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If you're a handyman looking to purchase and renovate a fixer-upper, there are many risks to consider.  Most likely, a fixer-upper is an older home that has several issues a home inspector should thoroughly investigate so you to better estimate the money you will need to put into repairs and renovations.

Starting at the top, it's important to asses the quality of the roof and attic.  A roof in disrepair that allows moisture into the house could easily add five figures to the cost of a renovation.

Underneath the roof, the core structure, foundation, and support beams need to be in good shape.  A home inspector can help look for major cracks, sags in the flooring, and other issues that might indicate concern with these three areas, which are most likely areas of the home you do not want to spend money fixing.

Building standards change over time.  An older home may not meet current electrical standard.  A home inspector with an electrical background will be able to tell you what needs to be done to bring the home up to code.

Similarly, plumbing standards change over time.  Older pipes made of cast iron need to be replaced after 50 years to prevent leaking.  If you are buying a home with pipes around this age, you likely want to be stripping down the house completely in order to run new pipes.

A fixer-upper can be a fun endeavour for a handy "DIY-er," and a qualified home inspector can help ensure you know what you’re getting yourself in to before making the purchase.

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Keith Langlois

RHI | NHI

Registered Home Inspector
National Home Inspector
Licensed Electrician