Ethical Flipping Practices

Incorporating ethical flipping practices within your remodeling objective should be your mindset from the start of the project all the way through to completion. This mindset will go a long way toward alleviating any fears that some people may have in regard to the quality of work done throughout the renovation.

It seems that in some quarters, people view the practice of flipping house as something other than honorable, and ethical. And in some ways, given what I know to be true with some people who flip houses where I live and work, there are some things they do as a matter of doing business, that do leave a lot to be desired. The vast majority of flippers strive to do a good honest business to be sure.

There are, however, people who do skirt the boundaries of ethical flipping practices as a way they do business. Just as there are shoddy new-construction practices, flips requiring major renovation will certainly have their fair share of duplicity as well.

Inspector ‘Has Seen It All’

building inspector

In fact, a good friend of mine who is presently serving as a building inspector within the metropolitan district I live in, has stated on several occasions that he runs into remodelers and individual homeowners who are (he feels) constantly pushing the envelope of what they think they can get away with in terms of code restrictions (framing, insulation, mechanicals, foundations), working with inspectors, etc.

‘Many times’, he says, ‘I see people who claim to not know they need a permit for certain situations. This includes long-time remodelers who should know better!’ His exasperation is very evident with these people because he sees so much substandard, and dangerous building practices.

He mentioned one remodeler in particular who was brazen enough to totally thumb his nose at the inspection process altogether. After issuing the maximum fine for failure to get a permit and informing the man of his responsibilities for having the various inspections needed, he (the remodeler) still did not abide by the instructions set down by the inspector.

Note … In this particular episode, the flipper was being extremely defensive and obstinent regarding the permit process. Had he been more cooperative with the inspector, there would have been, in all probability, no fine issued.

As such, no final inspection was done, thereby preventing an issuance of a c/o (certificate of occupation). This document is required by lending institutions in the event that a buyer enters into an agreement to buy the house.

Even so, the flipper was somehow able to sell the house.

Upon hearing that the house was sold, my inspector friend immediately sent a letter to the flipper inquiring about the certificate of occupation pertaining to that particular address. Knowing he did not receive a final inspection (or the other required mechanical inspections, for that matter), the flipper in question will most likely receive a very severe penalty.

Lack of Utilizing Ethical Flipping Practices is Exposed

And this is where flippers (and by extension the industry) can get a bad name, by ‘renovating’ and selling cheaply renovated houses for far more money than there worth. People who go out of their way to try to circumvent the system, which is simply designed to prevent shoddy workmanship in the first place, can really hurt the vast majority of honest flippers out there.

As for the wiring and plumbing, etc., who knows what this guy did, or didn’t do correctly. But you can be sure an inspector who’s worth his salt will find out.

So that’s the deal.

Do what the regulations and code books tell you to do in your remodeling. It’s best to get yourself in the mindset to always do the following in regard to ethical flipping practices:

  • Get a code book of the state/province you live in. Educate yourself with the most common items in the book that would most likely concern your type of remodeling. Headers, stairway landing headroom height, window placement for egress, etc.
  • If you are getting ready for remodeling where you will tear out or locate a new wall, call the inspector to your job site, and have him tell you what will/will not work. This will do two things. It will let the inspector know you care about whats going on, and will take that as a sign that you intend to things the right way. Secondly, you get an expert opinion of what needs to be done. Simple.
  • Have everything inspected on time. When it comes time for final inspection, the inspector will see everything was done correctly, and the c/o will be issued right away.

When these things are are done with the intention of performing the remodeling work in a safe and harmonious way (utilizing ethical flipping practices), the permitting process will be quick and stress free. And everyone, from the inspector, to the prospective homeowner, will be that much happier with the project as a whole.