Flipping a home is taking an older or less attractive home and renovating it to sell at a far higher price than it was bought for. Home flipping is sometimes done with inherited homes or older homes that you have moved out of, or it can be done as an investment project buying homes specifically to flip them for a profit. Whatever your reason, flipping an older home can be challenging because you will often need to completely reinvent the look without overspending on renovations.
As it turns out, fiberglass and/or wood columns are one of the best-kept secrets in the home flipping trade for quick, affordable, and complete transformations in the look and feel of an older house about to be put on the market. Whether the home is cramped and gloomy indoors or has an entryway that lacks curb-appeal charm, a few cleverly placed fiberglass columns can be exactly what you need. Truly wow your friends with before-after pictures and bring in flocks of interested buyers with these six tips and any additional strategies they inspire.
1) Spruce Up Shabby Wooden Porch Posts
Does the home you're flipping have a shabby porch with fading wooden posts? So many homes from past eras do. Often, these porches are shady and utilitarian, but terribly plain and the age is starting to show. Rather than completely ripping out the porch infrastructure and rebuilding, try a column or several columns around a longer porch instead. The split-column design of fiberglass columns allows them to fit neatly around existing porch posts so that you can add class without needing to replace any structure.
2) Reinvent the House Front
You can also go all-out, adding a whole new visual layer to the front of the house with columns that go from the ground all the way up to the eves. A few columns along the front of an older home can take it from shabby to stately with very little change to the actual infrastructure. Try a few designs with photo overlays to decide exactly the right number of columns and where they can go to add the most impact to the curb appeal of the home you are renovating. With the perfect new column design, you'll have buyers saying "Wow" before they even get up the front walk.
3) Open the Floor Plan Without Removing Support Beams
Older homes also tend to have more cramped floor plans, with more rooms than open space. If you don't need those rooms but you do need an open floorplan to attract buyers, knocking out a few walls is just the ticket. The only problem, of course, is that some of those central walls are load-bearing. The good news is that it's not the drywall that bears the load, but rather a beam inside the drywall.
Once the drywall is removed to open up the house, you can wrap these beams in beautiful new columns that will accent and enhance your new interior design. One column look strange? Add three or four more to frame the space and create an elegant classical column row while leaving the floorplan open and inviting.
4) Accentuate Bars, Islands, and Half-Walls
Another great use of fiberglass columns in a quick high-value renovation is to accentuate the features that already exist. If a home has a half-wall, add a column at the end to really make it pop and bring a touch of classical elegance to the room. Bars and islands are equally beautifull if framed in columns that stretch those visual lines to the ceiling.
5) Dramatize a Winding Staircase
Enclosed turning staircases can feel cramped in modern floorplans, but columns give you a great new way to make use of any staircase that takes a turn. Not only can you replace enclosing drywall with elegant balustrades (railings), but at each turn, place a column that stretches from floor to ceiling. The grace this adds to a winding staircase will completely transform the look and feel of the home's interior.
Bonus Tip: Split-Column Texture
For a bonus tip, don't forget that fiberglass columns are produced in long halves that fit together, but you don't have to fit them together! Build a column half up against a wall to add soaring texture and elegance without taking up extra floor space, or use two halves of a split column to frame things like fireplaces, doorways, and picture windows.
Reinventing a shabby home to sell at a profit is an art form, one that many people do for fun and some people do by necessity. The next time you're renovating an older home into a modern new look, don't forget this trade secret. Fiberglass columns can reinvent any design to add class and elegance without serious structural changes. You can also get a rustic stain grade "wood look" fiberglass column If you are interested in finding out more about fiberglass columns, visit Worthington Millwork.