How to develop a template to estimate repairs

Today we’ll discuss templates that may help make your life easier as you go along and determine the work you need to do in your project. One of the things that I’m going to encourage you to do along the way as you start to manage different projects; is that you start generating a template. Templates, you can do it on a piece of paper, you can do it on your computer, a tablet, an iPad, or on your phone; that might be the easiest thing if that’s what you like. So it depends; everybody is different. There are programs out there as well that have ready-to-use templates. If you are good with Excel, you can generate a template in excel as well. But it’s something that is going to work for you. In my background as an engineer, I developed a lot of templates while I was working on different projects. And as you go along, you develop them as there are certain things you will continue to do on an ongoing basis. So in a house, for example, you’re always going to have a roof, you’re always going to have the foundation, you’re always going to have windows. And we have talked in different videos about the level of repair of each one. And the level of repairs, whether small, medium, or large, will have a cost associated with it. And the best way for you to start keeping track of that is by developing a template.

Today, I’m sharing a little bit about how I developed a template that works for me, and it works very well. The important thing about this is not the format that you use; whether it’s on paper, whether it’s on the tablet or the computer, you need to have results with something that you’re used to, that you know where the data is going to be and you know how to use it. Your template might be different from mine. But it’s just as effective. And especially if you’re a contractor, I encourage you to do that because it has tremendous value, you will be able to price things much faster, and they will be accurate. I will show you a quick template that I use and how I determine my level of repair. I still want you to get three quotes to obtain the best quote, and you’ll learn as well as you go along. Because your template might say, you know, I want to do this and that. And the contractor might say, no, we can do this and that. You can validate both initially; the discrepancy will probably be significant. So that means you either have too many items that need to be repaired or you need more things. So you’re going to learn as you go, and the more projects you do, you find that each one will have the same general aspects, so you can estimate faster as you go along. This is one of the best skills for a real estate investor because sometimes contractors are unavailable when you need them, and sometimes, you only need access to the property for a certain period.

I only had access to the property once the deed was transferred into my name after the auction was finished because most of my properties were bought at auction. So I couldn’t see what needed to be repaired. I could estimate, from the outside, what I wanted to do. I always had a budget for what I wanted to do inside. In many cases, it may be challenging to line up two or three contractors to be there simultaneously or when you have access to the property. But if you have access to the property from a private seller, you can walk through it. And sometimes, you don’t have the contractor right there with you. This will help you because it’ll help you with the offer and will help you estimate how long it will take you to complete the repair based on what you’ve done before. And remember, for the first few projects, you’re learning. So you’ll rely heavily on the contractors before developing your templates. But as you go along, starting to create a template would be a tremendous value added for you, and it will be easier for you to control the transaction right from the beginning.

Okay, so let me describe this template. And we’ll walk you through it, if you are a visual person check this in my youtube channel @buildwealthwitharaceli, with this I hope you can develop one for yourself. Okay, so this is my repair estimator. I have used this template for a few years now, and every time I do a repair that includes a specific item, I record it here so I can check my level of repair; if I can, sometimes I ask for more quotes. So I can populate the prices within my template, and you will develop your style. What I do is I always record the details on the property. So the property address, what type it is, in this case, this is a duplex, what is the square footage of each unit, the lot size, and who did the estimate? In this case, I did that. And the date, and I have a few notes on what I want the use of this property to be if it’s going to be a flip; some of the details about the property, like if it needs extensive landscape or the roof is damaged. You can put a little detail here about what you can see in the property. This will give you an idea of the required level of repairs in that area.

As this is an extensive repair, a checklist estimates this property’s notes and the reference repair calculations. This is where you can calculate the cost, whether it’s a small, a medium or an extensive repair. In this case, the property needs a roof that must be redone because it has extensive damage. I also noted here that the height of this building is high, so my current contractor cannot do this job in this situation. So I will have to go to a different contractor to ensure this gets done. So anything that you learn along the way, then you can put it in here because that will help you remember, first of all, where you will go and get the quote if you already have a contractor that can do it. They may have done repairs before for you, and you can get an estimate of what it would cost to do this particular repair in this project. Then they have some of the exterior paint and siding. The same if it does have siding; it’s going to be a different price versus if it is just painting that you need. You may need to do a power wash on the property if you have brick, or you may have a combination. So you can add that into the notes for this particular property. I also added some prices here on what is needed. For example, I have a total of 50 on windows for this specific property, about 43 of them which, in my opinion, need to be replaced. So have an estimate of 200. Remember, each one of the windows will have a different price, but on average, if you’re going to replace a small window with a large one, it would be 150 versus 300. The average would be 200.

And then remember, this is also something you need to check within your location because every single state and province, depending on where you are in the US or Canada, have different prices. Some will sell you the material, and the labor would be at a different rate. So you have to consider that. If there’s a garage repair, in this case, yard cleanup, heating, or furnaces, they need to be replaced; plumbing needs repair, electrically repair the foundation or Basement Repair doesn’t need interior paint; this is something that I pretty much do in all my houses no matter what because a fresh coat of paint, it will improve the property 1000 times. It’s not very expensive; depending on how big the property is, are you going to do the flooring, so carpets, vinyl tile, all of that needs to be recorded. So you know how many different types of materials you have. The kitchen, if it needs repair, if you are going to be providing appliances, in many of the houses that I did, appliances were not included. But in a lot of them, they were. So you get to know the location that you’re in. Suppose the expectation is for you to have appliances. In that case, you need to get those here as well, then obviously, you’re going to see, in this case, you’re also going to have levels right like are you going to have basic appliances, which is just maybe for a rental, or you’re going to have higher-end appliances if you’re doing a flip the bathrooms if they need to be repaired. If you are changing the layout of the rooms, you might need the sheetrock. So if you have a lot of garbage or a lot of reconstruction, you’re going to be tearing down walls, and you may have to use more dumpsters. 

The same if you replace the drive, and what kind of drive will you have? Some of the miscellaneous things are breakpoint power wash, doors, and landscaping, and I usually put a bit of a contingency and go from large to small projects. I also have another column to give me the actual cost in case I was off. I like to know how off I was and why. So I have these notes on the Roofing Repair; maybe I got a better quote, or I’m doing a different type of roof or anything like that, that you can put in here. At the end of the project, I always go through what happened and why I need to do more or didn’t do more, which is a good thing to have as you learn. You can use something like this that you can open on an Excel sheet, or you can just track it yourself on a piece of paper and just make sure that you label the different items and then have all your quotes there. If you need any help with templates, please feel free to contact me. 

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