First, make distinctions in your mind between repairs, remodeling, and finishes. Repairs are necessary to restore something to functionality, such as broken toilets, rotten subflooring, and holes in walls. Remodeling changes the layout or components of a house, usually by adding or removing walls, cabinets, doors, and windows. Finishes are the finishing touches that usually involve decorative choices, carpet, paint, wall-covering, countertops, wood trim, doors, plumbing fixtures, and lighting fixtures.
Repairs should be limited to the following:
• prevention of further damage (roof repairs);
• basic functionality (toilets, holes in surfaces, rotten wood in potentially dangerous places);
• safety issues (electrical up to code requirements); and,
• things that must be revealed by your state’s disclosure laws.
If you are thinking about repairs that do not fall into one of those categories, think long and hard about whether they are really necessary. The finished home does not have to be perfect.