A Quick Fixer-upper Checklist for Your Next Project

interior design of a house

Everyone’s seen those TV shows where interior designers and DIY enthusiasts purchase an old, dilapidated home, then renovate it to make it look stunning. Often, they buy fixer-upper properties nobody wants to have at amazingly low prices. Of course, that’s in exchange because they will have to do the renovations and repairs themselves.

Fixer-uppers are by no means an easy and cheap purchase. Whether you have the renovation skills to do the job yourself or intend to hire professionals to do it for you, there are many considerations you need to keep in mind. But if you’re already decided, the experience itself can be a very satisfying one. But before that, you need to know what you should replace, improve, or renovate. Below is a quick checklist of what you need to replace or enhance in a fixer-upper.

Redo the Walls

One of the most obvious things that need replacing in a fixer-upper is the walls. You should repaint the aging walls or remove prior wallpapers. Should there be any disfigured walls or surfaces, you can use faux wall panels or even wooden planks to cover them up while adding a sense of style. Since the walls will most likely be always visible, take care to choose the appropriate color, style, or wallpaper that you choose for your project.

Add Better Lighting

Most houses aren’t designed with optimum lighting in mind, and many of the light bulbs used there are the first things you should replace. Ensure to update all the lighting fixtures and figure which spots suffer from the light not reaching it. Putting smaller light sources in those areas helps in making old houses look a lot livelier. It’s also a good idea to open up the windows and the pathways of natural light to give the whole room a more organic feeling.

Ensure the Foundational Integrity

Here’s something you should never forget: make sure that the foundations are still up to par. Walk around the outside of the property and look for any cracks on the walls. Go down to the basement and see if the posts and foundations are still good. Better yet, talk to a structural engineer and have it assessed professionally. A fixer-upper that’s about to topple over isn’t worth much, not even if you make it look brand new. This should be one of the first things you check, even before you make the purchase.

Remove Old Carpeting and Upholstery

a person installing carpeting

When carpets or upholstery are old and dirty, they’re disgusting and are something that you might not even consider. Cleaning old carpets might not even be worth the effort as you’d need to replace the heavily destroyed parts. Most fixer-uppers have antique carpets and curtains that need to go: rip them all out and replace them with new ones. Alternatively, you can also eschew carpets and go for laminate flooring, hardwoods, or even bag flooring.

Make the Curb Appealing

Dilapidated homes usually have an equally scruffy curb. And that’s something that ruins the impression of a good house. Make sure to fix the curb as much as you do the actual property. If you’re strapped for cash and would like to focus on the house itself, you can opt to clear out the curb to make it at least minimal and organized.

Replace the Locks

It goes without saying that you should change all the locks whenever you’re moving into a new home. The same applies with fixer-uppers, but for reasons that are quite a bit different. Most locks, even if you have the key to match them, are corroded inside. They’re weak and prone to breaking. It’s simply wiser to replace them, and perhaps you can even replace them with newly designed smart locks that come with smart systems that allow for smart furniture integration.

Update the HVAC System

If the property you purchase hasn’t been lived in for quite some time, you can be sure that this HVAC system is in dire need of replacing. While it might cost a significant amount, it’s still an integral upgrade. The air quality significantly affects the comfort levels of people living inside that home. You or your buyer will appreciate not breathing in dusty air that’s common in old houses.

A Fixer-upper Isn’t For Everyone

But if it’s for you, then it’s perfect. Having the interest and skill to buy a fixer-upper are two things that don’t necessarily come together. But when you have both, then you’re the perfect buyer for properties like these.

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