Being happy with a renovation, espectially after all of the planning, designing, and building, is important, just ask real estate investor and avid flipper Jessica Rettinger. When it comes to pulling off multiple renovations that are timeless, stick to budget, and are done on a timeline, she has seen it all. We sat down with Rettinger to get her best renovation tips, tricks, and more.
Consider the Architecture
When deciding on what homes to focus on, Rettinger and her husband focus on a variety of aspects, from the location to the scope of work needed. The biggest element they consider, though, is the character of a home. Because of this, they typically focus on homes built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. “Clearly we have a type,” she says.
Because they choose homes with character, they absolutely consider the architectural elements and era the home was built in when creating its interiors. For older homes, they make it a priority to preserve anything of interest. In any case, whether your home was built this year or 150 years ago, highlighting the elements original to the interior is one way to keep the charm.
Mix High-End and Budget-Friendly
“Even when the budget isn’t a concern, we love to mix high- and low-end finishes. Who doesn’t love a good challenge?” Rettinger says. One of their biggest tips? Going semi custom. “Semihandmade products are one of our favorite ways to incorporate a more custom look without sacrificing the budget on our renovations,” she adds.
Focus on Classics
When it comes to striking the balance between incorporating her own design preferences into projects without losing the appeal for many different possible buyers, Rettinger admits that it depends on the home. “In the past, we’ve done both– we’ve played it safe with finishes that appeal to most buyers, as well as going outside the traditional comfort zone,” she says. “In the end, we’ve found our sweet spot, which is truly just listening to what the house wants.”
Design That Transcends Trends
Creating a timeless, functional design is the speciality of any great home flipper. Families with differing design preferences could learn from Rettinger’s ability to create a bold design with more broad appeal. “Our biggest design tip for someone looking to bring some bolder elements into a space would be to use color and patterns in small doses– and in areas that are easily changed. Accent walls, a small powder room, a fireplace hearth, a mudroom, these are all fantastic places to try out something new or different,” she says. If you don’t love these funkier elements later on, you can always change or tweak them.
Make a Realistic Timeline
Rettinger’s biggest advice is clear. “Hire a quality, trusted, and vetted contractor,” she says. And if you do go the DIY route, be prepared to put in the work and more importantly, the time. “Many people, ourselves included at one time, assume that they can do the work themselves. While this may be true, the time commitment is no joke. It’s a full-time job, and unless that’s the job you’re after, it’s best to let someone else carry that burden,” she says.
Enjoy Your Hard Work
After Rettinger sells her properties, it’s time to step away from all of her hard work. Although she admits that she and her husband fall in love with almost every project, they’ve yet to keep one for themselves. Instead, after the renovation is over, they only get to see and enjoy the complete interiors for a few days. Thankfully, designing for yourself means you’ll get to enjoy the space. This also gives you the chance to take more time in making decisions and continue making smaller changes until you’ve made your house a home (and even after).