Dream Home Renovations – Planning, Preparing & Completing!!!

Check List for Making Your Dream
Home a Reality – Love Where You Live! 

renovations, project management, dream home renovationsLet’s Get You Started On Your Dream Home Renovation – Planning a large home renovation project can be a daunting, frustrating, time-consuming task. You want the results to be worth the time and money!

Horror Stories – Unfortunately, we have all heard about Renovation Nightmares. So how can you avoid renovation pitfalls? PPR has put together a Checklist of Phases and Strategies to avoid most of the surprises:

Phase 1 – Start Planning Your Dream – Allow Plenty of Time!home renovations, dream homes, project management,

Make Your Wish List. What are your – and your family’s – wants and needs. It’s OK to think out of the box! What are your priorities? Consider what should happen ASAP and what can wait.

What do you want the Renovation to Look Like? Think through the Size, Design and Style of Your Dream. Walk through the existing space and visualize the changes.

Will the Renovations be a Sound Investment? Are the anticipated renovations a good investment given your home’s location and the compatible values in the area? Grapple with the question, “Should you stay and renovate or should you move?”.

Meet with Family and Significant Others. Discuss what each party is looking for with a renovation to meet their specific needs. How will they deal with the inconveniences? How can they assist?

Create a Great Preliminary Design. Consult with an architectural designer and engineers to look at all of the possibilities with no commitments to utilize their services.

What Can You Afford to Spend? Consider how you will fund your intended renovationsNote – While many advisers will recommend a cushion of 10%, for the sake of your sanity we suggest 20%. You will not want to be forced to cut corners or compromise on code compliance when costs increase.

Plan Your Financing. If you’ll need financing, research: the opportunities, rates, requirements, and timelines.

Check Your Calendars. What is your timeline for the renovation? Are their times during the year – or events on your schedule – that will be compromised by the ongoing renovation. Remember – Renovations often take longer than expected!

Organize and Declutter. This phase can take a month or more! You’ll need to clear work spaces as well as other living spaces that may be affected by the renovation. Determine what should stay, what should be given away and what goes to the trash. Decluttering and organizing services can make the job easy! Remember – Protect your valuables during the renovation period when many people will be in and out of the house.

Plan for Problems and the Unexpected – Expect the Unexpected. You can expect cost increases, delays from trades people, equipment breakdowns, supply shortages, and system problems. Working with a Project Manager(PM) can substantially reduce unexpected surprises. The PM can be your onsight eyes and ears – Your WatchDog!

home renovation, project management, project planningPhase 2 – Renovation Planning – Being Prepared!

Talk to Your Insurance Agent. Contact your insurance agent to help make sure you’re comfortable with the amount of coverage you have in place for your renovation project. Your PM will make sure the various trades carry needed coverages. Once the renovation is complete, consider having your agent evaluate your coverage again so you can be assured it fits your needs.

Begin looking for an Architect & Engineers – Good article on working with an Architect – https://www.realhomes.com/advice/how-to-work-with-an-architect

Make sure that you and your Architect are in sync with your style and design desires – Your Aesthetic!

Here’s a Link to why you may need an Engineer(s) – https://www.bestructural.com/when-should-you-hire-a-structural-engineer/

Make sure that the Engineer, Architect and Project Manager are introduced and get together early in the Planning Phase.

Begin looking for a Project Manager  Finding a Project Manager with whom you can work closely with is essential. They’ll not only be your eyes and ears for the term of the renovation – Your WatchDog, the PM will be on the front line of communications with the other professionals, trades and suppliers.

Why a Project Manager(PM) and not a General Contractor(GC)? Unlike a GC, the PM is loyal to you and only you – they vet the best of trades available and help select the best materials from all available sources! The PM works with you, the Architect, the Engineers and other Professionals to assist in creating the Plans, timelines and Budgets to meet your Needs and Price Points! The PM is your WatchDog!

Select the Architect, Engineers and Project Manager. Working with carefully selected Professionals will provide you a comfort zone and save you time and money. In addition, the city and other public entities will appreciate your working with professionals and expedite project approvals.

Schedule Group Meetings with your Architect, Engineers and Project Manager. Make sure they fully understand your – and your family’s – Dreams and Budget as they begin Designs, Estimated Costs and Timelines.

 Schedule Another Meeting with Family and Significant Others. Review the status of the renovation with all involved parties. Get their input and keep them in the loop!

 Interview and Select Design Professionals (If Desired). They can assist you with the selection and coordination of interior design and furnishing decisions. They will help to determine and hone your aesthetic. Allow yourself one to two months to choose everything. While you are shopping for tile and hardwood floors, your Architect, Engineers and PM will finalize construction drawings, the budget and complete the details required for permits and approvals.

 Create Spaces for Yourself and Family – Don’t Forget the Pets. Select rooms that will remain relatively untouched by the chaos. Equip the areas with whatever you might need to keep your sanity for the duration of the renovation. Check with the Architect and PM to assure that at least one full bathroom will always be in service. Determine when and for how long the kitchen will be out of commission? Remember that the power, water and HVAC for periods of time.

 Staying In Your House? Determine if you and your family will be forced to find other living quarters during phases of the renovation. Make the arrangements!

 Inform Your Neighbors. Renovation projects create noise, dust, traffic, road-side parking and other potential disruptions for your neighbors. Letting them know your renovation schedule will reduce potential problems and keep the peace.

Phase 3 – Getting the Renovation Underway! Don’t Miss a Step!dream home, project manager, home renovation, dream renovations

A Forensic Home Inspection is a Diagnostic Must. Before starting the renovation you’ll want to make sure that the existing structures and systems are in sound and in good order. The Forensic Inspection will go far beyond more common home inspections and uncover problems that could occur during or after the renovation – Early Detection!

Have a Floor Plan Created. It is well worth the time and cost to have a floor plan created for the entire house. You can avoid critical and often costly design mistakes when armed with a floor plan. Your PM will provide each of the trades a floor plan giving them needed measurements and marking the location of wall, fixtures, etc. The floor plan will also be a valuable tool as you begin planning furnishings and their placement.

Here’s a good question to discuss with your Architect, Designer and PM provided by HomeAdvisor — “Figuring $80 to $100 per square foot, does each square foot in the plan truly ‘earn its keep’? Can wasted square footage be turned into usable living space or eliminated? Could more storage and closets be added throughout the home? Does the design take best advantage of the views, maximize the natural light, and offer privacy?”

Secure Required Permits . Permits are generally required in most municipalities, permits are critical to helping avoid having to redo work. Your PM will check on the regulations, codes and inspection schedules to assure you are in compliance. Your PM will also work with the various trades to assure your projects are in compliance.

Schedule “Pulse Meetings” with your PM. It is extremely important to keep open lines of communication with your PM. Remember – – The PM should be your eyes and ears on the renovation project – Your WatchDog! If you have questions or concerns about any phase of the renovation project, the quality of workmanship or the tradesmen involved, the PM can answer your questions and take action when necessary. When you have suggestions for additions or changes to the renovation plan, the PM will work with you – and the the Architect if necessary – to determine the added costs and impact on completion dates. The PM will also keep you posted on the status of all renovation projects as well as the budget and timelines. The PM delivers Peace of Mind!

Determine the Demolition Required. Before the new construction begins,  old structures may need to be removed. Demolition will vary project by project, but will include everything from: Pulling up carpet, Taking down wallpaper, Tearing down walls, Removing old pipes, Pulling old wiring, Cutting a hole in the roof, etc. Some demolitions can be accomplished in a few days while others may take much longer. During the demolition, all workers and the PM should be looking for indications of mold, lead paint and other toxic materials. If toxic problems are found, the PM will take all proper actions and keep you informed!

Determine the Utility Requirements. Electrical – The Forensic Inspection Professional, Engineer and PM will determine if parts or all of the house needs to be rewired. For those who are installing new appliances or find they will be utilizing numerous electronic devices, the electrical panel may need updating as well. The PM will need to work with your utility.

Gas Lines – Gas lines may need to be updated or moved if you are remodeling a bathroom, a kitchen or adding heating systems.

Water and Sewer Lines – Your renovation may be a good opportunity to update water and sewer lines – they’ll be scoped during the Forensic Inspection. Replacement pipes are not only more sturdy but also allow water and sewage to flow more quietly. It’s wise to replace pipes before new flooring and walls are installed.

Renovation Oversight. The PM, or you, should be onsight during the entire renovation and inspect all work as it is completed by various trades. Tradesman should be paid in full until their work is inspected and approved. No walls, floors, ceilings, etc. should be installed until the systems and structures behind are inspected and approved! An advantage to having a PM is that they can be onsight as your eyes and ears while you go about your day-to-day activities!

Keep Renovation Records, Documentation, Invoices, etc. With the assistance of your PM, you should keep a file of all invoices, information provided by professionals, warranty information, instructions, etc. In addition – It will also be wise to keep a photo record of the entire renovation process from start to finish. This can be extremely important for insurance purposes, when selling the home or for walks down memory lane!

Finalize Household Arrangements. Now that you know when the renovation work will begin, the PM, or you, should make arrangements for dumpsters, storage containers and booking a hotel room for the days and nights when you and your family may need to stay outside the house.

Inspect and Review All Deliveries. The PM, or you, should inspect all deliveries and invoices to assure that the deliveries: (1) Match what was ordered (2) The price is correct (3) The quantity is accurate and (4) That nothing was damaged.

Unfortunately, as many as 20% of all deliveries will have a problem. These problems can cost time and money! Another advantage to having a PM is that the PM will not only be responsible for the inspections but also rectify the problems. In addition, when there is a problem with deliveries, the PM will adjust the trade’s timelines as required. It is costly and frustrating to have trades onsight without the needed materials.

Keep and Update Timelines for the Projects and Trades on a Daily Basis. The timelines for the various trades are interdependent upon the completion of each phase of a project by other trades – as well as the delivery of required materials. In addition, the projects may require the scheduling of multiple trades to complete that phase of the project. Trades must work together! Unfortunately, when one trade falls behind in their work – or the required materials are not available – the timelines will need to be updated and distributed.

 Plan the Cleanup Processes – Ongoing and at Completion. Working with your PM, develop a plan for dealing with all the dust and debris on a daily basis! The PM will assure that the trades keep their work areas clean, their tools organized and that they keep passage ways open as best possible.

project manager, home renovations, construction managementConclusion – There is a great deal of planning that goes into a home renovation. Whether you’re doing room-by-room updates or gutting the entire house from the ground up, you’ll need to utilize trained professional and carefully vetted trades at each stage!

A Project Manager will help complete each of the required steps to make your dream home become a reality. The PM will be your eyes and ears – Your WatchDog – focusing on Quality, Timing, Costs and Meeting Your Expectations! Your PM will provide a unique vision and a hands-on approach to your renovation that will help your project run smoothly to bring you the Home of Your Dreams!

Are you a Home Owner, Potential Buyer, Real Estate Investor Planning a Renovation/Remodeling Project? 

Are You Interested In What a Project Manager Will Do For You?renovation WatchDog, project manager

Tell Us About Your Project – PPR is a Good Listener!

Find Out More About Properties, Probe & Renovation(PPR) 

We Will Be Your WatchDog!

Email Phil Eide – phil@contactppr.com — Text/Call – 216.577.5579

House Flipping Markets – Risks & Rewards – A Suggested Alternative!

Defining Real Estate (House) Flipping – According to the BusinessDictionary, “Quick-profit strategy in which an investor flipping, house flipping, home flipping, real estate investmentspurchases real estate at a discount price and improves the property in order to sell it at a higher price. This can be a very lucrative profit strategy if the housing market is doing well.”

Caution Flags – It may be time to find safe ground when an investment market starts producing infomercials, reality shows, “How To” get rich books, “Free” hotel seminars, etc. Inevitably, these are the signs that more losers than winners are ahead!

Overview of the Flipping Market – As the house flipping market has become crowded with buyers – many of whom have no real estate experience – seeking quick returns on lower price properties that need renovations, the inventory of qualified properties has diminished and the risks have increased

Adding to the dangers facing the current Flipping Market is the intense “Get Rich Quick” media promotions and the less restrictive willingness of lending institutions to assist potential Flippers in leveraging their investment. These factors tend to flood the market with unqualified investors who dilute the market!

Complicating the market further, the required skilled construction trades are experiencing an extended period of high demand. The trades are able to demand and receive increased wages and are building backlogs. While this situation is great for the trades, it adds additional renovation costs to the flip and potentially delays house renovation completions. For the Flipper vetting and monitoring the trades for quality, time and costs has become a primary concern.

The Upside to Flipping – Let’s start by saying that some people have flipping, house flipping, home flipping, been wildly successful flipping homes. The media hype focuses on the successes! Note – Unfortunately, there have been many untold losers – especially among those with little experience in the real estate and renovation markets. Flipping is not a marketplace for the meek and inexperienced, people without a financial cushion, or those betting their hard earned savings!

The Downside to Flipping — Losing Money Instead of Making areal estate investment risk, flipping house, flipping homes, flipping Profit! According to The Balance – a literary home to experts who know what they’re talking about there are many factors which can contribute to losses when flipping”. The following is a summary from The Balance:

  • Unanticipated Expenses – These include everything from building permits, contractor delays, material delays, permit delays, and renovations and materials you had not budgeted for…
  • Higher Taxes – Once you have completed renovations on the property, the city may increase your property taxes…
  • Losing Your Profit to Taxes – Any profit that you make on an investment property may be subject to capital gains taxes…
  • Holding Costs – You will have to pay the loan or mortgage (assuming you have a mortgage on the property), taxes, insurance and maintenance on the property for as long as you own it…
  • Difficulty Selling – You are losing money every day you are unable to find a buyer for your property. Because you must pay the holding costs on the property, the longer it takes to find a buyer, the more money you are losing…
  • Stress – Stress is also a main drawback of a real estate flip…

Alternative Strategy – We at Properties, Probe and Renovation (PPR) offer the following alternative to help you gain a substantial ROI while Best Utilizing Your Time and Money!

Focus on renovating/converting high-end, luxury homes or condos that need upgrades and TLC! This market can provide the investor with tremendous financial upside as long as they partner with the best Professionals.

flipping, house flipping, home flippingPartner with Professionals – Here’s where PPR suggests you start Partnering:

1) Buyer-Side Broker/Agents or Site Location Specialists – You’ll need help sorting through a vast number of locations and properties to find the one that meets your specifications. Vetting the Properties is Essential – Location – Location – Location!

2) Banking/ Financing Partner – Whether your planning on an all cash venture or on leveraging the project for a high potential ROI, it’s just good business and planning to have additional financing available in case of set backs and surprises.

3) Home/Property Forensic Inspection Professionals – It is essential to have each and every house/property thoroughly inspected prior to making an offer or buying. Expect the Expose the Unexpected! What you don’t know will hurt you!

4) Architects and Engineers – The design and functionality of the renovations must target a “Special Breed” of potential buyers who have deep pockets and specific needs. While older homes may have the desired square footage, the configuration and amenities may need substantial improvements. The professionals will assist you in targeting your market and creating a budget!

5) Trusted Renovation Project Manager (PM) – The PM will be your eyes and ears from the inception of the renovation to the completion! Your Project WatchDog! A primary focus of the PM is to work closely with the Architects and Engineers and you to take the project’s renovations from paper to bricks and mortar on time and in budget while at the same time vetting, scheduling and monitoring the required contractors and trades. The PM must carefully balance and monitor: Quality, Time, Costs and Your Interests!

6) Seller-Side Broker/Agent – It is essential to create relationships with Broker/Agents who are in tune with the potential pool of High-End Buyers  for homes in your property’s area. They should have previously created corporate relationships for relocation and meeting the needs of the quiet house hunting executives and their families. Listing the house and having open houses is not enough!

The High-End Market – Many savvy real estate investors have been engaged in the high-end/luxury real estate investing market for flipping, high-end flipping, luxury flipping, house flipping, home flippingdecades! In many ways this investment strategy has been the a best kept secret. The vast majority of real estate investors flipping smaller, lower cost homes are generally unaware of this market. They do not understand how to gain access to the market, are not familiar with the tastes of the higher income buyers and are uncomfortable dealing with the sellers and buyers of the higher priced properties.

Where to Look for Properties? – If you Google luxury or high-end house flipping, generally you’ll be directed to boom markets and resort areas with properties starting at a million dollars or more – NYC, Boston, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, Las Vegas, San Francisco, LA, etc.

Instead, take a look at desirable suburban – or even urban – areas outside of the high profile, main stream! Some of the best finds can be in the price range of $300,000 – $500,000 and in your own back yard. Many of these areas have a strong industrial/business base and established older residential communities with homes that require substantial upgrades due to passing of generations, people retiring, etc.

Unlike the standard lower-end Flips, these high-end, larger homes – and their potential buyers demand amenities like: 1st Floor Master Suites; Custom Bathrooms; Designer Kitchens; Patio Kitchens; Expanded Custom Closets, In law Suites; etc. and they are willing to pay for them!

The High-End Advantage – Here’s an overview provided by CNBC, “High-end flipping, however, is heating up. Flips with a sale price of $750,000 or more rose 21 percent from a year ago, while homes priced below $400,000 declined as a share of all flips from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac. Homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million had a 41 percent return, which explains why flippers are heading to higher-priced neighborhoods.”

In Closing – What’s Next? – When investing in the Flipping Marketplace, High-End or Lower Cost Properties, consider the following:

  1. Do your homework 1st before jumping in and committing dollars!
  2. Determine if you and your family have the time available for the commitment required.
  3. Think through – and write down – exactly the type(s) of properties that will be your focus.
  4. Determine your comfort with risk, how much do you intend to invest, and what funds will be available in case of set backs and delays.
  5. Prepare an accounting system for dealing with expenses.
  6. Prepare any legal documents that may be needed.
  7. Determine the parties with whom you will need to Partner (as listed above) – Brokers/Agents, Architects, Engineers, Project Manager, General Contractor, Trades, Bankers, etc. to take the project from inception to completion.
  8. Develop contingent plans for the unexpected – The unexpected will happen!

How Can PPR Help? – Whether your thinking about entering the House Flipping Marketplace – or already established – Properties, Probe &Renovation(PPR) and its 6 Critical Services: 1) Sight Location 2) Forensic Home Inspections 3) Onsight RenovationProject Management 4) Decluttering & Organization and 5) HomeWatch Visitation. These services offer time and cost saving opportunities worth your Projects and Profits.

 At PPR are good listeners! Tell us about your Project!! Call or

home renovation, renovation wartchdog, project managerText Phil – 216.577.5579

Find out more about Properties, Probe & Renovation (PPR) and How We Can Be Your WatchDog!   

Contact Phil Eide . Email: phil@contactppr.com