When a home buyer begins house hunting, they don’t typically do so with a fixer-upper in mind. A tiny percentage of house flippers might, but the majority of home buyers shop for a home as close to their definition of perfect as possible. Sometimes, the perfect home needs a little work; other times, the perfect home incurs a bit of damage from a storm or other cause. At that point, the homeowner needs to know how to restore an old or damaged home.
Older homes with extensive damage may require mold remediation. A home damaged by a rising water flood or utility flood may have developed a mildew or mold issue, so the homeowner should address this health hazard first. This go to home restoration guide opens with a few tips on how to spot the signs of mildew or mold.
If you see water spots on the drywall of the home in any room, it indicates water damage. Have that area checked for mildew and mold. Green or gray spots on the drywall surface indicate the development of mildew or mold. Any area of sagging ceiling or obvious leaks offers another sign of either of these two dangerous fungal developments.
Mildew and mold may look like nothing more than a stain on a painted or wallpapered wall, but both fungi carry medical dangers. Mold causes health issues, such as respiratory distress, and can spur asthma attacks. If you find evidence of mildew or mold in the home, contact a mold abatement service to handle its removal and the rebuilding of the drywall. You may also need to hire a home decorator to rehang any wallpaper or repaint if the walls feature a custom paint job.
Once the home offers a safe haven for you and any construction crew, address any damage to the garage. A local garage door company can make repairs to a door with slight damage, but severe damage requires a new door. As a part of this go to home restoration guide, let’s consider the cost of a new garage door. These important elements of access and home security range in cost from $900 to $4,000, depending on their design and structural materials.
Roll-up aluminum doors cost the least. They typically come in shades of gray; you can paint them in any color. Stainless steel doors of this style cost a little more than aluminum ones. Wood doors cost the greatest amount, especially in carriage house doors or barn door designs that open outward.
Damage to a garage door offers an opportunity to revamp the home’s exterior cheaply and in one step. Replacing a garage door can change the entire home’s exterior. For instance, adding carriage house-style doors transforms the home’s ambiance into a more classical design.
In some situations, the house’s utilities undergo damage. This damage might come from floodwaters or lightning that harm electrical wiring, plumbing, or the home’s heating and air conditioning system. Read on in this go to home restoration guide to learn which repair services can fix these problems.
Contact a licensed electrician for issues with electricity, wiring, damaged outlets, etc. A plumber repairs the home’s water pipes, sewer pipes leading to the sewer main, toilets, showers, bathtubs, etc. In some situations, you will also need to hire an electrician because the state or city building code requires it. For furnace or gas heat repairs, hire HVAC services.
Typically, an HVAC company handles vented systems, such as the central heat and air conditioning systems in many houses built since 1950. Other types of heating and cooling systems require specialists. For example, a home with natural gas, butane, propane, or kerosene heaters needs servicing by a company that specializes in those systems. Most HVAC service providers work only with electrical systems.
Once you’ve addressed the mold, utility repairs, and home safety issues, move on to the individual rooms covered in the go to home restoration guide. We’ve placed kitchen restoration at the top of the list because kitchens, bathrooms, and utility rooms comprise the most frequently flooded rooms. This fact creates a need for flooring contractors to restore the tile or linoleum and repair the subfloor if it incurs damage.
Consider repairing the damage as an opportunity to choose heartier flooring, such as waterproof tile. Although wood does not do well in rooms with high humidity or frequent water use, laminate flooring or PVC tile with a wood appearance can give you the appearance of wood flooring in the kitchen. Mable designs on PVC tile also complement this room and work well in most kitchen décor.
If the appliances in the room underwent damage, replace them. Many home improvement centers sell appliances and offer service personnel for their installation. Damage to a home for any reason can become an opportunity to remodel or renovate it. Decide on the new look you want for your kitchen and purchase matching appliances.
Depending on the type of damage, the room may also need new countertops, cabinets, and furniture. Most home improvement stores carry ready-to-install cabinets with a range of countertop choices. Similar to appliance installations, these stores also partner with cabinet installers, so the homeowner can purchase the materials and labor in one place. If you want custom cabinets, contact a cabinet designer who will create an original design and install them for you.
In older homes, the bathrooms may need updating or complete renovation. This go to home restoration guide offers a how-to on both older homes and those damaged by a hazard. Older homes may need a deep clean that includes refurbishing the tiles. Contact a tile grout cleaning company for this purpose.
A home damaged by a hazard may need the tiles replaced completely. Rarely will merely cleaning the grout do enough to restore severely damaged tiles. Have the tiling contractor check the drywall beneath the tile for signs of water damage, such as the wallboard bowing out or showing water stains. Damaged drywall also needs replacing.
Sinks, tubs, and toilets may need replacing, so contact a plumber for their installation. Although most porcelain fixtures can last for years under normal conditions, even they can become gouged or scratched in a fire, flood, hurricane, etc. Acrylic fixtures don’t last as long and will probably require replacement, whether damaged by a hazard or simply aged.
Repairing Living Areas
Living areas like the living room, den, and dining room may require new walls, ceilings, or flooring, depending on the type of damage. For all these items, contact a drywall company. As we’ll explain in this go to home restoration guide, repairing these rooms takes more than just drywall, but that’s where repairs start. A drywaller can also install plywood for subflooring repairs.
Once the new drywall goes in, the homeowner chooses which wall coverings to use. Typical options include painting, wallpaper, paneling, and wainscoting. Which you choose depends on the room style you desire. Wall features, such as crown molding, baseboards, and trim will also need replacing.
Flooring in these rooms ranges from carpeting, hardwood floors, laminate flooring, engineered wood, ceramic tile, vinyl or PVC tile, marble, quartz, or stone. Each of these options installs over a subfloor. Ask the store at which you purchase your flooring if they offer installation. This results in finding the right type of flooring installer quickly because the installer of vinyl flooring usually does not also install stone flooring.
In the bedroom, the home may also need flooring repairs. In this go to home restoration guide, we’ll address repairing and replacing broken windows in this section. Bedrooms may also need flooring, ceiling, or wall repairs, but we’ve covered those in other sections.
Bedroom windows should provide a lovely view, and security, and block drafty air from outside. When the window damage consists only of cracked or broken glass, contact a glazer to replace the window glass. Damage that extends to window frames and sashes requires full window replacement. Purchase energy-efficient aluminum or wood double- or triple-pane windows from a home improvement store and have a master carpenter or general contractor install them.
Damaged windows may also need the sills and trim replaced on the interior and exterior of the home. With this in place, continue refurbishing your bedroom by installing window treatments that improve the room’s insulation and beauty. Start with blinds installed inside the interior window frame, then hang sheers in a print or ombre design, topped with heavy drapes or blackout curtains.
Layering the window treatments improves insulation and creates visual interest in the room. Choose solid color blinds or pull-down shades in a solid color. The upper-level curtains should also use either a solid color or a muted print.
Closet repairs typically require drywall work and need hanging rods, however, consider damage to a closet an opportunity for creating a custom closet. Hire a custom closet designer to create an improved design for your home that offers organization and easier-to-reach storage. We doubt you’ll hire a future superstar, but actor Harrison Ford started out as a carpenter who designed and built custom closets, so you never know who you’ll meet. He landed his job as Han Solo, and ultimately, Indiana Jones while building a custom closet at Zoetrope Studios for director George Lucas.
If your home’s basement gets damaged, you will need to hire a few construction experts to repair it. Since basements can easily flood, install a sump pump if the basement doesn’t already feature one or it incurred damage. Cracked or chipped cement basement walls need a foundation repair expert to fix them. The drywall over the cement may need replacing if it shows signs of water damage.
The upmost area of the home may also need restoration work. In the attic, check for mildew, mold, and insulation damage. Older homes probably need upgraded insulation, so contact an insulation installer for batting or blown-in insulation. The roof decking may have sustained damage and this requires the services of a professional roofer.
Exterior Cleanup and Restoration
The exterior of a home also needs repair, so this go to home restoration guide includes the roof and yard cleanup. If roof decking incurred damage, then the exterior roof probably did, too. Your roofing contractors will inspect the roof before beginning repairs. If the roof requires a full replacement, consider switching from an asphalt shingle roof to a much longer-lasting metal or clay tile roof.
Asphalt shingle roofs last about 15 years, although architectural shingles may last 20 years. Metal roofs of all types typically last at least 50 years. Clay tile roofs last between 35 to 50 years. Replacing the worn-out roof with a new one of heartier materials can restore the home and improve its resilience.
In this go to home restoration guide, let’s also consider roofing gutter maintenance. Older homes or those with damage from hazards may need roofing gutter replacements. Once installed, the roof’s gutters need cleaning seasonally or twice per year, depending on the weather conditions and the amount of debris that usually collects in them.
Finally, we come to the section in this go to home restoration guide on yard cleanup and landscaping. An older home may only need to have its trees pruned, but one that a storm damaged may need tree removal. A damaged, sick, or dead tree can spread disease to other trees in the yard or create a fire hazard. Contact an arborist or landscaper to clean up the yard and plant new garden beds or trees.
Upkeep of Your Restored Home
Every home requires regular maintenance to keep it in top shape. Each year, have the roof and slab foundation inspected. Besides regular roofing gutter repairs, also deep clean the yard at least twice per year to update it for the coming season. This involves setting up outdoor furniture in spring and covering it or storing it in late fall.
Restoring a Home
Older homes may need lots of work to bring them up to building code standards. Those damaged by a hazard may only need repairs to one or two rooms. Make repairs that involve safety and security first, then pick a project according to the room or rooms that you need to repair, and proceed using licensed contractors.