How To Renovate a Fixer-Upper

Lexi Tysoski
Sunday, September 19, 2021
How To Renovate a Fixer-Upper
Fixer-Uppers can be expensive and intimidating! Especially when you don't have the experience to know the ins and outs of problems with things that you may not see such as wiring or pipes. But don't let any of this stop you from having the home of your dreams for the price you can afford!

Being prepared and educated is all you need to start your journey! 
Before You Choose a Fixer-Upper
  1. Home Inspection
  • Before even purchasing the house, include a condition of a home inspection. A home Inspector will see the important things you don't and may be able to advise you whether or not renovation costs will be expensive.
  1. Careful Consideration
  • Make sure a fixer-upper is the right choice for you. You may be interested in one because the price is affordable, but are you ready to live in a house under construction for possibly years?
  • You might decide to fix up the important areas in your new home before you move in but for cost efficiency you may end up paying for months of rent or owning two homes at once. This choice will affect your budget, less money for supplies and more money for living in two places.
  1. Check With Your Mortgage Broker
  • Sometimes you'll be able to borrow money included in your mortgage that you can use to fix up your house. This will only work if the price of the home you purchase is less than you've been approved for.
  • This option may give you some extra money to work into your budget to start or even complete fixing up your new home.
After You Purchase Your Fixer-Upper
  1. Research Inexpensive Supplies
  • Don't mistake inexpensive for cheap. Purchasing supplies that are cheaply made will only cost you more in the long run as they'll need to be replaced sooner.
  • Instead, Search for lightly used material from Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, Re-stores and discount or surplus construction material stores
  1. Create a Budget - and Stick to It
  • It may be hard, especially if you've never done it, but this is what this blog is all about. Start with a base amount you'll want to spend and work from there. This will take some research
  1. Choose a Completion Date
  • A completion date may save you money. If you have a date that you plan to have your home, or even just a certain project done by then you won't have time to add anything that may take more of your budget to complete.
While Working on Your Fixer-Upper
  1. Take Your Time
  • Working quickly so you don't have to live in a mess is not the right choice. It can add up to mistakes that need to be corrected or even removed and replaced, ending up ruining materials and costing more.
  1. Hire a Contractor
  • This may seem like an expensive choice, but some things should not be done by someone with no experience, such as wiring, plumbing, or any sort of corrective work.
  • Ask the contractor if there is anything you can do personally to cut costs. Sometimes contractors will allow you to remove or prep the area they'll be working in, taking them less time and costing less money. An example would be a digging out a certain area so they can access something or prepping by bringing in the materials they need to work with.
  • You may be able to cut costs by purchasing the materials they need so they don't have to mark them up for the time is takes them to go get them.
  • This is again, cost effective in the long run. Having to have a contractor in to fix the mistakes you may have made can be costly.
  1. Ask for Help
  • Friends and family may be able to step in and help you complete your tasks for a case of beer or a pizza party. Don't be afraid to ask, but also don't make them feel like they're help is expected.
  • People generally want to help and there may be somethings that just aren't in your wheelhouse, like painting a room or planting a low maintence garden.
When You Finish Your Fixer-Upper
  1. Celebrate!
  • You will have accomplished something amazing with your own hands! Be proud of the work you've done and
  1. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
  • The small things that haven't been done or are a little bit off - Don't Worry About Them! They either don't matter or can be fixed in the future! You may feel like things are incomplete but just let it go for now. As long as your main projects are mostly done, feel good!
  1. Leave Reviews / Send Pictures for Contractors to Use
  • In a world where social media online reviews are an important part of business. If your contractor did a great job visually, take pictures and send them to the business. Google and Facebook reviews are so important and appreciated, especially for small, local businesses.
  • If you don't feel comfortable leaving a review with your name attached, you can send in a testimonial through email and give them permission to use it for social media or marketing; just ask them to only use your first name and last initial. 
Renovating a home can be expensive, but if you're prepared, educated and ask or hire help when needed you should have no problem making a not so ideal home into the perfect home for you!
And don't forget to be proud of yourself and your accomplishments in the end! Fixer-Uppers are not for everyone!

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