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What’s it like arriving at the finishing line after a very long house flip? There’s a lot of pride involved. Surprisingly, there are a few noteworthy memories and many humble experiences to reflect on. New friends are made, more tools are added to the bag, hard lessons are learned, and the feelings of relief, accomplishment, and stress are high.

After spending more than 300 hours at a property, there’s a bit of a sentimental bond that is formed. The attachment is not necessarily to the home as much as it is to the end buyer. A few of the 300 hours were spent contemplating who the end buyer would be, how long they would live in the home, memories they would make, etc. The rest of the hours were spent doing basic project management, accounting/budgeting, hands on work here and there, and constant trips to Lowe’s and Home Depot to get materials on site.

When you’re at the finish line, the final punch list is an integral part of staying on track and completing the renovation efficiently. Putting the final punch list together is part of crossing the finish line during a house flip and a very fun part at that. Put the home inspector hat on and take a look at the 58 items that made the final punch list. Here they are:

  • Mortar holes, mortar water spigot, and paint brick
  • Power wash home and both side fences
  • Power wash home and both side fences
  • Clean and paint right front window metal white
  • Paint and scrape left side laundry room window white
  • Clean and paint all right side window metal white
  • Paint outside front door (What color?)
  • Paint outside back door white
  • Scrape and recaulk upstairs right bedroom window to prevent water intrusion
  • Install mailbox and address numbers
  • Siding and metal
  • Install water diverter for roof over front door
  • Fill holes in front yard and backyard
  • Landscaping, mow and do front garden
  • Take carpet out of shed and remove cobwebs
  • Clean inside and outside kitchen cabinets
  • Purchase and install appliances
  • Install microwave outlet (20)
  • Clean both attic spaces
  • Final clean
  • Silicone/caulk vanity and kitchen countertops
  • Blue tape all drywall imperfections throughout home
  • Put down carpet protection clear plastic and plastic at unfinished windows
  • Follow up with renaissance
  • Install daylight light bulbs and change laundry room light to daylight
  • Install lauan at damaged subfloor in upstairs right bedroom
  • Secure staircase treads to prevent squeaking
  • Clean windows
  • Final mud around ceiling can lights, outlets, and blue taped areas
  • Case out and finish front living room window
  • Case out and finish kitchen window
  • Case out and finish first floor back bedroom window
  • Install staircase closet back wall board
  • Install staircase stringer filler and bottom stringer drywall
  • Install front door and back door casing
  • Install transition from kitchen to laundry room
  • Cut and install second floor right bedroom attic scuttle access door
  • Install casing around attic access doors
  • Install upstairs bathroom vanity toe kick plate and scribe molding
  • Finish painting and do final touch ups
  • Install microwave
  • Install Linen Closet shelves
  • Install dishwasher
  • Install garage bedroom closet shelf and closet rod
  • Install staircase closet rod
  • Install staircase hand railing
  • Install all quarter round on lvp
  • Install first floor front bedroom door knob
  • Install bathroom towel racks
  • Finish installing all baseboards
  • Power wash and spray paint return grill registers
  • Finish caulking baseboards, window casings, and all interior doors
  • Install bathroom vent fan covers
  • Install smoke detectors
  • Install upstairs right bedroom vent register
  • Install all interior door stops
  • Install staircase closet door strike plate
  • Adjust back door deadbolt or caulk around deadbolt plate

When you try doing the above without having a written list, it’s guaranteed to take longer. So when exactly is it time to compile the final punch list? When you start feeling like you’re finished! Yes, the final punch list is typically long and difficult to complete, but there can be some fun involved. What better way to watch the final product come together than to pick colors for the exterior brick and the capstone for any flip, the front door.  

Mulch, flowers, accents, address numbers, mailboxes, flags, pergolas, light temperatures, and even shadows all come together for the “front door color selection.” So how do you pick colors that compliment each other? A background in ROYGBIV helps, but Pinterest wins and if you’re not yet solving problems with Alexa, black, factory primed, and white rarely fails. For this project, the front door color was driven by the color of the existing siding that did not have to be replaced.   

Just before the final punch list is completed, It’s entirely necessary to let your real estate agent know so that pictures and staging can be scheduled and listing paperwork can be completed. Don’t wait until the last item has been completed on the final punch list. Use the pictures and the listing date to push the flip through the finish line. It is unacceptable to miss these important milestones and deadlines! Oftentimes, pictures happen and then caulking, paint touch up, and non-photogenic items can be completed. Check the weather…does the sun hit the front of the home in the morning or the afternoon? Schedule pictures accordingly. 

Avoid getting caught up in busy back to back days and take 15 minutes before leaving for the day to plan ahead. It’s time to throw a for sale sign in the yard and move to the very familiar part of the transaction. 4 months later, the first showing is ready to happen, the finish line has been crossed, and our renovation is complete.  

About the author

757Offers buy's homes! We eliminate the need for a real estate agent, close quickly, and most importantly, perform. With over 20 years experience in the real estate environment our dedication to helping is hyper focused to the high stress scenarios real estate can create. We solve problems and provide options!

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