Congratulations! You've bought your first house and you're ready to turn it into a home. We know it's an exciting time, but it's also easy to end up overwhelmed and over-budget. Here are ten simple steps to avoid those new-homeowner pitfalls.
- Know your finances
Before you remodel, know what you can afford. Create a contingency fund to deal with unexpected situations, and be realistic. Cut costs without cutting corners by looking into unconventional suppliers. Tuscan Basins offers discount kitchen faucets online, along with many other fixtures and fittings, for less than your local home improvement store.
- Prioritize your fixes
Any issues that are potentially hazardous or damaging, such as leaks and wiring problems, should be addressed before cosmetic improvements. With those resolved, consider where you'll make the most impact. Updated kitchens and baths add value to your home.
- Attend to maintenance
Don't assume your home's previous owners were conscientious about basic maintenance. Check on items like air vents and filters, gutters and downspouts, drains, and appliance hookups. If you have leaky bathroom or kitchen faucets, now's a good time to consider replacements.
- Choose one project at a time
If you've bought a fixer-upper but didn't budget for a complete remodel, work in stages. This way, when you run into unexpected expenses, the completion of your entire house won't be in jeopardy.
- Think classic design
Be cautious when choosing trendy architectural features like tray ceilings, especially if you want to sell this house in the future. Instead, express your style through fixtures like faucets and lighting. For example, porcelain vessel bathroom sinks are classic features that suit many design aesthetics.
- Be careful about DIY projects
It's not always better to do it yourself. Areas like plumbing and electrical should be left to professionals because DIY work may not pass inspection.
- Vet contractors carefully
Make sure your contractor can handle your projects. Do your research, and be wary of cut-rate options.
- Protect your home and your family
Install and test smoke detectors throughout the house, and examine your security situation. Exterior doors should have deadbolts, and all windows should be lockable. You may want to consider an integrated security system, as this can lower your insurance.
- Update your insurance
Speaking of insurance, even with fire alarms and security systems, sometimes the worst happens. You've spent enough money on your new house. Now make sure that fire, flood, theft, or other damage won't keep you from turning it into your home.
- Determine property boundaries
As you wrap up interior projects and start looking to the landscaping, make sure you know where your property ends, and always discuss border projects, like fencing, with your neighbors.