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You are ready to turn your fixer-upper into your dream home now what?

Updated: Jun 21

Turning a Fixer-Upper into a Home: Tips to Consider Before Renovating

By Mwihaki Turay


Embarking on the journey of transforming a fixer-upper into your dream home is an exciting yet challenging endeavour. With the right planning, resources, and mindset, you can turn any rundown property into a beautiful, functional living space that reflects your personal style. Here are the top factors to consider and steps to take when you’re ready to turn your fixer-upper into your dream home.


Set a Realistic Budget

Before diving into renovations, establish a realistic budget. This should include the cost of materials, labour, permits, and a contingency fund for unexpected expenses. Break down your budget into categories such as structural repairs, cosmetic updates, and major installations to keep track of your spending.

Assess the Property

Conduct a thorough assessment of the property to identify areas that need immediate attention. Hire a professional home inspector to evaluate the structural integrity, electrical systems, plumbing, and overall safety of the home. This assessment will help you prioritize projects and allocate your budget effectively.

Before any renovations begin, it is important to assess the house and its foundation for signs of standing water or grading issues that could lead to structural damage. To ensure safety and security, it is also important to start with exterior security measures such as replacing locks, re-coding alarm systems, and installing new windows.

Once the exterior is secure, you can move on to the interior elements of your home renovation project. Inspect potentially dangerous areas of the house, such as vents, gutters, and the chimney, for any needed updates or repairs, and make sure they are all in working order before progressing further. You should also pay attention to clues that might indicate plumbing or electrical work needs to be done; these are things best left up to an experienced professional, so be sure to consult one if needed.

When renovating interiors, always pay special attention to load-bearing walls – consult an expert before removing anything! Additionally, think about design elements like paint colours and finishes, as well as landscaping. Planting trees and shrubs can help improve energy efficiency while adding character and beauty at the same time! Finally, don't forget about budgeting – set aside funds for unexpected costs that may arise during construction.

Create a Renovation Plan

Develop a detailed renovation plan that outlines each project step-by-step. Include timelines, material lists, and design ideas. Decide whether you’ll tackle the renovations yourself or hire professionals for specific tasks. A well-structured plan will keep you organized and on track.

Prioritize Structural Repairs

Start with essential structural repairs to ensure the safety and stability of your home. This may include fixing the foundation, repairing the roof, updating electrical wiring, and replacing old plumbing. Addressing these critical issues first will provide a solid foundation for your other renovation projects.


Tips & Tricks

To Safely Remove a Wall and Managing Renovation

One of the most important steps to consider before beginning any remodelling project is safely removing walls to create the desired look. Additionally, managing renovation overwhelm is critical for success and requires thoughtful consideration of design elements as well as construction management.

When removing walls between two rooms or an entire section of a wall from a single room, it is essential to start by scoring the inside corners of both walls and ceilings. This ensures a clean break when tearing out the drywall or plasterboard material, resulting in less overall damage during the removal process. Be sure to discontinue all electrical wiring before removing any wall sections. Evaluate beforehand to determine if any common problems, such as flickering lights, quick burnouts, non-functioning outlets, or warm switches, exist. These could be signs of arcing or fire risks due to old wiring systems. Loose connections or frayed wires also need careful attention during the evaluation process for safety concerns related to older wiring systems being used today. Consider energy-efficient options like LED bulbs when replacing bulbs during renovations to optimize usage post-completion of the project.

Lastly, managing renovation overwhelm can sometimes present its own set of challenges, especially when taking on large-scale projects. To help manage this potential problem, it is recommended to focus on smaller changes first, such as patching nail holes in spaces that you are keeping, which may otherwise easily get overlooked, before beginning larger tasks like painting entire rooms or replacing flooring materials throughout the home. Taking these small steps first will help create momentum early on, resulting in more success further along during your remodel journey!

Focus on Energy Efficiency

Incorporate energy-efficient upgrades to reduce long-term utility costs and increase the value of your home. Consider installing energy-efficient windows, upgrading insulation, and investing in energy-saving appliances. These improvements will enhance comfort and sustainability.

Revamp the Kitchen and Bathrooms

The kitchen and bathrooms are key areas that significantly impact your home's value and functionality. Focus on modernizing these spaces with updated fixtures, new cabinetry, and stylish countertops. Consider open-concept designs for the kitchen to create a spacious and inviting atmosphere.


Benefits and Tips

Of Deep Cleaning a Fixer-Upper

One crucial element of any renovation project is selecting good quality primer before painting to achieve better results in terms of colour coverage. Furthermore, when deciding on paint colours, it’s important to take into consideration how the tone of a room can be affected by various shades. Bright colours often inspire social interaction in living spaces, while cooler tones are calming and perfect for bedrooms or studies. Keep in mind that lighting can also impact paint colour selection. Always look at true form under natural light first before determining additional accents or decor items, such as wall art or curtains.

Once renovations are done, it’s best practice to deep clean your home instead of waiting until later. Renovations can be messy, which could lead to dust buildup if left uncleaned longer than necessary. Deep cleaning has many benefits, including uplifting the entire atmosphere and being beneficial for overall health by removing allergens from surfaces, like mould spores from damp areas such as basements or bathrooms where growth is common without proper ventilation or regular cleaning. When starting with deep cleaning tasks, focus on high-traffic areas that require regular upkeep, such as kitchen countertops and floors. Then, move onto secondary zones like hallways or bedrooms, prioritizing any problematic spots you may find during your inspection process early on so they don't accumulate dirt or debris over time. This will help ensure everything looks its best now and will also help keep up appearances over time!

Enhance Curb Appeal

First impressions matter, so enhance your home’s curb appeal by updating the exterior. Fresh paint, new siding, landscaping, and a welcoming front door can dramatically improve the look of your property. A well-maintained exterior sets the tone for the rest of your home.

DIY vs. Hiring Professionals

Decide which projects you can handle on your own and which ones require professional expertise. While DIY can save money, certain tasks like electrical work, plumbing, and major structural changes are best left to professionals to ensure safety and compliance with building codes.

Stay Flexible and Patient

Renovating a fixer-upper can be unpredictable, so stay flexible and patient throughout the process. Expect delays and unexpected challenges, but keep your end goal in mind. Celebrate small victories and progress along the way to stay motivated.

Transforming a fixer-upper into your dream home is a rewarding journey that requires careful planning, budgeting, and creativity. By following these steps and focusing on key areas, you can create a beautiful, functional space that you'll love for years to come.


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