The boxes are no longer packed, and you feel like settling in on the couch for a rest. Go ahead, take that rest. However, after you’ve relaxed for a while, know that you’ll need to move on to the projects that you need to tackle in your new home. Managing home projects sooner rather than later will put your mind at ease in the long term. You home will be a safer, more pleasant place to live. Here’s what you need to do to after you move in.
1. Gather Information
If you got a home inspection before you purchased the home, this is a key to discovering what you need to do to keep your home safe and structurally sound. If you didn’t get a report for some reason, consider getting one now. You can also look at energy efficiency and see if you can work with a local company that can do an energy efficiency report on your home. Get as much general information about your home as possible so that you can sit down and make plans. What issues and areas should be part of your home inspection?
- The foundation
- Home framing
- Decks, porches, balconies, and patios
- Stairs and railings
- Driveways and pathways
- Roofing, including shingles and areas of flashing where the roof meets other structures
- Insulation and ventilation
- Fireplaces, both inside and outside
- Interior home systems, such as the electrical system
- Plumbing, including the pipes and water heater
- The heating and cooling system, including equipment and ways to distribute heat and cold through the home
- Interior structures such as walls, ceilings, floors, stairs, and windows
According to Angie’s List, “a home inspection report is important, but it doesn’t cover everything in the house.” Make sure that you get additional information about areas of concern or places that are not covered in the home inspection. Items such as energy efficiency or recommendations about how to better use the space for maximum enjoyment and efficiency are not included in a home inspector’s report. You could talk with a green home or energy efficiency professional or an interior designer to gather this kind of information.
2. Make a Plan
After you’ve collected information about your home and how it’s doing, make a plan for further investigation. There may be a few items that need to be addressed right away. For example, if it’s November and your furnace isn’t working, you don’t need to ask a professional whether it’s a good idea to fix it. However, if your home inspection or energy assessment has flagged a number of different concerns and you’re not sure which ones to work on first, talking with contractors and getting estimates can help you decide. For example, you may have a small leak in the basement wall. You could patch it, but now is the time to look into why that leak is happening in the first place. If you hire someone to explore further, you could discover that roots are blocking the drainage around your home.
3. Decide What Comes First
Now that you have full information about any problems that needed further exploration, contact contractors and get estimates for the work. Place your renovations into a priority sequence and examine your budget to see what you can do right now and what needs to wait until later. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is there a natural sequence to these renovations? For example, do you need to do the floors before you install the new fridge?
- Are there any renovations that would be best done together? For instance, if you have a number of small construction projects, it would make sense to do these at the same time to save money.
- If I wait for this renovation, could there be damage to the home in the meantime? For instance, if your gutters are overflowing and you need to clean them, add gutter guards, or add new gutters, this could be a major concern if water is pooling near the foundation and potentially causing siding or foundation damage. Similarily, if you have a problem with rot or insects, that is only going to get worse if you ignore it for a while.
- Could waiting to complete this renovation pose a risk to myself and others? For example, it’s very important to make sure that your front steps are solid.
- How will this renovation impact our quality of life for the better? Will removing that wall between the kitchen and the living room make it far easier for you to watch the kids as they play and make daily life simpler?
- How will this renovation project impact our lives while the work is being done?
- Will we do some of this ourselves? How does that work into the plan? What is the availability of other contractors?
- Are we ready to undertake this renovation?
4. Setting Your Priorities: Damage Control
What are you missing? If you’re uncertain about what priority to give your home renovations, avoiding damage to people and property is key. As you set your priorities for renovations, look for these common weaknesses in your home:
- Cracks or other damage to the foundation, such as leaks. Make sure that your home will be stable.
- Are there any problems with rot or insects that could influence the structure?
- Is the siding sound? How about the windows: is there rot underneath? Do they need more caulking?
- Are stairs and railings sound, or could people trip or fall through?
- Do decks and other elevated structures have proper safety railings, and are they easy to walk on?
- Are the decks keeping the moisture out, or does a glass of water poured on the deck soak in?
- Do driveways and pathways have areas where it is easy to trip?
- Is the roof sound? Are the shingles loose? Take a close look at where it meets the gutters and where it meets flashing. Look inside in the attic to see if it is leaking.
- Is the home well-ventilated and not trapping moisture inside the attic? According to Houzz, “It’s as simple as grabbing a flashlight, crawling in there and taking a close, careful look.” Look for areas of mold growth as well.
- Can you use the fireplace safely? Has it been cleaned recently?
- Is the electrical system up to date and safe?
- Are the pipes having problems with leaks? How about the toilet, sink, and tub?
- Will the water heater fail soon? How old is it?
- Are the heating, cooling, and fireplace systems venting properly? Has the furnace been cleaned? Have you installed carbon monoxide detectors and fire alarms?
- Are there any concerns about environmental pollutants such as lead, mold, or asbestos in the home?
While this list is not exhaustive, it includes a few of the items that you will need to address when you look at your renovation priorities.
At Harry Helmet, we’re happy to help you plan your next home renovation. We’ve been working with families since 1981 to provide reliable renovations and installation of your roof, awnings, gutters, and gutter guards. Schedule a free estimate today.