Bought a Fixer-Upper? Tackle These Tasks First

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

There is a special kind of joy in buying a fixer-upper. Sure, there’s a lot of hard work involved, but it is far outweighed by the sheer delight of working with your own hands to restore something to greatness, putting your signature touches on it, and turning it into the home you’ve always dreamed of. 

Photo Credit: Daniel Wander

    As with many fixer-uppers, though, there are certain things you should do right off the bat to ensure the safety and security of the home, before diving into more aesthetic tasks. These are the things you should do as soon as you move in (if not before). Making sure these tasks are accomplished will provide you with peace of mind that your new home is safe and ready to make your own. 

Garage Doors
Many old homes have garage doors that don’t function properly, are old, dirty and mildewed, or don’t work at all. You might think this isn’t a pressing issue, but non-functioning or old garage doors can be a safety hazard. You don’t want your kids or pets getting trapped in the garage, or a malfunction as you’re trying to back your car out. This is something that should be taken care of right off the bat. Luckily, the job of garage door maintenance doesn't have to fall on you. Calling a professional to install a new garage door or repair the old one is a great idea. Most garage door installers are affordable and will come to you for a consultation, inspection and free quote so you can make an educated decision. 

If your home is older, the stairs might not be ideal in terms of safety. Many older homes have rickety, unstable staircases that are in need of repair, or perhaps they just need carpeting or some other type of padding to ensure that there are no dangerous falls or slips. Do this as soon as you move in, to ensure that everyone is safe and secure as they traipse up and down the stairs with boxes to unpack. 

Always, always make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are installed correctly and in good working order. If not, head to the store, purchase several, and install them ASAP. This is one area where you definitely should never cut corners. 

You also want to make sure that your appliances, especially in the kitchen, are in good working order with no damage. The last thing you need is a kitchen fire! Check all wiring and elements carefully. 

Fireplaces and Wood Burning Stoves
Likely these were checked out upon inspection, but it doesn’t hurt to double check and make sure these are in safe, good working order. Check to make sure flues are clear, there are no hazards in or around the fireplace, and that proper ventilation is ensured around the house before lighting that fire!

These are just a few of the routine things you should check before moving into a fixer-upper, but there are many more! Renovating an older house is such a rewarding experience, and as long as you do these tasks to ensure your home is safe, you’ll be happy there for years to come. 

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