Just a Bit of a Fixer Upper

Building a new home can be a fun experience, but some homeowners prefer a more hands-on approach to creating their dream home. No, this doesn't mean the grab a hammer and jump into the fray with a construction team to build their home from scratch- the project referred to is purchasing a fixer upper and tackling the troubles head-on. This route isn't for the faint of heart- renovating a home that requires some TLC can be really difficult, but sticking it out and working hard can be the ticket to living in the perfect space without the price tag.

Buying a home to fix up can be hard. Looking at different properties requires a bit of imagination because most homes listed at lower price points have a bit of wear and tear. It's important to keep in mind that finding a good home to renovate may mean a bit of searching. Examine the bones of the place - having a good structure to work with will help immensely, as will having a layout that flows well. The reason is that a home with a rough layout can only be altered so much; knocking out walls to change the space can be done, but if the wall in question is a supporting wall then there is likely to be a high cost associated with placing support beams. While it can be done, it may be cheaper and easier to put in a bit more work to find a more suitable floor plan before buying.

One important step when trying to find the best-suited property to renovate is hiring an inspector prior to purchasing. While this is great advice in every home buying situation, it can be especially crucial in a situation with a fixer-upper because there could be larger problems lurking behind the walls of an older home. Hiring a professional inspector with good reviews will ensure a thorough and unbiased response that could be enlightening to any buyer. Inspectors see beneath the fluff and because of that, they will be able to point out structural abnormalities, bug problems, plumbing issues, and many more potential money pits. This may not matter to a home buyer searching for a project house, but it can certainly help to prepare and plan more room in the budget for various fixes by knowing they will be necessary before buying the home.

When the papers are signed and it's time to set to working on the home, remember that it's okay to hire professionals. Things like plumbing and electricity are complex issues and often times, homeowners with little experience try to install new wiring. This can be a very dangerous practice and hiring a licensed contractor may save money in the long run. Though these things can be done through the handiwork of the homeowner, if resale is on the mind, many buyers would also prefer to know that the more sensitive repairs were fixed by seasoned professionals and that they aren't walking into a potential fire or flooding hazard.

Deciding what to work on first can be a tricky choice. Many times, getting started on one project can spur on excitement to begin another and before too long, many different projects have begun but few are near completion. Because of this, it may be good to take inventory of all the various projects - large and small - and categorize them in a few ways. There should be a category for time-sensitive projects that should have high priority status, and there should be other categories for projects that may take more time and for projects that can easily be completed in a shorter time span. Picking various projects can help to rejuvenate the drive to completing the home. Occasionally, it can get discouraging when progress on larger projects is slow moving, so interjecting sporadically with an easy to complete smaller task can give homeowners just they push they need to keep progressing.

Of course, the first jobs to be completed should be fixing things that may be immediately dangerous or may be more time consuming and essential for other projects to function. For example, if the kitchen plumbing is prone to leaking and has caused problems in the walls or flooring, addressing those issues can help to prepare that space for future renovations. Not only could keeping the old plumbing cause a larger problem as those working on construction continue to use water in the kitchen area, but it could also mean redoing areas after they have been completed so that the plumbing can be reached. It will save time and money to have a method to the madness that is restoring a home.

When preparing to purchase materials, research can be one of the greatest money savers. Often, cost can be mistaken for quality even though that's not necessarily the case. Just because a product has a higher price tag does not mean it's better than all the other options, so knowing what is needed ahead of time can help keep costs low at the checkout counter. Plus, learning about various products may open up other options that are more eco-friendly, easily cleaned, lower maintenance, or a number of other aspects that are important to a homeowner preparing to remodel.

Embarking on the journey to a bright, newly renovated home can lead through many ups and downs, though hard work often produces great results. Though there will likely be bumps in the road, if the home is well planned then no outcome is too far out of reach. Determination and dedication can turn a run-down junker home into a stunning property with pizazz and panache. All it takes is a little bit of elbow grease.