Saturday, December 4, 2010

New Homeowner Checklist

Congratulations, you've bought your first home!
Being a first-time homeowner is a very exciting and busy time in life. With all the planning, packing, renovating, furniture buying, you wonder where to start first. Without a checklist, its absolutely easy to overlook some very important things that need to be done.

I've gone through the best and the worst of moving into a new house. Even with a plan, checklist, costing & budget, and all the sketches and research paper that my husband and I have done, there are still so many other things that crops up and caught us off guard. The headache and stress is beyond this world.

Realistically, for most new home owners, the purchase of a house practically burns your pocket already. However, with a strategy in place, you can begin the process of kick starting your ideal home plan by carefully investing in the right projects and purchases so that your dream eventually becomes reality.

1. If its an old house, what you need to first do, is get your electrician and plumber to check and evaluate the old wiring and plumbing. If you need to change, these are the first thing that should be in your list. Sketch out the floor plan of your house, point out where you want the lighting to be the brightest, where you want mood lighting, so your contractor can create separate switches for different lighting mode. Power point is important and you need these a few around the house, and where you think you needed the most ie. bedroom, study room, tv area, kitchen etc, you wouldnt want to have to drag your fridge cable so far to plug it in, and you dont want to share the power point with a washing machine, both uses a high amount of power.
Before planning for the lighting, you need to already have some idea of what furnishing you want for your house. Rooms that you want to convert to a study rooms will need a brighter lighting, bedrooms only need minimal lighting with dressing table gets the best lighting. Walls that will have paintings, you might want to think about spotlights to highlight the paintings or photo frames.

A well chosen light fixture adds elegance, style and finish to a room while providing excellent lighting. There are literally thousands of lighting options available on the market today. Invest the time in purchasing a well made light fixture by a reliable manufacturer so that you can enjoy your purchase for years to come.

2. Set up utilities before you even move in: open or close an old account, so when you move in your utilities are ready to use (with zero/new balance, you dont want to be burden by unpaid utilities bill from the previous owner)

3. Renovations. This is the biggest headache! Even moving in to a new house (from developer)! Start planning, area by area. Group the area by the renovation work scope. Rule of thumb, do the area which has the biggest area space first, for example, changing of flooring. Floors occupies the biggest area in the house, so is the ceiling. This is the mess-iest. Next come whatever works that needs hacking, breaking down, cements - all the dirty and dusty work. Change of flooring, plaster ceiling, fixing the lighting, aircond plumbing and wiring, tiling, toilet and kitchen plumbing etc.

4. Then the fun part begin. Before the build-in, or loose fittings comes, you might want to think of the wall paint. Remember wall colors will change the overall look of your house. The wall colors you choose will act as a canvas for the rest of your home, so choose wisely. And again, at this point you would have already know what type of furniture you want to decorate your house with. Match the colors of the furniture, flooring and the wall. For dark flloring, you might want to go with a lighter wall color. Where its necessary you can add feature wall, or decorate it with wallpaper. Painting is a relatively inexpensive interior project, especially if you're handy and can do the painting yourself.

5. Once all the dirty work has done, you can now start fitting your build in cabinets, kitchen, interior design items. Last, are all the loose fitting and furnitures.

So these are the step by steps things that you should look into before you start anything.
  • Should you renovate? minor or major. Define the scope of work
  • What kind of remodelling are you looking at? Budget?
  • Sketch your remodelling plan - laymen. Or get an interior designer to do it and advice on your plan.
  • Assembling the specification
  • Selecting a contractor
  • Start the remodeling project
  • Inspect and supervise your project
  • Decorate your home