The goal with every rehab is completing it as quickly as possible while keeping it on budget and without compromising quality. Each project is different depending on the scope and magnitude of the project but with each project, you need a timeline for the correct order of completing each step in the right sequence. Careful planning is required to avoid overlapping contractors or doing work out of sequence causing more work later on.
For example, if you paint the interior too soon, you’ll be touching up the paint after minor nicks and scuffs from installing large appliances, messy tile work, etc. (This has happened many times!). The goal is having as much work going at the same time that won’t negatively impact other work or cause additional work.
For illustration purposes, let’s assume you’re doing a project that needs a full rehab. Here is an example timeline:
Phase 1: All of the following items are the first things to do and can be done at the same time, independently of each other.
Demo (exterior and interior).
Install Glass Block Windows.
Install new Roof.
Install Garage Door.
Phase 2: After Phase 1 items are complete, you move on to Phase 2:
Siding/Fascia/Soffit: Siding is in Phase 2 because while tearing off the roof shingles (Phase 1), the debris might scratch or damage the siding, fascia, soffit, and/or gutters.
New thermal windows after siding and trim are removed.
Porches and decks.
Framing: Any framing for closets, doors, widening rooms, adding a wall, etc. come after the demo.
Rough Trades: These are electrical, mechanical, and plumbing and they come in after demo but before drywall because they will be cutting holes to do their work.
Drywall: Drywall comes after the rough trades and framing.
Subfloors: Subfloors are done in preparation for ceramic tile in the kitchen and baths but obviously before carpet or wood floors.
Basement. Any patch work or repairs.
Gutters: Now that fascia, soffit, and roof work are complete, gutters can be installed.
Set Cabinets/Vanities: Ceramic tile must be done before setting cabinets/vanities because the cabinets sit on top of the tile.
Appliances: Once cabinets are set, appliances can be installed.
Granite: Once cabinets are set, granite can be installed.
Final Plumbing: Install all of the fixtures.
Wood Floors: Once wood floors are finished, they are covered with paper and plastic for protection.
Carpet: Carpet is after paint so as not to get paint on the carpet.
Final Electrical: Install all the light fixtures. This is done after paint so as not to get paint on the lights.
This is just an example. With each project, constantly ask yourself, “What else can be going on right now?” Building a timeline upfront involves planning the sequence of work and then scheduling the contractors. This means that you need to be very organized with your contractors. It means you need to constantly think ahead about what’s going to be next.
What rehabbing tips can you offer? Please leave your comments.
Also, our weekly Ask Brian column welcomes questions from readers of all experience levels with residential real estate. Please email your questions, inquiries, or article ideas to [email protected].
Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 30 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years with articles listed on Yahoo Finance, Benzinga, and uRBN. Brian is a regular contributor at Realty Biz News