Step-by-Step Guide To Renovating An Inherited House

Couple discussing with builder the plans for renovating the house

For many people, inheriting a property is a dream come true.

Finally, the worry about renting an apartment or setting aside considerable funds to have their own place is over. However, not every inherited house is in good condition. On the contrary, most homes received through inheritance are poorly maintained and require a thorough renovation.

In such a situation, it is wise to take a step back and prepare a plan of action. Doing so allows new homeowners to avoid making costly mistakes and prepare themselves for every step of the project.

First of all, the person who inherited the property should estimate how probate affects it and if it has a mortgage. Next, they need to decide which parts of the house require renovation, create a budget, and find reliable contractors who can work on the project. Besides, they have to create a clear work schedule and consider taking renovation insurance.

Here is a step-by-step guide to renovating an inherited property:

Check the Property and Set Clear Goals

The first thing a new homeowner should do is inspect the inherited property and assess its condition. Perhaps, there will be some unexpected problems or issues. For example, some houses received through inheritance are located in a bad area. In such a case, it may be necessary for new owners to hire security services and increase the house’s security measures.

Electrician working on a house renovation

Once the existing state of the house is identified, it is time to set clear goals for improvement. If the property does not have an addition, it can be expanded or renovated to include new structures. The owners can also make some minor repairs to improve its appearance and appeal. However, if they notice significant damage or major safety issues, they need to decide whether to restore it or sell it and buy a new one.

Evaluate the Property in Terms of Probate and Mortgage

Once the current state of the house is assessed, it is time to find out which legal aspects are related to it. In most cases, inherited properties are tied down by probate laws (you can visit to learn more about the probate process itself) and mortgages that need to be paid off before new owners can move in. 

Therefore, homeowners have to check whether they inherit a house with a mortgage and if they have to pay off all its debts. A new homeowner should contact the bank to find out whether there is a mortgage on the house. They should also check whether they can take over the loan and how much the transfer of ownership may cost.

In addition, it is highly advisable to find out if probate laws limit the new owners’ rights to make changes to the house. For example, sometimes, the heir who inherited property is not allowed to sell it for a certain period of time. In such a situation, they may require an inheritance attorney’s help.

On top of that, it is essential to remember that it may take several months for the probate to be finalized. Thus, homeowners should set aside money for additional costs and expenses during this time.

Analyze Which Parts of the House Require Renovation

After finding out about both the probate process and mortgage obligations, new homeowners can assess which parts of the inherited property require renovation. There are many different ways to go about it: from simply making some cosmetic changes like installing new tiles or painting walls to completely overhauling certain areas.

loft renovation

For example, someone inheriting an old country cottage may want to add a deck or build an additional room with a bathroom so that they can move in right away without having to rent an apartment or temporarily stay with relatives. On the other hand, inheritors of an older building may prefer going through all necessary renovations at once rather than doing them piece by peice over several months or years.

Create a Budget and Find Reliable Contractors

Having decided which parts of the house will undergo renovation enables to create a detailed budget for each part of the project. It is essential that contractors receive enough money for every stage of work to work efficiently and deliver high-quality results within a specified timeframe.

Usually, it means that homeowners should start planning their renovation long before getting started on actual work since it takes time to gather enough funds and hire reliable contractors who will not run up extra costs during renovation works. Moreover, new homeowners should choose contractors who have references from previous customers as well as good reviews online, so they only get quotes from experienced professionals knowledgeable about relevant regulations in their region.

Due to their experience, contractors will be capable of providing professional advice regarding materials and various renovation techniques. Furthermore, they will be able to offer valuable recommendations on preparing for every step of the home renovation project.

To ensure that contractors do not overcharge homeowners while working on their project, new homeowners should check with local authorities concerning building permits and choose licensed contractors. They should have appropriate insurance policies in place regardless of whether they are working under their own name or for another company.

In fact, it is highly recommended to get as much information about contractors as possible before committing to hiring them for any project. This way, clients can avoid getting into trouble later due to unlicensed workers or people who do not have adequate insurance policies.

That’s why full transparency of information about individual businesses is crucial for both parties involved in a project – homeowners and renovators alike – in order for both sides to feel comfortable working together throughout the entire process.

Finally, it could be helpful to ask your friends or family members if they know reliable contractors who could help you get your projects done on time and according to your standards at competitive prices.

Create a Work Schedule

After determining what needs fixing and creating a budget for each stage of renovation, it is time to create a work schedule that will keep all parties informed about what’s happening with your renovation project at any given time and be aware of when large expenses are coming up, such as paying contractors or purchasing construction materials. It will also allow you some time off work should you need it.

On top of that, creating a work schedule allows homeowners to ensure that all parts of the house receive equal attention and that none of them are neglected in favor of others.

Consider Taking Renovation Insurance

When renovating an inherited property, taking renovation insurance is highly recommended. Ideally, such insurance provides compensation for damages caused by contractors during renovation.

Besides, this kind of insurance covers stolen items that are being renovated and offers protection for personal belongings stored at home during the construction period. Some insurance plans cover living expenses if a homeowner cannot return home due to renovation work not being completed on time.


Inheriting a house is a dream come true for many people. However, it is essential to follow a step-by-step guide to renovating it because not every inherited property is in good shape.

There is a lot to think about before getting started on renovating an inherited property. Whether it’s a house, a flat, an apartment, or any other property that has been passed down from one generation to another, its condition and legal aspects will require close attention.

Therefore, before getting started on any renovation project, it is highly recommended to get legal advice from professionals to ensure that no mistakes are made, and the right steps are taken to avoid any possible problems or issues.

New homeowners should also assess the existing state of the house and decide which parts require renovation. Furthermore, people who inherit homes should create a work schedule and choose reliable contractors to help them complete the renovation project on time.

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