Got a fixer upper? Prioritize these renovations first.

fixer upper home

For those of you who want to buy a new home but don’t have the funds yet, buying a fixer-upper is a great second option. You’ll save quite a bit of money upfront. The majority of your budget will go towards making needed renovations. 


However, with a limited budget, it may be difficult to decide which home renovations need to be made first. 


Today, we’ll be sharing the fixer-upper renovations you should prioritize.

Before You Begin Your Renovation Project

You can’t have a successful fixer-upper renovation project without the right resources and planning readily available. 


For starters, you bought this fixer-upper instead of a newer home because you saved thousands. That doesn’t mean that you can spend carelessly; you still need a solid budget. 


To establish your budget, you need to think long and hard about this renovation project. You may already have an image in your head of what you want this project to look like in the end. However, not everything may be doable. 


For this fixer-upper project, think about your needs versus your wants. Are there some features you can forego for a later date to save money right now? Does a certain desired feature require structural changes? What elements of the home need to be fixed up the most?


In regards to that last question, a need-to-have is the fixer-upper’s history. Additionally, you’ll want to get in contact with a home inspector. Their job is to check the home for any structural or electrical issues, potential fire hazards, and other safety concerns. 


Having the history and the structural condition of your home will help you determine what’s needed, get estimates of the overall renovation project, and plan your wants afterward. Make sure to shop around for various contractors; having their contact info will be crucial for some elements of the renovation process.

Roofing and Gutters

At the beginning of the renovation project, you’ll want to focus on the roof and ceiling. A fixer-upper likely hasn’t been touched in a long time, meaning these may be in bad shape.


On the outside, the roof could have cracks or holes for water to fall into. You should handle this quickly. If you wait on this, any water from the weather could seep into the house messing up the interior.


Chances are you’d need to install a new floor because the current one may not be great. The cost of flooring will depend on how much square footage you need and the material of the flooring. 


A budget-friendly option is vinyl-plank flooring. It looks like real wood but doesn’t cost nearly as much per square foot. The color you choose for it will help you figure out your color choices for other parts of the home.


Read: how to install a vinyl-plank floor


However, if you’re considering the finished home value, you may want to look into modern tile or hardwood. It mainly depends on the surrounding market.

Room Painting

It’s time to set the new tone of your fixer-upper. This fun project won’t cost you much. However, you should save this until you finish with the structural renovations.


Painting a new home should be something you do regardless of if it’s a fixer-upper or not; it just helps to make the home yours. 


Cans of paint will likely cost between $20-$50 but will vary by the quantity and quality you buy. 


Read: how much should you pay for a can of paint?


If you see chips in the home’s siding, there could be more issues underneath. The boards underneath could be rotting or growing mold. 


Assuming you’ll need new siding, this will be a crucial expense to consider for the budget. A siding contractor will help with this; they’ll look at the home’s current siding, determine if it’s safe to use, and/or what needs replacing.

Windows and Doors

Windows and doors play a significant role in the home’s value, even after renovations. Cheap windows and doors won’t be a strong enough barrier to block out the outside temperature from getting inside. They also might let the inside heat or air escape outside. This will pose a problem for your electric bill.


Shop around for quality windows, durable frames, sturdy door material, and sealant for cracks.

Drywall and Ceiling

If you feel good about the roof being safe from leaks, you can work on the ceiling and walls. Like the siding, you’ll want to ensure there aren’t any cracks or mold. 


Hire contractors to install new drywall and replace the ceiling. It’s not as simple as touching up the current walls so you probably shouldn’t make this a DIY project.


This may be one of the more expensive elements of the fixer-upper renovation. You may have to gut the current kitchen and have contractors install a new one. 


However, it may just require getting new cabinet doors, touching up the countertops, and repainting surfaces. 


Whatever the case may be, don’t skimp out on the kitchen renovation. This will be one of the most used rooms in the house. It needs to have quality material so that everything works and lasts long, even after continual use.

Let the Experts Assist in Your Fixer-Upper Renovation Project

Heitmeyer Building and Design are experts in home renovation, whether it’s a fixer-upper or a brand new home. From small projects like kitchen remodels to large ones like room transformations, you’ll be satisfied with the results.

Contact us with your fixer-upper renovation project ideas today!

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