How To Outsource Improvements In 6 Easy Steps

Do you know EXACTLY how to plan out your renovations and improvements once you’ve located a great deal that needs some repairs?

Are you a little intimidated of making a mistake when a property needs repairs?

Well if you are like me (not handy AT ALL) this can seem a little confusing and scary.

Fear not my friend. I’m here to help.

I recently interviewed my brother, Mark, who handles our projects and contractors. He’s a self taught remodeling wizard. We laid out the exact 6 step Standard Operating Procedure we use to completely outsource the renovations on a property so we can prepare to flip it and exit out of the deal with a retail buyer.

Watch the latest video training class right here:

While you are watching and listening to the training video, check out the Standard Operating Procedure Below in 6 easy steps.

Step 1: Demolition: Rip Out All Old Cabinets and Countertops, Demo Everything

  • Demo kitchen: remove all cabinets, countertops, appliances, walls etc, collapse cabinets, and crush cabinets, saves space in dumpster
  • Demo baths: save tub and surround if possible, re-glaze it, saves labor, comes with warranty, $150 to replace
  • Remove all old fixtures, sinks, toilets, showers, walls, etc, demo tile in bathroom, usually take the tile off without demo’ing the walls, then skim and patch the walls
  • Take out all trash, order dumpster, put all trash in garage until dumpster arrives
  • Baseboards: keep trim and paint if possible, especially in older houses, adds character
  • All doors off, habitat for humanity will take old doors and frames
  • Save what you can:
    • Windows: Almost always we replace windows
    • Siding: Usually keep old siding and paint
    • Garage doors: 50/50 save them and use
    • Hardwood floors: refinish

Make a list of what you are keeping, tear out everything else.

Step 2: Repair and Replace Utilities, Electrical and Plumbing Check Outlets, Electrical Panels and Repair Test All Utilities

  • Water lines
  • Plumbing: get water on and then run the lines, make sure the water is working, check drains, cheap for materials, work is a pain the butt
  • Copper: has to be perfect but its solid, has to be sodered with gas and flames, most expensive, will add some value to your house, worth it in a higher end home
  • PVC: has some bend in it, plastic, anyone can learn to glue, like a maze, less expensive, 1/2 to 3/4 of the cost of copper
  • PEX: bendable PVC, comes in loops of piping, Encrimper: Tool, water line, ring on it, comes in rolls, red blue, cold hot, drain line and more expensive, 3-4 inch, supply, tie offs, tie offs 1/2 inch
  • Drain: 1 1/2 inch to 4 inch
  • Water lines are less: 1/2 inch or ¾, comes out of tank
  • Hire plumber: $50 an hour or less is good for a plumber, $60 -$75 an hour more expensive side
  • Electrical

Test each outlet and check all breakers to see if they are tripping or not working. They may need changed out. Label each breaker in panel and see which breakers are running each room and label each breaker in the panel. Once all breakers are on, make sure all outlets are hot and they work. Go into the wall, see if outlets is bad, make sure wire coming in to the wall is hot. Check for main break in wall. Check for wires that are not connected.

  • Electrical panel: $100, comes with a few breakers
  • Breakers: to fill the box, cheapest breakers are $4, higher amp breakers are $8, $100 for an additional 15 breakers, on 3/4 of our houses we put new panel in, Bad Brands = Federal Pacific
  • LABOR install panel and breakers = $150
  • Re-wire a whole house = $2,000 – $3,000

OR - HIRE AN ELECTRICIAN: $30 an hour on low end, $50 an hour is the going rate, pay for their time and materials at cost, $60 -$75 an hour is high end.

Step 3: Repairs Walls, Prepare For Paint, Mud, Skim, Scrape Sand, Patch, Tape

This step could take 2 days or 8 weeks depending on the house and extent of the work.

It's now time to put everything back together. Including patching and fixing walls, repairs and replace drywall, patch nail holes in walls, repair any drywall from the demo / electrical and plumbing fixes, want to do drywall, especially in the kitchen.

  • PATCH: Mostly time and labor, materials are cheap
  • SKIM: mud with a fat knife, watch out for texturing
  • Cracks: fix and skim and patch

Do not want to do too much paneling: paint white, paint a wall color, prime it white, sticks to shiny paneling

Bathrooms: Always keep it white

This can be frustrating step, lots of patching and mud and tape.

DRYWALL FINISHER!!!! $500 for whole house for texturing and final drywall.

Step 4: Paint – Get Painter in the House, Get Everyone Else out Of the House, Bedrooms, Garage, Living Room, Beds, Baths, Sunroom Step 4: PAINT: DOORS, KITCHENS, BATHS (takes 1 – 2 weeks)

NOTE: Start kitchens and baths, if electrical is all done you are ready to put it back together

Paint the entire house first, you don’t want to get paint on floors and cabinetss. It's hard to work around guys who are painting - some contractors like to paint the entire house in 2-3 days and some guys don’t mind working in one room while you are working on another.

Doors are re-installed and painted: contractors can paint the doors and all the trim, paint trim prior to install in the garage – easier / quicker

  • PAINT LABOR:  1500 sq ft = $1500, $1 a ft just for labor
  • PAINT MATERIALS: 2000-2500 sq ft, $2500

Step 5: Install: Reinstallation Of Everything, Lights, Cabinets, Countertops, Flooring, Appliances, and Finish Work.

House is painted, plumbing and electrical is done, doors are installed, get windows in before paint, order, windows, vents, outlet covers replaced, fix outlets, kitchen and bath install

  • Kitchens, $100 a cabinet, basic oak, Ready To Assemble (RTA) cabinets, standard, sounds cheap but it’s not, Ready to assemble, 30 inch cabinets, more expensive houses, 42′ cabinets, all the way to the ceiling
  • Cabinets and countertops: material = laminate Formica, full kitchen = 4 pieces, $60 each, $250 for full kitchen, pre-made, home depot OR Lowes, Coriean, less than $50 a sq ft, fake granite, granite = 50 – $80 a ft, special, $40 a foot
  • Backsplash: $4 – $8, 4 inch tiles, by sq ft, medium priced, sink cut out of countertops and installed
  • Hook up plumbing. Make sure it works
  • Flooring: ceramic tile, $1.5 a ft +, 12 x 12 tiles OR 18 x 18, $1.70 a tile, LOWES, stick vinyl tiles, 1 – $1.20, per ft, look for discounted tiles, usually not as nice looking
  • Appliances: go in last when it’s ready to stage in final week of rehab, stainless steel, look for scratch and dent on craigslist
  • Baths: new tub, do this along with plumbing in week 2. Drywall in bathroom after tub in week 2.

Step 6: Finish Work: Double Check All Holes Are Patched, and Painted, Landscaping, Vacuum, Staging,


  • Flooring, do this last b/c you are walking on it, carpet
  • Appliances
  • Pressure washing, gutters, replacing gutters, can do at any time depending on weather
  • Roof
  • Landscaping, $1,000 total, $200 on plants, $100- $150 on mulch, plus labor
  • Windows: depending on how fast they are shipped
  • MISC week: final touches
  • Staging the house

STEP 7: PROPERTY LAUNCH: staging, vacuum, pictures, MLS, prepare for property launch, prepare marketing, property launches are always on Sundays from 2-4


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