Flipping Houses

4 Rehabbing Materials That Are Always Worth Spending a Little More On

Expertise: Personal Development, Business Management, Real Estate Investing Basics, Landlording & Rental Properties, Personal Finance, Flipping Houses
125 Articles Written
rehabbing-materials

We had another open house for a property yesterday, and it went very well. We had a dozen or so people through the doors, multiple applications for rent—and lots of nice people I enjoyed meeting. This is one of dozens of houses we have prepped, rehabbed, cleaned up, and made awesome just this year.

Want more articles like this?

Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox

Sign up for free

I am continually learning through trial and error and listening to other investors all the things that cost me money, time, or frustration. I want to find ways to alleviate them.

In previous posts I’ve talked about how we use the same palate for our rental properties. It’s the same colors, the same carpet, the same vinyl flooring. When they are searching for a property to rent, tenants know it’s one of ours when they see pictures of our properties.

There are a few things I think a lot of us go cheaper on that I will NOT being doing anymore.

4 Rehabbing Materials Worth Spending a Little More On

1. HVAC

This has bitten me more than once this summer. We tried to eek more years out of really old units, and it just hasn’t gone well for me. In one instance, we replaced one property with a used unit that wasn’t very old. I ended up spending nearly half what the new one would have been to replace it, and then it died 2 months later.

AWESOME.

Another one had some leaks, so we had to replace the a-coil, etc.

If we are on the fence with putting SOME money into something like this (other than a bit of coolant or a normal service), I will just end up replacing it. It’s not worth my hassle, frustration, or the added cost. I always end up thinking that we should have just done it the “right way” the first time.

bathroom-renovation

2. Faucets and Bath Manifold

We've gone through a lot of different kinds of fixtures for the bathtub, the kitchen faucet, and the bathrooms, and there are a lot of brands out there that offer significant (cheap) value. However, after examining the cost of each, how long they last, and how much I pay to fix them—I've decided to pretty much only use the basic all metal Delta … they've been lasting well, wearing well, and causing no issues so far. They're worth a few extra bucks on the front end.

Related: 9 Steps to Follow When Tackling a Large Rehab Project

It doesn't mean you need to go crazy either. Just because it's expensive doesn't mean it will last. Ask the guys at the local hardware store what they put in their houses or their rentals—or what other investors are buying with good success.

3. Toilets

Like with the plumbing fixtures, we’ve also started buying the nicer toilets. Why not spend an extra $50 bucks and get the low flow, simple mechanics of the new toilets?

We have had awesome luck with them in our properties. Tenants love having the nice ones because they use less water and don’t break. I love them because my phone doesn’t ring, and I am not spending money to fix or replace them all the time.

4. Vinyl Flooring

We’ve started using the thicker vinyl for the flooring—and not just the cheapest samples we could get. We do the full pieces, or rolls, as well, instead of the peel and stick. Yes, peel and stick tiles are easy, but I have found they just don’t stay down that well, and we are always going back to fix them.

I do realize that if you get a tear in one of your single tiles, you can just replace them versus having the large piece of vinyl. But I’ve also found I have significantly fewer issues when it is larger, nicer, and thicker material to start with.

vinyl-flooring

The more often we run into the problems or maintenance issues within the units, the more we are moving in the direction of finding, correcting, and fixing the issue prior to having a tenant occupy the property. Once you have a tenant occupying it, everything is more complicated with scheduling the work and can be a nuisance to you and your tenant.

Related: Confessions of a Rehabber: Expert Tips for Profitable, Rentable Properties

Plenty of times if I would have just completed the work or installed a new item the first time, I would have saved myself the hassle (and the phone call). I know of many investors who do not spend much money on new plumbing lines, or a low flow toilet with the newer flushing system, or whatever the case may be. But in the end, what is the cost of that single maintenance issue with your plumber, handyman, or whoever you have to call? A plumber or electrician may cost you $50-$75 just to show up.

That toilet doesn’t seem so expensive now, does it?

Once again, if you just do the fixes the first time, you will likely save money in the long run instead of trying to limp something along. Plus you control your costs more (knowing what it costs to install new and to maintain it correctly) on the front end of any problem.

Just go through your checklist of items that could cause issue, and especially on the easy and cheaper ones, consider doing them every time in your properties:

  • Toilet
  • Bathroom(s): Faucet, water lines, and shut off valves
  • Manifold for bath/shower
  • Kitchen: Water lines, faucet, and shut off valves
  • Hot water heater
  • Running the main sewer line for tree roots and debris

The time and money spent on the front end will definitely be worth the lack of headache after the tenant is moved in, and you’ll create a more controlled environment over your costs.

What else do you do for your properties to have fewer calls, less maintenance costs, and happier tenants? 

Let me know with a comment!

Nathan Brooks is the co-founder and CEO of Bridge Turnkey Investments, a Kansas City-based company renovating and selling more than 100 turnkey prop...
Read more
    Randy E. Rental Property Investor from Durham, NC
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    You’re bang on with all these suggestions, Nathan. I’ve slowly come around on not skimping on HVAC. In fact, the house I just finished is the last time I don’t get a new HVAC. Looking at it now, I already regret it and I’ll probably get a new one installed during the first tenant turnover. Just thinking about the fact that I didn’t do it already makes me sick. I’ve been on board with non-skimpy plumbing hardware for a couple of years now, but I’m not stepping up to the next level. As you said, the small increase in initial cost is far outweighed by the longer life span of the part. Honestly, with what plumbers get paid, it doesn’t make sense to try to save $50-$100 on plumbing hardware. Do it right the first time. Honestly, I could write an agreement paragraph about each of your points. Every one is right. Period. -Randy
    Randy E. Rental Property Investor from Durham, NC
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Regarding the plumbing quote above. It should read, “…but I’m NOW stepping up to the next level.” Not, “I’m not stepping up…” D’oh!
    Karen Lohof Investor from Chandler, Arizona
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    I like your term “agreement paragraph”, Randy, and that you made the two corrections to clarify questions I had. I love the comments section and especially when you confirm and beef up the author’s premises. Nathan, you did a great job with the article and I anticipate appreciating it more and more as time goes on. Thank you!
    Nathan Brooks Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, KS
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Thanks Randy! I appreciate you reading and all the input … it’s made a world of difference for us!
    Randy E. Rental Property Investor from Durham, NC
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    I should clarify: The house I just finished is the last time I don’t get a new HVAC, if there’s any doubt whatsoever as to the quality of what’s already there. Obviously, if a house has a 5 year old HVAC in place, I’m not going to install a new one. 🙂
    Kimberly H. Residential Real Estate Broker from Chicago Suburbs, Illinois
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Definitely sewer line rodding, making sure you know where clean-outs are, and replacing older water heaters; rental inspectors make us change how the water heaters are connected anyway, so might as well put a new water heater in, on a drip pan, with that and the valve piping routed to a drain so if it goes it doesn’t ruin all your flooring.
    Why would you place vinyl in the first place? If you are going to update a home, don’t be cheap! Place nice tiles or wood flooring down. Buyers will respect your work much better when they do not see cheap installs.
    Erik Nowacki Investor from San Diego and Memphis, California and Tennessee
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Bryan, that depends on whether it is a flip or a rental. If it is a rental, vinyl planking is a great product. It looks good, wears very well and makes it a breeze to clean between tenants. I like to use it in bathrooms and kitchens. In some units, with uneven subfloors, I’ve used it all over the apartment. If it’s a flip, then you can use nicer materials.
    Mathew Aron Real Estate Investor from Jacksonville, Florida
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    I’m curious how you have used vinyl with uneven subfloors. I thought that the vinyl would take the shape of the subfloor. Do you even out the subfloors before installation?
    Scott Radetich Investor from Portland, OR
    Replied about 3 years ago
    I’ve started to use the thicker vinyl on a few of my rentals as well. It looks sharp and hopefully will be as durable as it looks. Yes, the subfloor needs to be pretty level for it to work. I had to float a dining room in one of my units in order to put in the vinyl.
    Nathan Brooks Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, KS
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Bryan … vinyl looks great, and works great. It’s what we use, because it works for us, and easy to maintain, repair, or replace if necessary. It’s for a rental, not a flip to retail.
    Mark F. Investor from Orange County, CA
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    I definitely agree regarding HVAC. It’s definitely worth it to go good quality on those. A good HVAC also keeps the tenants happy because they work well and they’re efficient on the power bill.
    Nathan Brooks Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, KS
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Exactly! And no “my ac is broken” calls either… Thanks Mark!
    Frankie Woods Investor from Albuquerque, NM
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    What a great resource! Thank you for sharing!
    Luis N. Professional from Los Angeles, California
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Great suggestions- I’ve upgraded to porcelain tile and ran it throughout the rental. I’ve use different colors and variations in sizes to bring contrast to the rental. I stay away from carpet in the bedrooms – the renter can always buy a rug. Lastly, I’ve upgrade and installed an all house fan instead of room ceiling fans.
    Luis N. Professional from Los Angeles, California
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Great suggestions- I’ve upgraded to porcelain tile and ran it throughout the rental. I’ve use different colors and variations in sizes to bring contrast to the rental. I stay away from carpet in the bedrooms – the renter can always buy a rug. Lastly, I’ve upgrade and installed an all house fan instead of room ceiling fans.
    Larry Schneider Investor from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Nathan, I’m not sure I agree with some of your theories. The lower the amount of water coming down the toilet drain, the more possibility that your drain line in time will clog with debris that didn’t quite all wash away. Just not enough push. For a short time we even obtained the old high flush toilets that were still sold in Canada. Depending on the piping slope, the low flush toilet may mean more calls for a plumber to snake out the drain. No savings here. Adjust any toilet to the maximum flow if you are paying the water or the tenant. Sink and bath fixtures are now so easy to replace that its not worth trying to repair them. In less than an hour you can swap one out. Paying a little bit more for a nice one may be worth the nicer look, but the internals may need repaired just as often. The cheaper plastic ones today really look quite good on the outside when we are throwing them in the garbage. We have never bought a new HVAC to replace an old one. These things are rugged and durable. A new compressor or recharge is a small inexpensive job. Even getting a new high efficiency furnace is not a good idea if the tenant pays the gas bill. Old 80% furnaces are quick and easy to repair. Any part is just an straight forward hour job. Even the heat exchanger is rather simple and some even have a lifetime guarantee. New furnaces require a factory trained technician. I could repair anything on an old 1957 Chevy. Sadly, I wont look under the hood on a 2015 model.
    Kimberly H. Residential Real Estate Broker from Chicago Suburbs, Illinois
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    I agree with Larry on toilets and HVAC; I’ll replace the guts and wax ring but keep the old original toilet that actually uses enough water to get the job done. On HVAC I’ve been told by an honest HVAC guy that the older models can work for 30-40 years, where as the newer ones about 12.
    Nathan Brooks Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, KS
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Everyone has their opinion… it works well for us, and for happy tenants.
    Josh Baran from Berwick, Pennsylvania
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Agree. Low flow could increase the chance of a clog. An alternative could be pressure assisted flush toilets if you are worried about clogging from standard low flow, but still want the water savings.
    Alan Brown Rental Property Investor from NY MA CT VT MT, MO
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    I agree with Nathan; have tried tile but find that tenants can crack them.. vinyl might show a divot but hardly noticeable. I also discovered that carpet, (as far as the courts are concerned) has a 5 year life, so if a tenant destroys it after a couple of years, you can’t ask for much for it. good Laminates are the way to go, or actual hardwood that can be refinished multiple times. I am a green builder, so I like a tight shell and correcctly sized HVac systems… they will last way longer if they are in the right house. That being said, I do like to keep things in use as long as possible, unless calls to plumber are becoming frequent. there are some new toilets that rock… I just was exposed to an American Standard (who knew?) that would move anything, and was low flow! Delta faucets: had a plumber tell me most plumbers always had replacement parts on their truck for them. I stay with what works! Excellent advice, Nathan, thanks!
    Nathan Brooks Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, KS
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Exactly Alan .. I love that you are a green builder … it’s a great way to do good things for the house and the people, and the planet. And yes on the hardwoods … we always refinish if we can … and yes on the toilets and delta … aint broke don’t fix it!
    Nancy Wheaton from Nampa, Idaho
    Replied over 4 years ago
    My plumber feels the same way about Moen!
    Nathan Brooks Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, KS
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Exactly Alan .. I love that you are a green builder … it’s a great way to do good things for the house and the people, and the planet. And yes on the hardwoods … we always refinish if we can … and yes on the toilets and delta … aint broke don’t fix it!
    Will Stewart Investor from MA
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Totally agree with toilets, laminates and faucets. I would not be so automatic on the HVAC systems, but agree with the mentality of “if you’re going to spend $1000 to fix it why not spend $3000 and replace it”. Maybe I’ve just been lucky. I would add to that…. valves (swapping all to 1/4 turn) and paint. Ben Moore is worth the extra money every time.
    Paul Ewing Investor from Boyd, Texas
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    With the outrageous cost of R22 I am doing a lot more AC upgrades. If I get a place where I need to do major repairs on the condenser or hook a new one up that will require a R22 charge I look seriously at replacing it. That way I get a nice 10 year warranty and happy tenants knowing the AC is new and probably won’t go out on a Friday evening when it is supposed to be 105F all weekend.
    Darrin Wesenberg from Columbus, OH
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    @Nathan, when you refer to “units” in your HVAC section, are you referring to furnaces? Do you get home warranties on your rentals? Why not just get a home warranty, leave the old furnace/AC units and just make a warranty claim when something goes awry? You could end up with a brand new furnace or AC!
    Darrin Wesenberg from Columbus, OH
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    @Nathan, when you refer to “units” in your HVAC section, are you referring to furnaces? Do you get home warranties on your rentals? Why not just get a home warranty, leave the old furnace/AC units and just make a warranty claim when something goes awry? You could end up with a brand new furnace or AC!
    Doug Johnson Investor from Frisco, TX
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Does a “Home Warranty” (HM) have a good ROI in a rental unit? I always assumed that the Home Warranty company was making a profit, so it would cost me more in the long run. I have also heard some horror stories about HM companies that won’t pay for covered items by finding some technicality to deny the claim.
    Susan Maneck Investor from Jackson, Mississippi
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    I can give you one of those horror stories. American Home Shield, which is the biggest Home Warranty place, was sending me technicians from out of state! They will not replace anything if it can possibly be fixed. Once I waited over six weeks to get an oven fixed before they finally replaced it.
    Gloria Almendares from Kailua, Hawaii
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    I have another “horror story” about Home Warranty companies. They are a scam! They all charge a min. amount to go to your house and “repair” the item. This can cost anywhere between $75 and $100. These companies are definitely making a huge profit, otherwise they would not be in business. I’m a Realtor and had a client who was without an oven from Nov. to Jan! Imagine being without an oven for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Home Warranty Co. did everything in their power to avoid paying for a new oven, also each call resulted in a min. one hr. hold time. I think their strategy is that they hope you (the client) will give up and/or break down and buy a new oven themselves (btw, if you do that, the Home Warranty co. will deny the claim!). My client almost had a nervous breakdown over the entire ordeal. I had to intervene on her behalf, and threaten with legal action. The bottom line: after 3 incompetent technicians, 2 different ovens (they first delivered an electric oven instead of a gas oven), my client did research herself and found the “exact oven” on Sale at Lowe’s. The Company said they do not make purchases at Lowe’s, so they finally installed an inferior oven, and my client did not want to deal with the Home Warranty Co. anymore, after making over 20 phone calls to them, and dealing with incompetent people. Their strategy is to keep your money, and hope that you give up and don’t call them anymore!
    Kevin Cox Investor from Ocean City, Maryland
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    I have also had bad luck with American Home Shield! In my case, they refused a claim based on a technicality.
    Darrin Wesenberg from Columbus, OH
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    @Doug that would be a great blog post: “Home Warranties… Worth It?” It would obviously all depend on the age of the home and mechanicals. Like it probably wouldn’t make sense to purchase a home warranty on a rental property that was built, say, within the last 10 years.
    Jeb Brilliant Rental Property Investor from Long Beach, CA
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Nathan, Would you mind posting a list of specific products you use? That certain Delta faucet or the exact toilet? I would rather get it right the first time then get the wrong faucet and replace it in 9 months. Thanks.
    Nathan Brooks Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, KS
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Hi Jeb … I’m not sure if all the brands/models are all there exactly. You will be fine with those brands, and the basic low flow toilet ($125-$150) from American Standand, or Kohler … we have had great success with them. Good luck!
    Lee Carrell Investor from St. Louis, Missouri
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    I’ve done it both ways before! Keep what is there or upgrade it. Now, I keep what is there as long as it is working properly. When I need to repair or replace it, then I upgrade it. I always replace the shut-off valves with the 1/4 turn type. Easier for the tenant and less maintenance for me. If I buy a property with old, creaky windows, I will replace them immediately. It is not worth the constant repair hassle and loss of heating/cooling! I no longer use carpet in rentals due to the wear and tear, maintenance, germs, etc. Laminate looks good and wears well, as long as the tenants wipe up any liquid spills immediately! The thicker peel-and-stick vinyl tiles, such as Allure, have their pros and cons. I may start going with the thicker sheet linoleum in some instances. I have used ceramic tile in the bathroom, but if there is any “play” in the floor, it will crack even with a decoupler layer. I don’t use low-flow toilets, because water is charged by number of fixtures, not use. I do install the “tall” toilets in the units though. I am definitely a proponent of using the same color scheme and fixtures in different units. If you ever need touch-up supplies, you will have them readily available!
    Lee Carrell Investor from St. Louis, Missouri
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    One other comment. I wasn’t aware that you can get a “home owner warranty” on a rental property?
    Jason Moore Developer from Granbury, TX
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Interesting article! I used ceramic throughout my last rental. However that was installed over a concrete slab. I always have trouble with tile over pier& beam or other flexible floors even using all the high tech underlayments; eventually you get a hairline crack in the grout or a tile and it’s down hill from there! I also use Moen faucets because of their LIFETIME guarantee! So far I’ve only had to call about 2 in my own home (over 15 years). One was a bathroom sink faucet that they determined needed new valve guts. I simply gave them my address & 2 or 3 days later I had them free of charge. The other time was a handheld shower head that the 6′ flex hose started leaking. No interrogation, no blame game just sent me a brand new flex hose! I’m sold for life!
    Jerry Kisasonak Residential Real Estate Agent from Mc Keesport, Pennsylvania
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Jason, Delta has the same lifetime guarantee as Moen and they will ship parts without questioning or haggling. In my experience Delta is superior product over Moen.
    Andrew Ballard Traffic Engineer from San Antonio, Texas
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Nathan, are you recommending replacing, or simply inspecting, the toilet, bath/shower manifold, water heater, kitchen faucet, bathroom faucets every time a tenant moves out?
    Nathan Brooks Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, KS
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Not when the tenant moves out … but on the front end when we are doing the renovations and making sure we know what we have in the property as well.
    Amy Kramerr from PA
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Hello , I am actually a newbie to this business, but I definitely gonna learn many things on your articles about HVAC and other topics related to flipping houses and investing.
    Jerry Bredesen Real Estate Investor from Plymouth, Wisconsin
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Totally agree with replacing all possible shutoff valves and fixtures whenever the plumbing is being touched, but I disagree with buying them from a big box hardware store. Your plumber has access to much better quality fixtures and parts through his/her plumbing supply store – well worth the small extra cost. I also routinely replace all electrical switches, outlets, and cover plates on any rehab over about 30 years old. They improve the look of the house, and eliminate one possible source of trouble. I always use the new Tamper Resistant style receptacles and make sure to point them out to prospective tenants. They cost a bit more, but people seem to really like the extra level of safety they provide.
    Chris Carollo from Western Springs, Illinois
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    A couple of other things that I won’t skimp on as I do $2k-$4k Month SFH Rentals.. Braided Hoses for the Washing Machine. Not much more expensive than the rubber and THAT much more secure. Hardwood floors vs Carpet-These are long term plays and carpet costs add up as you replace/clean them every few years. Solid Surface Counters- Find a supplier that has a large selection, they will always have something that can be made to work that is cost effective. You can always find a deal if you are a bit flexible on the color. Left over pieces also work really well for smaller spaces-Bathrooms, etc. Landlord Locks- This is an easy $200 savings every time I have to rekey due to a new tenant. Super easy to work with as well.
    Jerry Klingerman Professional from Wooster, Ohio
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Totally agree with @Jerry Bredesen on plumbing fixtures. DO NOT buy from big box stores. Installing anything but pro-grade plumbing fixtures is a bad idea. You will replace them, particularly kitchen faucets. Your handyperson or contractor probably can buy from a contractor supply house, and you will replace fixtures far less often. (Some of these stores will let you in with your EIN or LLC tax ID number. Ask.) On toilets: the newest low-flow toilets are FAR more efficient than the first ones, and work quite well. A well-flushed toilet will not clog sewer lines, particularly when you consider other water usage: showers, dishwashing, laundry, etc. Again; buy contractor grade. The items available to consumers are garbage. (Mansfield is a good brand.) Not to go all “Earth First,” but I disagree with anyone using old-style, 5-gallons-per-fliush toilets. Fresh water is a precious resource that we in the US take far too much for granted. We can save significant amounts of water — and still get great results — by using good-quality low-flow toilets. The new models flush way, way better than those water-wasting old-school toilets.
    David Lemaire from Westchester, Illinois
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    In order to reduce the size of the new HVAC or to keep the old units (depending on their condition), we airseal and add insulate to the attic. The rebates from the utility companies made both improvements affordable in the past. We also install ceiling fans in the living room, the dining room, and each bedroom. Both improvements allow to reduce the utilities cost by reducing the use of the HVAC leading to a unit long life. In the bathroom, we use only porcelain tiles with epoxy grout on the floor and the walls. Plumbing fixtures are bought from a plumbing supply; our contractor discount make them as affordable as buying lower grade fixtures at a big box. In our area, Moen and Kohler are more prevalent than Delta and American Standard. What your thought on replacing a bathtub with a walk-in shower?
    Katie Rogers from Santa Barbara, California
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    At least one bathroom in every home should have a bathtub.
    Joy
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I loved the colors in the photo of the bath pictured at the start of the article. I’m planning to buy a home for myself soon and would like to know what color and brand name you used for the walls, cabinets and woodwork. Thank you!
    Joy
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I loved the colors in the photo of the bath pictured at the start of the article. I’m planning to buy a home for myself soon and would like to know what color and brand name you used for the walls, cabinets and woodwork. Thank you!
    Joy
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Sorry, not the bath with blue walls. I liked the bath with gray walls and white cabinets. Thank you
    Margie Kohlhaas Rental Property Investor from Algona, IA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I like upgrading some of the fixtures; however, custom paint colors can be a hassle when you’ve got multiple units that need touchup paint. I try to stick to basic light cream or white colors overall. I have used the thicker vinyl floors and it seems to wow the tenants!
    John Griswold Investor from Urbana, IL
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I’ve found this ( http://home.tarkett.com/products/vinyl-roll/essentials ) to be an extremely economical vinyl sheet like you mentioned. It can often be purchased for less than $1.50 per square foot and since it doesn’t have to be glued then the labor is inexpensive too 🙂 There are many brands that make material like this, but I’ve found this brand to be exceptionally superior.
    Nathan Forbes Investor from Albany, OR
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    What carpet and vinyl flooring do you use?
    Joey Arellano from Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    I think you summed it up. The writer of this conversation.
    Doug Gangi Rental Property Investor from Phoenix, AZ
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Your comments mirror my actions precisely. On every single rental I’ve purchased, I have put in all new plumbing fixtures and toilets, and I never buy cheap. Parts for Glacier Bay or other store-brands aren’t often available all that long, and those brands never have good warranties. I stick with American Standard, Price Pfister, Moen, or Delta…as all have parts that are readily available and offer no-hassle lifetime warranties. Same with water heaters — big box brands are junk. Replacing with a Bradford White or other professional brand may cost $100 more, but the long term cost is so much cheaper. One thing you missed in your rehab materials guide is kitchen countertops. I used to go cheap, and therefore go with laminate. However, laminate is so fragile if not taken care of well. All it takes is a hot pan to be set on it, or a careless use of a knife, or even repeated water spills (such as next to the sink), and the laminate counters begin to fall apart and look bad. In all my newer rentals I’ve gone with a granite with a busy pattern instead of laminate, and the payoff has been well worth it. The busy pattern makes it hard to see any stains that might occur (most of which come out easily if you know what you’re doing), and the granite itself can withstand almost any type of abuse. Furthermore, it’s easily repairable, whereas laminate is not. The same precaution goes with bathrooms — white cultured marble might be cheap and quick, but a single burn from a curling iron ruins it. Granite takes just about anything a tenant can throw at it. And my last precaution is bathtubs. A $109 Home Depot porcelain-coated steel special might be a lot more appealing than a $300 Kohler Villager…but that cast-iron Kohler tub will last forever whereas those cheap tubs chip and rust easily. Once a tub is installed, it’s not cheap to replace…so that $200 difference in the bathtub will easily pay for itself after 5 years when those cheap tubs are filled with chips and rust. Yes you can re-paint a tub, but that is $200 per tub…the same difference as going with the better tub anyway. Just my 2 cents…
    Raymond Jensen from South Bend, Indiana
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I’ve found that the single-handle faucets only last a few years before leaking again, no matter what brand. Perhaps it’s the hard water in our area. I always buy the faucets with two dials now, which do not leak.
    Lee Carrell Investor from St. Louis, Missouri
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Raymond, I have the same issue with the single-handle faucets. They get clogged with mineral deposits and start leaking like mad. I only buy the double-handle metal faucets now. Also, I am installing an in-line water filter just after the water heater to catch as much of the deposits as I can.