Hey guys. I’m new to this forum as well as new to rehabbing. I apologize for the long post; I tend to describe my thoughts in detail.
My wife and I own a fixer-upper (our first home) that I’ve been renovating in order to get my feet wet. I’ve made so many mistakes so far and have learned so much! I’ve come to realize that we paid too much and that the ARV won’t be as high as we’d hoped. This has been a great learning experience, though, and I’m so glad I just went ahead and did it. You have to crawl before you can walk.
At the moment, I’m curious as to what level of work a rehabber will typically perform on a house. I am not a typical buyer for a house. By nature I tend to be technical and think of houses as machines we use to keep us sheltered and entertained. I pay attention to things like insulation, electrical, HVAC, etc. when looking at a house I want to live in. I expect that many people will not think this way.
This being the case, I have a few specific questions based on my experiences with my old house.
- Tearing down plaster -
The plaster in the bathroom was in rough shape, so I replaced it with drywall. This gave me a great opportunity to run wiring up to the loft and to do plumbing. How often do you find yourself tearing down plaster, if ever? Hanging new drywall in old houses is time consuming, to say the least, and disposing of the old plaster and lath is a job in itself. Does a rehabber typically try to hide/patch bad plaster?
- Stripping paint -
I’m currently stripping the paint off the trim in the bathroom. This has been a serious pain; I don’t think I need to explain. I don’t think I’ll bother stripping the rest of the house, but the trim and baseboards look terrible under 8-10 coats of paint. In these instances, would one normally replace the trim or just slap on the 11th coat of paint?
- Electrical -
I’ve been doing a lot of electrical. There was, previously, one outlet in each room and not a single three-way switch for the lights. How much do potential buyers notice these things? What is essential in terms of electrical and what is not?
- Windows -
How important is it to replace old windows? This is pricey.
Thanks for any help. I’m not going to take any actual steps until I know precisely what I’m doing. This current house was for practice; the next one actually has to make some money.