Taking on a fixer-upper – jobs to tackle first

Taking on a fixer-upper - jobs to tackle first

Buying a fixer-upper has multiple benefits. If you buy a house that isn’t in pristine condition, the asking price will probably be much lower, so there’s a golden opportunity to add value and put your stamp on your new home. There are downsides, but being methodical and organised can help you reduce risks and save money. In this guide, we’ve outlined some essential jobs to tackle first.

Wiring and electrics

Outdated wiring and electrical systems can be dangerous. If you’re taking on a project and the property needs rewiring or significant upgrades, it’s best to seek expert advice and address issues as a priority. Contact reputable local companies and get recommendations from people you trust and community social media groups. Get multiple quotes and compare prices. Make sure you understand the scale and type of work required, and ask for a full, written breakdown of costs. Always ensure that contractors have the relevant insurance, permits and licences. Many people like to get stuck in when it comes to DIY jobs, but anything that involves electrics or gas should be left to the professionals.

Roof repairs or replacement

The roof plays a critical role in protecting the property from the elements. If your new home has a damaged roof or there are signs of wear and tear or leaks, contact local roofing firms. It’s important to sort the roof out as quickly as possible to prevent further issues such as leaks and damp patches. It’s worth exploring the option of completely replacing the roof if it’s an old house as you’re likely to need frequent repairs in the coming years.

Windows and doors

Replacing old windows and doors has multiple benefits. New windows and doors are more energy-efficient than older examples, which will save you money on energy bills, and they can also look stylish and smart. Modern windows and doors offer enhanced security and privacy, and they can also boost curb appeal. As well as replacing old or damaged doors and windows, you may also want to consider adding extra windows to maximise natural light. Contact glass suppliers to find out more about features like roof lights, lanterns and skylights. Adding more light will make your rooms look bigger and brighter. It’s beneficial to compare quotes and consider different designs and styles before you decide what to do and which company to choose.

Layout changes

Older houses often have different layouts and floor plans to newer properties. If you’re modernising an old house, you may want to alter the layout to suit your lifestyle and your requirements. It’s common for new homes to have bigger kitchens and open-plan living areas, for example. More traditional properties usually have a larger number of smaller rooms. Knocking down walls can help you maximise usable space and design rooms that are better suited to your family. It’s better to draw up plans during the early stages of the renovation than to modify the layout later.

There are lots of advantages to buying a fixer-upper, but there’s often a lot of work involved. If you’re taking on a large-scale renovation project, focus on priority tasks. Examples include updating the electrics or rewiring the property, replacing windows and doors, repairing the roof and adjusting the layout of your living spaces.


Key first steps to take after moving into a new home

Key first steps to take after moving into a new home

Moving into a new home signals a very exciting time in your life. Better still, after avoiding the common buying mistakes you can enter your new home with 100% confidence. Still, there’ll be work to do upon moving in, even if the property feels perfect. Focus on the simple steps below to create a happy home environment in next to no time.

Make it safe

There is nothing more important than feeling safe inside your new home. However, the unfamiliar surroundings can make this a little difficult, especially if you’ve moved to a new area. A Smart home alarm system will instantly deliver the extra layer of protection that you deserve, while also putting your mind at ease. Moreover, it saves you from the emotional and financial fallout of an intrusion, which would ruin your relationship with the home.

In addition to human intruders, you must also implement the necessary steps to prevent pest infestations. When combined with smoke alarms and child-friendly items, where needed, the property will feel more homely.

Add personal touches

Even if you purchased a home that has been recently renovated and decorated, you need to stamp your own personality on it. The easiest way to do this is through personalised décor. This could include adding family photos, holiday souvenirs, memorabilia or awards around the home. Meanwhile, a handful of décor pieces that follow you from the old property create a smoother transition into the new home.

You can continue to embrace the character-defining features and unique elements that caught your eye in the first place. However, ensuring that the home feels like yours rather than a bland show home will make a huge difference.

Focus on function

When moving into a new home, you may have your eyes set on luxury additions. While they’ll certainly come at some stage, practical ideas should be your priority. Jobs like improving the shower pressure or fitting a Smart thermostat are a great starting point. Selecting the right window coverings in the bedroom to promote improved sleep habits is vital. And getting your storage under control should be on the list too.

Similarly, you should invest in the right appliances to make daily chores a little easier. This will mean you can spend more time enjoying the new property. Opting for eco-friendly products that protect your finances and the environment will help too.

Get to know the area

Finally, when moving into a new home, you’re not simply purchasing a property. It’s equally vital to acknowledge that you’re buying into a new way of life. Therefore, it’s vital that you get to know your surroundings. From the location of local shops and finding out the bin collection day to the best driving routes to work, the simple issues will help you settle sooner. With this in mind, you should try to implement those steps ASAP.

If you’ve moved to an entirely new location, networking and making friends is crucial too. It will go a long way to making the property feel like home, which should make you feel a lot happier in the process. You’ve got this!


Signs your windows aren’t fit for purpose any more

Signs your windows aren't fit for purpose any more

Windows are a vital part of what keeps a home happy, safe and comfortable. They help you manage your climate, maintain the temperature in the home to stop it from becoming too hot in the summer and too cold in winter, and protect you from rain, allergens and much more. However, most people aren’t aware of when it’s time to start looking at replacing them. Here, we’re going to look at some signs that it may be time to wave goodbye to your current windows.

High energy bills

If you’ve noticed a steady increase in your energy bills, your windows may be to blame. Windows play a crucial role in maintaining your home’s thermal envelope. Older windows, or those with damaged seals, allow heat to escape during the winter and let in unwanted heat during the summer. This forces your heating and cooling systems to work harder, consuming more energy and driving up your bills. Replacing old or inefficient windows with modern, energy-efficient models can significantly reduce your energy consumption.

Condensation inside the window

Condensation inside your windows, specifically between the panes of glass, indicates a failure in the window’s seal. Double or triple-pane windows are designed with a sealed space between the panes that is often filled with inert gas to improve insulation. When the seal is compromised, moisture can infiltrate this space, leading to condensation. This not only obstructs your view but also shows that the window is no longer providing effective insulation. The presence of condensation can also lead to more severe issues like mould growth and frame deterioration, so replacement double glazing may be necessary. Replacing windows with broken seals is essential to restore both the aesthetic clarity and insulating efficiency of your windows.

They’re difficult to open and close

Windows that are hard to open and close are more than just a minor inconvenience; they can be a sign that the window frames are warped, the hardware is worn out, or the windows have settled improperly. This can occur due to age, prolonged exposure to the elements, or poor initial installation. Oiling your window hinges may work temporarily, but if it keeps happening, it can become a significant issue. Additionally, windows that don’t close properly can leave gaps that let in draughts, moisture and pests. Replacing these windows ensures smooth operation, enhances security and improves overall comfort.

They’re leaking or draughty

Leaking or draughty windows are a major indicator that it’s time for replacements. When windows allow air or moisture to seep through, they fail to provide a proper barrier against the external environment. This can lead to higher energy costs, as your HVAC and central heating systems must compensate for the air exchange, and can cause damage to your home’s interior, such as warped wood, mould and mildew. Draughts are often a result of poor sealing or frame damage, which can occur over time or due to poor installation.

New windows for the home may be an investment, but it’s likely to cost you a lot more if you continue to live with windows that let in the cold, moisture and worsen your air quality.


The hidden value in repurposing what’s broken

The hidden value in repurposing what's broken

Let’s discuss something that’s a bit of a game-changer in how we handle our belongings. It’s easy to get caught up in the buy-and-toss cycle – something breaks, and we think, “Well, time to get a new one!” But what if we paused that thought? What if we looked at our old, beaten-up things as treasures waiting to be rediscovered? Repurposing your home décor items and your clothing is not just great for your budget; it’s a big win for our planet too.

Creative reuse in home décor

First on the list, let’s have a look at home décor – this is where you can really let your creativity fly. Broken vase? Hello, new planter! Jeans that went out of style (or size)? How about cutting them up for funky denim coasters? Old books stacking up? Stack them up differently, and boom – you have yourself a chic bookshelf.

Technology and appliance fixes

Tech stuff can seem a bit intimidating, but fixing a glitchy gadget isn’t as hard as it sounds. There are hundreds of tutorials online that can help you fix everything from a lazy laptop to a phone that’s seen better days. And it’s not just about saving money – getting a little more tech-savvy is always a plus, right?

Reviving and reinventing furniture

Next, let’s talk about your furniture. That chair that’s been in your family for ages, or that table that’s seen better days – don’t be too quick to kick them to the curb. Sprucing up the finish, tightening up the screws, sending them away for furniture repairs or even turning one thing into another (like turning an old door into a desk) can breathe new life into them. It’s not just fixing; it’s keeping a piece of history alive and well – and totally stylish, by the way.

Garden and exterior repairs

Outdoorsy bits have loads of potential too. That cracked pot? It has ‘base for a new plant’ written all over it. Old tires can also be upcycled into robust garden planters – add a splash of paint, and your garden just got a dose of fun and sustainability.

The benefits of fixing and repurposing

So, why go through the trouble? For starters, it’s cheaper… way cheaper. Repairing and reusing can seriously cut down on your shopping expenses. Environmentally, it’s a no-brainer – less waste, less demand for new stuff and a happier planet. And personally? It feels amazing to create something new and beautiful out of something no one thought twice about.

Tools and resources to get started

Thinking of giving it a go? You’ll need some basic tools – nothing fancy, just some screwdrivers, a hammer, perhaps some glue and paint. Check out local craft stores or even online tutorials for ideas. And don’t forget about community resources! Speaking to your neighbours about your projects is the perfect way to get access to tools and advice without spending a fortune.

Embracing a culture of repair

It all comes down to shifting how we see our stuff – not as disposable, but as full of potential. Every fixed item, every repurposed piece, adds a bit of character to our lives and makes the world a tad more sustainable.

So, next time you’re about to throw something out, give it a second look. Maybe… just maybe, it’s waiting for its second chance to shine.