Property owners must always consider the pros and cons of updating and remodeling their apartment units. Capital improvement projects can consume both the property manager and the owner.
Here are 8 tips for a stress free remodel:
1. If you’re going to start major remodels, always pull permits at the local Building and Safety office. If you don’t pull permits, you risk being cited by Code Enforcement which costs time and money.
2. Next is demoing. Make sure you create a blank canvas for the contractors. Your contractor will be able to move faster and finish sooner. Remove as much drywall/plaster as you can. This helps the electricians move faster if electrical work is needed.
3. The next step is rough electrical. If you are not sure what rough electrical is, essentially rough electrical is the removal of the old electrical wiring, switches and receptacles. During this process, the electricians will also start running new wires for the plugs, switches, lights and fans. The contractor should also be looking at all the plumbing and framing.
4. You will need to replace all rotted wood around the bathroom and kitchen. At this point you should call for a rough electrical inspection. I recommend that you should get to know your inspector. I also can’t stress enough to you that you should be nice to your inspector since they have a lot of control over your timeline. In my experience, I always try to learn new things when I am interacting with the inspectors. Most times, if an inspector sees your interest in learning about the process, they will try to make it a teaching opportunity. The inspector will also point out sub-standard work, which is important so that you can address these issues with your contractor immediately.
5. The following step is the installation of insulation, drywall and cement board. You are now closing up all the walls and getting ready to paint. It would be helpful to make sure your screw spacing is 6 to 8 inches apart, so the inspector will not have to give you a correction notice.
6. Afterwards, is sealing and sanding to prepare for painting. Before installing the cabinets and fixtures, I would recommend painting the entire apartment because it reduces the prep time. Also if something happens to the walls, then it’s a simple touch up.
7. Installing your floors would be the next step. I would suggest covering the floor with paper. This method allows work to be finished while protecting the floors. After you cover the floor with the paper, you can start adding plugs, switches and lights.
8. After painting the walls and installing flooring, the kitchen and bathroom cabinets can be installed with the other fixtures in place. You can now call the inspector for your final inspection.
As a result of these enhancements, owners have the ability to raise rents. When doing these capital improvements, you will have virtually no maintenance and the enhancement project is also a tax write off.
Stay tuned for our next blog with pictures on the progress of our current project! The Proud Crowd is a full service boutique brokerage that specializes in selling, buying, capital improvements and property management.
Michael J. Fucci
Broker DRE # 01886363
Michael Fucci has been in the real estate industry since 2001 and is based in Los Angeles. Michael specializes in multi-family sales. If you have any real estate questions, Michael can be reached via email at email@example.com.