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7 Signs Your Renovation May Need a Re-do

Middleton Real Estate Investor Stressed About a Poor-Quality RenovationKeeping a single-family rental property can be an excellent way to create income and build equity. When looking for your next Middleton investment property, it is important to be wary of the signs of a poor-quality renovation. A horrendous renovation can lead to pricey repairs down the road, so it is crucial to understand what to look for before you buy. In what follows, we will talk about some of the many signs of a poor-quality renovation. We’ll also be responsible for giving you tips on how to avoid these poor renovations.

1.   Mismatched Flooring

One of the most prevalent signs of a poor-quality renovation is mismatched or ill-installed flooring. Let’s assume you see carpet that doesn’t line up with the baseboards, chipped or cracked tile, or several kinds of flooring in differing degrees of quality. If this is the case, it’s a good sign that the property was not renovated as it should be.

2.      Fresh Soil or Paint on Foundation

One more potential sign of trouble ahead is a freshly painted foundation or fresh soil piled up against it. As foundations age, they can shift and improve cracks and leaks. Homeowners may try to hide foundation problems with paint or fresh soil, so be sure to have a professional inspection done.

3.   Wavy Shingles

If the property owner claims to have a new roof, check closely for wavy shingles. Every now and then, a seller will cut corners trying to fix the property to sell, applying cheap materials, or simply nailing new shingles over old ones. Layered shingles could be trying to cover more serious structural problems and may void the warranty on the roof itself. For these purposes, if you see wavy shingles, your best move is to investigate further.

4.   Water Damage

Another critical sign to look for is water damage. Many things can cause water damage, although most commonly, this stems from poor drainage around the foundation or leaks in the roof. If you see water stains on the ceilings or walls, around HVAC registers, under cabinets, or proof of mold or mildew, make sure to have the property inspected by a professional before making an offer.

5.   Sticky Windows and Doors

One more indication of a poor-quality renovation is windows and doors that don’t open and close correctly. If the windows and doors are stuck or are hard to open or close, that is an obvious indication that they were not installed correctly. Doors and windows that do not fit well in their frames can cause serious problems down the road, thus don’t forget to ask about them before you buy.

6.   No Permits

If the property you are considering has had any recent renovations, be sure to ask for proof that the proper permits were acquired. If the seller cannot provide permit paperwork, or if you can’t find permits issued by the local building authority, that’s a good sign those proper procedures were not followed when renovating the property. Unpermitted work can lead to substandard quality and even safety hazards for you and your tenants.

7.   Unfinished Renovations & Additions

Finally, be sure to check the quality of any new construction. If you can see the nails sticking out of wood or trim work, or drywall that is not evenly finished, it’s a good clue that the work was done in a hurry and not to a high standard. Large new additions, such as decks, patios, and entire rooms, should be scrutinized for shoddy workmanship. This is because things like unsecured flooring, faulty wiring, or other hazards could cause serious problems for you down the road.

You don’t want to re-renovate a rental property shortly after you purchase it. So do your due diligence to avoid investing in a money pit.


Another great way to feel confident in your investment property purchase is to enlist the help of local market experts. At Real Property Management Greater Madison Metro, we help rental property investors locate and assess quality properties. To learn more, call our office and talk to a Middleton property manager today!

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