The 3 Best Home Remodeling and Improvement Projects for First-Time Home Buyers
If you recently purchased your first home, you likely have a list of projects to complete as soon as possible to make it fit your style. Chances are, you had some of those projects in mind when you first walked through the house. Don’t fall into the trap that some first-home homeowners do and attempt a project that is beyond your ability level, though. The first step to home remodeling is knowing which improvement projects to tackle on your own and which to leave to the professionals.
1. Fresh Paint
Nothing changes the character of a home quite like fresh paint. Add pops of color, insert your favorite colors throughout your home, create a relaxing environment with certain colors, etc. Painting exterior shutters, trim, and doors adds curb appeal and makes your home look like new and adds value to your home, too.
Painting is a DIY project and a perfect way for you to delve into home improvement. Painting a room or an exterior door does not require expertise; you’ll just need time and patience.
You may need to consult a specialist at your local home center if you have cracks in your walls that need to be filled with spackle. Typically, spackling repairs require spackle, putty knives, fine-grit sandpaper, and a damp cloth. Beginner painters often are surprised to find that it takes longer to prepare and clean the area than it does to paint.
Once you prep the area, you will need primer, high-quality interior paint, drop cloths, a roller applicator, a roller pan and extra roller covers, and a large paintbrush. You’ll also need painter’s tape to avoid getting paint on molding. Ventilate the area well and wait for the primer to dry before you begin painting with wall color. You’ll also need a small, angular paintbrush to paint areas such as corners and around molding.
2. Update Cabinet Hardware and Fixtures
If your kitchen and bathroom cabinets need a new look but you don’t want to spend money on new ones, try updating their handles and knobs. New cabinet hardware makes a big impact by reflecting your style: sleek silver knobs give your home a modern feel, while burnished bronze handles give your home a classic look. Replacing your cabinet hardware is a quick DIY project that is relatively inexpensive. It’s important to choose quality hardware that lasts longer and to ensure your replacements fit the measurements of the existing cabinet and drawer holes.
To make your style consistent, change your light fixtures to match your hardware. Match metal colors and styles to make your rooms uniform. You may be able to handle replacing light fixtures as a DIY project. Be sure to flip the breaker and use a non-contact voltage detector before disconnecting wires to ensure they are not live. If you feel squeamish about replacing lighting fixtures yourself, purchase them and then hire a licensed electrician.
3. Upgrade Your Bathroom
After you paint your bathroom and update its hardware, you may want to continue upgrading it. There are a few things you can tackle as DIY projects, such as upgrading a shower head and hanging a mirror that matches your new knobs and handles. If you want to do a more extensive bathroom project that involves complex plumbing or electrical work, call a professional.
For example, if you want to replace a vanity with a granite counter and sink, you should contact a plumber because your pipe lengths may change. Or, if you want to add a sink to a master bathroom so there are two instead of one, you need to contact a professional. According to HomeAdvisor, the national average to hire a plumber is $302, when the average cost to hire a plumber ranges between $170 and $454. The average cost per hour for a plumber ranges from $45 to $150 per hour depending on the job, timing and location. Services may include drain cleaning, faucet replacement or installation, and toilet repair. This can include jobs like repairing faucets, toilets, sinks or bathtubs. Some plumbers may also charge a flat rate depending on the job. These estimates are a lot easier to handle than the money and time you would put into starting a project you are unqualified to attempt. Make the right choice by calling a professional and having the work done correctly the first time.
First-time homeowners can handle some projects on their own, such as painting and updating cabinet hardware. You may be able to replace light fixtures, too. But, for jobs that overwhelm you or that require complex electrical and plumbing work, hire a professional to make sure the job is done correctly and safely.
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David Ramsden, Licensed Broker
Select Estates, LLC
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