5 Projects New Homeowners Should Tackle Right Away


boxes on ground near moving van

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Yes, you’ve moved in all the boxes, set up your mattress, and, most importantly, plugged in the coffeemaker. But does it really feel like your space? Not quite, right?

Look, there’s only one way to make your new house your home, and that’s with a bit of sweat equity. We know it’s a daunting prospect. So many rooms, so many changes to consider. But honestly, a few tasks will do the lion’s share of getting it in shape for you to truly enjoy it. Focus on them, and the others will fall into place later as you relax in to your new home life.

Some of these first-string tasks purely aesthetic. Others help ensure that your home is in proper working order so you get to enjoy the place, stress-free). All of them are absolutely worth your time. So, grab a cup of that coffee because you’re going to want to hit these to-dos below before the dust settles.

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Get Water Tight

Yes, your home aced the inspection, but now is the time to make sure it can stand up to years of inclement weather. First thing to do is to make sure the roofs are truly as good as advertised, call a service to check on that. Look around one more time for cracks in the foundation and make sure the previous owners sealed them up nice and tight. Finally, consider investing in an install-and-forget roof drainage solution like LeafGuard’s Good Housekeeping Seal-vetted one-piece gutter system. It helps prevent clogs, pests, and the sort of drainage issues that can lead to more costly water damage.


Put on a Fresh Coat

Ask most interior designers and they’ll tell you the quickest and most inexpensive way to make your space your own is to repaint. An ideal time to paint is before the rooms are set up. Test colors on the wall in a 6-inch square or larger sample before committing. You’ll want to observe each over several days in morning, afternoon, and evening light. (You’d be surprised how long many of us end up living with a color we can’t stand.) Figure out which rooms are the highest priority and get rolling!


Hit the Floors

Can’t look at that linoleum any longer? Like painting, replacing flooring can be disruptive, so it’s best to get done before you’re fully settled. While wood floors are all the rage, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, snap-together vinyl flooring can mimic the look of real wood without the high price tag. Plus, it’s relatively easy to install if you’re comfortable rolling up your sleeves and DIYing.


Light Your Way

Figuring out what rooms need lighting love is essential. Before you’ve installed your accent lighting and furniture is a perfect moment to see what rooms are under lit by ceiling fixtures or simply don’t get enough sun. Does your entertainment room need lighting that adapts to the TV? Is your home office bright enough for proper working conditions. Running new wires to create overhead lighting, replacing track lighting, or adding dimmer switches can answer a lot of these questions. On a smaller level, replacing cool white bulbs with a warmer white or updating lighting fixtures where needed are easy swaps that will change the look and feel of your entire home.


Get Cooking

The kitchen is not only the most important room in your house, it’s also often the most complicated to redo. Yes, a whole kitchen renovation can be quite a financial commitment, ranging in cost from a few thousand for minor tweaks to $30,000 and up. Again, making this change immediately, before you get too used to operating in the existing one, makes the process less work overall. Plus, not waiting to apply a fresh coat of paint to the cabinets, changing out the hardware or countertops, or adding in that silent-running dishwasher right away means you’ll get to enjoy your time in there sooner, which is what will truly make your new house a home.

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