Rehab Project Timelines

Learn how to plan your project timelines, schedule your contractors and manage your schedules to complete youre rehab on time and on-budget.
Planning Your Project Timeline for your House Flip


Judging by the house flipping shows you see on HGTV, you'd expect a house flip to take approximately 24 minutes to complete.  

We all know it takes a lot more time, effort and planning in order to successfully renovate and flip a property.  In this article we will discuss how to plan your rehab project and discuss realistic timelines for each phase of construction.

Phase 1: Pre-Purchase Due Diligence (2 weeks)

Initial Analysis & Offer

In today's competitive environment you will need to be able to act fast and analyze deals and make offers faster than your competitors.

The very fist step of the typical project timeline involves your initial due diligence and evaluation of the property to determine your maximum offer price.

If you feel like you can make a deal with the Seller, make an offer on the property 'contingent' on inspections which will allow you to walk away from the deal if something is found during the inspection period.

Inspections (~2 weeks)

If the Seller accepts your offer, you will typically be given a 10 to 14 Day Inspection Period to inspect the property.  This Inspection Period gives you an opportunity to have an Inspector inspect the property condition and also gives you additional time to put together a detailed Scope of Work & Estimate for the project.

Once the Inspection Report comes back and you have a chance to refine your Repair Estimates, you can choose to close on the deal, renegotiate the purchase price or walk away from the property.
  1. Inspections
  2. Final Scope of Work & Estimates
  3. Perform Final Due Diligence
  4. Decide to Close, Renegotiate, or Walk Away​

Phase 2: Planning (2 weeks to 2 months)

Once you decide to close on the property, you will generally have around 2 weeks to 30 days before the final closing date.

During this closing period you need to start planning the rehab so you can hit the ground running once you officially take possession of the property.  During this time frame you need to finalize your Scope of Work, get Bid Proposals from Contractors & start planning your Construction schedules.

If the Seller allows, you will want to set a property walk-through time that will allow your Contractors to walk through the property, take measurements so they can create a Bid Proposal for the project.

Contractor Bidding

  1. Inspections
  2. Final Scope of Work & Estimates
  3. Perform Final Due Diligence
  4. Decide to Close, Renegotiate, or Walk Away​
Once you officially take possession of the property you can submit your Plans & Drawings to the Building Commission for Approval so you can pull Permits.  

Plan Submission

  1. Submit Drawings to Building Commission for Approval
  2. Pull Permits
Note: If you are doing a light cosmetic rehab you may not need a permit, but if your project involves tearing down walls, re-wiring, or piping you will likely need to pull a Building Permit for your project.  Depending on your project, and the bureaucracy of your local Building Department, permits can take as little as a few days or up to a few months!

Coordinate Start Dates

Once you talk to the Building Department you will hopefully get a better idea of how long it will take to get Permit approval so you can schedule preliminary start dates for your Contractors.
  1. Coordinate Start Construction Start Date with Contractors
  2. Order Dumpsters (to be delivered 1 to 2 days before Demolition Start Date)

Phase 3: Exteriors and Structural Repairs

Major Exterior Repairs (1 week to 1 month)

If your property has major roofing, siding or window issues, or foundation leaks that allow water to infiltrate the property you will want to take care of those repairs first.  You don't want to spend a bunch of money finishing your interior work, only for a rainstorm to wash away all of your progress.  

If you property has major structural issues or foundation problems it's also a good idea to have those taken care of first.  Foundation repairs can be messy and often involve lifting and leveling the home which can result in drywall cracks.

Major Exterior Repairs & Structural Repairs

  1. Roof Replacement (1 to 3 days)
  2. Siding Replacement (5 to 10 days)
  3. Window Replacement (2 to 5 days)
  4. Minor Foundation Repairs (2 to 3 days)
  5. Major Foundation Repairs (varies 3 days to 2 weeks)

Minor Exterior Finish Work (1 to 2 weeks)

Once your Exterior is water-tight and your foundations are stabilized you can move-on to the Exterior Finish Work to work on your property curb appeal.

Starting on your property curb appeal as soon as possible is important because it creates a 'buzz' in the neighborhood about your home that will get the neighbors talking and prospective buyers curious!  Freshen up the property curb appeal with some fresh new exterior paint, shutters, landscaping and mailbox.
  1. Paint the Exterior (2 to 4 days)
  2. Install New Shutters (4 to 8 hours)
  3. Install New Landscaping (4 to 8 hours)
  4. Install new Mailbox (2 to 4 hours)

Phase 4: Demolition (~1 Days to 5 Days)

You don't have to wait for your Exterior Repairs to be completed to start working on the Interiors of the property.  If you have the manpower you can start to perform the Demolition and Abatement work to prep the property for the new floor plan and finishes.

If your property has asbestos, lead or mold you will want to get that removed by a Certified Abatement company before you start the Demolition.  Once you have the hazardous materials removed your workers can safely begin the Demolition work tearing out the walls, kitchens, bathrooms and flooring.

Major Exterior Repairs & Structural Repairs

  1. ​Abatement Work (varies by project (1 day to 10 days+)
  2. ​Demolition Work (1 to 5 days)

Phase 5: Interior Rough-in (5 to 20 days)

Once the existing kitchen and bathrooms are demolished and the old carpets are pulled-up you should have a clean slate for you to start building back the bones and guts (framing and MEP systems) of the property.

The first step of building back the property is the rough-in phase.  ​Rough-in refers to the phase of construction when 'rough' framing, piping and wiring are installed in your property.  During the rough-in phase, generally your walls are still open which allows your MEP (mechanical, electrical & plumbing) Contractors to install their 'rough' piping, wiring & ductwork in the walls.

If your property is a light cosmetic rehab, you may not have any rough-in work, but if you are changing the floor plan layout and relocating plumbing fixtures or light fixtures you will require rough-framing, piping and wiring.

Rough-in Work

  1. Rough Framing (varies by project (1 to 5 days)
  2. Rough Plumbing (varies by project (1 to 5 days)
  3. Rough Electrical (varies by project (1 to 5 days)
  4. Rough HVAC (varies by project (1 to 5 days)

Rough-in Work Inspection

Once you have completed the framing and MEP Rough-in, you need to call to arrange an inspection from your local Building Department.  Your local Building Department will inspect the work to ensure that the work is in compliance with local building codes.

Phase 6: Interior Finishes (1 to 3 months)

Once your framing and MEP rough-in is approved by the local Building Inspector you can start hanging and finishing drywall and installing the interior finishes throughout the property.
  1. Drywall (varies by project (1 to 10 days)
  2. Doors & Trim (2 to 5 days)
  3. Interior Painting (2 to 5 days)
  4. Kitchen Cabinetry (2 to 3 days)
  5. Bathroom Remodel (3 to 10 days)
  6. Countertops (1 day)
  7. Flooring (2 to 5 days)
  8. Light Fixtures (1 to 2 days)
  9. Plumbing Fixtures (1 to 2 days)
  10. Appliances (4 hours)
  11. Miscellaneous Punchlist (1 to 5 days)

Phase 7: Punchlist (1 day to 1 week)

When you start to approach your final days on your rehab project you need to start making a list of Punch List items that need to be fixed or repaired before you give your Contractor their Final Payment.  Assuming the Contractor has taken pride in their work, there shouldn't be anything too major to fix so this process should only take a few days max.

Case Study

Now that we have learned the phases and timelines for a typical rehab project, let's run through an Case Study of a schedule for a 1,500 sf, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom rehab project.
​On this rehab project, the exteriors and interiors needed significant repairs.

Exterior Repairs

The Exterior of the property needed a new roof, new windows, new entry doors and garage doors and new landscaping.

Exterior Repairs (10 to 15 days)

  1. Roofing - 20 Squares of New Asphalt Roofing (1 day)
  2. Windows - 11 vinyl windows (3 days)
  3. New Decking & Rails (2 days)
  4. Exterior Doors - 2 entry doors & patio door (1 day)
  5. Exterior Painting (2 days)
  6. Garage Doors (1 day)
  7. Landscaping (4 hours)

​Interior Repairs

The Interior of the property needed new wiring, piping, new kitchen, new bathrooms, new doors & trim, paint, & flooring throughout.

​​Interior Repairs (4 to 6 weeks)

  1. Demolition Work - Tear out bathrooms, carpet & interior doors - 3 laborers, 2 days
  2. Electrical Rough-in/Re-wire (3 days)
  3. Plumbing Rough-in (1 day)
  4. Miscellaneous Drywall Patching & Texturing (3 days)
  5. Interior Doors - 12 interior doors (2 days)
  6. Interior Trim & Wainscoting ~ 200 lf of trim (3 days)
  7. Interior Painting - (3 days)
  8. Bathroom Remodels - 2 bathrooms (3 days each)
  9. Hardwood Flooring - 300 sf (2 days)
  10. Light Fixtures (1 day)
  11. Appliances Delivery & Installation (4 hours)
  12. Punch List Items (1 to 3 days)
  13. Final Cleaning (1 day)

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