How to Renovate a Rental Property to Minimize Repairs
Articles,  Blog

How to Renovate a Rental Property to Minimize Repairs


  • Jeff Dimock

    great information Clayton. That sounds like a lot of major system work for $15-$20,000, even on a fairly small house. Do you happen to have a breakdown of what typical costs for each of those major areas you mentioned might be?

  • Cynical Texas Dad

    I watch all of your videos, the ones with pictures of your projects really give great texture to the substance of what you're saying.
    Keep em coming!

  • Andrew Sokol

    I'm curious about your business model. If I buy a property through you, you're obviously going to profit somehow (and rightfully so). Do you mark up the price of the house to your buyers, or do you own the management company that manages the property? I'm confused about this. Thanks.

  • F. Fraijo

    I just turned 30 and am gaining extreme interest in investing in rental properties. I'm so glad I came across your YouTube channel. Are you available for specific advice if I decide to move forward with a deal? Could really use the mentorship

  • marvrus

    Hey Clayton, would you consider tankless water heater for your rental properties or is that upgrade just waste of money?

  • John Sluga

    because I have experienced a leaking water heater in two of the homes I have lived in, I have installed a whole house water shut off with leak sensors near the washing machine which is set in a tray to control water damage as well as a sensor near the water heater… Also installed with a pan. The pan is piped to a nearby drain. The shutoff saved me thousands when my last water heater began leaking while we were out.
    I like your theory… Pay now or pay more later in cash and headaches.

  • Awuramma Parry

    Hi Clayton,

    Good morning.

    l went in to download Tom's Report this morning, but it's been already taken down.

    Is there a way you may get it for me?

    Thank you.

  • Awuramma Parry

    Thank you Clayton for the feedback.

    Please l purchased my first double house (2 houses for the price of one) with my own money (Roth IRA) at the price of $12,500 in NJ.

    l want to live in one and rent the other. But very concern with taxes.

    l purchased it as an investment, but l would love in live in one of them as my primary home because of its location, very close to the Delaware river.

    What do l do? Please advise.

  • Cdogvlog 55

    yes replaced all the windows in my house and got the roof painted. Still have the original 43 year old water heater though, and galvanized plumbing throughout the place.

  • Nancy Coughlin

    I'm a Home Inspector, licensed in Florida, have been a landlord for more than 5 yrs now and totally agree with this advice. Great video Clayton!!!

  • Mark Poulton

    Did you start out with the philosophy in the beginning or did you eventually get to this point as you gained more houses? I just closed on my 10th rental a couple weeks ago and at this point, the cash flow isn't quite there. It isn't that I made a ton of poor decisions, I just have some very aggressive owner finance deals mostly at 0% so excess cash flow goes there. I can see the eventual benefit of this when I hit that tipping point, but at this time, a working HVAC is an expense I am not having to replace.

  • Eugene C

    One of your upgrades is to replace the plumbing with PEX. It seems like you are recommending PEX for hot and cold supply lines as well as the vent, waste/drain lines.

  • Chris Barreira

    nice to know. renovating my first rental property now. its been gutted and ive been putting brand new everything behind the walls , also restructuring/re-supporting the entire house so that it lasts another 100 years. brand new hvac, plumbing, electrical. would hate to have to tear down drywall to get at the stuff behind the walls. its much simpler to replace a toilet then it is to run a new wire 😛 i think its best to buy houses that need complete gut because you buy them cheaper and you get to fix them up properly

  • Dumpster Darlin

    Great advice though it's scary at times when the cash is going out. I've done this on all my properties but I really want the next ones to be less of a remodel.

  • Joseph Brandsen

    If you have an older 78% furnace that's in good shape I would keep it for awhile. Clean the pilot orifice and install a new thermocouple and limit switch. They're old enough to have no fussy and expensive electronics to fail or draft inducer motor with cheap bearings to go bad (always on Christmas Eve) . One landlord I worked for had about 30 old furnaces, some from the 1950s, and they plugged away winter after winter, while the modern ones constantly needed $200 circuit boards and $150 draft motors.

  • Lady Owl

    If im getting an estimate for the knob and tube, which Im finding a lot of here in the Midwest what would be a good ball park to do the whole house as a newbie with less than 2,000 sq feet? I just don't want to get taken for but do make sure it's done according to code.

  • Anne Kakai

    Fantastic!  Again, I love how you keep it so very simple.  Helps make it not so scary particularly of a newbie REI.  Thank you for this information.  Added this to my list of valuable resources.

  • Andrew Barlow

    Hey Clayton! I know you can’t give exact numbers, but do you have ballpark prices you expect to pay for all new plumbing and all new electrical? Just curious how to evaluate quotes. I’m in a very similar market as Indianapolis.

  • irainkoolaid2

    So buy a 40k dump and fix up the 6 systems for another prolly 30-40k and then at that point u might as well just of bought a house with all that new stuff for 80k…I’m just confused the purpose.

  • working shlub

    i agree..i do alot of apartment flips for investors.. water heater is 10 years old we just replace it.. most units have the old type M copper plumbing installed in the 70s we will take an extra week and rip it out and do pex…best to do all this when unit is empty because a tenant might stay for 10-15 years you never know.

  • DJ Grier

    Another great video!

    Question, on average, what does it cost you to replace an entire home with Pex plumbing? Are massive amounts of dry wall taken down in the process?

    Thank you.

  • AustinAirCo

    Me personally I decided against PEX as well as CPVC. CPVC is known to become brittle over time. PEX is quite tasty to rodents… namely mice, rats, squirrels, raccoons. I chose copper with sweat fittings. Copper plumbing supply will last probably 100 years or more, and sweat fittings will never leak. To protect against freeze, I merely insulated the pipe. With that said, I did that all myself on two properties I own. I doubt you would find many plumbers these days who would do all copper repipe job with sweat fittings. Some tenants aren't as clean as others. If trash is left out, not disposed of regularly the rodents don't need much encouragement from there to realize the food is inside the house. It's all down hill from there in terms of major flood potential. Plumbers like PEX because it's a guaranteed repair job later and if you don't get rid of the mice it will just keep happening. Scan the horror stories on youtube if you don't believe me. What are your thoughts of wood look tile through out house? So as to not have to replace carpeting every time a tenant moves out? I've got one house with laminate flooring and I'm not impressed with the way this is holding up and I used a midgrade product with what was billed as a 50 year life cycle and tenant has only been in there a year. My thought is put in wood look tile and all it would ever need is to be cleaned. I can hire out to have that done with professional floor cleaner. The wood look tile is incredible these days, you can't tell that it's tile, without getting up really close and even then I think it would fool most people. What are your thoughts on that?

  • Eduard Bobrik

    Clayton, considering $20-30K rehab, even if the property is under market value, you are still far from $45-50K purchase price:))) (rehab included)…
    Let’s say it’s C-class property, according to many search engines in your most favorable states, these prices gone a long time ago;) unless you are a magician and pooling rabbits from a wonder hat;)

  • Turtle Quickness

    What if the property you are buying already has a renter in it? How do you renovate it or do you just forgo doing the renovation since it's already occupied?

  • whmozart

    So… you guys as prperty owners, do you do this work yourselves or do you hire someone? I would have not the slightest clue as to how to change the electric or plumbing in a house. Do all the walls have to come down for this? Sounds intimidating.

  • Wyplj Mklk

    I’m surprised at how people can say the renovations are done cheaply (overall) when my experience with my own house rehab is a bit more expensive. I’m estimate at least 25% more than what you might pay and I’m using the best quality cheap Home Depot supplies and using trustworthy contractors. Good ones can’t be made to work that cheaply.

  • thexraykidd

    Thank you for your videos! I just bought my first property for just under 50k. The structure looks solid and has all newer mechanicals that you're speaking of (within 5 to 10 years). Would you still advise to update things or rent it and try to get as much use out of the originals as possible?

  • John Jacobsen

    When it comes to kitchens and baths… stay with function over form too. Don't over invest in upgrades and appliances that add complexity and cost. For example, use simulated off the shelf home depot granite counters instead of real stone. Use 500 refrigerators instead of 1000.

  • Lakefrontseattle

    I watch and enjoy a lot of your videos, and am getting close to buying my first property. This video really helped!

  • zachgera

    Clayton, I am buying my first long distance investment in IN. I have contractors who have given me proposals. If possible, can you tell me a strategy on how to work with contractors long distance, without being taken advantage of? I am flying out there next week to meet with a property manager I have lined up along with the one contractor, mostly to build up a trusting relationship. Any advise would be great. Thank you.


    My Hardwood flooring are beyond repair and I'm looking at Vinyl Faux Hardwood flooring for my first rental property. Do you invest in carpet for the Bedrooms? Or would you just continue with the Faux flooring for the entire house. I'm afraid that carpet needs to be replaced all the time.

  • Gee purrs

    Being in the dumpster rental business I know A LOT of roofers. Most of them agree if you are going to do a new roof just tear the old layer(s) off. They all basically agree that new shingles over old shingles do NOT last as long. This also gives you the opportunity to make sure there is ice and water shield as required by code. On top of that you will also get to replace any bad wood that you otherwise would never see.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *