Flipping a House? Don't Make These Renovation Mistakes

The Flipping the Block stars have successfully remodeled a condo complex — all while living in the construction dust. See what they learned along the way.
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Photo By: Stephanie Diani / Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Stephanie Diani / Getty Images

Photo By: Stephanie Diani / Getty Images

Photo By: Stephanie Diani / Getty Images

Photo By: Photographer: Stephanie Diani, Stephanie Diani / Getty Images

Photo By: Stephanie Diani / Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Stephanie Diani / Getty Images

Photo By: Stephanie Diani / Getty Images

Photo By: Stephanie Diani / Getty Images

Photo By: Stephanie Diani / Getty Images

Photo By: Photographer: Stephanie Diani, Stephanie Diani / Getty Images

Photo By: Photographer: Stephanie Diani, Stephanie Diani / Getty Images

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Photo By: Stephanie Diani / Getty Images

Photo By: Stephanie Diani / Getty Images

Don't forget about location.

A great flip candidate needs more than just good bones — it needs a great location, too. "Location is key! Try to find the worst house in the nicest neighborhood," the Black Team's Whitney says. "You don't want to have to worry about not being able to sell after you've just put lots of money and effort into renovations."

Don't skip market research.

You've found the property. Now, how much should you spend on the renovations? Research the sale prices and amenities of homes around the neighborhood before you start. "Knowing your market helps you invest your money wisely and, more importantly, sell your property in the end," the Red Team's Shauna says.

Don't plan room by room.

Instead, create an overall plan before you start. That way, you'll know how much of the budget to allot to each room.

Don't skip a theme.

Anicka and Shauna made the smart move of using the same contemporary style and gray and orange color scheme throughout the property. The result? A cohesive, sophisticated space.

Don't underestimate the time each project will take.

If you're just getting into the swing of renovations, allot twice the time you think you'll need for each task. "It's easy to underestimate the time needed to renovate," the Black Team's Whitney says. "In the beginning, what we thought might take two hours ended up being four or five when it was all said and done."

Don't forget your skillset.

Are you a woodworking expert like Blue Team twins Brian and Craig? Use your skills to differentiate your property from the real estate competition.

Don't underestimate costs.

Silver Team Curtis and Amanda's hardest lesson? "Everything costs more than you think," Amanda says." Be very budget-conscious. It all adds up!"

Don't be afraid to call the professionals.

Save money by DIYing where you can, but know when to call in a pro. "Trying crown molding for the first time was the biggest mistake we made," the Silver Team's Curtis says.

Don't underestimate yourself.

You're probably capable of more than you think when it comes to home upgrades, the Silver Team's Amanda says. "You'll save tons of money and have a sense of pride in your work, which makes any project better!"

Don't be afraid to add a little personality.

"While we know it's more accepted to flip a home with a neutral color-palette, we chose to push the limits and expand the flipping 'comfort zone,'" the Silver Team's Amanda says. The risk paid off: The couple's condo impressed judges Scott McGillivray and Nicole Curtis, and received the highest bid at the final condo auction.

Don't assume DIY is cheaper.

"If design or construction is not your thing, hire someone to help you work through the details," the Red Team's Anicka says. "It's cheaper to get it right the first time."

Don't forget to measure, then measure again.

Whitney and John of the Black Team learned a hard lesson when they forgot to account for the door swing of the oven and refrigerator, creating a cramped kitchen corner. Double, then triple check all your measurements to avoid costly changes.

Don't skimp where it matters.

Being budget-savvy will allow you to spend where it matters. On Flipping the Block, Silver Team Amanda and Curtis splurged on a tankless water heater. "Not only did it open up the floor plan of the downstairs, but it's also much more efficient. It's a win-win," Curtis says.

Don't expect it to be easy.

This process isn't for the faint of heart. "If you're going to live where you renovate, then get ready for some tough living," the Blue Team's Craig says. Also, get ready for lots of takeout and delivery dinners.

Don't sweat the small stuff.

"Don't let the little stuff ruin your day. As soon as you clean, things will get dusty again! As you plan, obstacles will arise. Try to stay positive," the Black Team's Whitney says.

Don't take out frustrations on your loved ones.

"Be ready to have your patience tested with your loved ones...like final exams of all final exams," the Silver Team's Amanda says. "Hang in there! It will be a crazy ride, but definitely worth it. We can (almost) guarantee it!"

Don't forget to make sure it works.

"In the end, living in the renovation is a huge benefit as you realize really quickly if your renovated space is functional, because you'll be using it," the Silver Team's Amanda says. "You get to give your work a test drive before you hand it over to the new owner — best-case scenario!"