‘Tis the New Year to Rehab

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The New Year is almost here, which means it’s time for resolutions, rebirth, and gut rehabs! So, I’d like to set some expectations about the typical gut rehabilitation process. You may have seen some shows on TV that are able to accomplish a gut rehab project in just about month for $100,000. Unfortunately, this is simply unrealistic. If you’re a first time home flipper, investor, or want to renovate your house, here’s what you can realistically expect from a typical house flip.

Since the new year is here, we’ll have January 1st as our start date. Let’s assume we are doing a full gut rehabilitation for a 3,000 square foot, single family house, requiring  a $350,000 budget.

Jan 1: Consultation – First time consultations are always an in-person meeting. During this time, phones are off, and distractions are minimal. Face-to-face meetings with my clients are the best way to get a feel of what they want. I always come armed with a list of questions. These range from budget, to must-haves, to style preferences.

Jan. 8: Hire Architect for Bid Set – Bid Sets are the preliminary architectural drawings required to scope the work for the trades. These drawings are a must. No respectable GC can work without them. Gut rehabs usually cost hundreds of thousands of dollars – we need to have specifics on paper so we can visualize the layout and any potential problems. The architect will also help you with your design aesthetic. GCs are builders, not designers. Not to say I don’t have a good idea every now and then… I digress.

Feb 5: Complete Bid Set and Submit to GC – Architecture drawings typically take about a month. This should give ample time to take the information discussed and make them tangible. Architects are able to take the theoretical and put it on paper.

Feb 8: Bidding – Next, the bidding process begins. Formal bids are needed from a variety of different trades – this process takes about 3 weeks.

Feb 26: Receive maximum bid from GC – At this point, all formal GC bids have been placed. It’s time to sign on the dotted line.

March 4: Select GC and Hire Architect for Permit Set  – After a GC is selected, we then need to make any changes to the drawings based on GC feedback regarding construction or budget, stamp the architecture drawings (IMPORTANT!), and complete the supporting documentation (this is where your GC comes in…) to the City of Chicago in order to obtain a permit.

March 7: Permitting – Ohhh permits and paperwork – It’s actually WAY more exciting than it sounds! Just kidding – it is exactly as exciting as it sounds. The good news is that despite the fact that this is an annoying and time-consuming process, we don’t have a choice! So, we all just get over it.  

April 29: Obtain Permit from City – Permitting time frames depend on a variety of factors – whether it’s the scope of work, or if it’s a busy season for the City. Obtaining permits should take about 6-8 weeks. If your architect is Self-Certified, this process will be much faster. Keep in mind that you’re accepting a lot of liability under Self Certification.

May 9: Demolition Begins – Grab your sledgehammers and safety helmets – now the demo begins. Once this process starts, there’s no going back. During demolition, we’re also looking for issues with the house that we may not have been able to see on the surface. Fun!

May 30: Framing Begins – After the demolition is complete, then rebuilding begins. Framing involves putting the structure in place according to the floor plans on the drawings. At this point, you can begin to see the drawings come to life.

June 13: MEP Begins – After the framing is up, we then start the MEP process. MEP stands for “Mechanical (HVAC), Electrical, and Plumbing”. This is typically the largest scope on any project. These trades have to work together and be efficient. If this phase is not efficient and productive, your project will drag on indefinitely. You can’t do anything else until MEP is installed and inspected.

July 5 (4th is a holiday – it’ll be a crapshoot): City Inspections and Approvals – After the framing and MEP are finished, everything is coming together and we now have to get a City inspector. They are typically booked in advance so a deadlines are incredibly important – you don’t want to have to re-book.

July 11: Finish Carpentry Begins – Finish carpentry typically involves the finishes that you see in a home – floors, mouldings, tile. We like to plan for about 6 weeks to take care of this process.

August 22: Punch List and Final Cleaning – Months of demolition and rebuilding cause for a major cleanup. Tile, flooring, counters, windows, door handles – you name it, it has to be cleaned up. We want to make sure the home is completely suitable for move in within two weeks. We’ll do a walk-through to make sure everything fits the client’s needs.

September 2: Final Completion – Congratulations – we’ve made it! You’re now able to move into your new home!

Gut rehabs are messy and tough – ultimately, they’re incredibly rewarding. As you can see, much of the time frame is devoted to planning and paperwork. This is to ensure that everything is done correctly. If you would like to learn more on gut rehabilitations from either an investment or residential perspective, please don’t hesitate to contact us at contact@integro-rehab.com.

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