Fixer Upper Challenge How-To’s & Helpful Links

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Author: Nicole
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Are you looking for a new challenge for the Sims 4? Do you enjoy home renovation, but find the Dream Home Decorator gigs are getting stale? The Fixer Upper Challenge might just be your new favorite way to play!

Fixer Upper Challenge sims 4
Fixer Upper Challenge in the Sims 4

Because the Sims 4 is an endless game with no win scenario, it’s up to players to decide what goals and achievements count to them as “beating” the game. Many simmers create or join challenges, which have pre-set rules and parameters with their own specific win scenarios. There are a myriad of challenges out there, and today we’re going to be looking at the “Fixer Upper Challenge.”

What is the “Fixer Upper Challenge?”

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The Fixer Upper Challenge originates from the one & only Peacemaker_ic, who conceived it as a way to encourage him to play the game more. He was inspired by the “A Broke Life” Challenge by cybergirl-13 and the lot build she used for her first house.

Fixer Upper Challenge Rules – The Basics

When Peacemaker first created this challenge he did so with only a few rules in place, because he knew he’d get bored easily if things were too restrictive. The basic rules are as follows:

  • Any money spent on fixing the house must be earned through normal gameplay means, not cheated.
  • Download (or build) a fixer-upper style house complete with debris, damage, and dilapidated furnishings.
  • Sims can use the free real estate cheat to buy the house. The reason for this is that in order for a house to look like a proper fixer-upper, it usually has a lot of “stuff” like old furniture, dirty and damaged walls & floors, boards on the windows, etc. and that “stuff” can get expensive.
    • If you’re using a sim from an established family and they can afford to buy the lot outright, you can do that instead.
  • The entirety of the remaining household funds can be used on furnishing the house.
  • Objects that would perceivably have no value, such as weeds and garbage, should be deleted in Live Mode so they don’t refund undeserved simoleons to the household. You can do this with cheats or mods, or otherwise put the items in your household inventory so they’re out of sight but not making you any money.

For more information on the basics of the Fixer Upper Challenge, including the mods that Peacemaker_ic used in his playthrough, go here.

Variations & Additional Challenges

There are several variations to the Fixer Upper Challenge, and some that are completely unrelated to it but that follow similar themes. Here are some examples.

1. Sirius Simmer Fixer Upper Challenge – Easy Mode

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  • Sims can earn money by any in-game means, and each member of the household can contribute financially.
  • Each time the household funds reach 5k simoleons, the family can go on a Buy/Build Mode spree and spend enough to get as close to §0 simoleons as possible. You can only visit Buy/Build mode once each time you hit the 5k threshold; if you go back into Live Mode you’re stuck until you hit 5k again.
  • You must initially furnish the house with the most inexpensive, base-level version of each item or object. You can begin upgrading after that.

2. Sirius Simmer Fixer Upper Challenge – Hard Mode

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  • Sims are only allowed a single source of income through a job, hobby/skill, or via collectibles. If there are other sims in the household they are only permitted to contribute via part-time jobs.
  • Each time the household funds reach 8k simoleons, the family can go on a Buy/Build Mode spree and spend enough to get as close to §0 simoleons as possible. You can only visit Buy/Build mode once each time you hit the 8k threshold; if you go back into Live Mode you’re stuck until you hit 8k again.
  • You must initially furnish the house with the most inexpensive, base-level version of each item or object. After that you are only permitted to upgrade/replace items one level at a time, working through the entire catalog.

3. Sirius Simmer Fixer Upper Challenge – Extreme Mode

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  • Sims can’t make money by any means other than selling collectibles and objects they find, such as produce, fish, or gifts given to them by other sims.
  • Before your sim can begin working on their new home, they need to beef up their DIY skills. Sims will need to reach level 3 in fitness, handiness, and logic to begin working on the house and level 3 gardening to do any landscaping. Anything your sim buys or finds* before that point will have to stay outside the house until they meet the skill requirements and can enter the property safely.
    *if your Sim finds a piece of furniture while dumpster diving, they must keep & use it until the house is eligible to begin upgrading.
  • Using a Random Number Generator or D10 Die, roll to figure out which room to work on first:
1. Living Room2. Kitchen3. Bathroom4. Bedroom5. Office/Study
6. Dining Room7. Backyard /Garden8. Front Yard/Garden9. Balcony/
10. Laundry
  • Each room will need the following steps completed, however you cannot move on to the next step until you have completed the current step for every room—for example you must complete step 1 in each room before you can move to step 2 for any of the rooms.
    1. Remove debris such as garbage, weeds, puddles, leaves, etc. Basically, your sim can clean up anything they’re able to handle by themselves in Live Mode.
    2. Fix/replace broken walls & windows, clean stains and repair cracks in walls (delete gross wallpaper & decals in Buy/Build Mode). This would be the next, more involved step in any normal home repair process that would require specialized tools & time to complete.
    3. Once the walls are done, you can move on to painting them & repairing/redoing floors.
    4. When the entire house is cleaned up & painted, you can start moving items in. You must start with with the most inexpensive, base-level version of each item or object and upgrade them the same way you would in Hard Mode.
      • The exception would be for any item you’ve pulled from a dumpster if you have Eco Lifestyle (it would be silly to replace a used object with a brand new one of lesser quality and value!)
    5. Your sim can only do one action per 24 sim-hours. Hey, DIYing is exhausting!

The Fixer Upper Challenge is complete when the home is clean, repaired, and has all basic necessities met. For a bonus, landscape the lot as well! If you need more info about this series of fixer upper challenges, visit Sirius Simmer’s page here.

4. Sims 4 Renovation Challenge by simbeeps

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This challenge from simbeeps involves a lot of skill building and is not for the meek! It’s a lot of hard work, but the satisfaction you’ll earn from completing this Fixer Upper Challenge will be worth it!

  • Move a single sim into the fixer-upper lot, which can be any size in any world.
  • Due to the condemned nature of the lot, your sim has to reach level 6 handiness before it’s safe for them to enter. Lock all exterior doors so nobody can get inside yet!
  • Don’t purchase any items that will use water or electricity, such as plumbing, appliances, or electronics. Your sim is not to pay any household bills until they’re able to unlock and enter the house, so there’s no point in buying objects that will cost money to utilize.
  • Traveling isn’t free! If your sim wants to visit another lot they either need a fitness skill of 5 or it’ll cost them §10 for the round-trip fare. If they want to visit another world they need a fitness skill of 8 or be willing to shell out §25 for the round-trip! You can use the money cheat to subtract the funds for travelling.
  • Sims must stay unemployed until the house is safe to unlock. Once the house is unlocked your sim may join a freelancing career, but they cannot get a “typical” job until the kitchen and at least one bedroom and one bathroom are completed and livable.
  • Once the kitchen, living room, and at least one bedroom and one bathroom are completed, your sim may move in a partner or roommate.
  • Your sim cannot add children to the family until the entire lot is complete, with the exception of bathrooms. As long as at least one bathroom is complete and the entirety of the other rooms & exterior are done, you’re good.
  • Sims must reach level 10 handiness and level 6 painting before they can start renovating the house. There is a §500 dumpster rental fee when the house clearing begins.

Each room has its own individual permit fee and skill requirement before it can be renovated, as well as an optional challenge once the room is complete. Due to the extensive nature of these rules we’re not going to detail them all here, but you can learn all about them and read up on the rest of the challenge on tumblr (there’s also a nifty checklist you can use to keep track of everything). If you manage to complete this Fixer Upper Challenge you’ll end up with a very talented sim!

5. Grandpa’s Cabin (Fixer Upper Flavor) by Lily-Josephine97

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This is an amalgamation of ideas from both Survival and Fixer Upper Challenges with a Stardew Valley-type backstory. Your sim has inherited an old, decrepit shack from their late grandfather, and they’ve left behind a dull life in the city to move there.

  • This challenge requires a single sim and a dingy, nasty, 1-room cabin with only the necessities like a single bed, a way to cook & eat food, & somewhere to relieve themselves. This Fixer Upper Challenge was created before lot challenges were established as separate traits; it should definitely be Off-The-Grid and you’re encouraged to add other relevant challenges too, such as Filthy or Grody.
  • Once moved in, your sim must start with §0 household funds and they cannot have a job or travel to other lots. All money must be made through their own skill building, harvesting, collecting, etc.
  • Sims must cook their own food and fresh ingredients are preferred; the Simple Living lot challenge trait will take care of this for you.
  • Until the cabin is completed, your sim must live alone. They can have relationships, join clubs, etc., but they can’t have anybody else move in and contribute to the household funds.
  • Sims are only allowed to make changes to the cabin once a week on Sundays, and those changes are determined by a Random Number Generator or D12 Die:
1. Add & decorate a room of any size & style that you can afford2. Remove all cobwebs from the cabin3. Remove all unwanted weeds, plants, rocks, etc. from outside4. Pay §1,000 in taxes! If you don’t have it, set household funds to §0
5. Remove wall damage & repaint interior walls6. Renovate bathroom & kitchen as your desire and can afford7. Use money cheats to add §1,000 to the household, a gift from your parents8. Fix up & plant on the garden to your budget’s content
9. Throw a Prestige Event & use the related event award in your cabin or sell it for simoleons10. All unnecessary items spend a week in the household inventory11. Redecorate any one room in the cabin12. Sorry, your sim is unwell today and cannot complete any tasks until next week

If you want to learn more about this challenge (and read the fun flavor text LilyJosephine wrote for the dice rolls!) see it here.

Fixer Upper Houses

Not all of us have the time, patience, or skill to build a masterful fixer-upper style house. Luckily for us, the challenge is popular enough that there are many pre-built houses that are perfect for the Fixer Upper Challenge!

1. The Marion – Detroit by ulrick7

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This is the house that originally inspired Peacemaker_ic all those years ago. Based on a Sears Vallonia House, it’s fallen on hard times in recent decades but is ready for you to make it home! You can find the gallery listing here.

2. Fixer Upper Starter House 1 by RednaxLive

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This “makeunder” of Foundry Cove is a CC free home in dire need of attention. It’s tiny and dirty but it has a charm to it, and everything you need to get started for a Rags to Riches or Fixer Upper Challenge is already on the lot. You can download the house here.

3. The Fixer Upper by WyattsSims

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This cute little house has all the necessities with room to grow! The inside is actually in pretty good shape, and there’s enough space in the yard to expand the building or add some lovely outdoor space. You could probably get away with making this a starter home after you did some cleanup outside. This lot is pack and CC light so it should be usable by many players (and most of the CC is plants anyway so you can get away without it). You can get more details and download it here.

4. Grandpa’s Cabin by Lily-Josephine97

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If you want to do the Grandpa’s Cabin Fixer Upper Challenge but you don’t want to find or build a starter cabin, Lily-Josephine97 took the liberty of building one so you can start right away. It’s small and pretty plain but it allows you to jump right into the challenge if that’s what you want to do. You can get it for the Gallery here.

5. Forgotten Farmhouse by Jenba

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This is another fixer-upper that is more neglected than decrepit, but I had to share it because A) it’s absolutely beautiful and B) it looks just like a house I might see in my own town and it fills me with a sense of nostalgia. I just love it so much! If you’d like to see interior photos and find out how to download this lovely house, go here.

6. Fixer Upper House by RachelPed

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This CC free home is full of character…and junk! Whoever lived here last either left in a hurry, or just stopped caring about their home long before they moved out. You will definitely need a lot of elbow grease and garbage bags for this one! See the interior and download it here.

7. Craftsman Fixer Upper by Iam4ever

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This CC free build is huge and incredibly detailed! A perfect home for a Fixer Upper Challenge, every room is chock-full of derelict details from fallen paintings to sheet-covered couches to a nasty, empty swimming pool in the backyard. Get a look at all the clever details and download the build here!

8. Eccentric Horder by Innamode

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As the name suggests, this was the home of an eccentric hoarder who appeared to have little interest in cleaning up or throwing things away. The house isn’t as nasty as most of the others on this list, but it’s completely stuffed with clutter, furniture, laundry, junk, and more random stuff that you’re going to want to sort through and clean out before you have any hope of moving your own stuff in. Your sim’s work is definitely cut out for them! Get it here.

9. Abandoned Farmhouse by whyeverr

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This Haunted House Residential lot adds a whole new layer to the Fixer Upper Challenge but even without the special lot type, it’s still creepy! The longer you look at each photo the more details you notice, and the more unnerving it all becomes. This lot seems a perfect challenge for a sim like Otho from the movie BeetlejuiceBeetlejuice...Beetlejuice!

Check out the other spooky-stunning photos & download links here.

10. Fixer Upper 1 by Sim_plee_Tee

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This is a smaller lot with an added limit: because this build is a trailer you cannot change its shape! Small build, big challenge. With such a tiny lot (and a lot of…unfriendly vegetation), this location will be quite tricky for the novice DIYer! You can download the lot for your Gallery here.

Closing Thoughts

When a game lets players choose how to beat it, it’s both a good and a bad thing. Having that kind of control is fun, but after a while it can get boring playing out the same scenarios over and over again. If you need a new gameplay goal or you just love to build and want to mix things up a bit, the Fixer Upper Challenge could be what you’re looking for. Pick a challenge from above, modify one to suit your needs, or use them as inspiration for your own unique challenges. The most important thing is that you have fun. Enjoy, and happy simming!

Your Author: Hi! I'm Nicole

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I've been playing The Sims since the first game launched way back in 2000 and have been using CC for over 20 years. As a creative person with an interest in design, The Sims games have always been a great outlet for me whether I'm creating a cool sim, trying a new build style, or dabbling in CC making. The Sims really is a wonderful medium for all sorts of creative outlets and I'm happy to share my enthusiasm with other like-minded players!

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