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Flip Upgrade Guide: Minimal Upgrades to Include in Your Flip

Kitchen Flip

When you are flipping a house, the balance is adding enough value to support the new resale price.  The way you add value is through making renovations or upgrades to the house.  

Maybe its cosmetics with some big-ticket add on items like roof, siding and a new furnace.  For my projects, I am usually adding some square footage, another bedroom, and bathroom, making layout upgrades and some, or all of those big-ticket items like windows and roofs.

No matter what type of flip you are tackling, there are base upgrades that should be part of every house flip.  This room by room breakdown will give you an idea of how to estimate your flip.

Kitchen Upgrades

Cabinets – these are the cornerstone of the kitchen.  When you are opening up a kitchen or re-configuring it, you will need new cabinets.  The typical cost for a ready to assemble cabinet with quality construction and hardware $4000.00-$6000.00.

Counter tops – installing a quartz counter top is not only functional but a top choice from a design standpoint.  It requires minimal maintenance and comes in a wide range of patterns and colors. Typical pricing begins at $40.00-$50.00 per foot.

Appliances – adding new appliances to a kitchen is a renovation must.   There are many updated options for appliances that include the in-demand stainless steel finish.  The package price for a suite of appliances, especially if you get them on sale. Typical cost $3000.00 or less.

Back splash – many flippers will cut this corner by not including a tile back splash.  This is a detail that buyers are looking for and can be as simple as installing a subway tile.  This is an area where you don’t want to get too taste specific. It’s also an indication of the level of detail that was paid to the renovation overall.  Typical cost $200.00 or less depending upon the square footage of the back splash area.

Flooring – installing kitchen flooring has a couple of options.  One can be a tile product and the other is a wood material. I install wood in all of my kitchens to match the other rooms on the main floor and create a seamless transition from space to space.  Hardwood flooring is the number one choice for buyers. Typical pricing $4.00-$6.00 per foot.

Bathroom Upgrades

Vanity – Installing a new vanity in a bathroom is a minimal investment that garners big return.  There are multiple options when it comes to the pricing of these items so the number one thing you need to do is choose a price appropriate vanity.  They are $300.00-$500.00 for a quality made vanity with a quartz or Carrara top.  

Flooring – Tile is the best choice for bathroom flooring.  There are selections that can be purchased for less than $3.00 per square foot.  

Tub – If the tub is a unique size and in good shape, refinishing it may be an alternative to replacing.  That cost will be around $450.00. If you are going to replace the tub with a new version, it will typically cost $300.00-$400.00.

Fixtures – A new toilet costs $150.00 and buyers love to walk into a bathroom and see this new addition.  Also, faucets and shower heads. All relatively low-cost items that, when new, brighten up the space.

Exterior Upgrades

Siding – does it need to be replaced or repaired?  Would painting the exterior bring value to the house and provide a fresh and modern upgrade?  The typical pricing is $8000.00-$10000.00.

Roof – is the roof old?  If so, replacing it can add tremendous value for a home buyer.  Especially considering the expense of doing it as part of an entire renovation can be less than if you are hiring it out separately.  Typically cost depending upon the size is $7000.00-$10000.00.

Windows – if the windows are old, the house is less energy efficient.  Which can make that new furnace that was just installed work much harder than it would.  New windows are one of the top requests for home buyers and if you are already doing exterior work, it is easier at times to replace the window than to work with existing windows.  Make sure to count the number of windows you are replacing to get an accurate estimate. More windows = more money. The typical cost is $300.00 per window (labor and materials).

Upgrade “Musts” Throughout

  1. Fresh, neutral paint (walls and trim)
  2. Carpet
  3. Lighting (flush mount ceiling lights, vanity lights, and chandeliers)

When you are looking to flip a house for profit, there is a minimum of upgrades that buyers are expecting.  Your goal is to create a space that within a budget, you have added enough value to support the new sales price, both to buyers and to lenders. With this guide, walkthrough your flip and create the list of best improvements you can make to add value.


Want to buy a property and renovate it?

Looking to buy a house to renovate? Check out the fixer upper checklist to help you find the house with the most “flip” potential.

For more inspiration follow me on Pinterest @thresholdhomesmn

House flipping, home renovation, selling a house for profit, real estate, House Flipping Tips
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