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3 Common Household Problems to Solve First for Your Fixer-Upper

Written by  //  2018/03/01  //  Home Repair  //  No comments

home repairs

The right fixer-upper can get you into a great neighborhood at a substantially lower cost. It’s one of the big reasons people buy them. You still need to go into the situation understanding that almost all fixer-uppers share some common problems. Yet, not all problems are created equal. There’s a few that should get your immediate attention.


Most older homes suffer from drafts. It’s not a problem with the quality of construction. As the house settles, it subtly shifts the entire structure. That process creates small gaps and cracks around doors and windows that let outside air sneak inside. The good news is that fixing this problem is cheap and DIY-friendly most of the time. You can use caulk to seal up small cracks and gaps. Expanding foam works well on larger gaps and cracks. Also, don’t forget to replace the weather stripping.

Window Replacement

Windows have come a long way in the last 100 years in terms of heat efficiency. That’s a good thing, since windows and doors account for over 30% of heat loss. Of course, many older homes still sport basic single pane windows. These are the least efficient kind of windows and drive your heating and cooling costs through the roof. If it’s in your budget, replace those single pane windows with double or triple pane windows. Multi-pane windows act like a sandwich with pieces of glass around an air pocket. Some new windows use inert gases like argon to add insulation value and reduce frost.


A good HVAC system can run for decades, but it’s important to remember that furnaces and AC units are machines. Parts can wear out and systems become less efficient over time. Think of it like the gas mileage in your car. It might have gotten 33 mpg when you bought it, but it probably doesn’t get that after five years. You can’t know for sure how well previous owners maintained the HVAC system in your fixer-upper. It’s in your best interest to get the system inspected and repaired by a professional HVAC service, if necessary. Those repairs can improve efficiency and extend the life of the system.

Fixer-uppers can be a great deal if you go in with your eyes open. That means understanding that some basic maintenance and repairs will happen. Things that should go right at the top of your list are draft repairs, window replacements, and HVAC servicing. You’ll save money on heating and cooling. Plus, you’ll be more comfortable when the cold weather arrives.

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