How You Should Spend the Bulk of Your Fixer-Upper Budget

How You Should Spend the Bulk of Your Fixer-Upper Budget

When you buy a fixer-upper, it’s important to know where to best put your money. You might want to bulldoze the entire house and start from scratch, but there are certain areas of the house you should focus on to improve its functionality and make it more livable.

Kitchen and Bath

Two of the most high-use areas of the home are the kitchen and the bathroom. In your fixer-upper, before you can move in, you need to make sure the kitchen and bath are functioning, which may require replacing cabinetry, adding an island or a breakfast bar in the kitchen, and replacing all the plumbing structures in the bathroom. A kitchen remodel doesn’t have to demolish the entirety of the kitchen, but it should enhance and expand your space, making it much more usable.


One of the flaws with older houses is that the plumbing is not up to standard code meaning that there could be leaks which may flood your home, adding to the cost of fixing your fixer upper. A little wear and tear on plumbing is normal, but if your house hasn’t had the plumbing looked at in years, it may be time to get your plumbing inspected and possibly replaced. If the sealant is cracked on your plumbing structures such as the sink and toilet, you could be in danger of water damage from your pipes. It is important to keep your plumbing up to date to avoid any water catastrophes and increase the cost of fixing your fixer upper.

Redo the Flooring

The flooring of your fixer upper might also need a good chunk of your repair budget. Carpets can collect dust and stains over time, and if it is out of style, it might be a good idea to replace the floor. You could also see if hardwood floors or linoleum are good options for flooring, though hardwood does tend to be more expensive than carpet. If there is water damage, you will want to replace any flooring that gets damaged. Redoing the flooring can make your home look more modern, but it will require a good chunk of your budget.

A Durable Roof

Another area to consider replacing would be the roof. If your roof is older than 25 years, chances are, you will probably need to replace it. There are a lot of options when considering replacing your roof, from stone, to metal to shingles. Stone coated metal roofing lasts twice as long as other roofing, but whatever roofing you consider, it will take a significant bite out of your repair budget and you may not be able to live in your home while replacing the roof.

Curb Appeal

The outside of your home is also significant as it can attract buyers. This is especially important if you are looking to sell your fixer upper after you fix it. Curb appeal can include anything from keeping the lawn well-maintained to keeping the outside of the home itself in good condition. You may need to paint the outside of your home to freshen it up and make the home more attractive. Curb appeal can also include the front and garage doors, which you can liven up by either replacing or painting a different color. You have a lot of options when it comes to making your home have good curb appeal.


Inside the home, another major repair you should consider is the lighting. Does your home have sufficient lighting? You may need to add a few more windows or add more lights, even a skylight to increase the light in your home. The ambiance of light can really make or break your home, which is why it’s important that every room has just enough lighting. Windows are a good option if you want to go green, although you could also consider using LED lights instead of traditional bulbs as they last longer and use less energy if you wanted to have more electrical lighting in your home.


In addition to making sure the outside of your home looks good, you also want to spend time on the landscaping of your yard. While the landscaping contributes to the curb appeal of your home, it also contributes to the overall feel you want your home to have. Landscaping is important in both the front and backyards. There are many benefits that come from landscaping, such as improving the aesthetic of your home, creating natural places for rainfall to disperse, and beautifying the landscape of your home. Your home will look great, and you will have yards that you can enjoy for years to come, as long as you keep them well-maintained.


If your fixer upper comes with appliances, they are likely older and need replacing. Older appliances, such as old stoves and furnaces, could be dangerous and more combustible. Newer appliances are cleaner, energy-efficient and save you money in the long run. They also make your fixer upper look like a modern home. But appliances can be costly, which is why it is important to reserve a portion of the budget simply for appliances.

Interior Design

After all the major repairs are done, you can then invest in some interior design. Interior design can include anything from painting the interior walls to adding mirrors and decorations to buying furniture that suits your style. More than any of the repairs, interior design reflects your personality in your new home. You want your fixer upper to not feel like a fixer upper anymore after all the repairs and renovations. Nice furniture, minimalistic decorations and the use of color therapy can help transform your redone rooms into the comfort of a new home.

A fixer upper is quite the challenge to renovate. While its bones may be good, you still have to put in a lot of work to get a livable house, which is why it’s important to know where to focus your money and energy to transform your fixer upper.

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