Everybody knows the kitchen is the heart of the home — and the room that can make or break the sale when you have a house on the market.
When you’re flipping a house, timing is everything. You want to get in, fix it up, and make the sale.
So what’s the best way to attack a kitchen remodel when you’re flipping a house? Let’s take a look. But before you dive in, know that remodeling a kitchen for resale isn’t the same as redoing a kitchen for yourself.
First, a few kitchen renovation tips to keep in mind:
- Appeal to the masses. Don’t personalize it too much. You might love those porcelain rooster cabinet pulls. Save those for your own kitchen.
- Keep it simple. Think neutral and muted for countertops, cabinets, floors, backsplashes and appliances that would blend with anyone’s style.
- Don’t spend too much. You can typically spend between 6 and 10 percent of the total home value and get a good return on your investment.
A Kitchen Remodel Timeline
Staring a kitchen remodel in the face can be intimidating. What to tackle first? How long will it all take? The answer varies, depending on the extent of your redo. Some kitchen flips need more work than others.
Experts say plan for six to 10 weeks. Note: don’t expect it to go as quickly as on those house flipping shows on TV. Your hair won’t look that perfect, either.
Here’s a general kitchen remodel timeline:
Make A Plan
Everything starts with a plan. Where will the appliances go? What kind of lighting do you want? Can you paint or reface existing cabinets instead of installing all new?
Keep in mind, if you can use your existing floor plan, you’ll save a lot of time and money during tear-out and construction. Keep plumbing and electrical systems mostly intact, if at all possible.
The renovation ideas for a house you are planning to flip are not the same as the ones for your own home. Therefore, Inspire, Design, and Create advises that you don't personalize the kitchen. Don't install backsplash, flooring, plumbing fixtures or a color that you love, instead look for things that can appeal to the potential buyers. Remember, modern designs allow the owner to continually remodel the kitchen with time as his/her taste changes. So don't spend a lot of cash on this project.
If this seems overwhelming, consider hiring a professional designer. They know all kinds of tips and design strategies you don’t. You’ll pay a designer about 10 percent of the total project, but you’ll save a lot on headache medicine.
The large home improvement stores often offer design help for less. But you’ll be expected to purchase some of your cabinets and appliances from that store.
Put In Your Order: Cabinets, Appliances, Countertops And Lighting Fixtures
Cabinets and appliances are the biggest investments in your kitchen remodeling project. And they often involve the longest wait.
Custom cabinetry can take three to four months to build and ship to your home.
Can’t wait that long? Semi-custom cabinets take four to eight weeks. Ready-made cabinets can be on site within a few days of placing the order.
Take a good look at your cabinets. Can they be refaced, painted or refinished? If they’re in good shape structurally, you can save a lot of time and money by sprucing them up.
Experts offer one word when it comes to countertops for a house flip: Granite. That’s what home buyers want.
Home buyers know they can easily repaint walls if they don’t like the color. But it’s tougher and more expensive to replace flooring.
So, if you need to replace kitchen flooring, choose a neutral color, but not too light. Nobody wants a floor that shows dirt.
Gut The Kitchen And Do the Electrical and Plumbing Work
Time to get messy. Remove old cabinetry and appliances and, if necessary, open up walls for new electrical circuits.
This is the time for electrical and plumbing rough-in — the work that’s done behind the walls and under the floors.
You want this done before drywall, paint and flooring so you don’t have to damage anything.
Insulation, Drywall And Priming
Time to install the drywall, finish and prime it for painting. Soon, it will start to actually look like a kitchen.
Install Cabinets, Countertops, Flooring And Fixtures
Hopefully, everything has arrived on time and you’re ready to roll.
If you’re installing new flooring, it goes in before the cabinets do.
Once the cabinets are in, it’s time to template for the countertops, which means providing meticulous measurements to the granite fabricator.
Be aware: Preparing the granite for install takes about 10 days. The fabricator needs enough time to meticulously measure and send it to the fabrication crew for slab preparation.
Painting And Finishing
Time to install plumbing fixtures, backsplash and final trim. Then painting. Remember, this is a flip, so you want to keep the paint color neutral.
Install Appliances And Final Touch-ups
The shiny appliances go in. And it’s time for any small touch ups or fine tuning.
Sweep or use a shop vacuum to remove any remaining debris from the house. Consider hiring professionals to clean out the construction debris that’s likely clogged your air vents.
Don’t Forget Your Roll-Off Dumpster Rental
The least glamorous part of a kitchen renovation is all the dusty debris it creates. Before tear-out day looms, reserve a Bin There Dump That dumpster rental to haul away the mess.
Professional house flippers know that Bin There Dump That bins make disposing of all the refuse easy. Mark and Alena Huntjens of Victoria, British Columbia used our bins for their house flipping business. They were so impressed, now they’re Bin There Dump That franchise owners.
If you’re flipping a house, you have enough hassles, without worrying about driveway damage from a mammoth dumpster. While traditional dumpsters are huge and heavy and could crack your driveway, we place wooden boards under our bins so they never actually touch your property. No damage. Our local dumpster rental operators even sweep up your driveway before they drive off.
Perplexed about what size to order? Your local dumpster rental operator will be happy to assist. When the tear-out begins, contact the franchise operator nearest you.
This will be the easiest part of your entire flip.