Fixing Up An Old House | 10 Must Do Repairs and Upgrades

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How To Breathe New Life Into An Old Home Without Going Broke


Fixing up an old house? Here is a picture of an old house that needs repairs.


When you’re on the market for a new house, you may want to factor the cost of fixing up an old house into your mortgage. Buying a home is one of the most exciting life milestones a person can experience aside from getting married, starting a family, and world travel. But many houses on the market were built decades ago. The average house in New Jersey, for example, is about 50 years old. So, even though the house is new to you, it may in fact be very old. 


You may find the charm and character of older homes to be enticing. Or maybe transforming a fixer-upper into your dream home seems more rewarding than spending tons of money on purchasing a home that’s already updated. Older houses that need a little TLC are technically cheaper on the housing market. But along with its unique appeal, there might come the need for renovations and repairs. Understanding the potential costs involved in fixing up an old house can help you make informed decisions during the home-buying process.


Rest assured, with proper planning and a clear vision, transforming an old house into your very own utopia is entirely achievable. From updating the interior with modern amenities and stylish finishes to maximizing energy efficiency and addressing structural issues, each improvement contributes to a home that perfectly reflects your taste and preferences.


Fixing Up An Old House: Why You Should Do It ASAP


Saving up to repair and upgrade your nearly purchased home can take years. In the meantime, you’ll have to deal with the issues and challenges of constant decay. Creaky floorboards and drafty windows may not seem like that big of a deal at first, but they can have a significant impact on your quality of life. Overtime, the cost of air leakage, poorly performing HVAC systems, and water that takes way too long to get hot can add up. It takes a toll on you physically, mentally, and financially, making it even more difficult to manage as your life progresses. Your best bet is to handle these issues immediately. You have already worked so hard to become a proud homeowner, shouldn’t you love where you live?


10 Reasons To Upgrade Home Without Delay:


  1. Preventing Further Deterioration: Over time, an old house can suffer from wear and tear, structural issues, and rot. By addressing problems early, you can prevent these issues from worsening and save yourself from more extensive and costly repairs down the line.
  2. Preserving the Home’s Value: An older house, especially one with visible signs of neglect, may experience a decline in its market value. By undertaking timely repairs and renovations, you can maintain or even increase the property’s value, ensuring a better return on your investment if you decide to sell in the future.
  3. Enhancing Safety: Older homes might have outdated electrical systems, deteriorated foundations, or other potential safety hazards. By fixing these problems promptly, you create a safer living environment for yourself and your family.
  4. Energy Efficiency Improvements: Old houses often lack modern insulation and energy-efficient features, leading to higher utility bills. Upgrading windows, doors, and HVAC systems can significantly reduce energy consumption and make your home more eco-friendly.
  5. Comfort and Livability: Addressing issues like leaky roofs, inadequate heating/cooling, or malfunctioning plumbing can greatly improve your comfort and overall living experience in the house.
  6. Personalization and Enjoyment: Fixing up an old house allows you to personalize the space according to your tastes and preferences. Creating a home that suits your style enhances your enjoyment and emotional attachment to the property.
  7. Preserving Heritage and History: Older houses often have unique architectural features and historical significance. Restoring and preserving these elements not only honors the house’s heritage but also contributes to the cultural heritage of the community.
  8. Avoiding Legal and Insurance Complications: Some structural issues and safety concerns might cause problems with insurance coverage or violate building codes. Addressing these issues promptly ensures compliance with regulations and prevents potential legal or insurance complications.
  9. Avoiding Emergency Repairs: Neglecting an old house’s maintenance can lead to sudden breakdowns or emergencies, which can be stressful, disruptive, and more expensive to fix in a rush.
  10. Peace of Mind: Knowing that your home is in good condition and well-maintained provides peace of mind and reduces worries about unexpected issues cropping up.


Fixing Up an Old House: Assessing the Restoration Needs


Before diving into the exciting journey of fixing up an old house, it’s essential to assess the restoration needs thoroughly. Understanding the house’s condition will help you prioritize repairs and renovations effectively. Here’s a checklist to guide you:


  • Safety First: Address any safety hazards, such as electrical issues, structural problems, or leaks, as a top priority to ensure a secure living space.
  • Assess Structural Integrity: Inspect the foundation, walls, and roof for any signs of damage or wear that may require immediate attention.
  • Check Plumbing and Wiring: Evaluate the condition of plumbing and electrical systems to identify potential problems and areas for improvement.
  • Energy Efficiency: Consider your home’s insulation, windows, and doors to determine if energy-efficient upgrades are needed.
  • Inspect Flooring and Walls: Look for damaged flooring, walls, and ceilings that may need repair or replacement.
  • Kitchen and Bathroom: Assess the condition of these crucial areas, as updating them can greatly enhance your daily living experience.


What Should I Fix First in My Old House?


When deciding what to fix first in your old house, prioritize essential repairs such as fixing leaks, addressing structural issues, and ensuring electrical safety. Tackling these critical problems early on will prevent further damage and provide a solid foundation for future renovations.


Once you’ve handled the immediate safety issues in your old house, you can focus on upgrades that enhance your quality of life. Consider energy-efficient updates like window replacements and improved insulation to reduce utility bills and create a comfortable living space. Updating the kitchen and bathroom can also elevate your daily experience, while fresh paint and flooring breathe new life into the interior. Taking these steps will not only modernize your home but also make it a more enjoyable and inviting place to live.


10 Things You Should Consider When Fixing Up An Old House


  1. Window Replacement: Replace old, inefficient windows with energy-efficient ones. This will improve insulation, reduce drafts, and lower utility bills.
  2. Entry Door Replacement: Upgrade the front door with a new one that is more secure, weather-resistant, and visually appealing. A good entry door enhances curb appeal and provides better protection against the elements.
  3. Bathroom Renovation: Modernize the bathroom by replacing worn-out fixtures, tiles, and faucets. Fix any leaks, improve ventilation, and add storage space for a more functional and comfortable experience.
  4. Insulation Upgrade: Check and improve insulation throughout the house, especially in the attic, walls, and basement. Proper insulation helps maintain a comfortable temperature and reduces energy wastage.
  5. Electrical System Update: Update the electrical system to meet current safety standards. Replace old wiring, outlets, and circuit breakers to reduce the risk of electrical hazards.
  6. Roof Repairs: Address any roof leaks, damaged shingles, or sagging areas. A well-maintained roof is crucial for preventing water damage and maintaining the structural integrity of the house.
  7. Plumbing Overhaul: Inspect and replace old or corroded pipes, fix leaky faucets, and upgrade to water-efficient fixtures. Adequate plumbing prevents water wastage and potential water damage.
  8. HVAC System Maintenance: Service the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system regularly to ensure it functions optimally. Replace filters, clean ducts, and repair any issues to maintain indoor air quality and energy efficiency.
  9. Flooring Restoration: Restore or replace worn-out flooring, such as refinishing hardwood or installing new tiles or carpet. Upgrading the flooring enhances the overall look and value of the home.
  10. Exterior Painting: Repaint the exterior of the house to give it a fresh and updated appearance. This not only improves aesthetics but also helps protect the building from weather damage.


Planning Your Project: Budgeting and Prioritizing Fixes for an Old House


Taking on the task of fixing up an old house requires careful planning and smart decision-making to ensure a successful outcome. Budgeting and prioritizing your repairs and renovations are key steps in this process. Assess your financial situation and set a realistic budget for the project. Factor in the cost of essential repairs, such as addressing any structural issues, fixing leaks, and ensuring the safety of electrical and plumbing systems. These critical fixes should be your top priority to avoid further deterioration and ensure a safe living environment.


Seek professional advice from contractors or home improvement experts. They can provide valuable insights, help you understand the scope of work, and offer cost estimates. Remember that DIY projects seem like they can save you some money, but some tasks may require specialized skills. You can wind up with injuries, a botched job, and a huge list of expensive repairs. We recommend leaving it to the professionals.


Waiting until you’ve saved enough money to take on a big home improvement project like window or door replacement may not always be the best decision either. The longer you wait, the more money you waste on unnecessarily high heating and cooling costs, and other issues caused by the lack of energy efficiency. Plus, the cost of living goes up over time, as does the cost of your home improvement project. Looking into financing your home improvement project can help save you  money in the long run. It can also help you get started sooner.


Fixing Up An Old House: Final Thoughts


In a nutshell, fixing up an old house is totally worth it! You’re not just renovating a house, you’re creating a home with your own flair. From reviving unique features to going green with energy-efficient upgrades, each improvement adds value and charm to your place. Plus, it increases your home’s value and helps you avoid a slew of costly issues by taking care of things sooner rather than later. Embrace the challenges, get creative, and enjoy the process. Your old house will soon become a cherished sanctuary filled with memories that’ll last a lifetime. Happy renovating, and here’s to a beautiful future in your lovingly restored home! 


If you’re interested in upgrading your home today, consider window and door replacement. It’s one of the easiest ways to make a big difference in your home quickly. Our dedicated team of experts is more than happy to help. Choose from a wide range of fully customizable, energy-efficient windows and doors. Schedule your free consultation today!