Beginning to Learn Estimating Repair Cost

Hey everyone, I am new to house flipping and in the learning stages. I would like to begin by earning the fundamentals for estimating repair costs for a retail flip or rent. What resources might your personally recommend (books, articles, forum posts, videos) etc to someone who is just beginning?


I’ve seen lots of people mention the RS Means book for estimating costs. Here’s a link to a version of it:

I’ve personally never used that. As you build experience and do several rehabs, you’ll be able to have an idea of what different things cost. So much of it depends on labor cost in your area. I’m in the south. Labor is pretty affordable here. I think you could learn a lot by just spending a couple hours walking thru a store like Lowe’s or Home Depot. It will be easier to grasp prices for things if you think about what quality of house rehab you want to do. Will you be doing something basic to rent out a cheaper house or will it be an upscale rehab to resell a higher quality house?
You could also try to find some landlords in your town and talk to them about cost for doing certain jobs.

I personally have learned from experience, getting to know contractors prices AND what materials go for (via frequent trips to places like Home Depot and Lowes). After rehabbing and inspecting ten homes, you get fairly good at it. After doing 20, you get a lot better. I can’t imagine what I will know when I do 100! LOL!

However - there was a guy on here, who made (and makes) a fortune rehabbing homes, and I think he recommended people take home inspection training classes (or become a licensed home inspector altogether) to help with that. I highly recommend you lookup all his old posts via searching…that guy is probably the best rehabber that was ever on these message boards - to my knowledge he does not come around here anymore. His nickname / handle is “fdjake”