If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know that last year, I took on a pretty big project. I moved into my late grandparents home, which hadn’t really been moderated since it was built in the 1950’s. While that meant I had a wonderful vintage bathroom, it also meant dodgy wiring and awful windows. I’m a year into the refurb now, and have learnt some important lessons. So with that in mind, today I’m sharing some things to consider before buying a fixer upper home. So read on to find out which nasty surprises I wish I’d known about ahead of time.

Things To Consider Before Buying A Fixer Upper Home

Before I get into the things I wish I’d known about, I should come clean… While my home had plenty of old, original features, it had had some modifications as well. My Grandparents had central heating installed in the 1980s, and double glazing was added in 1991. So it wasn’t a total vintage treasure chest. Anyway… Back to the list of things to consider before buying a fixer upper home…

Check The Electrics

The first huge shock I had was when I called an electrician to replace the old fusebox with a new one. I expected this to cost a couple of hundred pounds, so was left shellshocked when he told me my house needed a rewire. He went on to explain my home had no earth wire, so each socket was essentially live, and a complete death trap. £2800 rewire and almost every wall being destroyed later… My home passed an electrical safety inspection. I wish I’d known about the amount of unexpected work I’d need to do on the house when I was using a mortgage calculator. I’d definitely have thought a lot harder before taking on the amount of work required.

The one positive about the rewire was getting to choose where I wanted sockets to go. I was able to add loads more to the property as well, so it wasn’t all bad. Literally every wall which needed a switch or socked was stripped and chiselled out though, so there was a lot of cosmetic damage. Light fittings were also removed and moved to more central locations. This too caused a lot of mess.  (Pictured below)…

Things To Consider Before Buying A Fixer Upper Home

Check The Plasterwork

When I began stripping walls to decorate, I realised almost all of the plaster had blown. This means it drops off the wall as soon as you strip it and touch it. The cost of getting a professional in to replanted every wall would have been thousands. So I am instead re-skimming each wall myself, as I strip the room. This was the tricky parts in Sam’s room…

walls before and after being skimmed

Check The Boiler

I was aware that the boiler in my house was old, but I hadn’t realised it would need replacing. That was another £2000 I hadn’t accounted for. This became an even bigger headache when the plumber was under the bath checking a pipe for leaks, and he discovered asbestos.

One thing is for certain – there have been a LOT of hiccups during this refurb so far. I still have a lot of work to do, but progress is happening… Just a lot slower than I’d like.


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