Paying for work -vs- doing the work

8 Replies

Hey guys,

I've got a bid in on my first house. I have a question for the seasoned rehabber.

I am a pretty good handyman. I have remodeled a home before, and I can do it in a timely manner. But is the money I would save doing the work myself worth it over paying someone else? Nothing too major. I'm talking refinishing hardwood floors, painting doing most the kitchen and bathroom.

I'd rather pay for the drywall repairs, the window replacement, and the tile floors. but even with that, is it that much cheaper to do it yourself?

I've heard "pay others to work while you find a deal" But realistically, how long does it take to find deal. I'm not going to spend 10 hrs a day on the internet looking for a property. I just don't think finding the deal is so time consuming that you have to pay for the work, but then again why do the work if it only saves few hundred dollars?

My wife and I are in the middle of our first rehab. We are doing a lot of the work ourselves. We do have a contractor that will take care of the sheetrock install and repair. Some say you should spend your time looking for other deals but I am not worried about another deal right now. I will worry about that after this one is near completion.

Like landlording, it helps to do it a while before you hire a property manager so you personally know the excuses, headaches and issues that come with dealing with tenants. I feel the same way about the rehabbing. I will hire it out next time if I find it too time consuming. Good luck!

I almost always do the work myself, look for other deals during the hours you would be WASTING time on watching TV and stuff like that. That said, as I write this I have an electrician in my kitchen, moving circuits and switches mainly (it was a poor design), when he's gone I'll actually install the recessed light cans, then texture and paint.

Remember, if you're paying a "tradesman" $50/hour (cheap in most parts of the country) you have to "earn" about $85 to net the $50! So decide if your time is worth $85/hour.

Years ago I was doing an addition and hired some stuff that I didn't yet know how to do and did some other stuff. A friend pointed out that I was hiring the "easiest" stuff and doing the hardest stuff. That's when I learned how to do other stuff. If it weren't for moving the switches I probably would have done the electrical on this one myself.

I've done lots of roofs, even one as recently as last year and I'll be 59 in a couple of months. I keep saying, "this is the last roof I'll do myself", then I get a quote, realize that the guys doing the labor aren't as careful about not damaging the new roof as I am and I get my old butt back up there!

BTW, I think sheetrock and laying tile are as easy as painting, in fact I'd rather do the first two than paint!

all cash

I don't watch TV. But I do liek to play... Anyway, I think I'll do most of what I can myself. I'd probably appreciate it more in the end that way also. I hate painting, I hate tile more. But I may do it myself. we'll see. My wife will be a big help. She can be a hound dog on the computer and she likes to paint.

Thanks for the help guys!

On the first one you should really do it yourself and after that you can decide. There are several reasons to at least do one:

1. Your risk on the deal is less (less labor money in the property)
2. You learn how to do the work and you can either do it again in the future or you know how to supervise your hired help
3. Your own feeling of personal accomplishment and seeing the transformation from dud to stud (the house, not you! :lol:)
4. You probably aren't savvy enough to find tons of deals yet so what else are you going to do?

I highly recommend doing at least one rehab yourself.

Hire out the work.

Your job as an investor is to FIND DEALS!!

I'd much rather make 10,000 on 2 homes
where I do ZERO labor.

Then 15,000 on 1 home where I bust my a$$
and blow my timeline.

This is my opinion!!

Jeremy Blunt


If you know what you're doing it's better to do the work yourself. Unless your at the stage where you have tons of money to play with. Mind you even then it's fun to do the work just for the exercise. But like for example, say you hire someone to do the work. There's a chance they're screw it up. Then either you or them have to redo it at an added expense. Like the saying goes, it's hard to find good help. If they're actually good, then I guarantee they're not cheap.