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5 Things You Need To Know About Buying A Fixer Upper

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I have a great contributed post for you today on buying a fixer upper. Let us know what you think in the comments.

buying a fixer upper

To some people, buying a finished home really isn’t what they want to do. Because it never really feels like their own. Instead, they’d much rather buy a bit of a fixer-upper and take the time to put their own spin on things.

And although they can take a long time, can be expensive, and tend to come with a lot of stress, renovations are always worth it. Because taking an old property and giving it a new lease of life is something really exciting to see. While many different houses can be incredible when they’ve been jazzed up, there’s nothing quite like seeing a country cottage come to life.

If it is a country cottage that you’ve always wanted to restore, then you may want to take a different approach than if it were something in the suburbs or in a bit city. Because the results will often be quite unique. You’re going to want to ensure that you create something that really comes alive, but also that has its own kind of country personality about it.

So, if you have recently bought yourself or are thinking about buying a fixer upper in the countryside, or you’re thinking of purchasing one, here’s how you could look to go about restoring it.

What You Need To Know About Buying A Fixer Upper

Initial Steps

Before you get started with any renovation work, there are some essentials that you’re going to need to carry out. These will help to ensure that your cottage is ready for what you throw at it.


To get you started, the very first thing you need to do is arrange to have a survey done. This is often something that you will done as part of the buying process, but that isn’t always the case. If you haven’t had one done when deciding to buy your home, you will need to do this first. Conducting one will often identify any issues with the property that you may need to put right. You could also get a land survey carried out too, just to ensure you know where you stand with the land you’ve bought too.


Another key process that you may need to do here is to apply for planning permission. If you bought the cottage hoping to extend - even if it’s just by a tiny bit, you’re going to need to get your plans drawn up and have them approved by the right local authorities. This is essential to arrange before you start to build.

Rip Out

With the bulk of your paperwork and housekeeping taken care of, you’re then going to want to take the first steps towards changing your property. But before you get to building, you need to rip everything out. It’s always easiest to start with a blank canvas. So if there’s an old kitchen or bathroom, flooring or furniture, start by removing it all safely to ensure the house is prepped for work.

Structural Work

When you’ve figured out where you are with the cottage, you’re then going to want to start your structural work. Some of your choices will include the below.

Foundation Support

The results of your survey should let you know whether you need to do this or not, but foundation repair is where you need to start. If there are any structural issues, these will need to be stabilized before anything else is done.

Layout Changes

As part of your foundation work, you may want to plan for any layout changes that you wish to make. Again, these should have been included in your plans that you submitted for approval. But now will be the time to carry them out. Whether it’s moving walls or converting spaces such as the garage or attic, it’s good to get these carried out first. At this point, you’re trying to get your home’s shell together.


Another key part of the structural process is extensions. Of course, not everyone will want to do this as part of the renovation work, and some extensions won’t always be approved as part of the planning process, but this is often what many people want to do. Not only will you gain a lot more space, but you should be able to transform the old cottage into the country home of your dreams. With any extensions in place, your home shell should be complete.

Room Basics

By now, you should have your empty shell in place. So now it’s time to dress it up a little. This is the stage where you need to get your rooms looking a little more like, well, rooms!


The first part of the home that you need to pay some attention to is the walls. Depending on the state of the cottage when you first got it, they may need to be completely re-plastered. At the same time, if you need all new electrics put in place, this will be a necessity. With the entire home replastered and looking perfect, you’ll then want to move onto the paint or wallpaper.


At the same time, you’re going to want to put in the flooring that you want as well. For this, you might like to look into country house flooring ideas to inspire you. Whether you want to do with the same kind of style throughout, or choose your options by room, this is a decision to make now. With your flooring down, your rooms are going to start to take shape.


Finally, it’s on to the little touches that make your rooms complete. From the skirting to the architrave, you’re going to want to ensure that each room is completely dressed up. At this point, you’re going to want to ensure that you have the right interior doors in too. Although your windows will be installed as part of the structural process, some rustic window and door inspiration may help you to pick something cool for the inside too.

Fittings And Fixtures

Then, now that your rooms are starting to take shape, you’re going to need to get the fittings and fixtures in. These are often what will give your cottage its country feel, so you can have a lot of fun with them.

Boot Room

One of the sweetest features of a country home is the boot room. So this is something that you’re going want to make quite a fuss over. You will notice that a lot of classic boot rooms have stunning woodwork detailing on the walls, cool storage areas, and authentic cottage features. So maybe you’d like to recreate this? Look into the carpentry that you may here and work with your contractor to come up with a design that will make your cottage come alive.


Another key room is the kitchen. The kitchen is a heart of any home, but it’s something special in a country house. You’re going to want to ensure you pick cabinets and counters that work with the country theme. Think very wooden or cream if you want to work with a color. In terms of style, you want to stick to traditional here as much as possible.

Living Space

Then it’s onto your living space. And this is a room where you can often add a lot of character to the entire place with. Using rustic furniture, wood heaters, and the right lighting, you’ll be able to create a room that will quickly become your favorite in entire house. Because it’s always great to have a room you can cozy up in.

Finishing Touches

Then, you’re going to want to work on putting some last minute touches on the property to really bring it to life. Some of the things you might like to do include;

Soft Furnishings

Country cottages always seem to have a soft and homely feel to them. Even if you’re planning on working with more of a modern finish to the space, you’re going to want to use soft furnishings to bring the space to life. Here, you’re going to find that using texture is what will make the space pop. Try to work in different colors, prints, and fabrics to really add some character to your new country cottage.

Atmospheric Additions

When you’re restoring a home, you don’t always want it to have that sort of ‘new’ feel about it. That’s definitely the case when it comes to a country home. So, you should try to add in some atmosphere to keep things rustic. From warm lighting and candles to surround sound and modern heating, you should be able to make it feel homely, rather than cold and brand new.


Finally, you’re going to want to get outside too. Every country house deserves to have a beautiful cottage garden to set it off. But you’re not going to want to landscape this until all of your interior work is done and your contractors have left. With some stunning flowers, a water feature, and somewhere to sit out and eat, you’ll find that your cottage renovation comes alive.

5 Things You Need To Know About Buying A Fixer Upper

  • Tim Yaotome says:

    I find it awesome that you said that getting a land survey carried out will help a person know where one stands with the property that was bought. When you said that, I thought that I should get an ALTA survey done for my sister. Doing this will help her create an informed decision whether or not she can buy the old house she found yesterday.

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