ACTS Housing’s Essential Home Improvement Manual, 6th Edition
Scroll down this page for a step-by-step guide to home rehabilitation and maintenance for homeowners as well as a list of the City of Milwaukee’s code compliance requirements.
Presented to you by the Dominican Center and ACTS Housing to help build strong and vibrant communities one family’s home at a time. Thanks to the Northwestern Mutual Foundation for supporting the publication and development of this manual.
This manual is a product of a collaboration between ACTS Housing and the Dominican Center for Women, Inc. The updating and publication of the sixth edition of this manual was underwritten by the Northwestern Mutual Foundation.
Homeowners are encouraged to prioritize the work that needs to be done on their home. The manual is organized to provide an overview of the main steps necessary during a rehab, along with some resources to aid in the process.
Before you do any rehab work on your home it is important to have a Scope of Work. The Scope of Work provides an itemized list of repairs for your property that are necessary for safe occupancy. The repairs are organized into phases ranging from immediate repairs needed before you can safely occupy the property, to the final phase that allocates funds for cosmetic repairs. ACTS creates a Scope of Work and Rehab Plan for families that purchase foreclosed homes through its program.
It is important to note permits required for certain types of repairs. Special attention should also be paid to achieving code compliance.
- Activate Your Utilities
- Note the Location
- Secure the Property
- Clean-up and Debris Removal
Rough Rehab: Exterior
- Roof and Chimney
- Gutters and Downspouts
Rough Rehab: Interior
- Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
- Windows and Exterior Doors
- Insulate Exterior Walls
- Drywall, Taping, and Mudding
- Prep, Prime, and Paint
- Floors and Carpet
- Install Interior Doors, Woodwork, and Trim
- Porches and Stairs
- Exterior Wall Siding
- Concrete Slabs and Service Walks
- Common Violations
- Gardens and Plantings
- Reduce Water Seepage
- Soil Grade
- Handy Tools for Homeowners
- How to Select Contractors
- Working with Volunteers
- Tools and Materials
- Lead Abatement
- Available Assistance
Resources in Milwaukee
City of Milwaukee Landlord Training Program (Free)
Milwaukee Community Insurance Information Center (Free)
Provides information and assistance to individuals in finding homeowners and renters insurance.
Smoke Detector Hotline
See if you’re eligible for a free detector.
If you see dumping in your neighborhood, you could be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 if your tip leads to a conviction.
My Milwaukee Home
Ownership, property details, and local contact information for properties are available online:
- Roofing, Siding, and Flashing
- Foundations and Concrete
- Landscaping, Debris Removal, and Parts
- Lead Abatement
- Home Inspectors
- Miscellaneous Resources