Flipping Real Estate, How to Get Started
Drywall/ Plaster Repair In Lakewood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, where I do most of my rehabilitation work, cracks and holes in the plaster are common. You will experience similar issues in Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh or any other industrial city throughout the east or Midwest. Holes in plaster are often the result of water infiltration, the result of vandalism, but could be the sign of more serious foundation issues. Once the root cause is fixed, patch the area with inch drywall. Secure the drywall to the hole with at least 2 drywall screws. Insert your rotozip near the edge of your hole and cut the drywall by pressing the rotozip blade against the remaining plaster. Once your piece is cut, secure it with multiple drywall screws, mud the gaps, tape, re-mud then sand to a smooth finish.
Basic Potable Water Pipe Repair If you are working on a foreclosed home that has sat over the winter it is important to inspect for burst water pipes in the basement and walls. The hardest part of the repair is finding all the leaks. You do this by turning on the water, listening for falling water, then visually inspecting where the water is coming from. Once you find the leak, cut out the broken or leaking section of pipe and cut a section of new pipe to replace it. Rough up the end of the old and new sections of pipe with your sandpaper. The easiest fix is to buy a Shark-Bite coupler and push into place. No flame is required for this repair..
Drain Repair Drains work by using the force of gravity to expel wastewater down and out of the house. Improperly working drains can be the result of improper pitch in the drain line or a clog. Clogged drains are a very common problem. When a working drain gets clogged, Draino or a quick snake will often do the trick. If that doesn’t work, unscrew the drainpipe and inspected for clogs. If a clog is found in there, simply remove the clog, replace the drain and test the drain. In a vacant house, a clog can become impenetrable. If you encounter such a clog, you need to cut it out and replace that section of drain. Using a saw or grinder cut out the clogged section of pipe. Once the clog is cut out, cut a similar length of PVC pipe to replace it. Either connect the new pipe to the old with PVC connectors or with a fernco connector. If you use the PVC connectors make sure that you clean the old pipe thoroughly and apply PVC cement to ensure a proper seal.
Replacing Light Fixtures When I am working on electrical fixtures, I like to turn off all power to the house. If this is not feasible or if other people need power to perform other work, I just turn off the circuits one by one as needed. Be sure to check the wires with a voltage meter to insure the power is off. Remove the old fixture by unscrewing the wire nuts or by cutting the wires. Strip off a section of the wire casing and attach you new fixture with wire nuts. Be sure to tape off any exposed wire with electrical tape. Since each fixture will come with its own set of instructions, be sure to read those instructions thoroughly to insure proper installation. Electricity can cause severe injury if you do not follow instruction implicitly.
Window Installation To measure your window, open it all the way and measure from inside of the window casing. Buy your new window as close as possible. Remember, you can make up for a window that is too small, but it is much harder to expand an opening for a window that is too big.. Next, remove the old window, making sure not to damage the wood frame. Once the window is removed place wood shims on the sill and level the shims. Once the shims are level secure them in place with screws (drilling pilot holes will keep the shims from splitting). Put the new window in place. At the sash, place more wood shims between the wood frame and the window to fill that gap, and then secure the shims in place by screwing through the window frame and into the wood frame. Repeat this step about six inches from the top and six inches from the bottom of the sides. Once the sides are secure, make sure you can easily open and close the window. Fill the gaps around the window with expanding foam insulation.
Refinishing Wood Floors First remove the old carpet. Then remove all of the tack strips, staples, nails and quarter round molding. Once the floor is clean, run your drum sander with the grain of the wood. It is very important that you keep the drum sander moving at all times though. If you leave it sit it will quickly eat into the floor, leaving the finished floor wavy looking. Start with 36-grit sandpaper, then 80-grit, and then 100-grit. Once the main body of the floor is sanded, do the edges with an edge sander using the same grits of sandpaper that you used on the main floor. When all the sanding is complete, sweep the floor, and then vacuum the floor. Apply your choice of stain or apply polyurethane directly to the wood. Finish with 2-3 coats of polyurethane. Replace the trim molding along the floor.
Laying Tile The key to a good tile project is a good foundation. Whether you are tiling a wall or floor, the foundation must be plumb or level and the surface must be flat. Start by removing the old coverings whenever possible. Once the old covering has been removed put down a cement backerboard over the entire area to be tiled. Be sure to secure the backerboard with screws designed for this application. Fill in the joints of the backerboard with mortar. Begin tile installation by troweling on a thin application of mastic over a three to four foot area. Set the tile in place and push gently to secure the position. Place a spacer next to the tile and position the next piece. Continue in this fashion until the tiles are all in place. Allow the mastic to dry for 24-hours before grouting. If you are laying a natural stone tile (travertine, slate, marble) be sure to seal the tile prior to grouting. If you don’t, the tile will appear hazy. Remove all tile spacers. Mix the grout and push the grout into the seams using a rubber float. Immediately wipe up excess grout with a damp sponge. After an hour or so, wipe down the tile with a paper towel or piece of cheesecloth to get rid of the haze on the surface.
Texturing a Ceiling Texturing a ceiling is one of the simplest jobs you will do on a home, yet it gives the room a finished look. Dip a texturing brush with a long (4 foot) handle into a bucket of top-coating mud. Push the brush into the ceiling in a random pattern. After it dries finish by painting with a white ceiling paint. (Note: This project can be messy. Either do it before you put your floors in or cover them completely. )
Painting a Room Be sure to prep the wall surface prior to painting. Do this by applying a thin coat of spackle to any pin holes or cracks, then sand to a smooth finish. Next, apply one coat of latex primer to the surface of the walls using a roller. After the primer dries apply your paint. Two coats of a flat paint will generally provide complete coverage. To edge the walls, apply painter’s tape to the trim, and brush the paint onto the edges. After you have painted the edges, remove the painter’s tape and you’re done.
Landscaping The exterior is the first impression people will get of your house. Take time to remove all the overgrown 1950’s era plants and replace them with smaller more modern looking plants. After removing the old shrubs, cultivate the bed and mix in organic materials like manure, compost or peat moss. Arrange your new plants on top of the beds. Once you are happy with the arrangement, remove any burlap or plastic and plant them. Be sure not to bury the root balls of shrubs. You want to plant the shrub with just a little of the ball showing above the ground surface. Follow spacing instruction on the containers so that your new landscape doesn’t look like overgrown in two years. After planting the large landscape in this fashion, take time to plant flowers around your new plants and enjoy your new look.