Tackle Them Right Away! The Areas To Look At First In A Fixer-Upper

Tackle Them Right Away! The Areas To Look At First In A Fixer-Upper


For those that are looking for the cheaper route to owning a home, purchasing a fixer-upper is a logical option. A fixer-upper is cheaper, but as far as the maintenance side of things is concerned, you’ve got to put more effort into it. A lot of people shy away from a fixer-upper, but the overwhelming positives with a house of the sort that you can make over from top to bottom means that you can properly stamp your personality on it. But when you make your grand entrance into your new home, you may feel that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, but this is a normal sensation. That being said, the one thing you have to think about first is the veritable dangers and structural concerns. So what are the main areas you need to tackle with any fixer-upper?

The Potential For Leaks

The initial inspection would highlight any problems as far as water damage is concerned, but this doesn’t mean that you are free from water damage at the outset. The roof can let leaks in, and if not tended to right away, this can lead to mildew, mold, as well as rotting wood and the major damage that can be caused by a bulging ceiling. The big problem with a leak that you cannot see is that it can drip gradually over months, if not years.

The Floor

The first thing you’ve got to look at when casting your eyes down is if there are potentials for slips and falls. While due diligence is always a good idea, you shouldn’t overlook the potential for accidents, especially if you’ve got external steps leading down to the sidewalk, or there are other issues like weak handrails on the steps or if you’ve got children in the household. You can reattach weak handrails using wood screws if the rail is attached to wood. Or if the handrail is attached to a concrete surface, you can fix this by adding lead anchors. The other question when fixing up your home is: what type of flooring you want? There are so many options, do you go for carpet, hardwood, or do you decide on laminate flooring or tiles? The list goes on. If you decide to go for the easy maintenance options, a laminate floor is a cheap approach, but it’s a very malleable material. Many people go for laminate floorings as it’s easy to install, cheap to replace, and the upkeep is minimal.

Foundation Issues

This should have been done as part of the home inspection, but if you have moved into the property and found a crack in the wall, either a horizontal crack or a vertical one, it’s important that you’ve got to establish the root cause as soon as possible. The longer a crack is left untreated, the crack will gradually grow over time, and this can cause a lot of aggravation because it highlights structural issues. Other problems caused by a crack includes an escape of water, as well as insects being able to enter the property. It’s important to distinguish between a horizontal crack and a hairline one. Hairline cracks are not cause for concern, and they can easily be patched up. Be sure that you can distinguish the difference between wide or horizontal cracks and hairline ones. You can always call out a home inspector or structural engineer if you haven’t been through this already, and they can offer their professional opinion as to what needs to be done to maintain the property.

Electrical Problems

It’s par for the course that an old home needs rewiring. The question is, how much needs doing? If you are moving into a house that was lived in by an old couple, it’s unlikely that they used excessive electrical devices. But if you’re bringing your Smart TV in and an abundance of equipment that’s going to drain the resources, an electrical fault might not be far behind. If your lights dim, or the circuit breakers are tripping on a regular basis in those first few days, you should call an electrician to have a look at everything. The major telltale sign is if the switches or outlets are hot to the touch. If this is the case, these electrical issues may end up causing a fire. And besides, for peace of mind, if you have any concerns, you should contact an electrician to have a look. You can’t assume that the electrics are fine, especially in an older property. The electrics may not have been looked at for years.

Old Heating Components

Air conditioning, water heating or the furnace or boiler need to be assessed. If you are moving into an older house, and the HVAC system and ventilation look shabby, or they are older than 12 years old, it’s better to replace these. You may think that repairing them at this point is cheaper, but with older furnaces, boilers, and other components that relate to the temperature of your home can very easily drain your finances. It makes more sense for you to purchase newer, more environmentally friendly equipment. This can be an expense upfront that you hadn’t factored in, but in the long run, newer equipment doesn’t require as much maintenance, meaning that you will see the benefits in your wallet over time.

Problems With The Roof

It’s probably the most expensive part of a renovation, but there’s no way around it; if you don’t fix the roof, you can find your house subject to so many structural issues, not to mention the fact that it may be pretty unsafe to live in. On the surface, there may not be any issues, but a small hole in the roof can result in a constant leak. The best opportunity after you’ve moved in is to take a flashlight and look for any leaks during a rainstorm. Be sure to look at the areas around roof vents and chimneys because any issues there could highlight the potential for structural damage down the line. And when you get the opportunity, head out onto the roof. You need to establish if there are any damaged shingles or flashing. If you live in an area where there are a few trees around, the limbs may rub against the roof during particularly harsh storms.

The Peeling Of Paint

While you expect to see poor quality walls or a color that offends your stylistic sensibilities, if you see peeling paint on the exterior of the property, this could allow water to penetrate the wood or trim. This leads to rot, and structural problems. You need to have a look at the exterior to see if it’s an issue all around, or if it’s only in a few spots. If there are only a few spots, you can sand these areas down yourself. While this may not look perfect, in the meantime you are preventing additional water damage to the wood siding. If the problem is across the whole of the exterior, a professional needs to come in and do a good quality job.

The Right Furnishings

It’s not all about potential dangers, but part of the fun when you’ve moved into your new home is to put your own stamp on the place. Picking the right furnishings in accordance with space is a challenge that can’t be undertaken until you’ve renovated the property from top to bottom. But it gives you the opportunity, as you are making these all important fixes, to decide on the style of your home. While there are parts of the property that you can’t alter, especially for fear of structural damage, this means that you should take the chance to figure out an aesthetically pleasing set up. The right furnishings don’t have to be expensive, and if you spend a lot of money fixing up the property, you could very easily take advantage of repurposing old items. Essentially, this is upcycling, but it doesn’t have to result in a shabby looking home. It’s a great way to be creative, but to also add that individuality to a space.

A fixer-upper, you can argue, is a cheaper option. Every home has its unique merits, and when you decide to purchase a property that needs a lot done to it, you’ve got to take into account the time involved to fix it all up. Yes, it’s a labor of love and you can put your own personality into every aspect of the place, but you have to take into account how long the process will take. Renovating a house from top to bottom is one of those challenges in life that can be enjoyable, but also stressful. A lot of the battle is won before you sign on the dotted line. Purchasing a fixer-upper is most definitely a great way to flip a property if you want to sell it on, but if you’re looking at a home for life, this can provide you with the personality you need, but don’t underestimate how much work needs to go into it. The very beginning of your time in the property means looking over the problems, potential issues, not to mention the dangers, and get them tackled right away.

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