Flipping on the Cheap: Part 1

When someone says the phrase "house flipping", it is easy to think of grande renovations with hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on the project. However, there are a lot of ways to save money and flip on a budget. In this article, I will give you a few examples of flipping on a budget. However, I must warn you that the area/neighborhood you are "flipping" in, affects the way you flip and the money you need to spend (in some instances).

High-end neighborhoods are going to expect high-end finishes. If you are attempting to flip in a rich neighborhood, I would expect your renovation budget to be double, if not triple. This is an excellent reason to flip in "up and coming" or middle-class neighborhoods. Flipping a potential rental property is a great way to lower the expectations. When people are looking for a potential rental, they are focused on a clean, fresh space that will show well to potential clients. They are not entering the space looking for smart home wiring and designer fixtures. So... what are the best ways to save money when flipping a property?




Flooring can be shockingly expensive. Vinyl plank, luxury vinyl, hardwood. Gone are the days when everything was carpeted. Nowadays, buyers and renters alike are looking for easy maintenance flooring. We all live busy lives now, with dogs, children, and life getting in the way and creating messes. Carpet is often a big turn off for a lot of people because it tends to be unforgiving. Laminate was the hottest thing since sliced bread when it first hit the market. However, over the test of time, we quickly learned that laminate flooring is potentially less forgiving than carpet. Laminate, while inexpensive, is more prone to chipping, shifting, gapping, and buckling. Laminate is also very unforgiving if there is any moisture. Watch out if you place it in a basement that has the tiniest amount of moisture. So, what is the better option? When at all possible... KEEP THE ORIGINAL FLOOR.

When I purchased my first home, I had every intention of renovating it and selling it for a profit. I was only 25 at the time, waiting tables with no equity built up. It was very important that any and all renovations were done on a very strict budget. I managed to update the flooring in the entire house (1800 sq ft) for less than $1000. How? I chose to restore the existing hardwood flooring.

The house I bought had been rented for a very long time. Unfortunately, the tenants had taken very poor care of the home. The floors were in desperate need of some TLC. This is one example of how you can flip a house on a very tight budget.


As you can see... these floors were ALMOST beyond saving. These poor floors looked like this throughout the entire house. In fact, they were often worse in some areas. The key word here is that they were "almost" beyond saving. This is where my less than $1000 renovation project began.


Step One: Sanding down the floors.

I was able to rent a floor sander from Home Depot for $68.00 a day or $272.00 for a week. This little bad boy was well worth the money. Not only was it reasonably priced, but it also worked like a dream. I was able to get the floors sanded down in less than 3 days.

I took the beautiful sun shining in as a promise that I was not about to make a huge mistake. I had NEVER done anything like this and had zero renovation experience. Firing up this industrial-strength sander was terrible and I knew there was no going back.

Luckily, it went pretty smoothly! The old colour of the stain came up so easily and the sander was also able to pull out the sins from the past. Within a few days, I had beautiful blank floors, ready for staining!

Look at these beautiful floors! I can't believe this beautiful wood was hidden under years of old stain and abuse. In the end, I wanted to modernize the house while also showing off these beautiful floors with the gorgeous grain.

With the stain and topcoat on, I was finally done. It was worth every second of blood, sweat, and tears that went into this project.


The Budget Break Down


Rental Equipment: $300. (I ended up needing an edger to do the small area close to the walls because I didn't take the baseboards off.

Stain: Approximately $80.00

Diamond Top Coat: I required 4 cans of the stain by the time I was done with the entire house top and bottom.

$77.00x4= $308

Applicators, gloves, and miscellaneous: $250.00 approximately.

Total: $938.00

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