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Refurb tips for landlords


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I'm trying to compile a list of top tips specifically aimed at landlords renovating BTL properties. So I'm focusing more on longevity and cost, rather than all the bells and whistles/creature comforts you find in most articles online. I'm also focusing on internal refurbs only, and not major structural issues or extensions. 

So far, I've published the article below, but I'm really keen for feedback and for more tips! I want this to eventually be a comprehensive list that we can all use.

https://propertyworkshop.com/property-investment/property-refurbishment/

Cheers,

Russ

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Thanks both, I really appreciate the positive feedback!

Hopefully others will add their tips in the comments so it can grow into a complete community list. I'm also going to update it every so often.

BTW, please share with friends & family if they're planning a 'landlord reno'. 

Cheers,

Russ

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Hi Russ,

Great article. Here are some tips from me:

  • Regarding skips, think about getting a tarpaulin which you can cover the skip with and also lock it down. You dont want to return the next day and find someone else has filled your skip. OR fill it the same day.
  • Organising the works. Try to build a relationship with trusted trades, get them to look around the property as soon as you get the keys. Agree a scope of works which are required, this then allows you to build a specification which you can use to obtain prices. Getting them in early also allows you to ask the trade when they need to start works, e.g. before painting but after strip out etc...
  • For painting, try and finish doing all the sanding before painting OR make sure the paint is dry before doing more sanding...for obvious sticky reasons!
  • For painting; use permawhite or similar for bathrooms and kitchens, it provides a protective covering which stops mould and is washable...great for tenants.
  • Painting - decide whether you want to go with oil based or acrylic paints, oil based yellows more but have a look online for the pro's and con's
  • All smoke alarms should be of the same brand/ make. If they are hard wired and are of different makes they could trigger each other to alarm (based on what i have been told).
  • For buying kitchens/ bathrooms and pretty much everything, make sure to use LNPG (Landlords National Purchasing Group).

There is loads of other things which are minor but thats a good started from me.

Keep up the great work, loving the checklists!

Thanks,

Ben

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

A couple of additions...

Waste

Rather than skips, I tend to use grab lorries. So I don't pay for the licence if it's an on-road skip. I ensure non-mixed waste goes into it. As I tend to do extensions ect, I do get a lot of rubble / bricks / earth. Equally, I would try to re-use this waste in landscaping. Don't pay to throw away, when you then need to buy and bring it back in. I've just had 5 tonnes removed for £80, as I was charged by weight.

Try to split your waste, plasterboard is VERY expensive to dispose of. Try to isolate it and find a specialist who will remove.

If removing ceilings and they have lathes. Keep them as fire starters at home (if you have an open fire) or bundle and sell them, 100 year old thin timber is perfect !

Painting & Decorating

All major manufacturers ( Dulux/Johnstons ect) have technical support numbers, call them with questions. It can be quite a complicated area.

Newly plastered walls... Remember always need a watered down coat first. Oddly enough, just done a house using Johnstones 'Durable' paint. 3 bed house 4 cans of 5 ltrs. Instead of doing a white mist-coat first, I took advice and did watered down 'Durable' paint, worked a treat, saved buying white paint and putting on walls and resisted absorption on final coats.

Use water based paints, not oil.

Write down what paints you actually used, so when you need to touch up later you can.

Safety First

They only cost £12 each for interlinked. Put them in all rooms. Of course correct ones in kitchen and areas with open fires. If you are unsure, call up the manufacturers they will tell you what you need and where.

In relation to ventilation. If you have problems with tenants who don't know how to open a window, put in a Positive Ventilation system. They cost about £350 and pump air into the house.

Energy Efficiency

Keep your eye out for cheap insulation, B&Q and other companies do offer it from time to time, or look on gumtree ect for people who have bought too much !

Future-Proofing your Investment

Run Cat5e cables to all rooms ( two if possible ), bringing back to a central location. A 305m real should be about £50.

Do the same with CT100 ( TV cables )

External and Security

Add one power socket to rear wall of property. Same with a water outlet. I would also suggest running an armoured cable (6mm) to the front of the property ( or at least ducting ) to allow charging of electric cars. You don't need to do anything expensive, just run the cable. Leave it unterminated in the consumer unit ( or near ).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 5/26/2019 at 5:47 AM, pauldavidthomas said:

A couple of additions...

Waste

Rather than skips, I tend to use grab lorries. So I don't pay for the licence if it's an on-road skip. I ensure non-mixed waste goes into it. As I tend to do extensions ect, I do get a lot of rubble / bricks / earth. Equally, I would try to re-use this waste in landscaping. Don't pay to throw away, when you then need to buy and bring it back in. I've just had 5 tonnes removed for £80, as I was charged by weight.

Try to split your waste, plasterboard is VERY expensive to dispose of. Try to isolate it and find a specialist who will remove.

If removing ceilings and they have lathes. Keep them as fire starters at home (if you have an open fire) or bundle and sell them, 100 year old thin timber is perfect !

Painting & Decorating

All major manufacturers ( Dulux/Johnstons ect) have technical support numbers, call them with questions. It can be quite a complicated area.

Newly plastered walls... Remember always need a watered down coat first. Oddly enough, just done a house using Johnstones 'Durable' paint. 3 bed house 4 cans of 5 ltrs. Instead of doing a white mist-coat first, I took advice and did watered down 'Durable' paint, worked a treat, saved buying white paint and putting on walls and resisted absorption on final coats.

Use water based paints, not oil.

Write down what paints you actually used, so when you need to touch up later you can.

Safety First

They only cost £12 each for interlinked. Put them in all rooms. Of course correct ones in kitchen and areas with open fires. If you are unsure, call up the manufacturers they will tell you what you need and where.

In relation to ventilation. If you have problems with tenants who don't know how to open a window, put in a Positive Ventilation system. They cost about £350 and pump air into the house.

Energy Efficiency

Keep your eye out for cheap insulation, B&Q and other companies do offer it from time to time, or look on gumtree ect for people who have bought too much !

Future-Proofing your Investment

Run Cat5e cables to all rooms ( two if possible ), bringing back to a central location. A 305m real should be about £50.

Do the same with CT100 ( TV cables )

External and Security

Add one power socket to rear wall of property. Same with a water outlet. I would also suggest running an armoured cable (6mm) to the front of the property ( or at least ducting ) to allow charging of electric cars. You don't need to do anything expensive, just run the cable. Leave it unterminated in the consumer unit ( or near ).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Paul, these are some great tips! I'll try to work them in as best I can or I'll just dump them all in the comments of the post.

Please contact me if you ever want to write a guest post for PWS as you clearly know what you're talking about and write well. I'm happy to link back to your website in return.

Thanks again, Russ

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On 5/26/2019 at 5:47 AM, pauldavidthomas said:

A couple of additions...

Waste

Rather than skips, I tend to use grab lorries. So I don't pay for the licence if it's an on-road skip. I ensure non-mixed waste goes into it. As I tend to do extensions ect, I do get a lot of rubble / bricks / earth. Equally, I would try to re-use this waste in landscaping. Don't pay to throw away, when you then need to buy and bring it back in. I've just had 5 tonnes removed for £80, as I was charged by weight.

Try to split your waste, plasterboard is VERY expensive to dispose of. Try to isolate it and find a specialist who will remove.

If removing ceilings and they have lathes. Keep them as fire starters at home (if you have an open fire) or bundle and sell them, 100 year old thin timber is perfect !

Painting & Decorating

All major manufacturers ( Dulux/Johnstons ect) have technical support numbers, call them with questions. It can be quite a complicated area.

Newly plastered walls... Remember always need a watered down coat first. Oddly enough, just done a house using Johnstones 'Durable' paint. 3 bed house 4 cans of 5 ltrs. Instead of doing a white mist-coat first, I took advice and did watered down 'Durable' paint, worked a treat, saved buying white paint and putting on walls and resisted absorption on final coats.

Use water based paints, not oil.

Write down what paints you actually used, so when you need to touch up later you can.

Safety First

They only cost £12 each for interlinked. Put them in all rooms. Of course correct ones in kitchen and areas with open fires. If you are unsure, call up the manufacturers they will tell you what you need and where.

In relation to ventilation. If you have problems with tenants who don't know how to open a window, put in a Positive Ventilation system. They cost about £350 and pump air into the house.

Energy Efficiency

Keep your eye out for cheap insulation, B&Q and other companies do offer it from time to time, or look on gumtree ect for people who have bought too much !

Future-Proofing your Investment

Run Cat5e cables to all rooms ( two if possible ), bringing back to a central location. A 305m real should be about £50.

Do the same with CT100 ( TV cables )

External and Security

Add one power socket to rear wall of property. Same with a water outlet. I would also suggest running an armoured cable (6mm) to the front of the property ( or at least ducting ) to allow charging of electric cars. You don't need to do anything expensive, just run the cable. Leave it unterminated in the consumer unit ( or near ).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FYI, I just updated the post to include these tips. Cheers.

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A good post from @pauldavidthomas.

The only point I would query is running CAT5 everywhere.

I did that in our house some 18 years ago, it was used extensively for a while and then world plus dog went wireless.

So I would change that to adding wifi repeaters at strategic points in the property.

Screwfix are doing an integrated double socket + wifi repeater + USB charging point for around £25 each.

Two of those equal same cost of a reel of cat5 cable (but not the outlets themselves) without any need to feed cable around, pick an existing socket and replace it. 

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21 hours ago, dennis hughes said:

A good post from @pauldavidthomas.

The only point I would query is running CAT5 everywhere.

I did that in our house some 18 years ago, it was used extensively for a while and then world plus dog went wireless.

So I would change that to adding wifi repeaters at strategic points in the property.

Screwfix are doing an integrated double socket + wifi repeater + USB charging point for around £25 each.

Two of those equal same cost of a reel of cat5 cable (but not the outlets themselves) without any need to feed cable around, pick an existing socket and replace it. 

Good point Dennis, in a rental property i would suggest running a single Cat5 to the loft space this way a WiFi repeater can easily be fitted to cover the upstairs of the property. Just depends how far you want to take it I suppose.. 

 

In my own home I’ve run cat5 to each bedroom to future proof for games consoles ETC 

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I agree with Dennis.... I'm old school... Equally, the place I did for myself, the walls are so thick wifi isn't great and I like hi speed to my TV...

So, if I were doing wireless points. Find a wifi repeater that you can wall mount. either :-

https://www.screwfix.com/p/appleby-dual-35mm-dry-lining-box/22772

or

https://www.screwfix.com/p/appleby-galvanised-steel-dual-35mm/48234

Depending upon wall type. Run power to one side, then data x 2 to the other... Just incase one gets damaged on install... 

For best wifi distribution, best at a hi point. People put them behind sofas and that jusd isn't the best place.

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