Home Improvement Skills Every Investor Should Master

Whether you’re a veteran rehabber or new to flipping homes, you’re bound to run into the sporadic odd job when renovating. Sure – most contractors and handymen can handle a few construction issues. But tackling home improvement problems yourself can save money and keep large scale reno projects on track. Before attempting any major remodel, you should master these common home improvement skills first.

Painting 101

Everyone should learn how to paint, especially when in the real estate investment industry. Very few supplies are used, and mastering how to paint as a flipper is relatively simple. The process requires – at the bare minimum – the paint, paint roller, and a pan. Sometimes extension handles, yardsticks, and plastic coverings to protect the floors are needed too, but it really depends on what you’re painting and how well you’re doing it.

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You want to paint the bulk of the surface first, and then come back to the trickier spaces. Edges, crevices, and moldings require more patience and time to perfectly paint. To keep paint from splattering on other surfaces, you should block off the edges or use a specialized, thinner brush when painting near them. I recommend a premium angled brush, approximately 2.5” wide when tackling tough corners and edges – any larger and the brush will be too hard to navigate.

Pro Tip: Avoid discounted paint and buy the higher quality brands. Though it seems like an unnecessary added expense, it’ll cut down on labor costs. Even if you’re the one painting, your time is valuable – especially when juggling multiple projects. Cheap paint requires multiple layers to cover the original wall color; if you want to save on materials and time, buy it right the first time.

Basic Electric

Have you ever checked out a newly purchased property and found you need to replace major light fixtures before reselling? It’s a common occurrence, one I’ve experienced too many times to count. After having to continuously pay electricians and handymen to update lighting, I knew I’d waste fewer resources if I learned how to change them out myself.

Updating lighting requires rewiring expertise. Without going to an electrician – which can be outrageously expensive – doing basic electric work around the home can be safely accomplished with the assistance of readily available library books and youtube videos. (A quick Google search revealed more than 1.2 million videos in the home electrical repair category alone!)

General Plumbing

As a flipper, you should expect to encounter plumbing issues. Unfortunately, I’ve purchased my fair share of homes with outdated pipes, leaky faucets, and frozen water lines. And while general contractors can attempt to fix these issues, sometimes you need someone who can fix the issue immediately and without additional costs.

Instead of hiring expensive plumbers, be the plumbing pro your property needs! You can safely replumb an entire home with a self-taught education. Plumbing manuals and tutorials will be enough for most projects. You can – again – save time and money by identifying and fixing these home improvement issues without hiring more contractors.

Tiling for Beginners

It’s rare to go into an older home and suggest it needs fresh tiling. Whether it’s laying a new floor or creating an original backsplash, tile can be found in most homes. The skill is definitely one of the most financially beneficial to master since new tile adds value to a property. It’s also simple to learn: lay mortar down, place the desired tile directly on top.

Tile comes in many designs and materials, including ceramic, glass, slate, and travertine. While the material differences may require various tools, they’re similar in general application. First, mix small batches of mortar; then, lay the tiles and use a level to determine their evenness.

Pro Tip: No matter how well versed you are with tiling, you can sign up for monthly tiling classes at your local Home Depot and Lowe’s. You’ll be able to hone your skills and learn new techniques while using the store’s supplies. Though, the best part is that it’s a free experience and can be taken as many times as you want.

Stay Focused My Friends!

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