Finishing Touches Featured in Building Savvy Magazine

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Finishing Touches Remodeling was recently featured in the February 2018 edition of Building Savvy magazine.   Read the full article below.

If you watch HGTV you may recognize Blake Johnson as a contractor working with Ashley and Andy Williams on Flip or Flop Fort Worth.  Blake always did some kind of construction work on the side — building displays for art galleries and doing handiwork for family and friends. He knew he would eventually find that “hook” which would enable him to put a full-time focus on the business that he loved. In 1999, Blake founded Finishes Touches and has built it into a firm that rehabs more than 200 properties per year. It took some creative thinking and a lot of persistence and perseverance at cold-calling in the beginning.“

I noticed the bus stop benches with the signs: ‘We Buy Houses For Cash,” and started making a list of those phone numbers. Eventually, I had a legal pad with a bunch of numbers on it and started calling the investors. I figured they needed somebody to fix up the houses that they were buying,” Blake said. He was right. The Finishing Touches team began with only a few employees hungry and willing to tackle any job that needed to be done. The focus on doing rehab work for real estate investors proved to be a gold mine and soon positioned Finishing Touches as the premier investor home rehab company in Dallas/Fort Worth.

“We manage an average of 30 projects at a time — from Wylie to Weatherford. Obviously, we have expanded our staff to handle all of that. It just happened
organically because we know what it takes to ensure that properties sell and that the investors see the returns they are looking for,” said Blake. “We put ourselves in the investors’ shoes and are not satisfied until the job is done right.”

“Being on Flip or Flop Fort Worth was a great opportunity for us and couldn’t have happened without the support of my staff. Gregg Jordan and my wife Nicole basically put their lives on hold and helped me manage up to 120 people at a time, for 14 hours a day, six days a week to be sure the projects being featured for the show as well as our other projects going at the time all went smoothly,” Blake said.

From curb to alley and foundation to roof, Finishing Touches handles every aspect of a rehab project. It stands behind its workmanship and warranties its
work. They also teach real estate investors how to get started. The company website offers tips on how to buy and start building a team (including lender, real estate agent, contractor, insurance agent). The site provides links to city websites where the unique laws and guidelines in regards to rental or investment properties can be found. They encourage investors to contact Finishing Touches as soon as an offer is accepted to get a plan and an estimate.  Every project is set up on a cloud so that investors can see the progress being made via pictures, videos, message boards and a job calendar. Finishing Touches can coordinate directly with an investor’s property management agent on the final stages to make sure that the property is move-in ready upon the sale or lease of the property.

Like Ashley and Andy, who knew they could count on Finishes Touches to rehab nine houses in four months for their HGTV series, many others know that Blake and his team will do what they say and do it right. Crazy deadlines and challenging fixes are part of Finishing Touches’ everyday business.


Why Are Bathrooms So Important?

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“The kitchen and bathroom sell a house,” says Ken Perrin, president, Artistic Renovations, Cleveland, Ohio. “And most people buy the most expensive home they can afford. So they don’t want to buy a house with a kitchen or bathroom that need to be worked on. That emotional tie is with the house where the kitchen and bathroom are in good condition.”

Ultimately, you want buyers to envision themselves in your bathroom. But you should enjoy the space while you’re living there and include the fixtures and features that will make the bathroom comfortable for your lifestyle. “Too many people say, ‘I want to move, so I have to remodel my bathroom,'” Perrin says. “Then they immediately sell their house. Do it and enjoy it, and if you do it well and it’s quality workmanship, you’ll get your money out of it because the house will sell.”

Think about your “wants” for your bathroom renovation. Also realize, since you need to get a nice return on investment on this project come home-sale time, you must set priorities based on what sells a bathroom. Keep in mind the cost of every component of the project plan. For instance, can you get away with refreshing the look of cabinets by replacing hardware rather than tearing out the whole structure? Do you need a brand new vanity sink, or can you update the faucet and give the space a more contemporary feel?

Kitchen trends to avoid

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What the market wants is not always the same as what the big box stores are selling. For instance, trendy kitchen fixtures, like vessel sinks, now look dated. We’ve culled the advice of real estate experts to find out which kitchen trends are on their way out, and which ones are actually appealing to buyers. Bear in mind that all of this might change in another few years, though moves toward greater simplicity and efficiency will probably have staying power.

Vessel sinks: According to a 2010 Apartment Therapy survey, vessel sinks look dated. That was back in 2010. By now, kitchen design has moved toward functionality and efficiency. Buyers are looking for large basin sinks, and there is a special premium put on large under-mount sinks. They are easy to clean, and give cooks plenty of room to work. If you’re thinking of installing a vessel sink as a hand-washing sink on a kitchen island, you’ll attract more buyers with a simple under-mount sink.

Pull out racks: A Realtor.org, a reliable source of information on what’s happening in real estate markets, says that pull out racks are going out of style. They also note that lazy Susans, appliance garages, and tall pantries are less popular than they used to be. Keep the storage plentiful, but simple, without too many bells and whistles.

Solid surface back-splash: According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, solid surface back-splashes are being superseded by glass, granite, natural stone, and tile back-splashes. Although it can be tempting to match the back-splash to the counter, if you have a solid surface counter top, you’ll make your house more attractive to buyers