How to Transform an Abandoned and Neglected Home


Many people find the idea of investing in an abandoned and neglected property an exciting one. It gives you a project to work on and something to improve. Restoring an old home to its former glory certainly can be a lot of fun, as well as something that’s very rewarding and satisfying to complete.

Lots of these kinds of homes are listed for sale at very low prices, making the project even more attractive to some people. If it’s something you want to take on or you like the idea, you’re in the right place. This guide will talk you through some of the most important steps and give you advice that’ll help you along the way.

So read on now and find out about what it takes to truly transform an abandoned and neglected property, turning into a home that just about any family would be happy to live in and enjoy each day.

Take a Flexible Approach

First of all, you should think about the overall approach you’re going to take here. It’s best not to go into this with a set of plans that are too strict, rigid and concrete because that’ll usually end up doing more harm than good. Instead, you should try to keep things flexible and take on challenges as they arise. Putting plans, budgets and schedules in place will still be important, but you should expect them to change as things develop. That flexibility will serve you well and help to keep you realistic about the challenges ahead.

Assess the Situation and Identify Key Problems

Before you go any further, you’ll need to take a closer look at the challenge in front of you. Every home renovation project is a challenge and raises unique problems that you’ll have to overcome. When you take the time to assess the situation properly, you’ll have the chance to identify key issues that’ll need to be resolved one way or another when it comes to making the home habitable once more. You can then start to strategize and come up with a plan for how to deal with these challenges effectively.

Identify the Professional Help You’ll Need to Enlist

With a huge project like this, you’ll probably want to do a lot of it by yourself. And many people buy homes in disrepair in order to challenge themselves. But there’ll no doubt be a few things that you’ll need to rely on the experts and professionals for. So identify which professionals you’ll need to enlist the help of and then get them onboard. It’s not the kind of challenge you can take on alone though, and that’s particularly true from a health and safety point of view.

Strip Everything Back

Once the above issues have been considered, you can start to have some fun and get to work. That’s something that really matters a lot here because the longer you put off starting the work, the less chance you’ll have of ever getting it done completely. Stripping everything back means getting rid of the junk that doesn’t have to be there. It’s essentially about creating a blank canvas that you can then work on to improve and make new.

Put the Fundamentals in Place

Next, you’ll need to set about getting the most basic and fundamental things right before you can move on and work on anything else. For example, you’ll need to ensure the walls are properly plastered and that any new floors you want throughout the home are in place. These important elements will start to make the property feel more like a home for you.

Image Source – CC0 License

Learn as You Work on It

If this is the very first home renovation project you’ve taken on, you’ll find that there’s a lot to learn along the way. There’ll be tough times and challenges, but by staying on track and being realistic about things, you’ll gradually learn and continually move in the right kind of direction. Be sure to pick up as many skills along the way as these will serve you well and help you to achieve more by the time the project is done with. It’s always more rewarding when you take on challenges yourself rather than outsourcing them all.

Make Improvements in Line with Your End Goals

When you’re making improvements and changes to the home, you’ll need to ensure they line up well with what you’re ultimately trying to do with the home and what your long-term plans for it are. If you’re looking to sell the property afterwards, it’s important to keep in mind the needs of the eventual buyer and target demographic. Because it’s not for you, you can’t simply design and decorate it in a way that’s going to appeal to you. Always ensure your actions line up well with your end goals.

Replace the Doors

You want to make sure that you make the right impact and impression with the entrance to your home, and that’s why installing the best possible doors is something that can be very important. Replacing them will also be important from a security point of view as old and deteriorating doors don’t offer the strength and durability most homeowners are looking for these days. Work with a good team of experts to put these things in place.

Get an Electrician to Work on the Wiring

One corner you can’t afford to cut when you’re looking to renovate an old home is the electrics. Old homes and outdated electrical systems usually need to be replaced in order to make them suitable for modern needs. To ensure the work is done properly and in a way that’s safe, you should only allow someone who is a qualified and trained electrician to carry out this kind of work in your home. These wiring issues can be tricky and you don’t want to put your health and safety on the line when you don’t need to.

Image Source – CC0 License

Replace Outdated and Inadequate Windows

Many old and abandoned homes will have windows that are old and no longer fit for purpose. If you want to protect your home once the renovations are complete and you want to make it energy efficient in a way that most modern families would expect, you’ll need to make the most of window replacement services. That way, once the work is done, you’ll have windows that should serve the home well for years and decades to come, and that’s something that really matters.

Have the Heating and Cooling Systems Modernized

The chances are the home doesn’t have an up to date heating and cooling system in place, so that’s something you’ll need to put right. Ensuring the radiators and boiler are safe for use will be one of your most important tasks. And if you’re unsure of their performance or safety, it usually pay off to be more cautious and to simply have them replaced by a heating engineer who can carry out this kind of work on your behalf. A modern system is usually needed when putting an old home like this one on the market for sale.

Try to Stick to a Plan as Things Progress

Doing your best to stick to a plan as the project progresses will be important. Being flexible is key as we’ve discussed, but at the same time, you can’t let the project become too epic and sprawling. There’s always a decent sized chance that might happen when taking on a challenge like this. There’s always more that can be done, but you should try to set priorities and work on what matter most rather than on trying to make it 100% perfect.

Take Steps to Make it Secure

With abandoned properties, security is something that has likely been a problem while no one was living in the home. Therefore, it becomes even more important to take steps to secure your home and ensure no one can get on who shouldn’t be in there. It’s something that anyone can do these days with the help of a locksmith. There are so many modern and secure locking systems that you can choose from, so research them and decide which seems best for you.

Landscape the Outdoor Space Too

Finally, you shouldn’t forget about the outdoor space. This is especially important to remember if you’re going to be putting the home up for sale on the open market. You want people to get the right first impressions when they see the home from the outside. Well-landscaped and properly managed outdoor areas will make your home far more visually appealing and be more likely to draw in prospective buyers.

Taking an abandoned and neglected property and turning into a real home that’s usable and functional is a huge test. It can take a lot of time, as well as significant investment. But if that’s something that you’re willing to take on and you want to put in the effort, the tips above should help you out a lot.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

You are right, the safety of such a house comes first. Replacing locks from entrance doors is really the work of an experienced locksmith who can open an old lock and replace it with a more modern one. Now in every city there is an emergency locksmith service that can help you