187: Dan Hulbert’s 7 steps to property refurbishment success

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Dan HulbertToday I am delighted to be joined by Dan Hulbert. Dan was originally on the show on episode 152 when we learnt about Dan’s approach to helping others enter the world of property investment with his networking organisation, The Property Vault, as well as talking through some of his own deals. 

With a background as a builder though,  he’s got a lot of valuable knowledge in his head, so I wanted to get him back on to talk through his own 7 step refurbishment process, all the way from viewings to completing the project.

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Dan’s 7 Step Refurbishment Process

Before getting started on any project, whether it is a single occupancy property or an HMO, Dan believes it is important to have a team in place. This team will help you through every step of the process, from solicitors during the buying process, right through to certified tradesmen who will sign off on their work.

1. Viewing the property

Look at the property from an investing perspective. Dan said, when viewing any property, he will first look for external defects on the property. Look for any issues in the brickwork/rendering, guttering and drainage. If you are considering an HMO, looking for suitable drainage will determine where and how easy it will be to fit a new bathroom.

2. Putting your plan together

Plan how you are going to achieve your goals with the property and set out your realistic expectations with the building team. Talk to your team and come up with a realistic timescale to get work done.

3. Manage the process

Dan believes that it is important for the owner of the property to manage the project. As someone with money tied up in the property, you will have an interest that the project is completed on time and to a high standard.

4. Layout

During the viewing process in step one, you should have got a rough idea of the property layout. Dan says to figure out where your furniture will go, as that will tell you where sockets, lights and other fixtures will be placed. Draw up plans so you get a physical idea of what you are looking to achieve.

5. Design

Design the property around the property type and the people you are targeting – not to your own personal style! Think about the wear and tear of the property over time and buy furniture to last.

6. Refurbishment

Refurbishing the property comes in three stages: stripping out, first fix and second fix. Before working on refurbishing the property, be sure to strip out anything that needs to be removed.

The first fix will involve getting any wiring and plumbing in place. Adding the sockets and plumbing appliances is part of the second fix, which also includes fitting the kitchen, tiling, skirting, plastering, and other jobs to complete the property.

Any issues or changes to the property after the second fix should be made into a list and handed to the builder. Agree on a timescale to get the final fixes done.

7. Completion

Completing the refurbishment requires getting any certified tradesmen to sign off on their work. Remember to check any necessary certificates from tradesmen, including electrics and gas safety.

In your budget, Dan suggests retaining 5% for any additional work that needs to be completed.

Dan Hulbert’s Links & Resources

If you want to find our more about Dan or speak to him about helping with your next project, drop him an email and let him know you heard him on the podcast for a free 15 minute chat.

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