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Easy First Projects for Your New Home

New Home Image

While you can probably live with your new home's hot pink bathroom or shag carpeting for a while, there are home maintenance and upgrade projects you should tackle right away. Let us help you prioritize your projects based on level of importance.

First Priorities: Safety and Security

Electronic Deadbolt LockWhen you move into a new home, your top concern should be the safety and security of you and your family:

Doors: Make sure all locks and keys work. Consider upgrading exterior door locks to deadbolts and adding peep holes and privacy chains. Watch our videos onon installing a deadbolt and installing a peep hole.

Windows: Install sash locks, key locks and window stops to block intruders. Make sure windows can't be pried open from the outside.

Lighting: Ensure all entry areas are well-lit. Install additional exterior lights or upgrade to motion-sensing fixtures. Watch our video on installing motion-sensing lights.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: A working smoke detector should be on every floor of your home and a carbon monoxide detector near every bedroom. 

Second Priorities: Repair and Maintenance

With safety and security issues addressed, you can now turn to those areas of your home in need of repair. Your home inspection may have revealed structural elements or systems that need attention. If the seller didn't make the repairs, your next priority is to fix or replace the following key elements:

  • Roof, windows, doors and walls
  • Plumbing elements and fixtures
  • Electrical wiring and fixtures
  • Heating / cooling system

    Lowe's Window Installation

Third Priorities: Making It Home

Woman Painting With a PaintbrushWith your home safe, structurally sound and operational, it's time to concentrate on projects that will make your house a home — painting, updating appliances and replacing fixtures. Conduct a project planning tour through your home to assess what you need, want and would like to do to add personality to your home:

  • Walk through each room in your home as well as outdoor spaces. Assess surfaces, fixtures, major appliances and built-in surfaces.
  • Create a document listing the rooms in your home. Make a to-do list for each room, detailing things you'll need to:
    - Fix 
    - Improve
    - Update
    - Add
  • After you create the to-do list for each room, prioritize by order of importance.
  • Think about how you can accomplish the projects on your list. Make a note of the projects you:
    - Can do yourself
    - Will require professional help
    - Can afford now
    - Will need to save or get a loan for
  • Compare projects from your various rooms and note the top projects for each room. Prioritize projects for your entire house. Make an overall top 10 list of the most important projects.