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4 Common Issues to Look For When Buying a House That Needs Renovation


Purchasing a home is an exciting event, but buying an older home that requires renovation can come with its challenges. The prospect of being able to put your stamp on a home is enticing to many house hunters, but if you’re not careful, the hidden costs can add up and your renovation budget can increase dramatically.

That’s why we’ve outlined a few of the most common issues to be aware of when buying a house that needs renovation.

The Age of the Roof


One of the most fundamental issues that you need to consider when buying a fixer-upper is the age and quality of the roof. First, you’ll want to determine when the roof was last replaced and what material was used, as each material has a different lifespan. For example, composition shingles need to be replaced about every 15 years, while asphalt shingles can last up to 25 years.

The chimney and any vents on the roof should also be looked at carefully, as well as the quality of the installation of the roofing materials. The integrity of these can make or break the integrity of the house overall; if moisture has been able to penetrate through the roof over time, this could seriously affect the entire structure.

Condition of the Kitchen and Baths

The condition of the kitchen and bathrooms are important when it comes to buying a house that needs renovation. While most house hunters already pay close attention to the surface-level condition of these rooms –– the style and decor, the layout, and the overall quality of the materials and appliances –– you need to look deeper to understand what’s happening below the surface.

Specifically, you and your inspector should carefully examine the condition of the plumbing running through your kitchen and bathrooms to ensure it is up to code, that the water pressure is adequate, and that the faucets run both hot and cold water. Similarly, check for signs of hard water or iron-rich water around faucets, sinks, and toilets. This may appear as rust-colored stains or a scummy build-up.

Kitchen and bath remodels can be significant investments when it comes to home renovation, but being able to make those upgrades using your existing plumbing can make a huge difference when it comes to your budget.

Broken Windows


Windows are an integral part to maintaining a comfortable and energy efficient home, but when you’re buying a house that requires renovation, replacing windows can be an enormous expense depending on the age, number, and style of the windows.

First, check the window frames for rot, damage, or cracking; if there is significant damage to the frame, you’ll probably need to replace these. If the frames appear to be in good shape, you may be able to get away with only replacing the glass.

Next, look for any windows that have a frosted look to them, or a build up of condensation or fog, as this could indicate that the window seal is broken. This occurs when a window pane is made from two panes of glass to enhance the insulation and the seal between those panes breaks. In addition to obscuring your view, this will cause air to leak in and out of your home, and therefore, means they need to be replaced.

Outdoor additions

The exterior space of your home shouldn’t be overlooked when you’re considering a home that will require renovations. Older homes may not have garages or storage spaces; without these spaces, you could find yourself parking your car on the street indefinitely. If the house has an elevated deck or balcony, you’ll want to carefully inspect the supports underneath to make sure they’re solid.

If the property has no outdoor living spaces, such as patios or porches, it may be worth asking why. Can the foundation support the addition of an outdoor space? Are there zoning or permitting issues in play? Answering these questions sooner rather than later can save a lot of time and heartache, since the thing you would want to do is have a vision for indoor-outdoor living that you ultimately cannot execute.

Contact A-List Builders

If you’re committed to buying a house that requires renovation, you want to make sure you choose an experienced contracting service that you can trust. At A-List Builders, we have a team of dedicated designers and committed craftsmen who can guide you through the renovation process from start to finish. From indoor and outdoor remodeling to those restoration and renovation for estate properties, we’ve got you covered.

Get in touch with us today to schedule a free in-home consultation!

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