Buying your first home is exciting but it can also be a bit overwhelming. Between moving, the financial aspect of the process, and settling into your new space, there’s a lot to do when you’re a first time home buyer. As you do get settled, though, there are many DIY tips and tricks that make your new home even better.
1. Locate Important Controls
First up, find the fuse box and water valves in your new home. This is good to know in case of an emergency and for use during DIY projects where you may need to cut off certain electrical or water sources as a safety measure.
2. Do The Basics Without Furniture
There are some tasks that are good to do without furniture around, so you should do them prior to your move-in date if possible. Steam clean carpets, wipe cabinets clean inside and out, strategically place and plug in power strips around your home, and spray for pests. Without furniture or the rest of your items around, these processes will be much easier.
3. Fire Protection Measures
Make sure that smoke alarms are installed properly and are in working condition upon your move in. You also may want to buy and stow fire extinguishers strategically around your home. Another important thing to install, if not already present, is a carbon monoxide detector.
4. Paint Your Cabinets
If the cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom look dated, you can easily upgrade them with a fresh coat of paint. Not only is this a pretty simple DIY project to do over the course of a few days, but it’s a much more affordable option than replacing your cabinets altogether. Plus, this project allows you to customize your cabinets to whatever look you want.
5. Create a Home Binder
Create a binder or folder of all important manuals and information surrounding your home. This is a great way to keep all appliance manuals in one place so that you know exactly where to go if there’s an issue or you need to look something up. This is also where you can keep records of all home improvement projects you do, warranty information, and a calendar that notes when you’ll conduct certain updates and maintenance on your home throughout the year.
6. Fix Creaking Floors
Creaky floors in your new home could leave you hearing sounds in the night that you’re not used to. Luckily, these can be easily fixed. Simply use talcum powder. Spread the substance over the creaky floor and then spread it into all the cracks and gaps in the flooring. Once these spots are filled, the creaking will be gone or at least severely lessened.
7. Strip Screws, Nuts, and Bolts
Your new home may have some old, tarnished screws, nuts and bolts that need to be removed and replaced. This is particularly common in damp areas like a garage or basement. If you’re having trouble removing a stripped screw because the screwdriver won’t maintain a grip on it, you can drill through the screw so it falls out the other side. Remove it and then replace it to maintain strong bones in your home.
8. Change the Locks
To be safe in your new home, it’s smart to change the locks. You never know how many extraneous people the old owners gave keys out to, so it’s always a good security measure to start fresh. You even may want to install a deadbolt or upgrade the home security system.
9. Start a Monthly Cadence
After you move in, there are certain tasks that should be done on a monthly basis. Make yourself a checklist and mark your calendar for a specific date or weekend of the month that you’ll complete the tasks on an ongoing basis. You should clean plumbing fixtures, clean range hood filters, clean your garbage disposal, inspect fire extinguishers, change HVAC filters, and clean drains each month to keep your home in tip top condition.