Quick Fixes for the Home that’s a Fixer-Upper


Quick Fixes for the Home that’s a Fixer-Upper

For most Canadians, buying a new house doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve purchased the manifestation of your dream home – it usually takes some time, patience, and a bit of elbow grease to make it into the home you’ve been dreaming about. But because renovations are often costly and involve a lot of planning, many buyers find themselves ‘making do’ with interiors that are dated or worn. Thankfully, there are a lot of inexpensive tricks that can make a world of difference while you’re waiting for the right time to start your renos.

Give your floors a facelift

If your new-to-you home is plagued by tired-looking linoleum or vinyl in the kitchen or bathroom, you needn’t wait for full-scale renovations before sprucing them up. Both of these materials are still excellent options for flooring tie-overs (or permanent fixes!) because they can be purchased for relatively low costs, come in a variety of modern colours and patterns, and are fairly easy for DIYers to install themselves.

Wake up your walls

Thankfully, there aren’t a lot of options for wall coverings that can be left behind by previous generations, which means your biggest style challenges will likely come in the form of wallpaper or wood paneling. In the case of the former, you can rocket your decor into the 21st Century simply by stripping off existing wallpaper and choosing a fresh paint colour. If you’re contending with paneling, it’s really just another opportunity to break out the paint brushes: paneling can look amazingly neat and crisp when painted in a solid colour, and you’ll appreciate how much larger your freshly-painted rooms will feel.

Have at your hardware

If your home is bedecked with brass or gold-coloured doorknobs, switch plates, and light fixtures, it’ll be hard to make your home look modern: though such hardware seems inconspicuous, it makes a huge impact on your decor. Consider making this one area of your home improvements where you splurge and buy the hardware you really like. After all, these pieces can simply stay put when you’re ready to undertake your bigger renovations.

Kick that kitchen into shape

Since kitchens are usually the biggest challenge when it comes to updating your outmoded house, homeowners often wait the longest to start working on them. Bridge the gap with some creative solutions that will help you love your interim kitchen: paint the cupboards and replace those dated pulls for an instantly refreshed look, install a molded plastic backsplash (some options can even be cut with scissors), and research countertop refinishing methods like using paint or floor tile. Your kitchen may still be a long way from what you’re dreaming of, it will feel much closer to being yours.

There are countless reasons why you might buy a house that doesn’t necessarily thrill you, and most buyers compromise on what they want based on what they can afford – we see this most often among first-time home buyers who are compelled to break into the market at lower price-points and have to save up for future renovations. But, with some determination and little creativity (or a lot of online browsing!) you can make your new, not-so-dreamy house into a place you’ll be eager to come home to.

Originally published in the Canstar Community Newspapers on May 1, 2017. Republished with permission. Content written by ComFree Commonsense Network.

1 comment

  1. Mark Smithers says:

    After reading this article, I decided to re-paint a set of Kitchen cabinets that were outdated for a friend. Just thought I’d come back and say thanks.. They came out much better than expected. I will say this thought… If you have oak cabinets, don’t paint them!!! It should be a crime to paint over nice wood cabinets. I tried to strip the paint from oak cabinets to give them their original glory back, but alas, it seemed impossible… Best option was just to prime and paint them… So before you paint cabinets, if they are wood, make sure they can’t be stained or refinished before you throw paint on them.

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