will be refined as you gain more experience in flipping houses. However, if you want to delegate this responsibility, then you can hire a general contractor. The general contractor will do the footwork to find the subcontractors that will actually be performing the work. Some general contractors also perform some of those tasks too rather than having to track down a separate company. The process of hiring a contractor can be time-consuming and tedious, especially if you have limited experience dealing with them or hiring them. There are many different trades involved in remodeling and flipping houses. The best thing that you can do is either be very informed and knowledgeable about procedures and prices or you can hire someone that is. The downside about hiring a general contractor is that it will obviously cost you more money, so be sure to factor that into your calculations. Also,make sure you thoroughly check out any general contractor that you are considering before hiring them or signing any contracts.