How to fix a fixer upper

Thinking of buying a dump?

Whether you plan on flipping the house for profit or fixing it so you can move in, there’s a certain checklist homeowners must go through when figuring out how to fix a fixer upper.

Buying a rundown home has its pros and cons.

On one hand, dilapidated homes are cheap. You can buy a fixer upper at a fraction of a turn key house’s price!

Sellers are usually aware of how much work needs to be done to fix the property. Now only that, but who wants to buy a ruin, when there are so many beautiful homes for sale, just waiting for you to move in?

Another advantage of buying a rundown home is its potential to be turned into something beautiful.

You might think “what a ruin of a house, even cavemen had better built shelters!

What many fail to acknowledge though, is you can turn a fixer upper into anything you want. You’re only limited by your imagination. And your budget.

Speaking of budgets, here come the downsides.

To fix a fixer upper, you’re going to need time and money. Renovations and home improvements can be costly.

Neglected properties typically come with unwanted and unexpected problems.

Fear not though! With proper planning and a bit of patience, anyone can turn a rundown property into a beautiful welcoming home.

How to fix a fixer upper

Whether you plan on flipping a house for profit or fixing it so you can move in, there's a certain checklist you must go through when fixing a fixer upper.


What to look for when buying a fixer upper

When deciding to buy a “dump” and fix it, there are certain aspects you should definitely take into consideration before purchasing a real estate property.

Location – What’s the first thing real estate investors look for? Location, location, location! Look for rundown properties in desirable neighborhoods. Regardless of the reason you’re buying it (to sell it for profit or to move in with your family), seeking a house in a good neighborhood is always best.

Condition – Before buying a property, it’s always a good idea to thoroughly inspect its condition! Make sure everything’s in order with its foundation and structure, roofing and flooring, plumbing and electrical wiring. Find a good home inspector to consult with before buying.

Potential – Last but not least, try to see the potential a neglected property might have, instead on focusing on the negatives. Does the overall layout look OK to you? Could you turn this ruin into a dream home? The reason many prefer to stay away from fixer uppers is the lack of vision. This is actually a mistake home buyers often make. Instead of seeing a room as a total wreck, try and picture a guest bedroom or a play room for your kids!

Structural & roofing repairs

Safety first!

Before fixing anything, make sure your property is in good condition.

Although structural repairs or fixing the roof won’t actually add value to your property, they do count a great deal!

Foundation and stability are essential, otherwise your new home might crumble down after a while!

Look for cracks, split beams and check out if the structure is solid.

Check your roofing’s condition as well, so you’ll avoid mold or flooded basement problems later on.

Take a good look at your gutters as well.

In order to deal with these potential problems by the book, you should probably hire an expert. Find contractors in your area or find a reputable one you can trust and hire them.

Ideally, you should fix a fixer upper with as little money as possible. But skimping on the basics could cost you a ton of money later on!

Last thing you need is to deal with home damages right after you’ve invested serious money and time for your renovations!

Plumbing and wiring


Now that your home is safe, you can proceed with plumbing and wiring repairs.

Fix the electrical wiring around your house, as well as replace any pipes that might be old, clogged, cracked or in an overall bad condition.

It makes sense to make these repairs now, since you’ll need to break or tear down few walls in the process.

Consult with an electrician and plumber, if you’re in way over your head!

Don’t be a hero and try to save money if you’re not qualified to make such repairs! You’ll only be sorry later on, when you’ll have to tear down your fresh painted walls to fix some loose wire or a cracked pipe!

Walls & insulation

Now that you’ve taken care of your plumbing and wiring, time to fix the walls!

Now is the time to figure out if you want to leave your house as is, or if you’d like to modify its layout to fit your needs.

You could construct new walls or move existing ones, to enlarge or shrink certain rooms.

Adding structural beams could also be a good idea, if you need more support.

Plan on adding some proper insulation as well. It’s a good investment to keep energy costs down and it also increases your home’s value.

Windows & doors

Adding or replacing windows and doors should be your next step.

Now is the time to replace those old-fashioned, single-pane windows that never seal properly!

Investing in energy efficient windows could potentially drive your home’s value up a notch!

Replace or fix old doors as well, while you’re at it. If you’ve bought a fixer upper, chances are the doors aren’t sturdy enough anymore.


Choose the best type of flooring to fit your needs.

Ideally, durable flooring is best. If you plan on flipping the house or renting it, durable and visually appealing flooring should do wonders.

If the flooring doesn’t need to be replaced, even better! Now that you’re done with tearing walls down and bringing them back up, you can safely refinish wood floors to give them a fresh look.

Adding ceramic tiles in your bathroom and kitchen is a good idea, since they’re waterproof and really easy to clean!

Home improvements

Once you’re done with fixing the basics of a fixer upper, you can start thinking about home improvements.

If you plan to flip the house for profit, it’s always best to keep costs to a minimum!

With that being said, you should learn about which home improvements increase property value, to give you the best return of investment!

Have you ever fixed a fixer upper? Did everything go according to plan?



I'm Adriana, a passionate SEO expert with a knack for budgeting. As an SEO whiz, I help businesses reach their goals. In my personal life, I care about empowering myself and others to make the most of every cent.

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