How Syracuse Habitat for Humanity Transformed an Abandoned Property (And How You Can Too)

A few years ago, Syracuse Habitat for Humanity turned an empty, tax-delinquent house from 2014 into a brand new home. The work itself was done entirely by volunteers, and the abandoned property quickly became something that could be re-used once more.

But how was this achieved so well by volunteers, and how can you do the same thing to your own home if it is falling into disrepair? Knowing where to start is the hardest part, but once you get going, it can create some excellent results.

Cleaning Up

Before any work can be done, the property needs to be cleaned up first. If you are doing this to your own home, then you can use the same method that the volunteers did – spending an afternoon cleaning up household debris, from old broken furniture to random pieces of waste.

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By the end of a single day, the team had gathered enough debris and trash to fill a dumpster with a 25-cubic-yard capacity. The clean-up only lasted a day or two, but it did not take long to empty out the property and make it suitable for more in-depth work.

If you need to clear out your home before making major changes, then do not hesitate to rent a dumpster. Some of our versatile dumpster rentals are ideal for clearing an old house, even if you need to dispose of large pieces of old furniture that you do not want to use.

Improving the House

Turning the house into something liveable was an important step in the volunteer renovation, and it will be equally as important for you, too. If your home has any major flaws in terms of water leaks, damaged pipes, or even something as small as dents in the walls, fixing them is important.

Make sure to look through the house before you make any other major changes, taking stock of anything that might need to be repaired or replaced to get the best possible outcome. Even a small sign of damage can indicate something major, and it is worth looking at just in case.

This is also a good way to look around and find anything that you might have missed or anything that you would personally want to improve. Taking some time to think things over can matter a lot if you are trying to perfect your home and get an idea of how much work you want to do.

Arranging Work

You always want to start arranging the work before you actually begin any practical changes. The more you can schedule and prepare ahead of time, the easier it becomes to get everything correct and avoid accidentally getting in the way of your own improvements or renovations.

For example, plan out the most important parts of your renovations and make sure that you know which should come first. Certain projects are not going to be possible while you are doing others, like moving in new furniture when you are replacing the flooring, so proper scheduling can help.

It might also be a good idea to look into your rentals and hires. For example, if you want to rent one of our excellent dumpster rental options for easy waste disposal, try to decide when it should arrive and when it should ideally be picked up. This makes it easier to keep track of each ‘stage’ of work.


Any major renovations to your home should be done carefully but with all the right professional tools and help. If you can’t manage something on your own, then do not hesitate to look for contractors that could help make things simpler. Good renovation quality is important.

More in-depth renovations should be done first, especially if they would prevent other parts of your home from being renovated if they were done later on. In an older home with more obvious signs of damage, you should also account for unexpected repair requirements or issues.

If you have a lot to throw away or dispose of, then consider using one of our dumpster options. The smaller designs are great for single-room renovations, and our larger models can hold the debris from major demolition or construction work, making it much easier to clean up.

Future Work

After the major renovations, it is important to check over the house before you move all the furniture back in and assume that everything is fine. In a lot of cases, a house might need extra work after all of the main renovations, such as getting new appliances or lights.

It can be difficult to guess what kind of work you will need to do ahead of time, but once you have a rough idea of what you need, it is not hard to start planning out future work. These could be major alterations that you will want to do, such as building a porch or adding an exterior fence.

Always plan ahead, but do not plan so far ahead that you forget the current progress of your home’s reworked design or upgraded interior. Thinking ahead helps, but you still need to be conscious of the immediate issues you are facing and what kind of work can help resolve those problems.

If you are starting from the beginning and clearing out the old house completely, then get in touch and see if any of our dumpster rentals are right for your needs. The easier it is to dispose of scrap and debris, the faster you will be able to focus on the core of your renovations later.

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