Repairing house to sell or rent

Discussion in 'General Home Improvement Discussion' started by Frank0, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. Jun 15, 2012 #1

    Frank0

    Frank0

    Frank0

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    Hi!
    I have a house that needs repairs and updating before I can sell or rent it out. I know nothing about houses or repairs so I am thinking to find a real estate agent who can tell me what needs to be done to make the place presentable and then hire a handyman and pay them by the hour.

    House needs-
    Kitchen- new vinyl flooring, counter tops, cabinet faces, sink, paint
    Bathrooms and laundry room- new flooring, counter tops, paint
    All other rooms- new paint and carpet
    Exterior- paint

    Would this be a resonable plan?

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated!


     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  2. Jun 15, 2012 #2

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

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    Having done cosmetic fix-ups for house flipping, your list is a great start. A good handyman can do all of this at a reasonable cost.

    -- Obviously, if you are installing a new sink, you must replace the plumbing, e.g., p-trap and angle stops. Replace water supplies in sinks, toilets, washer and water heater with braided metal lines. This will prevent expensive leaks.
    -- If you can afford it, replace all outlets and switches. Upgrade light fixtures so the house does not look dated.
    -- Replace towel bars, toilet paper holders, and medicine cabinets for modern, finished look.
    -- Check gutters for blockages and repair as needed. This can cause roof, wall or other damage if ignored.
    -- Check water shutoff from street. Replace with ball valve if it is still the old gate valve type.

    Good luck!
     
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  3. Jun 15, 2012 #3

    Frank0

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    Thank you Villa. This is a big project for someone like me with no experience. I want to make sure I get it done as cost effective as possible. I feel like this house is a big vacuum cleaner aiming for my wallet!
     
  4. Jun 15, 2012 #4

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

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    Tips:

    1. You do the materials buying. Don't pay for a handyman to buy easy stuff like outlets, switches, paint, etc.
    2. Buy in quantity. A box of 10 outlets is a better buy than individual outlets. Get more paint, not less.
    3. Shop for carpet and tile. DO NOT buy from upper end shops. Check close outs, discontinued, and end of year materials.
    4. Try a fixed price handyman bid instead of an open ended hourly rate. Remodeling can get time consuming.
    5. Inexpensive labor is available on Craigslist.com Just insist on pictures of past work and references with phone numbers.
    6. Inspect the work daily. Keep a log of work done. Find a friend who can advise you an quality of work being done.

    Go for it!
     
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  5. Jun 16, 2012 #5

    nealtw

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    If you find lower cost labour, likely the hand will be out for payment before the job is done. That's not unreasonable just talk about that before you start work and agree on a payment plan.
    Villa's posts are good.
     
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  6. Jun 16, 2012 #6

    Frank0

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    I was thinking to buy the materials especially stuff like paint because I dont' want someone getting inferior stuff, but charging me for high price material.

    The reason I was thinking about hourly is beacuse I dont' know what a resonable price for each job would be, however; I could get a few bids.

    My plan is carigslist labor, but making sure they have insurance and some kind of reputation or some way to know they are not going to rip me off.

    Thank you Villa!
     
  7. Jun 16, 2012 #7

    CallMeVilla

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    Well . . . a lot of guys with skills are on Craigslist but lack insurance. Homeowner's insurance can cover you in case of injury. If you insist on license/insurance, the price will go up significantly to cover State mandates.

    I see CL laborers at $10/hour and ever very skilled journeymen at $20/hr. Do the math
     
  8. Jun 16, 2012 #8

    Frank0

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    The license does not concern me so much, but what if someoe fell off the house painting it or something, the liability could be huge. Do most people just go for it?
     
  9. Jun 16, 2012 #9

    oldognewtrick

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    Workers who are injured on your property and are not covered by work comp can go back to the property owner for liability. A lot of people roll the dice, some are lucky, some are not.
     
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  10. Jun 17, 2012 #10

    BridgeMan

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    I don't think anyone can answer the "Do most people just go for it?" question with any degree of accuracy. As others have said, if you feel lucky, and aren't worried about your homeowners insurance premiums skyrocketing after a huge claim (or several) are paid out to finance the lucrative retirement packages of Craigslist Klutzes who fall off your roof, then yes, you could just go for it.

    I know I'm not that good of a gambler. Do yourself a favor, and give your homeowners' insurance agent a quick call, and tell him/her about your plan to use uninsured people working on your house. You may learn some interesting things from them.
     
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  11. Jun 17, 2012 #11

    Frank0

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    I guess the best thing to do would be to find the cheapest person with insurance.

    Should I try and use one handyman (if they're capable) to do the flooring, counter tops, sinks ect, or get bids for each type of work?

    One guy told me I need a plumber for the sinks, is that correct?

    Thanks!
     
  12. Jun 17, 2012 #12

    asbestos

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    I have insurance and even a License. Here at least if someone without a license and insurance gets hurt, you are on the hook. if you find someone that seems OK I might trust them, but no way would I want some schmo on a ladder, one fall can run into the six figures and keep going. I thin k you have a good plan. IMO It is a far greater economy to hire someone trustworthy for more money. A lot of guys like to do T&M (time,materials) because there is no way of knowing how long some jobs will take. I know I have been burned and ended up working for $15 an hour. No way I am going to let that happen again. I have not lost money on a job I didn't get. I explain this to most people and we generally come to an agreement.
    Oh, and if you are going to pull up an old vinyl floor in the kitchen, if it is not fairly new, it may contain asbestos, and lots of it.
     
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  13. Jun 17, 2012 #13

    joecaption

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    Any "handyman" that's been in the business for long, will be able to tell you what each job is going to cost with few exceptions.
    Exceptions being, somethings like hidden termite damage, redoing a bathroom that's gone way to long before being redone.

    90% of what you have mentioned you want done are DIY 101 jobs, every job you can do yourself is money in the bank. If you plan on making money on a rental you had better step it up on doing your own repairs if you ever plan on staying ahead.

    Anyone willing to take less then about $18.00 an hour to do the work (and even that price os low) mentioned had better be out in the yard raking leaves. No real tradesman that knows what he's doing is going to be able to except some low paying job.
    Get the pay rate in writing. It works to safe guard both of you.
    Wear and tare on tools, gas to get there, cost of saw blades, ECT. are all hidden cost for any job.

    Anyone you hire off of Craigs list is going to tell you they can do all kinds of things. Make them show you some pictures of what they have really done, ask for referances and make the calls to check them.
    Anyone I've hired that had made all kinds of claims about all the things they could do could be figured out within a few hours if it was true or not.
    I hired a so called roofer, he had no idea how to flash a chimmney, cut around a vent, installed all the OSB on the roof with the H clips sitting on top of the trusses, not between them to stop the panels from sagging, come to find out he had been one of the guys carrying the shingles up on the roof, that's not a roofer.
    Another claimed he had done home remodeling for 10 years, first simple job I gave him laying underlayment in a small bathroom he covered over the heat vent, cut it around a simple to remove vanity and cut the hole for the toilet flange with a key hole saw and it looked like it had been cut with a chain saw and was 2" to big. I had layed a jig saw, compass and a 4-1/4 hole saw in in a drill in the room for him to use.
    By noon he had to go.

    Guess what I'm saying is do not deal with someone that you can see is doing poor work, it should not be your job to teach him how to do the work. Your only job should be to tell that what needs to be done.
     
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  14. Jun 17, 2012 #14

    oldognewtrick

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    Do not be satisfied with a contractor telling you "Oh yeah, I have insurance" have the insurance company send a certificate to you. It will have your name listed on the certificate, then you know you are covered. Do not let work begin untill you have a copy of his liscense and ins. in hand. Just my :2cents:
     
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  15. Jun 17, 2012 #15

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

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    Frank, not sure where you live. I am in CA and there are a lot of out of work skilled tradesmen. (Thanks Washington DC) If you demand more than $20/hour you get underbid and sit on your couch.

    As the owner/contractor, you need to supervise your people. That is how Joecaption caught the mistakes his "roofer" made. That is how I caught mistakes by the landscape pipe guy (no proper shut off or backflow valve).

    NO, you don't need a licensed plumber to install a sink. Any qualified handyman can do it for a lot less. Same goes for new toilets. Same goes for replacing outlets and switches . . . hire a licensed electrician at $60 an hour for that? Ya kidding?

    This is all important advice you are getting from the guys here. It is good wisdom. Just keep your head and be smart. You will do fine.
     
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  16. Jun 17, 2012 #16

    Frank0

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    Great advice Joe!

    On the DIY, I wish I had the time (and patience) to do more myself.
     
  17. Jun 17, 2012 #17

    Frank0

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    That's what I was thinking too.

    Thanks!
     
  18. Jun 17, 2012 #18

    Frank0

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    It was a counter top guy I called and he said "he knew a plumber for the sinks" soon as I heard that I thought $$$.

    Thanks for your help, I am learning a lot here!
     

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