Not everyone has an aptitude for fixing things. But if fixing-and-flipping houses is one of your investing strategies then your ability to handle some simple home repairs is a valuable asset.
You don’t need to be expert at all home repairs—and you probably don’t want to be when you already have enough to do readying a home for sale. It’s wiser for most people anyway to contract trusty professionals for more advanced repair jobs, like plumbing or window replacement. When you know which fix-it jobs are better suited to your skill level, you can worry less about being a jack-of-all-trades and focus more on knowing what to get done and what to delegate.
No matter what your skill level, smaller projects are practical to tackle, while you can always learn more as you go along.
Some Simple Jobs with Hard-Working Impact
Don’t underestimate the value of simple home repairs. Those small jobs go a long way in improving the appearance and durability of a home.
Make it a practice with every property you buy to hone in on these basic fixes. In the meantime, you might find those bigger fixes look less daunting and perhaps less necessary for resale.
• Paint, stain, varnish or condition surfaces—from interior to exterior walls and flooring to cabinetry. Painting and refinishing transforms homes and brings return on investment more than any other improvements. Plenty of preparation is the key to a smooth painting process and a pleasing finish.
• Weather-strip doors and windows to seal air leaks and increase home energy efficiency. Replace old worn out weather-stripping with quality varieties. Caulk wherever dissimilar building materials meet—around windows, doors, chimneys, and cracks in foundations. (In the process of sealing a home from air, check to ensure there is sufficient ventilation.)
• Replace outlets, switches or worn out doorbells. Most other electrical work requires a professional electrician, but simply replacing outlets and switches are handy skills to know when fixing and flipping houses. Always turn off the circuitry at the breaker box and follow the rules of the National Electrical Code to ensure your safety.
• Repair small drywall defects and nicks with patching compound or drywall tape and joint compound. Larger holes and gouges take more expertise with a variety of techniques, depending on the extent of damage and condition of drywall.
• Replace bathroom and other tile caulk or grout to protect against water damage and renew surfaces.
• Patch or resurface the patio or driveway. Filling cracks protects surfaces from seepage of damaging water, vapor and radon gas—while improving landscaping and curb appeal.
• Replace old locks or fix and lubricate existing locks and hinges. Doors and windows should open and shut with ease and make a home feel secure.
• Repair damaged shingles or decking in small problem areas. Clean, repair or replace old gutters, which otherwise left unattended lead to leaks and water damage to home interiors. Get a professional roofer for more extensive roof damage.
• Trim overgrown trees and shrubbery to show off the architecture of a home and protect it from infestations and fire hazards.
• Repair leaky faucets and running toilets. Many times, just a few dollars will fix minor plumbing problems, depending on the ages of the fixtures.
Even though some home repairs are minor or inexpensive, you should always use the best possible tools and materials for consistent quality and expedience in working with each house you fix and flip.
Keep learning as you master simple home repairs. With each new house you work on you will become better at overseeing all types of repair projects—as you develop an unflinching eye for finding the next ideal houses to fix and flip.
Simple home repairs are sometimes the most important ones of all in adding years to the life of a house and improving its cosmetics.
Try to do good work with quality tools and methods—but don’t get caught up in striving for perfection.
Keep refining your home repair skills by learning from other professionals and reading helpful books.
Save money, time and heartache—learn which home repair projects are practical for you to tackle and which are wiser to delegate.
Painting goes farther than any other home repair to bring return on investment.
Lots of preparation is critical to even the simplest home repairs.
• Start with small home repairs in modest priced homes and soon you will be comfortable buying and fixing high-end homes.
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