The First Steps of the Renovation Process

In our last installment of Coach’s Corner, I walked through the evaluation, budgeting and timeline creation process for a 1940s bungalow that we purchased in “full-gut” condition in Denver, Colorado.  

Be sure to check it out for initial walkthrough videos and what to look out for in a potential fix and flip property.

In this post, I’ll show the first steps in the renovation process and provide house flipping tips along the way to help you get from purchase to sale as quickly as possible. Remember, the longer you hold onto a property, the less money you will make upon sale.

Ready… Set… Clean!

The first step seems obvious, but it is surprising how much you reveal with a quick clean up, both inside and outside the house. 


The front yard is the first thing people see when they look at a home. A property’s value can be reduced with just a few unkempt bushes, weeds and overgrown trees. Provide a warm welcome to potential buyers by cleaning up the outside of your property. You do not always need to completely re-landscape to increase a home’s value. Sometimes you can bump up the curb appeal with a little clean-up and some TLC.

Start by:

  • Removing bushes that block entryways and the front of the house.  
  • Trimming the trees.  
  • Removing trash and debris from the yard.


After you have taken care of the exterior, it is time to tackle the interior. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what to remove, repaint or upgrade and your choices directly impact your profit (no pressure!).

Start by:

  • Removing trash and items left behind by the previous owners.  
  • Knocking out what you know you do not want or need and start renovations with a clean slate.  

Save What You Can

As we mentioned in our first Coach’s Corner, it is important to save what you can — flooring, accents, cabinets — to reduce costs when flipping your property. In this particular house, we are keeping the floors. The wood floors match the style of the home, add character and just need a simple stain for a fresh look. Get tips on how to select flooring when flipping homes.

Ensure Plans are Up to Code 

Homes built before 1950 did not have strict code regulations. Now, however, most cities in the U.S. have a set of building codes that establish standards for properties. These codes exist to ensure the health, safety and well-being of the occupants. You should always have your potential investment property inspected by a professional home inspector so that you have a clear understanding of the items that must be replaced or repaired.

Here are some of the items that we need to bring up to code in our 1940s bungalow:

  • Piping  – The galvanized piping needs to come out. This piping is no longer used and builds up with rust and sediment easily, making the inside diameter of the pipe decrease over time. In turn, the water flow becomes unusable and the sediment within the pipes becomes toxic.
  • Window size – Windows in bedrooms must pass strict codes so that occupants can exit and rescuers can enter, in case of emergency.
  • Doorways and entryways – Similarly, exterior doors must meet exact measurements as well. The 2012 International Residential code requires a minimum of one egress door. The height and width requirements make entry and exit easy.

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I will share the next installment soon! In the meantime, register for my upcoming Free Webinar, Removing the Fear from Flipping Houses starting on Tuesday, March 13. In it, I’ll share information on the current market opportunity for flipping homes and my tips for how to flip a house with little to no money of your own! I hope you’ll join me.