Homes with fixer upper living rooms can be a challenge for home buyers. The living room often acts as the central area for activity in family homes, so it’s not a feature that can be ignored.
Although it doesn't provide as many integral services to a family as a washroom or bathroom, many home buyers consider a living room a deal breaker when home shopping. A home with a fixer-upper living room isn't as bad as people think, though.
What To Consider Before You Start
The first thing you want to ask is if the previous owner’s living room is what you are looking for in your own living room. Fixer upper living rooms - and living rooms in general - don’t have many hard fixtures, such as sinks and pipe outlets, so they’re one
of the easiest rooms to move in your home.
1. Rooms That Can Become The New Living Room
The room used for an office, children’s playroom, or backup bedroom can instead serve as a new living room. If the home you bought has one of these rooms, and the living room cramped or lacking, consider moving its location in the home. You can also use this to place it near the entrance or on a different floor of the home, where you might prefer it.
2. Space Is The Most Important Factor
A living room is meant to be a place to relax. For that reason, you don't want to use a small or cramped area. If you can't move your living room, ask yourself if the rooms nearby are important. If you aren't using them, ask your contractor if it's possible to remove walls or connect two rooms to make a larger space.
The living room isn’t the place to posture. Don’t buy furniture or fixtures you wouldn’t want children or your friends touching. It should feel welcoming, and any design decisions involving expensive decorations should be made with great hesitation.
What you put in your living room affects how people perceive the space. If they're told not to touch an object, you'll often see your friends subconsciously shift to the other side of the room. The same goes for outlets, unfinished walls, or anything you haven't finishing when fixing up your home.
3. The Living Room Is For Personal Touches
That’s not the only way layouts affect your living room. A living room is meant to be a broad space, so it’s one of the few ooms in your home where it’s okay to fit in larger furniture. If a bigger couch makes your living room more welcoming, go for it. It's recommended
that you try to imagine fitting at least one form of entertainment into the living room for each family member. Your living room is where your family should come to enjoy themselves. While they might not all be there at the same time, you should add features that appeal to more than just one or two people.
Just consider the flow of the room. The most important thing is to leave walkways people can easily pass through. Nobody should be bumping knees like they’re in a movie theater at home.
Don’t Break Your Bank On The Living Room
The living room should be a place of comfort. When designing it, don’t go for the same materials you would add to an office or workspace. At the same time, don’t try to personalize it the way you would a bedroom. Entertainment and family enjoyment should be the name of the game, especially if you’re planning to expand your family in the future.
4. Use Warm Colors And Soft Materials
In fixer upper living rooms, you don't want to go for modern or chic designs. Instead of marble tiles, focus on warm rugs and carpets. Most living rooms are a place to take your shoes off and relax, so don't use a cold material like linoleum. You can couple this with rules like forbidding shoes indoors to create a more comforting feeling in your unsuspecting guests.
The colors of a living room shouldn't be neutral either. Use earthy designs and warm colors when painting the room and choosing upholstery. Just make sure you don't take it too far in the other direction. You might enjoy bright colors or designs by your favorite artist, but if there's a chance that bringing a friend into the living room could spark a debate, maybe leave it out. The bonus to this is that most of these materials are cheaper as well. Marble surfaces, hardwood floors, or other staples of modern design all tend to be more expensive.
You might also include a personal item, like Dad’s Favorite Chair, which will instantly add some history to the room and make it feel more lived in. This is an easy way to make an inexpensive feature feel like it has more emotional weight and value when you move in.
If You Buy A Fixer Upper, It Will Take Longer Than You Think
When buying a fixer-upper living room, it's important to take stock about what needs to be fixed. The living room is often the room contractors spend the least amount of time in.
That's because when you start fixing up a home, you are asked to create a list of priorities. Rooms with essential fixtures, like bathrooms, will be at the top of the list. Below that, you'll find the master bedroom, and other rooms the buyer uses daily. This
pushes the living room to a sad, distant third.
5. If You Hired A Contractor, Consider Handling The Living Room Yourself
Many living room fixes aren’t as hard as other rooms. Replacing floors, painting walls, and adding furniture are all things home buyers can do with minimal instruction. This can free your team to work on other areas of the home.
It cannot be stressed enough though that if you start a job, you should finish it immediately. It's not unheard of for a room to receive a partial coat of paint, and not be finished for several years afterward. That's not your fault; homeowners are busy people, and the longer a job takes, the more likely it is that issues will arise that take time away from your personal projects.
6. Do Not Start Major Renovations Without A Professional Opinion
When you buy a home, it’s unlikely you’re handed a copy of its schematics. If you want to install a new air system, run electrical wiring, or knock down a wall, ask for help.
Even contractors often start on a project, only to realize that the wall is a load-bearing piece of the room, or that your home’s wiring won’t support a new connection. Without blueprints, it’s easy to wander into these costly problems by mistake for amateurs and professionals alike.
That’s why you should hire an inspector or a contractor versed in these matters. Even if you plan to handle the job yourself, you should have another pair of eyes look into your renovations first.
7. Always Expect To Go Over Budget, Even If All Seems Well
Calling a fixer-upper a complicated business is oversimplifying it. A fixer-upper living room may require extensive materials, professional hands, and assistance, and you may go long over your time frame.
Materials are one of the areas where fixing up your living room’s cost can vary the most. Upholstery, indoor paint, and construction materials constantly rise and fall in value. Contractors often make deals to get materials at a discount as well, so whether you hire someone or handle a job yourself can cause these prices to rise considerably.
Contractors are a Contract Bidding service. That means you can propose your living room job to multiple companies, and they, in turn, will make unique offers to you. You can haggle these numbers, so there's no fixed rate for service or the number of workers you'll get. Get as many definite agreements as you can when making the contract for your living room.
You can go over time though for some reasons. Unexpected issues, like the load bearing wall presented earlier, can stymie
your fixer-upper. Your contractor may face issues with a small workforce or limited budget. These can occasionally happen if you haggle for too low a price, as well.
8. Plan Ahead
You should always try to buy your materials, hire contractors, and set your time frame before you finish purchasing a home. Look at your living room and decide what needs to be renovated. Then, include that information in your pre-planning to ensure everyone
knows it needs to be done.
If you haven’t bought a home yet, the strongest suggestion experts on living room repairs can give you is to minimize the number of fixes it needs. Fixer upper living rooms won’t be a priority until you’ve finished the rest of your room, and as one of the best rooms to relax in in your entire home, you’ll be feeling it for a while.
If your living room is the primary target of your renovations, have an endgame in mind. Placing furnishing in a direction can make it feel larger to newcomers. Obtain warm colored paints, soft floors, and comfortable furniture for the room before you start. And plan the layout before you begin, keeping in mind that the living room is a space you’re meant to share with everyone.