General Best Practices

5 Replies

Hi!  I am looking for some general best practices when it comes to rehabbing/renovating a building. I am looking at purchasing a 12 unit multi-family apartment building and just trying to get some general guidelines. 

Thanks!

@Calvin Lipscomb Jr Spend extensive time reviewing existing tenant files (i.e. application, background checks, leases), bring an inspector with you to walk the property during your due diligence, work with a broker to find out realistic rents compared to what is currently being paid and a plan on how to raise them.

Also, I would suggest not renovating all the units at once if they are currently leased but doing a slow rotation and then raising the rents as each unit is fixed up.

Originally posted by @Ryan Blake :

@Calvin Lipscomb Jr Spend extensive time reviewing existing tenant files (i.e. application, background checks, leases), bring an inspector with you to walk the property during your due diligence, work with a broker to find out realistic rents compared to what is currently being paid and a plan on how to raise them.

Also, I would suggest not renovating all the units at once if they are currently leased but doing a slow rotation and then raising the rents as each unit is fixed up.

 Hey Ryan this one is actually 100% vacant and has to be gutted. Hoping to get any advice on working with GC's and ways to keep costs down. 

Originally posted by @Calvin Lipscomb Jr :
Originally posted by @Ryan Blake:

@Calvin Lipscomb Jr Spend extensive time reviewing existing tenant files (i.e. application, background checks, leases), bring an inspector with you to walk the property during your due diligence, work with a broker to find out realistic rents compared to what is currently being paid and a plan on how to raise them.

Also, I would suggest not renovating all the units at once if they are currently leased but doing a slow rotation and then raising the rents as each unit is fixed up.

 Hey Ryan this one is actually 100% vacant and has to be gutted. Hoping to get any advice on working with GC's and ways to keep costs down. 

Calvin.  My husband was a renovation contractor at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for several years.  One of the things he used to say all the time to keep costs down was, have a plan, stick to the plan and above all else, practice redundancy.  You need to make sure you're actively involved in the process and NEVER let anyone have access to the checkbook meaning don't let the contractor go out and purchase everything.  Be on top of what they're doing.

By redundancy, he was saying that it makes it easier for not only this one, but the rest of the

Many rehabbers I know use that philosophy also.  Keep your colors the same for each unit.  Keep the  carpet the same so you can buy larger lots for a discount. Use a company like Sherwin Williams that will keep your color codes on file so the GC can just go in and order what they need rather than guess and make mistakes.  Get the cabinets from the same place for each unit and negotiate a bulk discount.  That goes with each phase whether you're doing the windows or doors etc...ask for discounts.  Don't just use companies like Lowes and Home Depot exclusively unless they give you discounts, but work with companies like Marjam and other local building supply houses that also give discounts for contractors.

Originally posted by @Stephanie P. :
Originally posted by @Calvin Lipscomb Jr:
Originally posted by @Ryan Blake:

@Calvin Lipscomb Jr Spend extensive time reviewing existing tenant files (i.e. application, background checks, leases), bring an inspector with you to walk the property during your due diligence, work with a broker to find out realistic rents compared to what is currently being paid and a plan on how to raise them.

Also, I would suggest not renovating all the units at once if they are currently leased but doing a slow rotation and then raising the rents as each unit is fixed up.

 Hey Ryan this one is actually 100% vacant and has to be gutted. Hoping to get any advice on working with GC's and ways to keep costs down. 

Calvin.  My husband was a renovation contractor at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for several years.  One of the things he used to say all the time to keep costs down was, have a plan, stick to the plan and above all else, practice redundancy.  You need to make sure you're actively involved in the process and NEVER let anyone have access to the checkbook meaning don't let the contractor go out and purchase everything.  Be on top of what they're doing.

By redundancy, he was saying that it makes it easier for not only this one, but the rest of the

Many rehabbers I know use that philosophy also.  Keep your colors the same for each unit.  Keep the  carpet the same so you can buy larger lots for a discount. Use a company like Sherwin Williams that will keep your color codes on file so the GC can just go in and order what they need rather than guess and make mistakes.  Get the cabinets from the same place for each unit and negotiate a bulk discount.  That goes with each phase whether you're doing the windows or doors etc...ask for discounts.  Don't just use companies like Lowes and Home Depot exclusively unless they give you discounts, but work with companies like Marjam and other local building supply houses that also give discounts for contractors.

 Thank you for the amazing feedback, I will definitely be using these ideas! Have you or your husband ever worked with an architect for a project? I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of that as well. 

Originally posted by @Calvin Lipscomb Jr :
Originally posted by @Stephanie Potter:
Originally posted by @Calvin Lipscomb Jr:
Originally posted by @Ryan Blake:

@Calvin Lipscomb Jr Spend extensive time reviewing existing tenant files (i.e. application, background checks, leases), bring an inspector with you to walk the property during your due diligence, work with a broker to find out realistic rents compared to what is currently being paid and a plan on how to raise them.

Also, I would suggest not renovating all the units at once if they are currently leased but doing a slow rotation and then raising the rents as each unit is fixed up.

 Hey Ryan this one is actually 100% vacant and has to be gutted. Hoping to get any advice on working with GC's and ways to keep costs down. 

Calvin.  My husband was a renovation contractor at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for several years.  One of the things he used to say all the time to keep costs down was, have a plan, stick to the plan and above all else, practice redundancy.  You need to make sure you're actively involved in the process and NEVER let anyone have access to the checkbook meaning don't let the contractor go out and purchase everything.  Be on top of what they're doing.

By redundancy, he was saying that it makes it easier for not only this one, but the rest of the

Many rehabbers I know use that philosophy also.  Keep your colors the same for each unit.  Keep the  carpet the same so you can buy larger lots for a discount. Use a company like Sherwin Williams that will keep your color codes on file so the GC can just go in and order what they need rather than guess and make mistakes.  Get the cabinets from the same place for each unit and negotiate a bulk discount.  That goes with each phase whether you're doing the windows or doors etc...ask for discounts.  Don't just use companies like Lowes and Home Depot exclusively unless they give you discounts, but work with companies like Marjam and other local building supply houses that also give discounts for contractors.

 Thank you for the amazing feedback, I will definitely be using these ideas! Have you or your husband ever worked with an architect for a project? I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of that as well. 

I have a pretty good idea for textures and colors (he absolutely does not), so in the renovations we've done the only time we used an architect was to determine the size of a beam we needed because we took out a load bearing wall and needed to carry the load of the entire back of the house with the beam. It wasn't for aesthetics, we had to have them stamp the plans for the permit.

Avoid if you can is my opinion.