Video: Visit Our Gut Rehab Project (& Learn Construction Terms Every Investor Should Know!)

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Hey there, BP! It’s important to know basic construction terminology so that you can communicate better with contractors. Because I don’t know much about construction, I went out and found a business partner who does.

Related: Rehabbers Beware: 5 Big Issues Distressed Properties Hide (& How to Detect Them)

We are in the middle of a gut rehab of a 4-story building in downtown Trenton, and I am taking you along for a site visit! The building is a very large mixed use building in the middle of a redeveloping area. We are going to meet my partner Adam, who will give us an explanation of some terminology, including the bones of residential construction — wood framing.

Investors: What latest projects are underway for you? What other real estate-related terms have you found helpful to know in your line of work?

Leave your comments below, and let’s talk!

About Author

Matt Faircloth

In 2005, Matt founded The DeRosa Group along with his wife, Elizabeth. At the time, the two person company owned and managed two assets – a single family home and a duplex. Over the last nine years, they have grown the company to a 12 person team owning and managing over five million dollars in residential and commercial assets throughout the central NJ and Philadelphia area. One of DeRosa’s mantras is “to make money while making a difference.”

21 Comments

  1. joseph ball

    I would like to learn some of those rehab words. I have done several rehabs, and I learned lots of new words. When I was in the Navy, I had a colorful vocabulary, but I lost it all now.
    Please post those new words. Inquiring minds want to know.

    • Matt Faircloth

      Hi Johnson,
      Thanks for reading. It’s a 5000 SF building. We paid $65,000 for it and will probably invest a bit over $250,000 when it’s all said and done. Rent’s when complete will be just north of $5000 per month. We are GC’ing the job ourselves and using our own crew for some of the work which saves a bunch of overhead.

      I will probably post some more video updates on that project here in BP or on my YouTube channel.

      Take care,

      Matt

  2. Pyrrha Rivers

    Matt,
    Thank you so much for sharing this video. I enjoyed learning not only about how the 2X4s are no longer true to name, but the combination of skills that make your partnership work well.
    Can’t wait to see the next video.
    Thanks again,
    Pyrrha

  3. David Oberlander

    Matt,
    Congratulations on the new project. It sounds like it going to be fun, interesting, and, most importantly, profitable. We should guess that your partner has the General Contractor license, right? (that folks is what he means by “We are GC’ing the job ourselves”) Now on to the rest of the corrections.

    1. “16 inch OC framing is used in 99.999% of all (residential) construction.” ?? In a word NO Most older homes were built with a large amount of 24″ OC framing esp. the non-load bearing walls. And in the future with “energy conservation” becoming a large part of building codes, you will see more 24″ OC framing in exterior walls. (no 2×4’s of course)
    2. “Blocking” That’s a term your framer needs to learn. With a ceiling over 8 ft (as it appears in the video) that wall needs blocking. Drywall will not stiffen that wall. See how it flexes just before the 3 minute mark? That wall will be easy to push over if you finish it like that without blocking the studs.
    3. “Drywall” All Sheetrock is drywall, but not all drywall is Sheetrock. Sheetrock is a registered trademark of USG and they want $100 for every day their name is used in a post online. (just kidding on that part)

    • Matt Faircloth

      Hey David,

      The project has been great so far, we are really happy with it. We are big on urban rehab so many of our projects are these large buildings with high ceilings and solid brick exteriors that are still solid after all these years. We encounter all kinds of old style framing on these buildings and of course encounter framing that is not 16″ OC. I actually say that in the video (got to 2:20 and on from there) and reference that older buildings may not have framing at 16″ OC.

      We have seen building codes call for deeper exterior walls to allow for more insulation. Until recently it was OK to use 2 x 4’s on exterior walls but the codes changed to call for deeper framing to allow for more insulation as you indicated. I have not seen builders use a wider framing pattern – 24″ OC as you indicated – to allow for more insulation and I’m not sure it’s code in NJ.

      Thanks for pointing out the need for blocking in the walls. As I said in the video I’m not the construction guy, I’m the money guy, LOL! I’m very confident that our framer will abide by local codes.

      For the Sheetrock comment, I wasn’t aware of that. If you are active in the industry you know that it’s a very commonly used term! It sounds like it’s one of those things were the name of the industry leader gets used to describe all products in that industry (like Coke, Xerox, etc…)

      Thanks for the “corrections” anyway, it always makes for good conversation. Take care,

      Matt

  4. Hi Matt,
    It is good to see another video of yours, especially with a multifamily unit and on a rehabbing project. This is something I look forward into working on myself. This video was short and sweet and straight to the point. Almost wish this one was a little bit longer as knowing “contractor talk” can be beneficial I am sure. Odd question if you don’t mind as your partner was mentioning project timelines for next week, the properties in your area, are they required to have carbon monoxide detectors? Did not hear the guest speaker state that and I know that was an inspector gig on a recent property I am under contract for. Fortunately the owner installed a carbon monoxide detector to go with the homes smoke detector. Thanks again —
    -rg

  5. Matt Faircloth

    Hi Richard,
    Thanks for watching! Good to hear from you. I will be sure to post another update on that job here on BP or on my YouTube page.

    For CO monitors, you are required to have one per floor in NJ where we do most of our business. This building will have a hardwired smoke and CO system due to it’s size and level of rehab we are doing. For other properties we buy the CO / smoke combo units and put them where required.

    Take care,

    Matt

  6. THANG BUI

    This is a great video! I hope you guys do more detailing construction lingo and advice. I’ve been working on my first rehab project and I had to learn my lessons the hard way in dealing with contractors. I hope to hear more words of wisdom from your team!

    • Matt Faircloth

      Hey Mike,

      Glad you enjoyed it. What a great idea! I will put that in my wheelhouse and write on it soon, maybe as soon as next week! Thanks for the idea.

      If you have any other blog topics let me know, my wife Liz and I get “writers block” sometimes, LOL!

      Matt

    • Matt Faircloth

      Hi Christopher,
      Thanks for commenting! I’m glad you enjoyed the video. I think videos can give a different perspective unavailable through written articles also. We really like creating them and will continue to do that!

      Matt

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