7 Ways to Do DIY for Any New Home
There are as many ways to buy a home as there are home buyers. Some want to build their dream home from the ground up. Others are only interested in homes that are already built. In fact, homes that are flipped account for about 11% of home sales overall.
Many of us fall somewhere in the middle though, unsure if we’d like to build or buy our new home. Both options have their ups and downs, so it’s important to weigh the relevant factors before you make your decision.
One of the biggest things that impacts people considering buying a home is how they will personalize that home. DIY for a new home is a great way to make that space feel like it is truly yours.
What you can and can’t do may change depending on if you are building or buying your home, so let’s look at 7 ways you can do DIY for a new home no matter your circumstances.
1. Figure Out Who Built Your Home
Knowing who built your home can be an extremely important factor when you’re thinking about DIY for a new home. This applies whether you’re watching your home being built right now or purchasing a home that was already built.
Knowing your home was constructed by a luxury home builder, for example, might allow you feel more confident about the house. This can give you some confidence going into doing DIY for a new home. It is always going to be easier to start new projects when you don’t feel like you need to do a bunch of repairs first.
If you are buying a home, it can be a little harder to find this information, depending on how old the home is. You can inquire with a realtor or maybe even the current home owner to try to see if there is a way to get this information however.
You might learn in this process that some DIY has already been done within the home. This can be important information for you as you contemplate the kinds of projects you want to undertake.
If you are building a home, you will likely get to know the builders much better. New home builders often work directly with their clients during the building process. This is great for you if you are the type of person who likes to plan way ahead. You might be able to think about DIY for a new home before the home is even built.
No matter which path you take, the important thing is getting all the relevant information. The more knowledge you have, the more confidence you can take with you into any projects you hope to accomplish.
2. Compare to Homes on the Market
Regardless of whether you plan to buy or build, it’s a good idea to look at what’s floating around in the market right now. You might see some trends you didn’t expect.
This goes for homes being built as well as those being sold as they are. Look at both the open lots that are on the market as well as the pre-built houses.
When you look at homes for sale in your area, keep a keen eye out for whether they have DIY improvements that you can see. You might notice things in photos of the homes. You can also read descriptions of the homes, as very often home owners will proudly describe any DIY for a new home that they might have already done.
DIY improvements are often selling points, so don’t feel shy about just asking outright what kind of work has been done, if any. It is likely the home owners or realtor will be more than happy to tell and show you.
Armed with that information, you can think about your own DIY for a new home. Perhaps some of your dream projects are common among houses in the area where you’re buying. This is great news, as it means your new neighbors could have resources, knowledge and recommendations to help you.
Even if your DIY for a new home is a bit unusual, it’s not a bad idea to see what kinds of projects are going on around you. You might discover, for example, that people are building decks in this area. Perhaps that’s not a DIY project you had on your list, but seeing others’ success could inspire you.
3. Fix Up the Garage
The first two points touch on big picture concerns, but what about when you move in to your new home? What kinds of projects can you tackle then?
Whether you bought or built your home, the garage is a great place to start. If you happen to have a garage, you can do a lot of customization in this space. It is also a less “risky” space to do DIY in, as you’re unlikely to, say, stain a floor or accidentally put a hole in a wall.
If you built your house, you probably got the opportunity to state your preference for a garage or not. This may have allowed you to get a custom garage builder during the building process. Even before your home was complete, you already knew what your garage would be like and that it would suit your needs.
If you bought your home, however, and you have a garage, you did not get this opportunity to customize. You can still do a lot of DIY for a new home, though, even if it was pre-built. You could look at things like garage door installation and flooring, for example.
A garage is a great space for DIY because you can make it into any kind of room you want. Whether you want a gym, a hang out space or a traditional garage where you can do work on your car, some simple DIY can get you there. Install your own flooring, add furniture to support your hobbies and see how far you can take your garage.
4. Take a Look at the Roof
If you built your home, you probably got to supply some input and opinions on the roofing during the process. These days, there are a lot more options than just the color of the shingles. Modern roofs even include interesting eco-friendly options that roofs of the past couldn’t support.
If you bought your house, however, you also bought the roof it came with. This can also be an opportunity, though. A roof is actually an interesting place to do DIY for a new home.
If you aren’t happy with the current roof, you can do some work on it yourself. Pulling off the current tiles is something a home owner can certainly do on their own. You might need help actually replacing those tiles, but you can feel more in control of the process by doing some of the work yourself.
If you want to get more creative with your roof, think about some of the eco-friendly options out there. Some people are even using “green” roofs these days, which literally have plats and grass on them that absorb sunlight. This would certainly be a more long-term project in terms of DIY for a new home. A green roof is literally alive, so it will require some amount of maintenance from the home owner.
5. Look at the Siding
While you are considering the outside of the home, you can also think about the siding.
Again, if you are building your home, you likely got to customize your siding during the building and designing process. This is one of the major advantages of building your home – you get to have a say in nearly everything. With a building that you’re witnessing from the ground up, you get to provide input on each and every little piece.
That doesn’t mean that if you bought your home you should despair or feel stuck. You can still do DIY for a new home that was pre-built.
Siding is a great DIY project. You can cut and install vinyl siding yourself, cutting the cost of the project nearly in half in the project. Plus, this allows you to pick the exact type of siding you want and fully customize your home.
Many types of siding, including vinyl, are relatively easy to install. You may need to invest in a miter saw so you can make the proper cuts, but much of the work can be accomplished with a plain old hammer and nails.
If you do feel like the project is a bit out of your depth, you can always hire siding contractors. As with the roof, you can have them do all of the work or just part. Even doing part of the work yourself can help you defray costs and give you a sense that this is still your own DIY for a new home.
6. Find Opportunities for Upgrades
Your home is taking shape. Maybe it’s still a blue print or maybe you have found your dream home already sitting on the market ready to buy.
Either way, now might be a good time to dream big in terms of DIY for a new home. Look for opportunities to upgrade your home. This is a place where you will hopefully feel settled and stable for a long time to come, so it should suit your life and needs.
One place to look is the wiring. This is an especially good opportunity if you are building your home. You can see the electrical services going in and potential find some places for DIY for a new home.
For example, you could ensure during the building process that your entire home is wired for speakers. Maybe you have small children and want to be able to keep tabs. Or maybe you just like the idea of being able to play music throughout your entire house. Either way, stating this desire early will put you in a position to do some DIY later on.
But what if you bought your home instead of building? In this case, you might have to work around what you’ve already got. That can make things like electrical wiring a little trickier. It’s always better to talk to an expert in this kind of case if you think it might be unsafe.
However, after getting some assistance from a professional, you can still do a lot of DIY for a new home yourself, even if that home was pre-built. An electrician may be able to give you advice on the best kinds of DIY projects for you to take on based on your set up.
You don’t need to stop at the electric. You can upgrade cabinets, landscaping, window treatments – pretty much any part of your home. Again, if you are building your house, you might be able to get a jump on this and set up your home to accommodate future DIY. But even if you are buying, you might just need to be a little more creative in where you find your opportunities for DIY for a new home.
7. Make Sure the Underlying Structures are Sound
While we are dreaming big, we also need to keep one foot in reality. It’s always important to make sure the underlying structures of your home are sound.
For example, if you have an HVAC unit, it’s crucial to know that that unit is working well. The same goes for things like the lighting, the electrical and the plumbing.
If you are watching your home being built, it can be easy to get very excited and lose sight of the mundane details. To the extent possible, however, keep those things in mind. Having to make repairs right after your home is built can dry up your DIY budget. The cost of needing to hire a plumbing contractor, for example, can be a big hit to your budget.
If you are buying a home, the home inspection will be crucial information for you. You can figure out how much you can spend on DIY for a new home based on how your inspection goes.
No matter whether you buy or build, keeping in mind the realities of home ownership and maintenance will serve you well when you’re planning DIY for a new home.