I own old house it needs fixed up- how do I go about doing it?

my mom left me her house when she passed away 2 years ago it sat vacaint for about 3 years with just animals in it I have done what u could which is not much but it is livibale now still a long way to go though I want to start with the windows they are old and rotten mist have no screen or storm. windows in them how and what is the cheapest way to go about doing it

  3 answers
  • We have renovated a few older homes and here are a few ideas... Hire a reputable home inspector to inspect your home and find out what is up to code and what is not. If you ever plan on reselling this house there is no point fixing it up twice. If you put in new windows but your siding is not in good shape and you need more insulation you don't want to do that right away potentially. Come up with a plan of what needs to be done right away and what can wait and figure out your budget. If you need a new roof you might need to do that right away but if the flooring is just ugly it can wait. So I would start with that and look at your systems first as well. Your systems are your electrical, your heating and cooling, and your plumbing. Those are always the big ticket items except for maybe a new roof. I hope that helps and I would do the home inspection right away and see where things are at because there could be lots of hidden dangerous or maybe things aren't as bad as they look? Good luck!

  • Michelle Jones Michelle Jones on Jul 14, 2018

    This is a difficult one. I am a contractor's daughter and have renovated a house and a condo. The first thing I want to say is that a house is a money pit; you can throw endless amounts of money at it and still have nothing.

    My advice is to have a skilled carpenter/contractor or house inspector go through the house with a fine-tooth comb and assess the foundations, plumbing, wiring, roof and structural integrity. These are big ticket items and many jurisdictions, require licenced tradesmen to do the work.

    If you can't afford to do that right now, start by caulking your windows. As soon as it starts getting cold, purchase window film to go over the inside of the windows. If the windows are as damaged as you suggest, don't go for "pretty" or tidy; apply the tape to the outside edge of the window frame and tidy it up afterwards. You will need a good hair dryer to tighten the film. That will stop most of the drafts for the winter. If possible, weather strip them before applying the plastic film. Hang heavy curtains to reduce more cold drafts as the temperature drops.

    Look for the little foam pads that fit inside electrical plates to stop drafts. Use them on any outlets that are on exterior walls. It is likely that there is little or no insulation in the walls; for heat, you might consider portable oil heaters. You can move it from room to room. Make "snakes" -- long sleeves filled with sand -- to place at the bottom of outside doors.

    Live in the house for a bit before making any serious financial expenditures. Sometimes it is cheaper to gut the house and expose its hidden flaws than to try to give it a facelift. It's better to find this out before you begin installing new windows or doors. Sometimes, it's cheaper and more sensible to walk away.

    Good luck. I hope this helps and, remember, it is just my opinion. I haven't seen the house and I am not myself a licenced contractor... just an experienced feeder of money pits.

  • Use the common sense approach. Get a clip board and go room by room and write down exactly what needs to be done in detail. Now you have your Master List from which to add to and cross off as tasks are completed. Either work room by room or, if funds permit, do as many windows at one time as you can afford. I would start with the roof and see if it is in good shape and make any repairs necessary. If you do not have a good roof, anything you do may get damaged by leaks and then you are spending money twice!

    Windows are a big ticket item. Costs vary greatly, and so does quality. Do your research. Then purchase the best quality windows you can within your budget.

    No matter what project you decide to tackle, source out supplies carefully. Shop your local Habitat Re Store and sales at your local hardware and home improvement centers. Learn and watch when things go on sale, it rotates by season.

    When you have a question, we are here for you! Just ask!
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