You’ve Moved Into a Fixer-Upper: What Do You Tackle First?

There are plenty of good things to love about buying a fixer-upper. You probably got the property pretty cheap, and you have the opportunity to make your mark. Or maybe you’re planning to sell it for a profit. But, whatever you intend to do with it, the initial stages of owning it can be overwhelming. There’s so much to do and it’s not easy to know where to start. Everything can look like it needs your attention right this second or it’s all going to fall apart. And on top of that, you probably have other responsibilities you have to attend to, like work and family.

So how do you know where to begin? Instead of just standing in the middle of a room and looking around you in panic, you need to start prioritizing the many tasks you have ahead of you. Here’s what to tackle first.

Structural Issues

The one thing you don’t want to happen is for anything to start falling apart around you. It would be costly to fix, and not to mention dangerous. Structural problems should be the first thing you address in your fixer-upper so you can stop worrying about them. That could include things like issues with the foundation or roof, or maybe structural problems with the walls. Before you do anything, you’ll want to know that the property is safe to live in, especially if you’re planning on moving in right away. A survey or inspection (which you should do before buying) should reveal all.

Potential Health Hazards

Even if you don’t have any structural problems, there could still be health hazards lurking in your new property. Mold can sometimes take root, especially in a property that hasn’t been inhabited for a while. Getting rid of it can be tough, and it has the potential to cause lasting damage too. The best way to deal with it safely is to call in professionals to remove it and carry out mold damage restoration. Mold can easily grow back if you don’t get rid of it properly so it’s important to use the right methods. Once the mold is gone, you can focus on making sure your property looks great.

Exterior Upgrades

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Exterior upgrades are probably going to need your attention too. Apart from the roof, other parts of the property exterior have also most likely taken some bashing over the years. If previous owners haven’t kept on top of maintenance, there could be a list of jobs that need to be completed. Windows and doors, in particular, might need updating. Maybe repainting or replacing frames is all you need to do, but replacing doors or windows completely could also be an option if you feel like they need a complete refresh.


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Before you start getting all of your furniture into the property, it makes sense to give a thought to flooring. It will be easier to work on flooring without having to move furniture around, especially if you’ve yet to actually move into the property. Work on flooring might include anything from varnishing or staining existing floors to completely replacing the flooring that’s there. You have a huge range of choices for flooring types, so you can customize each room to match your wants and needs.

Bathroom Remodel

To make the property habitable, you’ll need to focus on two key areas. Having a working kitchen and bathroom is a must. You need to have clean, running water and you need to be able to wash, prepare food, and more. Starting with the bathroom makes sense because it’s a crucial space in any home. Hopefully, you have at least one functional bathroom. If you have multiple bathrooms, it’s a lot more convenient when you’re having work carried out on one of them. You might need to update basic facilities, but you also have the chance to design a lovely bathroom.

Kitchen Remodel

Your kitchen needs to be functional too, including having an oven, surfaces for preparing food, and the right appliances such as a fridge and freezer (or a combination of both). Kitchen remodels can often be the most costly but renovating them is worth it. It’s one of the rooms you use most, especially if you enjoy cooking, and it needs to deliver the essentials. You can really put some personality into your kitchen design too, so why not get creative?

Listing everything you need to do to get a fixer-upper into shape can be daunting, but it also helps you get organized. Once you know where to start, you can get the ball rolling.

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