Investing in your first home is not only a large financial commitment, but also a commitment of time and resources into what can only be thought of as a perpetual DIY project. Most new homeowners want their house to reflect their personalities, their lifestyles and their tastes. This means updates and upgrades. Proper planning allows for allocation of funds on the most desired projects or the most pressing repairs. Either way, there are small projects and DIY improvements that can be completed on a relatively small budget.
Painting – Chances are you did not hand select the wall colors in your new home. One of the easiest ways to make your new space your own is to put a couple of coats of paint on the walls. Whether you desire a neutral pallet, or plan to make each room pop with color, you can likely achieve your new look with some elbow grease and a gallon of paint. This quick-fix home improvement is a budget-friendly update that family and friends will notice.
Fixtures – Whether sprucing up the bathroom sink or kitchen faucet, it never hurts to upgrade those dated fixtures. Choose a model with a filter for purifying drinking water, or a removable spray hose to provide added functionality. Want to provide an even greater aesthetic punch? Consider new knobs and drawer pulls on your cabinet doors and drawers. This project can be done on a shoestring budget when shopping close-out models or DIY sales.
Landscaping – The sky is the limit when it comes to landscaping. You can spend minimal dollars on fertilizer for lush grass and hand select a few perennials for colorful pops of brilliance year after year. Feeling more ambitious, and willing to invest a little more and you may find yourself with an attractive professional landscape plan that also incorporate hardscapes, such as walkways, patios and retaining walls. Whatever your plan for outdoor improvement be sure that your efforts both increase the curb appeal (and therefore your home’s value) as well as provide you and your family with usable elements for recreation and enjoyment.
Lighting – Think both interior and exterior here. You may need to increase lighting sources inside your kitchen and primary living spaces to eliminate dark spots or unnatural illuminations; but perhaps you just want to freshen up the look of your dining area or foyer with a modern chandelier or fixture that makes more of a statement. Relatively easy fixes, even on a budget. For less than $100 a fixture you might also increase light AND safety with the addition of outdoor lights. Motion censored spotlights can alert you to unexpected visitors, while walkway lights can keep your guests from fumbling on their way to the door.
Appliances – Installing a new model where a dated one currently exists or upgrading to stainless steel can yield huge results. While appliances may not be the least expensive project on the list, it can provide a cost savings over time. Choosing energy-efficient washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerators can save homeowners electricity expense throughout the entire year. Not only that, it’s great for the environment!
While it is important to feel at home in your new house, keep in mind that improvements and additions can be made over time. Not every project needs to be dome right away, and some may even require a more formalized plan, like a kitchen or bath remodel, or the addition of an in-ground pool. Whenever making a structural change to the home be sure to consult a professional on the project prior to beginning. Most of all, have fun considering the possibilities while making choices that will stand the test of time. Avoid trendy updates that you will tire of quickly and plan long-term for your life in your new residence.