The First-Time Home Buyer’s Non-Terrifying Guide To Renovation

This is part four of our four-part series that works with first-time buyers to provide tips and advice American family insurance. Check out part One, Second part, and Part three to learn more.

You bought your first home – congratulations! But it takes some work – oh no!

The first good news is that you are not alone. Due to factors like budget and low inventory, fewer people are buying turnkey social media-perfect homes these days. The real estate market is particularly competitive across the country right now, resulting in many first-time buyers adopting fixer tops – or homes that just need a little work. However, renovation gives you the opportunity to customize your space to your taste and even add value to your home.

The other good news: renovating doesn’t have to be scary. You can do a lot of it yourself. Here are expert tips to guide you through the renovation process, including what to do yourself, what to leave to the professionals, and how to get started.

A fine tooth comb for your new home

The home inspector you hired to tell you everything was wrong with your home before you bought it? Let them return for a more detailed second inspection.

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“Pay them to go over it again, this time with a list of what needs to be done and when they think it should be done. Ask them to number it for you. Now you have a complete list of the tasks and the order in which to complete them, ”says Cristina Miguelez, a remodeling specialist at who provides cost guides for remodeling projects.

While this type of inspection costs more than a pre-sale home inspection, it pays off for the Expert Plan of Attack.

With a plan in hand, you’re now ready to create a budget. Go ahead and do as much detail as possible and research the potential cost of each item. This kind of detail can help you get additional clarity about what needs to be done now and what can wait.

When setting your budget, you should know that some renovations, like installing smart home systems or replacing your plumbing, may qualify you for discounts on your home insurance with carriers such as American family insuranceto free up cash for other Reno must-haves.

Get the big stuff over with first. You will feel great!

If your inspection reveals structural or system-wide things that need to be addressed, get them done first. And if you don’t have the skills or experience, consider hiring professionals – not just for plumbing and electrical installations, but also roofing, foundation repairs, working with gas pipes, and even replacing and installing most of the equipment.

“Handling 220-volt power lines and live gas lines is extremely dangerous,” said Ralph Severson, owner of Flooring Masters and Professional Remodelers. “There is a risk of electric shock, explosion, or carbon monoxide poisoning. Call the pros. “

The FYI on DIY

Fortunately, there are several remodeling projects out there that can have a huge impact and are also quite easy for home improvement.

Painting is a way to craft a dramatic change. With a little research and preparation, you can tackle entire rooms or even the exterior of your home.

Don’t have the budget or the time to replace your kitchen cabinets? You can paint these too.

“The budget can be improved by simply painting the walls and cabinets, and by replacing the cabinet fittings. This can easily be done in a weekend, leaving your daily life relatively untouched, ”says Severson.

Removing background images is not difficult, but time consuming and messy. Putting on new wallpaper requires precision but is easier with the peel-and-stick varieties on the market today.

Do you feel brave? Level up!

Some projects are a little more complicated and are a great way to improve our DIY skills.

Experts agree that most floor overhauls are better left to the professionals, although laminate, cork, and bamboo are more DIY-friendly.

In the bathroom, you can paint walls and cabinets, or stain grout for a tile makeover. Replacing tiles can be tricky, especially when showering where mistakes in waterproofing can damage the structure of your home.

“My advice is to tile the laundry or entrance floors first. First, tile the backsplash of the kitchen. Familiarize yourself with working with tiles, cutting the tiles and the different products, ”says James Upton, bathroom renovation specialist.

Lighting is another DIY way to see some effects. Just make sure you take the necessary safety precautions, such as: For example, turning off power to the room through your home’s electrical panel, touching objects in the open lights until you’ve tested the area with a handheld voltage tester, and isolating coupled wires with wire caps.

“Few things transform a room and build your confidence in the renovation faster than choosing a luminaire that speaks to you and installing it yourself. It’s the perfect DIY quickie project and you can do it on day one, ”says Chris Alexakis, Certified Contractor.

Don’t let your home renovation needs ruin your new euphoria. Make a plan, trust experts, and embrace being a handyman. You will have a home that you love even more.

Your renovations – whether professional or solo – can add significant value to your home. So be sure to update your homeowner’s insurance policy. Fortunately, thanks to, it’s easier than ever to build an insurance policy that is as unique as your home American Family’s online homeowner insurance tool.

Marla Caceres is a freelance writer for G / O Media Studios.

This post is a sponsored collaboration between American family insurance and G / O Media Studios.

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