Home Improvement 101 New Homeowner Guide

You have finalized the payment process for a new home. Congratulations, you’re the newest homeowner in town. However, you’re not yet done; there may be some improvements you need to make to the new house to transform it into your home. The following is a new homeowner guide for improving your home.

1. Create a Budget

After finalizing the payment process for the new home, consider making a few improvements to enhance the curb appeal and increase efficiency within the home. The fact that you finally own a home can be exciting. In a rush to move in, you may be tempted to start your renovation project without proper planning. However, as part of home improvement 101, you need to set aside time to devise a plan for how the project will run smoothly and create a budget.

The truth is the cost of improving a home can easily spiral out of control. For example, if you decide to hurriedly install quartzite countertops in the kitchen only to later realize that the color you chose clashes with the new floors you just installed, you may be forced to replace the floors or get different countertops. When this happens, the cost of a project that may have initially been $3,000 may spike up to $15,000 or more. Therefore, to ensure this doesn’t happen, you must have a working budget to ensure your financial goals remain intact.

2. Hire or Do It Yourself

One of the first important questions to ask yourself before kick-starting your home improvement 101 project is whether you’ll DIY the project or contract. There are many reasons why homeowners decide to take on renovations by themselves. However, the most common is the cost of hiring a contractor. According to Kacie Goff, hiring a general contractor costs between $70 and $130. You may pay huge amounts of money depending on a project’s size.

Cost is only one of many factors to consider. Some improvements require a level of skill that you may not possess. In such a case, hiring a professional is advisable instead of taking on the project and later having to contract because you didn’t do the job right in the first place. It’s also important to consider the equipment needed to execute the project.

Do you have the money to buy or hire equipment? Does it make financial sense to buy the equipment? And do you have enough space to store the equipment you will use? In addition, the risks involved in a specific project may require hiring a well-equipped professional with the right skills and gears to maneuver the risks. Therefore, it is important to carefully analyze the pros and cons of both sides to effectively choose a route to follow.

3. Electrical Upgrades

Now that you’ve already created a budget, make a home improvement 101 checklist of the areas you want to renovate. Most homeowners are keen to have structural renovations done to their new homes. Still, more often than not, they tend to overlook the electrical system. Your new home’s electrical system plays a vital role in the home by making it safer and more energy efficient. While there are many renovations that you could take on as DIY projects, electrical repairs should be left to professionals.

Whether you’re repairing lighting fixtures or upgrading the home’s security systems, hiring an electrical repair service will help to guarantee your electrical improvements are done safely and efficiently. A qualified electrician is equipped with the tools and expertise needed to ensure the project runs smoothly. According to Forbes, the average cost of hiring an electrician ranges between $50 and $150 per hour. The amount may vary according to location, skill level, size of the home, and the complexity of the work involved.

4. Repair Damaged Walls

If you have bought an old house, the house may likely have a few dents, blemishes, or cracks. In your home improvement 101 checklist, hire a licensed structural engineer to assess the home’s structure and determine whether the damage is extensive before finalizing payments. If the house has just a few dents and cracks that are 1mm or less, you may take on this project as a DIY project.

With some guidance, drywall repairs can be a simple DIY project that would save you a substantial amount of money compared to hiring a contractor. Drywall was first used in 1916 and has since gained popularity since it’s affordable and easy to put up. However, despite all the benefits, there’s a downside to using it in your home improvements.

Drywall is generally made from gypsum, a mineral found in earth beds. Although it’s relatively easy to install, you must thoroughly prepare the room since it generates a lot of dust that can spread throughout the house. The fact that the material isn’t soundproof means you’ll need to install sound insulation. It’s also a material that’s highly susceptible to damage since it can’t resist impact. It’s, therefore, important to analyze all the pros and cons before embarking on the project.

5. New Doors

Doors are one of the most critical parts of a home; they play a crucial role in ensuring the home is protected. They’re also the first point of contact with the home for anyone looking to access it. Depending on when the home you purchase was built, the doors may be old and damaged and may not fit your desired aesthetics. To ensure the house is safe and improve its curb appeal, you must include replacing the doors in your home improvement 101 checklist.

According to Impulse Research Survey, 80% of home buyers factor in the garage when deciding on the house they wish to purchase. If a garage was a crucial factor in your decision-making and you were fortunate enough to find what you were looking for, remember to assess the garage door’s condition regularly. Most people use the garage door to access their homes, and according to Garage Living, your garage door is opened at least three to five times a day. Over time, the door may start to wear out. Therefore, it’s important to assess the garage door to determine if garage door repairs are necessary.

6. Installing New Floors

Floors can instantly change the entire appearance of a home. If your budget for renovations isn’t extensive, installing new floors is a great improvement to update your home without breaking the bank. Although updating the floors in your home may not be on top of the home improvement 101 checklist, new floors are a good investment when you plan on having a more open and bigger space. The truth is that the floors in your home are the first point of physical contact. Whether you change the carpet, install hardwood floors, or laminate flooring, you can choose from a wide range of floors depending on your desired aesthetics.

As you update the floors inside your home, remember to step into the garage and update the floors there. One of the most popular flooring materials used in garage floors is epoxy; it is a material that is resistant to motor oil, bleach, gasoline, and gear oil. Therefore, instead of installing wooden floors in the garage, you should consider contacting an epoxy garage floor company.

7. Kitchen Face Lift

The kitchen is often called the heart of a home. It’s where you make delicious home-cooked meals, have conversations, and make memories. Therefore, after buying your new home, improving your kitchen should be an important consideration in your home improvement 101 checklist.

The last thing you want is to prepare meals in a dull and uninspiring space. Overhauling an entire kitchen can be a costly undertaking. In fact, according to Forbes, the average cost of remodeling a kitchen, including fixtures, labor, and materials, varies between $12,000 and $60,500.

If your budget can’t allow you to take on such a project, you can still update the kitchen without necessarily breaking the bank. For example, you don’t have to remove all the cabinets from the kitchen. You can contract a custom cabinet maker to help customize the existing cabinets and give them a new look. You could replace the glass cabinet doors with wooden doors for a clean, neat finish. You may also add new accessories, such as door handles that complement all other appliances in the kitchen.

8. Updating the Windows

Depending on when your home was constructed, you may need to include updating the windows in your home improvement 101 checklist. Suppose your new home was built before advancements in technology. In that case, there is a good chance you’ll miss out on the many benefits of having newer windows. New windows will not only improve the appearance of your home but will also help you save money on your energy bills.

When updating your home’s windows, you can install new construction windows or local window replacements. New construction windows are typically more labor intensive since they require you to remove the existing window frame and replace it with a new one. On the other hand, window replacements fit perfectly into the existing frames and, therefore, require less labor; they are also cheaper and take less time to install.

9. Roof Repair

Your roof is one of the most important parts of your new home. It acts as a barrier protecting the home’s interior from external elements such as heavy rains, snow, debris, and strong winds. This exposure to harsh elements will, in time, cause damage to the roof that can result in leaks, mold, and other roof problems. Although sellers may be required to have roof inspections before selling a house, not all are willing to disclose all issues that may be uncovered.

It’s your responsibility as a buyer to ensure you make the smartest investment by hiring qualified roofers to inspect the roof. A well-maintained roof will not only offer protection but will also increase the value of the home as well as improve energy efficiency. Your roofing contractor will help determine the roof’s condition and inform you if roof replacement or repair is necessary.

One factor that indicates the need for roof replacements includes age. If your home has an asphalt roof, its service life is 20 years. Therefore, roof replacement may be inevitable if your home is older than 20 years. Other signs that show a roof needs to be replaced are damaged or missing shingles, cracks in the attic, and widespread staining.

10. Bathroom Renovations

The bathroom is another important item in your home improvement 101 checklist. It is the part of the home where you’ll most likely start your day and end it. After a long, stressful day, your bathroom is a place of solitude where you relax and decompress. A few improvements to your bathroom space can help create a spa-like experience within your home. According to Alexis Carthan, depending on the project’s scope and type, the cost of improving your bathroom ranges between $2,000 and $18,000.

Instead of tearing down the entire bathroom to build it up from scratch, a few minor improvements can help elevate your bathroom and give you your desired results. For example, you could install mirrors in your bathroom to make the space feel bigger than its actual size, install a walk-in shower, or hire a bathtub reglazer to refinish your tub, which is significantly more affordable than replacing the existing bathtub. You can consult a professional bathroom remodeler to know your options. Simply explain to them the budget you’re working with and any other specific needs you may have, like the type of aesthetic or functional boost you’re hoping to achieve.

Whether you are taking on the home improvement project for simple aesthetics or want to enhance efficiency within the home, there are various strategies to use. You will first need to secure funding for the project and then decide the order in which you wish to take on the project. Proper planning lets you transform your new house into a dream home. Remember, from repainting the home, installing a new roof, or installing a front deck to create more space, it’s important to include checking with the local authority to determine all the rules and regulations you’ll need to abide by when starting the project in your home improvement 101 checklist.

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