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Portland Design Build Remodeling Blog

10 Things to Look for in a Fixer Upper

Posted by Lane Cooper on Nov 2, 2023 6:40:16 AM


Chip and Joanna Gaines are all the rage, talking about fixer-uppers and restoring older homes. If you don’t mind some home remodeling for your new place in Beaverton or nearby, why not conduct your own little episode of Fixer-Upper? But before you make the purchase, there are some things to look out for so that you don’t buy a lemon. Keep reading as we learn more about them below!

How do I find the best fixer-upper?

There are so many reasons to buy a fixer-upper, even with the cosmetic needs these houses often come with. However, there are some things that you may simply not want to tackle or that are a lot more expensive than they are worth. Here’s what to look out for:

1. Good structure

If the structure of the house is good, meaning that the foundation is intact and the bones are still solid, chances are you won’t have a lot of money going out fixing and repairing said structure. A home inspector should be able to tell you more about the structural integrity of the house you’re considering.

2. The roof

A roof can be replaced, but it could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Unless you’re willing to hand over that kind of cash, look for a house that already has a decent roof.


Updating the house's electrical system is one of the pricier repairs and can cost upwards of $30,000. It’s always best to try to find a house that already has the latest and most updated electrical components.


Similarly, old or outdated plumbing can cost thousands to replace. When buying a fixer-upper, you want to make sure that the plumbing is up to date – or at least decent enough that you won’t have to replace it for several years.


Have your inspector check the age and integrity of the heating and cooling systems of the house. A new furnace could cost anywhere from to $5000-$10,000, and a new heat pump may be even pricier. If this is an expense that you planned on, it may not be that much of a shock. However, you should still get these systems checked out before buying the property to avoid pouring even more money into it than expected once you finalize the purchase.


Doors and windows don’t have to be a lot of money but if all of the windows in the house have lost their seal you’re looking at about a $30,000 upgrade. Replacing the front door might be something on your list but it could still run you a good thousand dollars to replace.


Unless you’re buying a house on city sewer, you’ll probably want the septic tank pumped before you finalize the sale. Make sure that the septic is in good working condition and that all connections are properly sealed.


Basements are notorious for that mildewy smell, and they are generally prone to mold. It may seem like just a moldy spot, but this growth can turn toxic and cause a lot of damage if not dealt with right away. If this is a result of water damage, have it repaired completely before moving in.


Look through the seller's disclosure statement for any instances of major damage or destruction to the house prior to your ownership. You want to make sure that any repairs were done legally and in compliance with building codes.


Check the foundation, walls, and any woodwork for evidence of any pest or termite damage, because those can significantly weaken the structure of the house. You may need an additional pest inspection on top of the general home inspection to verify this.

Which firm to reach out to for fixer-upper home remodeling in Beaverton?

So, you've carefully considered these factors and found a fixer-upper that sparks your imagination and fits your budget? Congratulations! Now comes the exciting part – turning your vision into reality. That's where COOPER Design Build comes in! 

We're a full-service remodeling and renovation company with a passion for transforming dated homes into stunning, functional, personalized spaces. Our skilled team can handle projects of any size, from simple cosmetic updates to complete overhauls, always with meticulous attention to detail and quality craftsmanship.

Whether your fixer-upper is located near Tualatin Hills Nature Park, elsewhere in Beaverton, or in a nearby area, we're ready to make it into your dream home. From concept to completion, count on us to deliver exceptional results and exceed your expectations. Reach out to us today and discover how we can turn your fixer-upper into a masterpiece!

[Related Post: Making the most of your home inspection]

By checking through these 10 items you can get a good snapshot as to what you will need to undergo once you own the house. If you need help with the remodel or renovation contact our office today.

Topics: Home Remodeling, Featured Projects, Design