How to Fix Up Your Fixer-Upper

Whether you are purchasing your first home with hopes of turning it into your dream home or buying a fixer-upper in order to flip it for a profit, there are a variety of ways to turn a neglected home into a stunning showcase. Taking on the project of fixing up a home is never easy, nor is it cheap. As with most home improvement projects, unexpected complications arise, and it sometimes seems like the dollars just float out of your pocket. However, the end product — and profit — will be worth it when your home is in tip-top condition, and it’s the envy of all the neighbors on the block. There are several tips homeowners can follow in order to perfectly, and cost-effectively, fix up a fixer-upper.

1. Start with the walls.
When working on any room in your fixer-upper home, the best place to begin is with the walls. Refreshing a paint job can do wonders for the entire appearance of a room. If you plan to flip the home, consider going with relatively neutral colors; it is easier for potential homeowners to envision themselves in a home when paint colors are neutral, such as creams, grays or tans. If this home is for you to live in, then don’t be afraid to choose bold paint colors that showcase your personality and style. Consider adding accent walls to various rooms by painting one wall a bright, contrasting accent color. Remember that the rooms should flow from one area to the next, so try to use a similar color palette throughout the home.

2. Focus on the floors.
The next step to renovating a house is to decide if the floors need any work. In many older homes, new owners are surprised to find a treasure trove of beautiful hardwood flooring underneath old and musty carpet. Consider pulling up this carpet and refinishing the hardwood floors. It will add a touch of class and elegance to the home, and what’s more, hardwood floors are easy to maintain and very long-lasting. If you prefer the look and feel of carpet, consider adding new, neutral carpet to the rooms to bring out the best in the freshly painted walls. Carpet prices may be a lot cheaper than you think. Once the walls and floors are gleaming, the majority of the project is completed — the devil, however, is in the details.

3. Refurbish furniture and other staples in the room.
If the room you are currently working on is a living or family room, consider purchasing new or refinishing old furniture to make sure that everything matches in the room. Check out second-hand shops to find great deals on accent furniture such as coffee tables, end tables and TV stands. If you are working on another room, like the kitchen or bathroom, consider updating the fixtures in those rooms as well. Standard kitchen updates typically include cabinets, countertops and appliances. In a bathroom, many homeowners install new bathtubs, toilets and bathroom vanities. These improvements give the rooms a fresh, new look and will add a lot of value to the home when you go to resell — be it in six months or six years.

4. Don't forget the details.
Once you’ve completed all of the main aspects of the home — including the walls, flooring and furniture — it is time to focus on the details. New electrical outlets and electrical outlet covers can make all the difference in a room. When tiny details like this are mismatched, it can throw the entire room off. For the perfect showcase look, be sure to add plenty of decor and decorative accents to each room. Again, check out thrift stores for great antique pieces that you can update, such as lamps, statues and other unique items. Add candles throughout the rooms for that homey scent and beautiful glow. These touches will turn what was once just an ordinary house into your extraordinary home.

5. Realize the importance of curb appeal.
Once the interior of the home is complete, don’t stop there. Remember the importance of curb appeal. Many potential homeowners make a snap judgment on a home simply by looking at the outside. Be sure the landscaping is clean, updated and most importantly, alive. Throwing a fresh coat of paint on the siding and shutters can make a huge difference in how a househunter views your home. This is an especially important aspect if you are planning to flip the home for a profit. Potential buyers will be amazed that not only does the house look great on the outside, but it's a beautiful home on the inside as well.

The process of turning a worn out house into a beautiful designer home isn't always quick or easy, but the results are well worth it in the end. Once you have put in the work and effort of fixing up your fixer-upper, you will feel a great sense of accomplishment and pride. If you purchased a fixer-upper in order to turn it into your dream home, you will feel proud knowing that you can now spend your days enjoying your beautiful home that you renovated all by yourself. If you bought a fixer-upper in order to flip it for a profit, you will rest easy knowing that all your hard work will soon pay off in the form of cold, hard cash as the home shows well and quickly receives multiple offers. Keep the importance of the basics in mind when it comes to fixing up a home, and you will find this project to not be nearly as daunting as it once seemed.

This post was written by Ryan Tupper. Ryan has been fixing up homes both for himself and his clients for over 10 years, and uses DecorPlanet.com for his remodel needs.