The ironic thing is that I tried hard to explain to the news guy that there are so many more expert than our team in this area. And that what we do, while technically flipping, is more like 'responsible renovation'. We are not mostly about volume (we only flip one house at a time - maybe only two or three per year) or mostly about profit (although we do like the money).
Flipping is that thing that investors do when they buy up bargain properties, fix 'em up fast using a formula that they've refined and proven over time, sell 'em, take the profit and move on.
Most flippers work on a few houses at a time.
The smart ones work just on the 'edge' of the areas where prices are going up faster than average.
The smart and lucky ones also make a pretty good living no matter what the real estate market is doing.
Our team is part of a growing trend among flippers toward a more eco-friendly remodel.
Some of us are really concerned about saving those fabulous homes that were build before 1975 by an unparalleled skilled labor workforce. At least in my experience, the house picks me. I do not pick the house. It's the one that HAS to be saved before someone else comes along and bulldozes it.
Some of us are also really concerned that we have a responsibility to leave the place much better than we found it. The place is both the house and the environment.
Now, unless you are building from scratch; it is very difficult to build a truly green home. But there are increasing numbers of resources to renovate 'responsibly'. Here are just a few that we try to accomplish in every 'responsible renovation':
1) Reduce: Make it your goal to use as few dumpsters as possible. Many of the things that come out of the house during demo can be donated to Habitat for Humanity Home Store or sold on Craigslist, Ebay, in Salvage shops or yard sales.
When you pack the dumpster, pack like you would the trunk of your car on a family vacation. Make room for everything. Flatten what you can. Start at the back and work up and out toward the end. I've even been caught on top of the dumpster when it's seemingly full, moving things around to create more space.
2) Reuse: There are lots of ways to do this.
Save the fixtures that might not be right for THIS project, but that you can use somewhere else.
If you're planning some changes at your own home, remove the fixture to be upgraded from there and use it in a flip house.
Remove nails from larger salvaged boards. Cut the boards down and reuse them throughout carpentry projects.
3) Recycle: Anything that can go in a recycling center should go in a recycling center. Cardboard, paper, plastic, metal. You can even get good money for the some of it. We usually let our workers salvage the old electrical wire gutters, switch boxes and other metal for a little bonus money at the local recycling center. (It can be as much as $50 - $80 per day extra for them!)
8) Unplug while not in use. This is tough with rechargeable tools. Leave one battery plugged in overnight. When you get to the jobsite, plug in a backup battery while you are depleting the charged one.
9) Use water saving toilets.
There are so many more tips. Are you using any of them? Like what? Let's all work together to make little strides at a better world by sharing ideas with the community.