Categories: Home Improvement

4 Issues to Watch for When Restoring a Fixer Upper

August 25, 2021

Buying and restoring a fixer-upper can seem like a great idea. You save money on the purchase price of the home and you get to choose your own finishes after fixing it up. It seems like a win – unless you end up with a fixer-upper that’s too far down. Before you hand over your hard-earned cash and start dreaming about tearing down walls and installing marble tiles, think about these four issues to watch for when restoring a fixer-upper.

Electrical System

Updating an old electrical system can add roughly $30,000 to your restoration budget. So if you really want to make the most of your fixer-upper, check the electrical system before you buy. If it’s not updated, you might want to pass to save that money for other repairs.


Roofing problems may not be the most expensive repair you’ll make. But it can still be a pricey bill to pay. And unfortunately, roofing problems aren’t always obvious to the naked, untrained eye. A local company, like Canga Roofing, can take a quick look for signs of trouble like slipped shingles, cracking, prior faulty repairs, and exposed nail heads. They can also tell you roughly how much you’ll pay to repair a roof so you can make an informed decision.

Septic and Plumbing

The septic and plumbing systems are hidden behind walls and underground with the only obvious signs being the sinks, toilets, and tubs/showers. If those are all working fine, it’s easy to assume that the septic and plumbing systems are also fine. But they might not be and repairing them could be costly. If the house is on a septic tank and not city sewer, you’ll want to have it pumped before buying. Then you’ll want to make sure that both the septic and plumbing systems are in good working condition and connections are all properly sealed. Finally, confirm that updates have been made recently or that you won’t need to do any updates in the next few years.

Pest Damage

Structural damage is an obvious thing to look for when buying a fixer-upper. But for most people, this means looking for major signs of damage or destruction. You also need to look for smaller signs of danger, such as pest damage. You want to check the walls, woodwork, and foundation for signs of termite damage. Look for signs of rodent infestations as well. These things may look insignificant at first but they can lead to huge repairs later.


A fixer-upper can seem like an outstanding deal. And if you know what to look for, it can be. But if you’re not careful, you can end up purchasing a fixer-upper that leaves you drowning in debt and longing for the smooth edges of new construction.

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