Should You Complete DIY Renovations?


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As a rookie investor you may be the type of person who wants to get their hands dirty and do the work OR you want to stay as far away from any dirty work as possible.  What I have found with newbies, if your property needs some work, is that there is usually an excitement to get in and do some of the work yourself, especially if that is going to save you some cash.

Great.  With our first property, my husband and I were those zealous rookies who wanted to do all of the work and save some cash.  We bought our condo from HUD and so it needed to undergo a mini renovation.  We were so excited!  As we jumped right in, we quickly learned about the ups and downs of DIY renovations.  Overall, the experience was great and we successfully completed most of the work ourselves.  However, one big lesson that we learned that I am sharing with you is to know your limits.

Quality IS important

When deciding to do some of the work yourself on a property know where your strengths are and where they are not.  For instance, we were able to do many of the updates ourselves including: paint, flooring, drywall work, some electrical fixes, light fixtures, etc. However, as we sat in the kitchen late one Saturday night trying to layout the ceramic tile we were going to be putting down the next day, we quickly reached our limit.  We knew that this was a project that would be better to contract out so as to not contradict the quality of the work.

Where I recommend, at least in the beginning, doing some of the work yourself because it can be very rewarding to see the before and after, you don’t want to jeopardize the quality of the work.  So, when you take on a project that may stretch beyond your boundaries, don’t be afraid to contract that job out.

The question then arises, where do I find individuals to complete these jobs?  The first place that we turned was to our real estate agent.  They are constantly networking and working with a variety of contractors.  Your realtor will most likely have a great referral for you and in return you will be building a stronger partnership between your realtor and the contractor which is a win win for everyone.

Another place to turn to is Angie's List.  This is a great website that lists local contractors and referrals by people who have used their service.  You can choose someone based off of the testimonies that people have placed about them on the site.

Overall, the moral of this story is that you want to make sure that if you have to complete some projects or renovations and you want to max out the rental potential of a property don’t jeopardize the quality of the work- know your limit!

Check out some pictures from our first renovation below.

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