Pro Home Remodel Tips with the McElhattens

Liz & Nick McElhatten | Monday, March 15, 2021

We partnered with Nick & Liz McElhatten, husband and wife house flippers, real estate agents & roofing company owners. Watch the video below as they tour their local Home Outlet. Nick & Liz are from Shreveport, Louisiana and have been shopping with Home Outlet since 2008. They own McElhatten Remodeling where they have over 14 years of experience in construction, design, and real estate.

Design Inspiration & Home Remodeling Questions With Liz

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to begin their first big remodeling project?

My advice would be to know how much you want to spend and what look you are going for. Price out everything before you begin, stick to your budget and plan for potential problems. DIY isn't always the best way to go. If you don't know how to do something, hire a professional! It will save you in the long run. It's important to remember that you CAN achieve that designer look you want without spending a small fortune.

What do you think will be an upcoming design trend for 2021?
With COVID changing the way we look at work, I think home offices will continue to be a big part of design trends in 2021. Also, adding color to cabinets, accents walls and ceilings will continue to trend this year. Gold and black finishes in plumbing, lighting, and cabinet hardware will continue to get hotter.

Where do you find your inspiration when “flipping” a house?
When flipping houses we find our greatest inspiration from the house itself. Most of the homes we work on are older homes that were built in the 30's and have so much original character. We try to stay true to the house while bringing in a few design elements to make it feel fresh and new without losing that character. With that said, I do love a good renovating show, a southern design style magazine, or Houzz. These are all great ways to get inspired.

What property update do you think brings the most added value to a home?
Nothing beats a good kitchen update...nothing. It's truly the heart of the home and where we spend most of our time as a family. This is still the BEST place to put your money when you're updating and will give you the greatest return on your investment. Most buyers are looking for new/updated cabinets, freshly painted walls, updated countertops, a beautiful backsplash, and updated appliances.

What is your favorite trend to incorporate into the homes that you flip?
I love when we get to incorporate a reclaimed beam or other natural wood into a home. It gives it so much character and makes the home feel so cozy, I just love it.

What is your favorite part of flipping a house?
I love the entire process of flipping a house. From the demo and seeing the house all torn apart to trying to figure out how to put it back together, each stage has its own excitement and challenges. Seeing the finished product, looking back at where it started, and knowing what it took to get there is so rewarding.

What is the biggest thing that you learned from your first remodeling project?
I learned that no matter how well thought out the plan is, there is always going to be a bump in the road. When renovating, sometimes it doesn't go as planned. Whether it's a plumbing issue, or subcontractors not showing up on the day you think they are, something is going to happen. You must adapt to the situation and alter your plan. It's just the nature of the business, but knowing this going in will help you know to stay calm... it's normal.

How do you save money on large remodeling projects and what one thing do you feel is always worth the extra little splurge?
The houses we renovate usually need new electrical, new plumbing, new roofing, and a new air conditioning! These are HUGE chunks of the budget!! So, by the time I get to start picking out all the final touches I really have to watch how much I am spending. I have to figure out how to get a designer look on a limited budget. This is why I love Home Outlet. I can find great flooring, cabinets or an amazing backsplash and "splurge." I can make my homes have a designer feel and still stay within my budget.

View some of our completed projects using products from Home Outlet in the gallery below.

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