Home Repairs for Fixer-Uppers

When stepping into a brand-new home the furthest thought from the mind of the new buyer is home repairs. The smell of the new wood floor and the lingering scent of the paint gives the new owner the satisfaction of having a newly-built home far from the headaches of the place they just left.

In actual fact a home begins to have problems when the new owners move in. This is why there are new home warranties. And the reason for this is not that a tradesperson has done his or her job wrong, although mistakes are made from time to time. Many of the problems are due to the fact that the house is thousands of parts fastened together and some of these parts will begin to come loose because of the settling of the new home on the foundation and because there are people walking around in it. And even though inspectors and contractors look for every conceivable glitch on their final inspections something usually goes wrong.

Many of the problems associated with a new home are simple things like a door that won't close properly or a trim that comes loose. However, others are more serious like a crack in the foundation wall or an improperly-installed plumbing fixture in the lower bathroom. These are problems that surface over time long after the homeowners move in. In fact most home repair jobs relate to plumbing in one form or another.

In most cases home repairs in a new or old home is an ongoing practice. Whether the job is a bathroom that needs updating or a deck that has to be enlarged a homeowner always has a wish list on the go. The most efficient way to go about home improvement and repair is to make this list in the order of importance, a sort of triage for home projects. So if you bought a fixer-upper this might be the best way to go if you are on a budget.

Electricity Burns

Your home inspection report will have all the details regarding the electrical service for the home. If there were any irregularities they would have found them as they will do tests during the inspection. However, before you change any plugs or fixtures it's a good idea to pay an electrician for a couple of hours of crawling through your home. He or she can verify the inspection report because, in a lot of cases, inspectors are not trades people and might miss a potentially dangerous electrical problem.

Follow the Water

Besides a fire there is nothing more lethal for a home than water outside of the plumbing. Even small leaks over time can create rot and undermine the structure of parts of the home. In addition, water attracts pests and infestations of mold and insects that not only speed up the decay but are health hazards.

In addition to the problems caused by leaks are the pipes themselves. In many instances copper pipes are allowed to sit on concrete. Over time a mild chemical reaction takes place between the copper and the lime in the concrete which can cause a weakening of the pipe walls. This is why most insurance companies will not allow copper intake pipes on oil tanks.

In addition, check all the drains in the home and, if possible, run a hose down the drains. Most home improvement stores have special hose and nozzles for this. If the water is running slow in some drains a great product in the home improvement tool section of the store is a small snaking tool. Spool out the line and run it down the drain for a few feet. In addition, you can take off the traps and clean them out.


In many American houses home repair begins with windows. Before a homeowner bought the place he or she had already figured out if the windows would stay or new ones would go in. But even very old windows can be fixed if you have the time and are willing to learn how to replace old glass panes and re-putty them. Many people who buy these homes will take out the window sashes and replace them with new triple-pane, low-emissive glass for better heat retention. Other will redo the old ones and caulk around the outside to seal off any leaks.


In a lot of home pictures the entrance door seems to be the crowning glory for the home. After all it is one of the first items of a home that a visitor's eyes rest on when the home come in sight. Old wooden doors can be refinished and re-glazed but many people are opting for the new entrance door systems that come pre-hung with sidelights. A new fiberglass or steel door really sets off the home and seals out the cold.

For many home improvement and repair ideas the TV is the place to look. However for your own home a professional consultation is worth the cost and you can a qualified tradesperson in our Contractor Directory or simply post your project online and one will call you.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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