Buying a fixer-upper versus a move-in ready home has the advantage of having lower upfront costs along with the possibility of much lower property taxes. Local taxing authorities base property taxes on the sales value of a home.
According to Realtor.com, about 60% of home buyers consider purchasing a home in need of repair and/or renovation.
When considering a fixer-upper there is a difference between buying a home in need of cosmetic renovation versus a home in need of major repair. Signs of a home in need of major repairs including buckling floors, cracked or crumbling walls, or ill-fitting windows and/or doors.
These could be signs of a home that has foundation problems. A home’s foundation is critical to assuring that your home will stand for decades to come.
Though a problem, uneven floors don’t have to be a make-or-break. As with any fixer-upper, it can be a diamond in the rough.
When considering a fixer-upper the one thing you should keep in front of mind is: fixer-uppers are not created equal. There are great opportunities and there are bad opportunities.
The best choices are homes that someone will want but doesn’t necessarily want now. A lot of homes spend extended periods of time in the market because of easily repairable imperfection including peeling paint, old fixtures, or uneven floors and worn carpets. This is especially true of first-time home buyers.
They turn down a deal that can end up saving them money both upfront and in the long run. Money is made when you buy a home if you keep the resale of the renovated or repaired home in mind. Can you make money from buying this specific fixer-upper after renovations?
Even if you plan to live in the home yourself this helps you decide whether this a good investment.
What makes the distinction between a bad opportunity and a shiny piece of coal?
In this article, we focus on dealing with uneven flooring and repairing damaged flooring, as well as identifying whether the floors are an easy fix or a result of deeper foundation issues.
Walking on an uneven floor can feel like you’re walking a bit uphill. It’s not uncommon to experience this in older homes. When considering a home that needs floor repairs you need to look at what’s causing the problem to determine costs.
Three causes of damaged flooring include:
The above is mainly flooring problems that have to do with crawl space foundation issues. Other causes for raised floors can be a simple as problems with sub-flooring or joists. These are manageable to fix and can make a fixer-upper worth looking into.
Deciding whether a home with loose or raised floors is worth considering it’s good to look into what you would need to do to fix them. Here’s how to fix uneven floors.
For moisture issues, you’d need to control any sources of moisture from the damp earth, water intrusion, flooding, plumbing leaks, etc. Now, if the moisture is coming from a foundation that doesn’t drain properly, this is a bigger problem associated with more costs. Any damaged flooring might need to be replaced depending on the extent of the damage.
In the case of damage due to soil movement, a foundation repair specialist or contractor can determine whether the foundation is severely damaged or if the problem can be solved by redirecting any water away from the foundation. This can be done by simply installing spouts to prevent moisture accumulation.
Foundation damage can be more expensive, depending on the extent of the damage. The type of foundation can also affect pricing for foundation repair. This can include pumping grout into specific locations to raise the foundation back up to its original level or using floor jacks and foundation piering.
Problems with sub-flooring or joists are an easier fix. With crowning or sagging floor joists, you can use a self-leveling product or shims between the plywood sub-flooring and shims. Bulging plywood could be simply tacked back into place or it may need to be replaced.
The best way to determine the solution to damaged flooring is to get it inspected by a professional. This will help you determine costs and whether the fixer-upper is still in the game.
As shown above, the costs for repairing uneven flooring depends on the cause and the kind of flooring that needs replacing. Either way, the damaged flooring needs replacing.
To help calculate the costs for the fixer-upper you’re considering, here are the average costs for the repairs we’ve discussed so far.
With soil movement, the concrete slabs that make up the foundation shifts. This usually calls for slab jacking or foundation piers. With slab jacking, the concrete is lifted and any voids are filled to raise the foundation back to the proper level. This repair starts at $2000 and up.
If the ground is too soft helical piers may be used since it can be installed in undisturbed soil up to 20 feet below the home. Each pier is between $1500-$2000.
Replacing sub-flooring can run from $1,000-$12,000 with an average of about $2,800 per room. Repairing joists can be anywhere from $1,000-$2,000 for a 120 square-foot room.
The average cost of a sagging floor sits on an average of $6,500.
All said and done, this is where the averages stand for repairing floors:
These costs can get confusing. The best way to lock down an accurate price for damaged flooring or uneven floor transitions is to call a foundation repair specialist or contractor to evaluate and give you a proper quote.
But this can help you draw out some estimates if you’re looking at several properties and want to narrow down your options.
When considering any fixer-upper have the property appraised by a good inspector. Often inspectors of various specialties are needed for a detailed big picture. When looking at a home, take note of all the signs that might hint at a deeper issue, such as buckling floors If you have doubts, call the appropriate inspector for that particular problem.
A professional will help give you an idea of what repairs need to be done so you can make an informed decision.
Fixer-uppers can be a great investment with some saving you as much as 60%-80% of a move-in ready home. Even with flooring or foundation troubles, a fixer-upper can be a great investment that you can personalize to your needs and that of your family.
Bought a fixer-upper in need of repairs? Reach out to us to get a quote for your new home.