Fixing up a house is no easy task. With so many to-dos and projects, it can be overwhelming for even the most experienced DIYer. This article will give you an overview of what you need to pay attention to for modernizing a fixer-upper, and also gives you guidance on which steps you need to take to make this project easier.

Structural Integrity

No matter what you plan to do with your home, it’s important to ensure that the structure is in good shape before diving into just any interior updates.

When looking for structural problems, start off with a home inspection and complete visual analysis of all the possible problem areas: foundation, doors and windows, chimney and roofing, and siding and walls. It can be expensive to fix structural problems once they’ve been fixed; make sure you catch them early on!

Once the main issues have been identified (or ruled out), you’ll want to go through each room in detail. There are various tools available for this task, such as paint sticks or levelers, which will help point out smaller issues like uneven floors or crooked walls.

If the house seems like it is in overall good shape, your next step will be to add supports and reinforce weak areas of the structure. This involves things like adding support beams and posts to stabilize existing structures and reinforcing weak walls with additional materials such as plywood or concrete, depending on the problem area.

To ensure that everything is in place and structurally sound after alterations and additions, you’ll want to hire a home inspector before putting any finishing touches on the exteriors of your home.

Handyman Inspection

Once you’ve done an inspection of potential structural problems, it’s time to dive into the more secure aspects of updating your fixer-upper. The first thing you’ll want to look at are all doors locks/handle sets, hinges, and latches to ensure they are in good working order.

Inspect all visible surfaces of interior doors for signs of water damage or mold, which can indicate a larger problem you’ll want to address before going any further.

From here, you’ll want to check for a smooth operation of the door when opening and closing it. If there is a major gap between the door and frame and the gap is more than 25mm around the perimeter, this will need to be addressed with weatherstripping or similar products depending on your climate. Further inspection of your fixer-upper should reveal if your issue involves only one part of the door or if there’s a bigger problem at hand (i.e., rusty hinges)

Once you’ve completed your inspection, you can move on to any cosmetic updates like landscape timbers or larger-scale renovations, depending on the results of the inspections.

Evaluation and Planning

Depending on what kind of fixer-upper you are dealing with, some more important steps will need to be taken before moving forward with any interior changes. For example, if it’s an older home that hasn’t been updated in a while, there is a chance that things like wiring may not meet today’s building codes which could pose some safety problems. Depending on where you live, this may pose more of an issue than others areas due to regulations surrounding homeowner association living spaces.

Make sure your fixer-upper isn’t going to cause you any serious legal issues by checking for all of these factors before moving forward with any projects. It’s important to establish these things before investing too much time and money into updates for your home!

Renewal or Replacement?

Once you have evaluated your new home, it’s time to decide on the material. You should decide if the current materials used are worth reusing or if they need to be replaced entirely. For example, if there is water damage visible on the interior of a wall (especially around windows and doors) and this has damaged the drywall behind it, it will make more sense to remove and replace rather than try to update the area where the issue occurred. The same holds true for flooring; depending on how far gone it is, simply recoating can end up looking worse than just starting over from scratch.

10 Step Guide To Remodeling

Now that you are ready to begin, with these ten steps, you’ll be able to take on your fixer-upper and come out at the end with a beautiful and functional home.

1. First things first: get rid of that carpet!

The number one thing any home needs is new flooring. Carpet stains are unsightly and nearly impossible to remove or hide. Therefore,  you should rip them all out before moving forward. Replace them with something like engineered hardwood flooring, which looks great in any room and requires little cleaning.

2. Decide what kind of paint color you want.

While new flooring is a necessity, so is new paint. There are countless colors to choose from, so decide which one you like best. Note that not all walls have to be the same color. However, our recommendation is that they at least complement each other.

3. Rethink your lighting fixtures!

Old ceiling lights are often old or unattractive, which means you should replace them with something new and sleek–like LED light fixtures. With an energy-efficient LED light bulb, dimmer switch, and rustic design, this fixture will do wonders for your home’s interior design.

4. Next up: updating cabinets!

Nothing makes a kitchen look out of date more than dated cabinets. However, you can update them with a few simple remodeling techniques. First, switch out cabinet doors for something that matches your kitchen decor. Then, replace the hardware to give it more of an open look–like with oil-rubbed bronze handles.

5. A dated kitchen sink isn’t just outdated but also impractical.

Before anything else in the kitchen, replace the aging sink with one that looks good and is timelessly stylish–like a stainless steel under-mount sink. It’s durable enough to last for years while still looking modern and fresh!

6. Time to move on to some countertop work!

If you have laminate countertops, get rid of them–they’re cheap, outdated, and difficult to clean. Instead, consider something more modern like solid surface countertops or quartz countertops, which are easily cleanable and cost-effective yet beautiful.

7. Now that your cabinets are replaced, it’s time to go on to the walls!

The color of your kitchen wall is entirely dependent on what you want it to look like. However, you should also consider what fits best with the rest of your home’s design aesthetic. Do you want everything in the same neutral tone? After replacing cabinets, you can find a style that goes well with everything else in the room. But if you choose not to do this for whatever reason, painting one wall a different color adds personality and depth to the overall home design.

8. Remodel the kitchen.

While painting a wall might be enough, some people want to get more adventurous. For instance, they may decide to add crown molding to their kitchen remodeling project. This is a cheap and easy way to add character and style to the room. This makes it appear larger than its actual size. It is also good for smaller or older kitchens that may feel too cramped or outdated. The best part? It’s usually easy-to-install DIY kits.

9. Update all the appliances.

Make sure you don’t forget anything when it comes time to complete your kitchen redesign. In other words, make sure you have new appliances. Its sleek design looks great in any modern kitchen.

10. Finally, make sure you add in some countertop storage.

It’s wise to go for premium stainless steel that complements any kitchen design style. Concrete or wood are also modern options depending on the final look and design you have in mind. You can do your storage in an efficient way so do not rush with this step. You want cosmetics and functionality while also keeping your dishes and utensils close at hand. So, there’s no excuse for leaving them out!

Hopefully, you now have a framework for tackling your next fixer-upper and turning it into a modern masterpiece!


In case you have architectural, structural, and MEP design requirements, feel free to contact us.  We provide you with the full permit set design + T24.