Skip to content

Renovation Planning for a Fixer-Upper: Where to Start

Renovating a fixer-upper can be an exciting and rewarding project. Whether you’re planning to turn it into your dream home or looking to flip it for a profit, careful planning is essential to ensure a successful renovation. With so many decisions to make and tasks to complete, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the beginning. However, by following a systematic approach and breaking down the process into manageable steps, you can navigate the renovation journey with confidence. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the key aspects of renovation planning for a fixer-upper and provide valuable insights to help you get started.

1. Assess the Property

The first step in planning a renovation for a fixer-upper is to thoroughly assess the property. This involves evaluating its current condition, identifying any structural issues, and determining the scope of work required. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Inspect the foundation, walls, and roof for any signs of damage or deterioration.
  • Check the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems to ensure they are in working order.
  • Assess the layout and functionality of the existing space and identify any areas that need improvement.
  • Consider the potential for expansion or reconfiguration to better suit your needs.

By conducting a thorough assessment, you can gain a clear understanding of the property’s condition and make informed decisions about the renovation scope and budget.

2. Set a Realistic Budget

Once you have assessed the property and determined the scope of work, it’s time to set a realistic budget for your renovation project. Renovations can quickly become expensive, so it’s important to establish a budget that aligns with your financial capabilities. Here are some steps to help you set a budget:

  • Research the average costs of similar renovation projects in your area.
  • Consider the cost of materials, labor, permits, and any additional expenses.
  • Factor in a contingency fund for unexpected costs or changes in the scope of work.
  • Consult with contractors or professionals to get accurate estimates for the renovation.
See also  10 Essential Renovation Planning Tips for a Successful Project

By setting a realistic budget, you can avoid overspending and ensure that your renovation stays on track.

3. Prioritize Your Renovation Goals

With a fixer-upper, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to tackle every renovation project at once. Therefore, it’s important to prioritize your goals and determine which areas of the property require immediate attention. Here are some factors to consider when prioritizing your renovation goals:

  • Identify any safety hazards or urgent repairs that need to be addressed first.
  • Consider the areas that will have the biggest impact on the property’s value or livability.
  • Think about your long-term plans for the property and prioritize renovations that align with those goals.
  • Take into account your budget and the feasibility of completing certain projects within your financial constraints.

By prioritizing your renovation goals, you can focus your time, energy, and resources on the most important aspects of the project.

4. Create a Detailed Renovation Plan

Once you have assessed the property, set a budget, and prioritized your goals, it’s time to create a detailed renovation plan. This plan will serve as a roadmap for your project and help you stay organized throughout the renovation process. Here are some steps to create a comprehensive renovation plan:

  • Break down the renovation into smaller tasks and create a timeline for each phase.
  • Research and gather inspiration for the design and style of the renovated space.
  • Create a list of materials, fixtures, and finishes needed for each aspect of the renovation.
  • Obtain necessary permits and approvals from local authorities.
  • Identify and hire contractors or professionals for specialized tasks.
See also  Renovation Planning: Choosing the Right Countertops

By creating a detailed renovation plan, you can ensure that all aspects of the project are accounted for and minimize the risk of delays or unexpected issues.

5. Start with Small, Manageable Projects

When tackling a fixer-upper, it’s often best to start with small, manageable projects before moving on to larger renovations. This allows you to gain experience, build momentum, and make progress while staying within your budget. Here are some small projects that can have a big impact:

  • Painting the walls and refreshing the interior with a new color scheme.
  • Replacing outdated fixtures and hardware in the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Refinishing or replacing worn-out flooring to give the space a fresh look.
  • Updating the lighting fixtures to improve the ambiance and energy efficiency.

By starting with small projects, you can gradually transform the property and build confidence in your renovation skills.


Renovating a fixer-upper can be a challenging yet rewarding endeavor. By following a systematic approach and breaking down the process into manageable steps, you can navigate the renovation journey with confidence. Start by thoroughly assessing the property and setting a realistic budget. Prioritize your renovation goals and create a detailed renovation plan to stay organized. Finally, start with small, manageable projects to gain experience and make progress. With careful planning and execution, your fixer-upper can be transformed into the home of your dreams.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *