Hello there, and welcome back to another day of renovation tips from me, Naomi Findlay, your personal rapid renovation expert.
So, you’ve put together your A-Team; your real estate agent is your best bud; you have a great broker who’s sorted out all your loan details and given you the best rates; your certifier is an absolute whiz who knows all the building rules in your patch; and your lawyer has your back on the business side of things.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, have a look at my last post on getting together your perfect group of professionals and give yourself a killer head start on renovating for profit.
Alright, back to this one.
You’ve got your A-Team ready to go, but what about your B-Team?
What’s the B-Team, you ask?
Don’t worry, the “B” doesn’t stand for back-up. It isn’t the group of guys on the bench who you call into the game if your star players get knocked out or injured. It’s not like the A-Team are the alphas and the B’s are the betas.
The B-Team, YOUR B-Team, are you second group of pros.
Your first group are the professionals that will help you figure out all the nitty-gritty paperwork stuff. And your B-Team are your hands-on tradies, the guys (or gals) who will be there to help with the actual physical side of the renovation. They’re your muscle power.
And I’ve called them the B-Team, NOT because they’re less important than your A’s, but because you should be getting the A-Team sorted first.
You wouldn’t jump into the actual renovation before getting your business stuff sorted, right? Well it’s the same principle with your support network. Once your paperwork and business side of things is secure, then you can roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty on-site.
So, let’s dig in.
What sort of professionals should you be adding to your B-Team?
Well, that depends on what you’re actually planning to do to your renovation property. Are you looking to knock down walls, or just paint them? Do you want to rip out and replace the whole kitchen, or is it just a new dishwasher that you’re after?
It’s important to know what your vision for the property is before you start ringing around for trade professionals.
If you’re not touching any of the pipework and leaving the kitchen and bathroom as is, then you probably don’t need to get hold of a plumber. Likewise, if you’re just planning on repainting the kitchen cabinetry rather than replacing them, you probably don’t need to bring in a carpenter.
Remember one of my golden rules about leaving the pro work to the pros? Well that’s what you need to keep in mind here when choosing your B-Team.
Sure, you can paint the walls yourself, but how long is that going to take? If it’s just one feature wall in the bedroom, it might save you some money to do it yourself. But if you’re looking to repaint the whole two-storeys, then getting yourself a professional painter is a good idea.
The other pretty obvious thing you need to keep in mind is that no two projects are the same.
Your first renovation project might need a plumber and carpenter because you’re re-doing the whole kitchen, but your next project might need an electrician and carpet layer because you’re putting in pendant lighting and swapping out the carpet.
So you can see that every project you do will be different.
But, having said that, there ARE four main groups of trades that you will most likely use when renovating.
The first group of people you’ll most likely have on your B-Team are the licensed builders.
Like the name implies, these guys are fully qualified to do the particular work that they have a license for.
There are two main types of renovation. The first type is a cosmetic renovation, and the second is structural. Generally, if your house flipping project falls only into the first type of reno, you probably won’t need a licensed builder.
But if you are planning on knocking down walls or extending porches or pergolas, then a licensed builder is a must.
And yes, these guys don’t come cheap, but they are a huge asset to your renovation. They will look after the whole physical reno so you have more time to focus on the other things. This will make your house flipping experience a million times less stressful.
The second group of reno pros are your licensed tradies.
They’re the ones who will give you modern kitchen cabinets, smoothly painted feature walls, beautifully laid tiles, and make sure you have an on-demand and safe electricity and water supply.
You could even split this group up into a further two sub-groups. The first sub-group are your plumbers and electricians. The second sub-group are you carpenters, tilers, painters, carpet layers and plasterers.
The reason for these sub-groups is a legal one; you can’t carry out your own plumbing or electricity for safety reasons. Imagine if you connected up your own pipes to the sewer lines and they burst. It wouldn’t be pretty, or cheap, to fix. Or if you wired up your own electricals and somebody got a nasty zap from that power point. Again, not nice.
The second sub-type involves tradies that don’t HAVE to be used legally, but I would strongly recommend that you do. Sure, you can tile up the shower yourself, but what are you going to do when you find out that the tiles haven’t been laid flat so the water pools and doesn’t go down the drainage pipe? You’ll probably have to rip up the tiles and get a licensed tiler. That’s time and money down the drain (pun intended).
The best thing, regardless of what sub-group the tradie is in, is that a licensed tradie will reduce the risk of your whole renovation. If the pipes do end up leaking, you know that a licensed person did the work and can get it fixed easily.
So, obviously, hiring a licensed tradie is a lot less risky because they’re actually licensed to do the work you’re paying for.
But in some cases, an unlicensed tradie can come in handy and that’s why this is the third one on the list.
I’m not recommending that you rush out and throw your cash at someone who’s been in the business for 6 months just because he’s five times cheaper than your licensed tradie’s quote. He’s obviously cheaper for a reason, and one that you should probably run away from.
But if he’s a guy who perhaps WAS a licensed tradie for years and has since slowed down as he’s approaching retirement, his skills and experience may be a good asset to have as part of your B-Team.
Remember that this doesn’t apply to plumbers and electricians who MUST have a current license to be able to carry out your work.
The last group on my list is your labourers. These guys are also sometimes called unskilled labourers, which is a little misleading.
They’re “unskilled” not because they only just learnt what a jackhammer was or picked up a shovel for the first time yesterday. They’re “unskilled” because they don’t have a particular niche, such as being a carpenter or bricklayer.
But don’t be quick to dismiss these guys, as they can be a huge help on the worksite. They might not be able to do your tiling, but they can make sure those tiles are unloaded, unwrapped and ready to set as soon as the tiler arrives.
So there you have it; the four main groups of tradies that will probably make their way onto your B-Team.
And just like with your A-Team, it’s never too late to chop and change. You might work with a carpenter on one project, only to decide that they weren’t right for you. And that’s ok. As long as you communicate well, you’ll be on your way to renovation success in no time.