What is the secret ingredient for a smooth run rehab project? While all large rehab projects are different, here are few suggestions.
1. Set a Budget – Your number one goal should be to make your real estate deal profitable and cash flowing. Setting a rehab budget is one important key to making that happen. Your initial budget can be very general and include a contingency fund that can be allocated later as plans firm up and price quotes come in. Also, it is best to budget high at first and slim things down later on.
2. Layout and Design What You Want – Ask yourself what do you want and what adds value to your rehab project. Do you want to remove walls? Do you want to remodel a new bath? Does the kitchen need updating? Are the electrical and heating systems in working order? Are can be reused? Good questions give direction to both project costs and value.
3. Be Specific – Your contractors will need to know specifics in order to get the job done. Just saying that the stove will be about here or the bathroom will be over here will not work. Nor will telling them to just pick out some tile for the bathroom. Contractors need to know specifics. So tell them exactly where and how you want things. Draw out what you would like, to scale if possible. It does not have to be fancy. A pencil drawing will often do. Have a product list for tile, fixtures, carpet, etc. The more specific you can be on the front end, the better off you will be on the back end and fewer mistakes will be made throughout the process.
4. Get Quotes – Now that you have drawn up your specific plans, get quotes for the work you want done. You may have the best-laid plans in the world, but may not realize just how much they are going to cost to be implemented. Your contractors also will see things that you have likely missed or were not aware of. Things such as plumbing or electrical systems that are in the way, or load bearing walls that cannot be moved without great expense. They may also know about code issues. Whatever the reason, the quotes from your contractors may make you want to…..
5. Reconfigure Your Plans – Sometimes even the best ideas have to be reworked. Sure, anything is possible with unlimited dollars, but you do not have unlimited dollars because you set a budget as your first priority. You may not be able to move that wall or add that walk in shower. You may also have to tone down your materials a bit or shift funds from one part of the project to another. Sometimes you may have to reconfigure your plans several times before you come up with one that works.
6. Talk to The Neighbors – Talking to the neighbors is one of the best things you can do with any large project. People are naturally curious. Plus rehab projects can be loud and messy which can get on folk’s nerves. A simple knock on the front door to introduce yourself and tell them what you are doing will go a long way. Hand them a business card and ask them to call you if they have any issues or concerns. Be friendly and courteous and they can become some of your best watch dogs and allies as the rehab project goes along.
7. Finalize Your Plans – Once you have reworked them, it is time to stop thinking about them and firm them up. Again make them as specific as possible so you can avoid headaches and speed bumps later on.
8. Contractor Meeting – Gather all you contractors together at the beginning of the project and get everyone on the same page. Go over the plans and introduce everyone to each other and exchange phone numbers. Some of them, after all, are going to be working together and closely coordinating various aspects of the rehab project. Having such a meeting is a big help and will take you out of the “middleman” role.
9. Get Ready to Rehab! – Your vision is now ready. Take your budget and contractors, pull the trigger and watch your rehab project come to life.