Total Rehab

I am about to get into a rehab and need some advice since I will be my own general contractor. I will try to list everything I can think of that needs to be done. Just need some help on doing them in the right order so that I don’t have to rip something down because I got ahead of myself. Thanks in advance for any replies, and I will try to list them in an order that I think will work. Please correct me!!!

Rip out old drywall, kitchen cabinets, kitchen & bath floors and bathtub.
Replace wiring. (cable, phone, electric)
Replace plumbing pipes. (add new tub, toilet, hotwater heater)
Replace HVAC. (main unit and all new ductwork)
Replace windows.
Initial sanding on existing hardwoods.
New drywall.
New cabinets.
Finish hardwoods and tile kitchen and bath.
Lighting fixtures and fans.



Hi, I can try to help. Are you sure you need to do a complete gut job? Sounds like you are replacing everyhthing. What are you planning to do with the property after you are done? Flip it or rent it? Graciez

After replace windows--
Exterior doors
Sheetrock - installed, taped, floated and textured
Interior doors
Install tile shower surrounds, if necessary
Floor tile install
Paint walls (optional -  can be done later)
Final plumbing (sinks, faucets, shower heads etc.)
Final electric (recept's, switches,etc.)
Paint (if you have waited  to do walls and ceiling, make sure painters pull all the recep/switch covers instead of taping around them)
Refinish HW floors -- just have them come once at the end.  When they're sanding, nobody else can work anyway.
Touch-up base mouldings
Final clean up

The painting is a toss-up. If you do it earlier, it’s easier on the painters, but they’ll have to come back to do a lot of touch up-- because the plumber and electrician bang stuff up pretty good. If it’s done at the end, the painters have to careful about things like ceiling fans, switch plates, floors, toilets, etc… But there’s no issues about matching paints and you don’t have to a lot of touch up, except the baseboards.

It doesn't sound like your doing anything to the exterior, but if you are, have those projects running at the same time.  It cuts down on the total time of the project.

Definitely needs to be completely gutted. Actually moving into this one for just a couple years. It’s a HUD repo that should still bring us a good return after a couple of years. Especially since it will be much cheaper than rent in the area.


Thanks for the info. The house has a rock exterior so minimal work there.


Sounds like you will be busy! Are you doing some of this work yourself? What do you plan to have someone else do? What will you do with it when you are done living in it? Graciez

How big is the house and what is your budget for this project? It sounds like an awefull lot of work and money? What kind of Return are you expecting on it?


Lots of work. Will be doing most myself with some help. Will hire out Plumbing and HVAC. House is 1347 sq ft not counting basement at about 600 sq ft.

Loan for 57k
Purchase Price 22k
Repair Budget 35K
ARV 65k
Nothing out of pocket, received 35k at closing.

The appraiser set the 35k for repairs to bring it to ARV. This number included labor as if all work would be contracted out. The house is in a lower income neighborhood so will not need any fancy extras. I am of course concerned with the return but that is not my main reason for buying. Will live in it for 3 years at about $200 less per month than a smaller apartment. Also have extra time to work on it and I am looking forward to learnig a lot in the process for future rehabs, hopefully to flip. Will sell in about 3 years.

What do you guys think?



You’ll have fun. Remodeling is a great excuse to buy all the tools you’ve always wanted. :wink: You’ll also learn a lot. Enjoy!

I have done several deals similiar to this in the past and done OK, but I do not plan on doing it again. There are other deals that could make you the same money with a lot less work. You are going to do a lot of work to make that $7K going from your first post.

You should try and find something that may cost more up front but needs less work. Something that needs painting, flooring and minor work to start. You are right in making your purchase of a primary residence for an investment.

Putting $35K into a 1,300 square foot house in a major undertaking considering the ARV of only $65K? My thoughts are is the $65K is a low estimate? What part of the country are you in?


Thanks DDavis, it will be fun; and yes I do hope to come out of this with plenty of new toys and experience.

The home is in Little Rock, Arkansas so it is quite a small market. The estimate was given by the bank appraiser as if specific repairs are made. When I spoke to him he did mention that doing more than he noted, which could be done at low cost, would add more value (5-10k). Not going to count on appreciation, but would like to see some. I agree that it is odd to put 35k in a house with PP of 22k with only a small return. However it is perfect for our needs in that it is very close to school and very affordable for our small single income.

After the experience gained here I do hope to find other properties for a true rehab and flip. Most likely that do need less work (can’t imagine any having much more work).

Thanks Everybody!!!


Hope you have fun. Sounds like you’re looking forward to it. Sometimes it is hard to live in a home while you are fixing it up. Happy rehabbing. Graciez

Agree with DDavis, hardwood floors after paint. Good luck on it all.

Here we go! First you will not believe how much waste you will generate from this little house. Do your homework on your disposal fee’s and shop around for dumpsters. The best money you will ever spend on this rehab is PAYING (I know it hurts) a crew to go in and do the demo. With 5-6 guys it should be done in a couple of days. You can hire handyman type guys or Firemen, they’re GREAT demo guys, stop by your local station. Now that everything is ripped out, YOU can go to work. 1st, anything that goes into a wall cavity… Wiring, plumbing, HVAC, then insulation, then your windows. Get your check book out again, you are going to PAY to have the drywall installed. This will save you time like you can’t believe. These guy’s are super fast and for what they charge, you can’t get me to do sheet rock. Now you’ve got nice new walls, rent a commercial paint sprayer and paint the walls.
No masking, or very little, and that project is done. Next Kitchen cabs, counter tops, finish carpentry, paint trim work. Then… tile, carpet and hardwoods. DONE!!!
Remember this… You’re about to run a marathon. You don’t want to burn yourself out in the first week with the demo… Demo sucks!! It’s dirty, sweaty, crappy work and it sucks the enthusiasm right out of you. Drywall is demo’s ugly sister! Pay for these two things and you will have a great time learning and doing your rehab.

Good luck on your total rehab project!

I’m a new rehabber… have been a landlord for a couple of years on 2 properties, but first time purchasing one and fixing up with idea of re-selling quickly. Home is in the Atlanta area (small home, less than 1200 sq. feet… paying less than 56K for it and getting 25K in draw funds for rehabbing… has to have pretty much everything done… renovate kitchen, renovate 1.5 baths, pull up old carpet and finish the wood floors – they appear to be in good shape; think windows can be saved (just a few broken ones that need to be fitted nicely), pull down old alumn car port, and maybe some joist work under the house… there appears to be an add-on that’s not level with the rest of the home; the ceilings are made of that old, heavy plaster-like material, so they’ll have to take that down and sheetrock I’m assuming… it’s a small brick home in a burgeoning commercial area, about 1/2 acre, so nice size lot, so I thought of fixing up the place as a simple single family “home,” but am considering rezoning it to commercial (keeping in mind the specs: larger doorways, handicap ramp, etc.), for better resale value… tons of cottage offices (attys, insur., real estate, etc.) within 2 blocks. Right off main road. Again, new, so wanted some advice on finding a good contractor to give me an itemized construction breakdown…

and wondering if I should decide on “commercial” or “residential” before I do anything and market as such…

Gulp! ???Help!

petemfa, He knows what he is talking about do your first rehab on one you are not living in. You will be glad you did. Graciez

For the things you subcontract out make sure your people are licensed and bonded. And also give them a timeline and negative financial repercussions if they go over that timeline. Make sure they incur costs for pulling any needed permits and they should include that in their price to you. Nothing will take the wind out of your sales quicker than bum contractors. I have done about 15 rehabs here in Chicago and the first 2 were some of the most frustrating experiences in R.E that I have ever gone thru…Contractors will use your money to help fund other projects they are working on, they will go over schedule and budget if there are no repercussions, and they will get away with it, if you don’t do the necessary things to prevent it… Good Luck