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  • Writer's pictureDaniel sisto

The #1 Reason Not To DIY When Rehabbing Your Flips

Updated: Feb 26, 2019

Rehabbing Houses

There are many jobs on a project that you are capable of trying to complete yourself - that will save you money during a rehab. Some of these jobs may be worth learning while others are very complicated and a professional will be needed.

When you first take on a fix and flip, you will going over all of the ways that you can save money.

on the project. One of the options that will go through your mind will be doing some of the rehab yourself. If you are not a skilled contractor you may consider doing the landscaping, some interior & exterior paint, power washing and other less handyman tasks on a project.

Some rehabber's are under the impression that skills such as painting, light drywall, basic electrical, basic plumbing and landscaping should be learned. Now, I am not going to argue that these skills do not need to be learned or that you shouldn't learn them but what I am going to argue is are they worth learning? Can your time be spent better in other places that will allow you to grow your business and increase your total revenue? Are you better off spending your time marketing, finding deals, meeting with homeowners, networking and closing deals or should you be laying tile on your projects.

I am under the impression that you should be working on your business not in your business, so you should be spending your time trying to grow your business and increase your revenues, while you delegate certain areas of your business to professionals.

I guess, we need to take into consideration your goals first. If you only plan on doing 1 flip a year then learning certain trades may be a good thing. You will be able to lower your (money) costs and may be able to bring in some more profit. If you plan on or want to do multiple flips a year in Syracuse NY then you should really consider finding and hiring different contractors to perform specific tasks on all of your jobs.

The #1 reason not to DIY when rehabbing your flips is limiting your ability to scale your business. In other words, the ability to grow your business and do more flips in a year will be limited due to the time commitment of focusing on the rehab of 1 project.

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If you decide to perform the construction work on your project (s) by yourself, you will limit the amount of time you can spend finding deals, closing deals and setting up projects. If your main goal is to create a lucrative, scalable real estate business, in my opinion there is no way you can do the construction work on your rehabs. Lets go over a quick example. One of the tasks to complete on your rehab is a simple interior paint job. This interior paint job may personally take you 2-3 weeks to complete, when you could essentially hire a professional painting company to come in and knock this project out in 1 day.

When the thought of doing the work yourself comes to mind, you immediately think you may save yourself some money on the back end but there are several other things I want you to consider.

  • You are not a professional painter, so the quality of your work will not be great

  • You may save some money on the labor side of things but you are adding 2-3 weeks to your schedule from just this on task. This means you will accrue an extra 2-3 weeks of taxes, insurance and utility payments off the bat.

  • Certified, professional contractors usually get heavy discounts on material such as paint that you won't get if you do not purchase through them.

  • I am sure you have other life commitments, do you really want to be spending your time painting?

If you find a great deal, do your due diligence and do the proper math there should be plenty of profit left for you to take home... without picking up a hammer or paint brush. While you would painting this house you could be out finding your next deal or your next 2 deals. So there is a huge opportunity cost in spending your time doing some of the work on your projects. You main goal as a business owner in this niche should be to spend your time in areas that will bring your business more revenue.

So instead of painting your next flip, go write a blog post, buy a list and send out an extra piece of direct mail, go hang up 200 more bandit signs or take a couple hours and drive your farm area. Learn to spend your time more wisely because remember time is money and the better you manage your time, the more successful your business will be. Learn to delegate certain aspects of your business to professionals who focus on that specific area. Trust that they will do a good job and if you aren't satisfied, fire them and find a business to work with you.

Why Not To DIY On Your Rehabs | Syracuse Real Estate

So the #1 reason we are going to leave the rehab to the pros is the limiting factor of growing our business but this is not the only reason we aren't going to do any of the work ourselves. There are several other reasons that I would argue that will not benefit our business.

  • Takes up a lot of our time

  • If we are not already skilled, most of these tasks take years to learn

  • Have to be patient, in doing the work and also receiving the reward (cash)

  • Large time commitment, takes away from time with friends and family

  • Essentially will place you in another 9-5 (working in your business)

  • Can be costly if you do not perform the tasks properly

Make sure you weigh all of the pros and cons when considering if you should do any of the work

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on your properties. It does not hurt to attempt to learn some basic construction, just to be more familiar with the work your professional contractors are performing but leave that work to them.


Doing the works on your projects can save you some up front money but consider the time implications and opportunity costs when debating on the best areas to spend your time. Personally when I was just starting out I tried to do some of the work on my projects, whether it was landscaping or basic painting but I just found myself frustrated and impatient. Find good contractors who do quality work for reasonable prices and focus on growing your business.

If you have had any success with rehabbing properties yourself, let us know we would to hear about your experiences. On the other hand if you have found success in hiring out contractors and leaving this work to the pros, give us an update on where you are spending your time and if it has helped you grow your business.

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