Home Repair For New Homeowners

Just Bought A Fixer-Upper And Trying To Organize Your Home Repairs?

Have an extensive list of repairs, wondering where to start? This article will discuss what issues should be on the top of your repair list and what can maybe wait until next year. With the high housing price in the Portland area and low housing inventory, many first-time homebuyers are looking at fixer-upper instead of move-in ready properties. Being a first-time homeowner thinking about a renovation and what to do first can be a daunting task. One of the major mistakes that new homeowners make is focusing on interior cosmetic issues first. You have a new house, and you want to show it off and have housewarming parties so that pink wallpaper might seem more important than the dry rotted staircase off the back deck. If you follow this order of repairs, you will save money in the long run and have a stable home to make those unnecessary cosmetics repairs shine later.

1) Resolve All Safety Issues

The first repairs that should consider are any safety issues. It would be best if you looked out for you and your family and friends first and foremost. The following are some of the standard safety issues that we have seen in homes:

  • Dry Rotted Stairs, Decks, and Subfloors — A walking area affected by dry rot can allow people to fall through and severely injure themself.
  • Older Windows that are Painted Shut — Making the window inoperable, causing a fire hazard.
  • Lead Paint Hazards — Lead paint can be very hazardous to your family, especially young children. Complete lead paint removal by an EPA certified contractor is always highly recommended.
  • Structural Framing Issues — If your home is unstable due to a structural problem, it can cause the building to collapse. Structural framing is essential to repair early and adequately.
  • Electrical Issues — Having open wires or unground plugs in your home can cause electric shock or possibly a fire. A licensed electrician should repair these issues. 
  • Radon Gas — You should have your new home tested for Radon gas. If a positive result, this issue should be remedied by a licensed radon contractor.
  • Natural Gas Leaks — If you, for any reason, think you might have a gas leak, leave home, call emergency services, and repair immediately.

2) Mitigate Leaks And Water Damage

You have taken care of all the safety issues in your home, its time to move on to any repairs that will negatively affect your home’s value if put off. This category of repairs will worsen over time, turning a small minor repair into a major issue. The following are some of the common worsening repair issues:

  • Window Leaks — Having a small window leak can cause significant damage to your home. Water can enter your home’s structure and eat away to the sheathing and framing, turning a small leak repair into a safety issue.
  • Siding Damage — If you have siding that is touching the ground or has an inadequate flashing or weather-resistant barriers, this can cause severe damage. Siding damage can let water and wood-destroying organisms enter your home. If caught early, a small targeted repair will work. But if siding damage goes unrepaired for an extended period, it can become a costly project. 
  • Roof Leaks — With all the rain we get in the northwest, having a roof leak no matter the size can cause severe damage to your home. Getting any leaks repaired early by a licensed contractor is an absolute must.
  • Bathroom and Kitchen Leaks — A pipe leak in a kitchen or bathroom can slowly ruin cabinets, subfloors, and belongings. These issues can become costly if not repaired early.
  • Dry Rot — Dry rot can affect any wood material of your home. It is commonly found around windows and needs a water source to form. Dry rot will cause your home to deteriorate. Once something has been into contact with the decay, it will need replacing to prevent the issue from spreading. 
  • Failing Exterior Paint — If you have failing or chipping paint on the outside of your home, it can let water into the siding, causing dry rot and damage.
  • Ventilation Issues — An attic space, not properly vented, can cause humidity and moisture to accumulate and cause mold and dry rot to form. Adding some roof and soffit vents can help improve ventilation and remedy these issues.

3) Increase Your Home’s Value

Now you are ready to do some things that will make your house feel like a home. These repairs fall into the updating and long-term money-saving upgrades. 

  • Porch and Deck Additions — You want to be able to entertain and have guests over, so you need a place where people can gather and BBQ. Adding a deck off your home’s back can make your home feel more prominent and more useable.
  • Window Upgrades — If your home has older windows, it might be useful to upgrade to some newer, energy-efficient windows. Window upgrades will save money in heating and cooling costs.
  • Plumbing and Electrical — Plumbing and Electrical Upgrades are significant projects. Still, they can increase your home’s value, improve water pressure, and reduce strange smelling water and old pipe residue.
  • HVAC — Updating an older furnace to a newer energy-efficient one can make your home more comfortable and save you money. Also, adding central air conditioning to your home can make summers more tolerable and increase your home value.
  • Outbuildings — Adding or finishing a shop or a detached garage will add usable space to your property. Having a safe, secure place to store your belongings is a must.
  • Privacy Fencing — Adding a fence in your back yard can make enjoying your space possible and adds a safe area for your pets to run and play. 
  • Full Bathroom and Kitchen Remodel — Adding a kitchen island, a walk-in shower, or updated vanity can make your home more livable. You can customize your space to get the most out of your home.

4) Cosmetic Repairs And Enhancements

When you have completed all the above maintenance, you can move on to the aesthetic and design-related repairs. You have a strong base, and cosmetic repairs will help maintain and enhance your home’s overall appearance. The following are some of the common cosmetic repairs:

  • Appliance Upgrades — Updating mismatch and old kitchen appliances add a finished look to any home remodel.
  • Interior Painting — One of the first things people notice when entering a home is the house’s condition and style. Painting plays a significant role in this. Adding a new coat of paint to walls and trim can turn a dark and dingy home into a bright and inviting living area.
  • Cabinets and Countertops — Updated countertops can make a kitchen look brand-new. And refinishing cabinets can save you much money while still giving you the feel of a full cabinet remodel.
  • Flooring — Upgrading your home carpet, tile, or hardwood is a great way to add value to standard rooms like bedrooms and living areas. 
  • Landscaping — The final touch to any home project is upgrading your home’s curb appeal by ensuring you have a fresh cut and well-manicured yard. A little bark dust, grass, and plants and go a long way to making your home look like a finished product representing all the hard work and your family have put into your most significant investment, your home.

As a first-time homeowner, it might be tempting to work this list in reverse, starting with the flashy surface repairs. However, if you follow these outlined repair stages in order, the result will be a beautiful, safe home that will increase value. If you have any siding, dry rot, leak, or paint issues that you would like to repair, give us a call, and we’ll give you a FREE Consultation. We have the skilled and highly trained personal to keep you on track with your repairs and recommend other repairs that are out of our scope.

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