“Are you ready to see your fixer-upper?”
For five seasons, those were the words Chip and Joanna Gaines said at the end of every episode on their HGTV show Fixer Upper just before showing off the home they had renovated for some lucky couple in Waco, Texas.
And for five seasons, America ate it up. People loved watching the Gaineses redo fixer-upper houses and bring them back to life. By the end, more than 3 million people tuned in to watch the show every week to see what they would do to the next house they worked on.
The reality TV stars took their final bow on HGTV in 2018. But that hasn’t stopped millions of other Americans from picking up the slack by purchasing fixer-upper houses of their own.
Here are the 15 most common projects people are performing on fixer-uppers these days.
1. Remodeling Kitchens
If you can only afford to remodel one of the rooms inside of a fixer-upper house, make it the kitchen. By doing a kitchen remodel, you can change the entire look and feel of the main floor of a house.
In most fixer-uppers, the entire old kitchen will need to be ripped out and replaced. By getting rid of everything in the kitchen, you can rework the design of it and come up with something that works better for the home.
Your new kitchen should have:
- Granite countertops
- Hardwood or tile flooring
- Solid wood cabinets
- A large sink (or possibly even sinks!)
- Brand-new appliances
Those who fix up old homes often get the most bang for their buck in the kitchen. It’s not uncommon to get a return on investment of 90 percent or higher.
2. Renovating Bathrooms
If the kitchen in a home is outdated, there’s a good chance the bathrooms in it are, too. Renovating and remodeling bathrooms is another one of the most popular fixes made in fixer-uppers.
Just like with kitchens, it’s typically best to rip everything out of the existing bathrooms and start over. It might even make sense to find ways to make bathrooms, especially master bathrooms, bigger.
3. Adding Bedrooms
The more bedrooms a home has, the better. It’s why people who fix up homes for a living will find ways to add bedrooms to a house.
It might be possible to turn a basement or attic space in a fixer-upper into another bedroom (or two!). If not, some people decide to put an addition on to a fixer-upper to give it one more bedroom than it has.
This can really come in handy if you’re working on a home that only has two or three bedrooms at the moment. By equipping the house to fit a larger family, you can drive the value of it way up.
4. Finishing Basements
When there’s a big, unfinished basement in a fixer-upper, the possibilities for it are virtually endless. You can finish off a basement and turn it into:
- An entertainment room
- A game room
- A playroom for kids
- A home gym
- A home office
- Or whatever else you want
Finishing off a basement can be pricy. But if you’re making improvements in other areas of a fixer-upper, it could be well worth the time and money you spend on it.
5. Finishing Attics
Finishing off an attic space isn’t quite as enticing or exciting as finishing off a basement space. You’re somewhat limited in what you can do in an attic.
In a best-case scenario, you could add an extra bedroom by finishing off the attic. Even if you don’t have enough room in a finished attic to do that, it can always serve as a great storage space.
Finishing an attic will also cost a whole lot less than finishing a basement most of the time.
6. Replacing Windows and Doors
When people buy homes in 2019, they expect them to be energy efficient. A fixer-upper isn’t going to fall into that category without new windows and doors.
Replacing the front door on a home usually costs anywhere from $500 to $1400. Replacing windows, meanwhile, can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,800 for each window.
Those prices might seem steep, but the windows and doors in a home will pay for themselves over time by cutting energy costs way down.
7. Installing New Heating and Cooling Systems
Replacing windows and doors is far from the only way to keep your energy costs low. You can also do it by taking a closer look at the heating and cooling systems in fixer-upper houses.
If an HVAC system isn’t too old, the best heating repair company in your area might be able to breathe some life back into it. If it has seen better days, replacing the system could be your only worthwhile option.
8. Updating Plumbing and Electrical Systems
The plumbing and electrical systems in most homes are built to last.
You can get 75 to 100 years out of some plumbing pipes. You can also get decades out of most kinds of electrical wiring.
Older homes often feature plumbing and electrical systems that could use at least a little bit of updating. It’s not a bad idea at all for those working on fixer uppers to bring in a company that specializes in both plumbing and electrical work to inspect the two systems.
9. Building Decks
Updating the inside of fixer-upper houses is obviously important.
But why stop there? There are so many home improvements that can be made to the outside of fixer-uppers as well.
For example, most families enjoy spending time together out on a deck. So if a fixer-upper doesn’t have a big deck attached to it, building one could offer a solid ROI.
10. Putting on New Roofs
Does the roof on a fixer-upper have:
- Missing shingles?
- Damaged flashing?
- Moss or mildew growing on it?
- Holes in it?
- Other obvious signs of wear and tear?
These are all signs that a roof should probably be replaced. Replacing a roof can cost between $5,000 and $10,000, but it’s arguably the most important part of any home outside of the foundation.
11. Performing Siding Replacement
The curb appeal of most fixer-upper houses is seriously lacking.
Replacing the front door and windows will work wonders for a home’s curb appeal -so will replacing the roof!
If you want to make an even bigger statement, consider performing siding replacement. It’ll completely change the appearance of the exterior of a home.
12. Repairing Front Porches
Another way that people boost the curb appeal of fixer-uppers is by repairing the front porch. No matter how good the front door on a home looks, it won’t matter if the porch in front isn’t in great shape.
In some cases, a front porch can be patched up and repaired to make it look like new again. If it’s falling apart and not worth saving, a front porch can also be replaced with something bigger and better.
13. Adding Garages
More than 60 percent of American homes have garages attached to them.
If a fixer-upper that you’re working on has one and it’s in good condition, great. If it doesn’t, you might want to think about changing that.
Garages give people a place to store their vehicles. They provide them with workshops and storage spaces as well.
Garages can also enhance the look of the outside of a home and make it more appealing to buyers when you put the right garage doors on them.
14. Resurfacing Driveways
If the driveway that sits in front of a home is filled with cracks, holes, and other imperfections, it’ll serve as little more than an eyesore. It’ll bring the curb appeal of the home down and make people cringe when they drive past it.
Resurfacing a driveway is a relatively inexpensive project that can revitalize the driveway in a matter of hours. It can also protect a driveway from the sun moving forward and make it last a lot longer.
15. Reworking Landscape Design
No fixer-upper project would be complete without a new landscape design. People will often rip out dead trees, flowers, and other plants and replace them with new ones.
This improves curb appeal and helps fixer uppers get top dollar for their investments.
Start Investing in Fixer Upper Houses Today
If you have some experience when it comes to remodeling and renovating different parts of homes, purchasing fixer-upper houses and making improvements to them is a great way to turn a profit.
The key is finding the right projects to tackle inside specific homes. By choosing the projects that will offer the most ROI, you can turn flipping fixer-uppers into a lucrative business.
Would you like to learn more about which home improvements would work best for your fixer-upper? Read our blog to see which projects provide the greatest value.