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So, you want to buy a fixer-upper?

  • 07/03/2017
  • By Megan Sterenchock
So, you want to buy a fixer-upper?

Hi! My name is Megan and I had the crazy idea of buying a fixer-upper!

I don’t have much experience with homes other than living in them and, even at that, it’s been mostly in apartments. Whenever I had an issue or wanted something, I just made a phone call and the landlord took care of it!

Owning a house is an entirely different ball game, but—with the help of the internet and fellow homeowners—I think fixing up a home is a project that I can take on! So, I’m writing a series of posts in hopes to share my experience and help anyone else who might be in the same boat.

I always thought I would want to buy fixer upper. I’ve always known my limits and, in reality, I didn’t know if I would take the gamble on an unknown home and risk diving into something that is way out of my league.

However, recently one of my in-laws was ready to part with their home and they sold it to us. It is a little bit of a fixerupper, but we knew that the house had good bones and a good foundation. All we have to do is polish it up!

I am not a DIY-er expert by any means and I am flying by the seat of my pants as we go. It’s been a lot of online research, video tutorials, and asking for advice from others.

So, I’m sharing my experience with you! Here is a look at the beginning of what I’m told is going to be an endless list of things to start “fixing up.”

Painting the Home

Our first undertaking—like most people probably do when moving into a new home or apartment—was getting some fresh paint on the walls to start making the home feel like our own. Unfortunately, the owners before us were heavy smokers, so the walls needed a good cleaning before we painted them.

To start off, we wiped down the worst of the walls and then primed them. A friend suggested that we use an oilbased primer to prevent the smoke and nicotine stains from coming through the fresh paint. So far it seems to have worked well and I can’t see any of the stains coming through!

Along with painting the interior, we also wanted to freshen up the exterior.

It’s good to know your limits when it comes to fixing up a house. For example, while I wanted to paint everything without hiring someone I did need to call someone in to paint the eaves of the house. We recognized that, without the proper ladder and equipment, it just wasn’t worth the risk of attempting to do it myself!

Safety First!

Once we started on the exterior, we updated the color of the trim, shutters, and door. Take a look at the photo below! It might not seem like a big difference but once it was done it started to feel like our home.

With a fresh coat of paint and a good pressure washing session on the exterior and, we were well on our way in the process of fixing the house up!

As far as the materials we used in painting the exterior, we kept it simple. We made sure we used an exterior wood latex primer to start with on all the wood trim. Some of the wood down the road will need to be replaced but, hopefully, the primer will help us get a few more years out of it before we get to that point.

I did end up replacing one of the windowsills. It was not hard to remove the windowsill because of the water damage, and once I did I replaced them with 2 pieces of 1x4s. Easy enough, and that did it for painting both the interior and exterior of the home.

Keep an eye out for Megan’s next post on installing floating flooring!

Interested in guest blogging with us? Send us an email at!

By Megan Sterenchock, 07/03/2017 Megan is a recent homebuyer who is sharing her experience with us! Interested in guest blogging with us? Send an email to curbappeal [at] lewith-freeman [dot] com!

Megan Sterenchock

Megan is a recent homebuyer who is sharing her experience with us! Interested in guest blogging with us? Send an email to curbappeal [at] lewith-freeman [dot] com!

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