Changing homes has always been a herculean feat, so much time and energy goes into scouting for a new place and eventually moving when you find a house that fits just right. However, many new homeowners quickly discover, upon moving in, that a house that “fits just right” isn’t always as great as it was touted to be by their real estate agents. This, of course, is the reason why over 50% of homeowners in America today renovate within three months of moving into their new homes and if you’ve ever had to renovate your home while living in it, you would know how much of a discomfort it can be (hint: it’s a giant, multipurpose crucible of discomfort). This disappointing trend has bred a new generation of smart Americans that make an improvement to their homes before moving into said homes.
On the other hand, many do not know what, exactly, they should work on in their new homes to make the move into their new homes devoid of hassles. And that’s where we come in, giving you a trusty guide on the 10 home improvements you need to make before moving and a bonus point at the end, just because.
Top 10 Home Improvements You Need to Make Before Moving
Remove “Pop Corn” Ceiling and Walls
Your new home may not have the heavily-textured wall and ceiling design that was all the rave in the late 90s, but then again, it might, if it was built in the late 90s. This style has not only fallen behind the times, the Environmental Protection Agency declares that the texture may contain asbestos, a substance known to cause asbestos poisoning, mesothelioma, and lung cancer, you definitely don’t want to live in a house with that sort of pollution and health risk, removing “popcorn” ceiling and walls is therefore highly advised.
Removing “popcorn” ceiling and walls isn’t exactly a difficult feat to pull off, with some spray cans, water, and a putty knife, you can get the job done easily; spray the textured surface with water and scrape the texture off with the putty knife.
Removing “popcorn ceiling and walls are, however, a messy process that’s best carried out before your home is populated with your family, pets, and furniture, as this prevents getting precious furniture dirtied and safeguards your health as well.
The previous owners of the house you’re about to make your home may have been meticulous folks that left everything, including the walls, spotless or they may not have been really clean people. Either way, there’s nothing that makes a new house feel like your own, then some interior painting that’s personalized to your taste.
Also, painting your house according to modern trends can be just the thing that’s needed to add more class to the interior of your home and “wow” visitors and guests at your house warming party.
Painting, however, is not a job that can be done without the occasional splash, slosh, and drip of paint on things you don’t want to get painted and so it’s better and easier to get it done before you move into your new home to prevent getting paint on your furniture and property.
Anyone who’s ever had to move furniture during a renovation most definitely knows what a headache it can become in a really short while, especially when you are having to move every single bit of furniture (and appliances as well) out of space because you want to get your floors done.
Laying down some tiles, real wood, refinishing your floors or installing new carpets can be done after you move into your house, but this would require that you figure out a place for stashing all your furniture for a few days at least. The off-gas from new carpets and refinishing systems might also not good for your health, it is usually advised to stay away from an environment where a floor has been finished for at least 2 days. And for carpets, it is advisable to leave off the area for days as well. We know that getting a floor finishing or carpeting for the entirety of your house can be a huge expense and as such, you may be considering the idea of pushing this particular improvement to a later time. However, considering how much more money you’d have to fork out to flooring contractors to do the grunt work of moving your furniture and fixing your floor whenever said “later time” comes around and the discomfort of having to block off certain areas of your house for days, we think it’s safe to conclude that improving the floors of your new home before you move in is a better option.
Install Security Systems
It goes without saying that your new apartment has to feel safe and be safe, for you and all that’s yours before it’s qualified to be called a home. Having said that, it’s paramount that you make it as secure as possible before the cross country moving companies shuttle your personal property off to your new home.
To ensure you are safe and secure in your new place, change the locks on the exterior doors of your new home and change or reset the alarm system codes as well, as you can’t ascertain who has had access to these security systems in the past and do not know for sure who might have the spare keys to the original locks you met in place. It’s always a better idea to know you’re safe in your home from the very first day the moving trucks arrive.
If you have kids or pets, it’s advisable to fix a fence around your new place or ensure the quality of already existing one to ensure that your kids or pets are safe to move around and play within your space without wandering into any unforeseen tragedies. As an off thought, a good fence also serves to keep your neighbor’s pets off your lawn, you wouldn’t want them pooping all-around your property now, would you?
It is even better to do this before you move into your new home as some neighborhoods require that you obtain a permit before building a fence, which takes some time, time in which your kids or pets could be getting in trouble while stray pets casually poop all over your new space.
Update Smoke and Alarm Systems
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are among the last things that new homeowners consider when deciding to make improvements to their new place, but they are pretty important. The hustle and bustle of moving into a new home and trying to unload all those boxes increase the chances of accidents occurring. It would be safer to have your alarm systems functional to prevent your house from burning down on the very first day or first week of occupancy.
We advise that you change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as many home inspectors hardly check them and that you do so before moving into your new home, just to be safe.
Cabinets Installation and Closet Shelving
It’s common knowledge that the cabinets and closets of a new home are the first places to get cluttered during the first few weeks of settling in, with the need to arrange things as soon as you can and the difficulty of doing so while carrying on with the necessities of daily life, the existing closets become a mess worse than the end results of a battlefield. This is why it is important that you install shelves in your closet space before moving in and also redesign the cabinets to serve your purposes before moving into your new place. Doing this ensures that arranging things in their proper places goes like a breeze when you finally move in. If the new apartment already has closet shelving and appealing cabinets, you’d do well to check them for faulty hinges, cracks or other weaknesses. It wouldn’t do to arrange things on a shelve and have it all clatter to the floor the next moment because of weak wall brackets you, previously, didn’t know about.
Childproofing involves removing toxic chemicals or alcohol from the reach of children, covering electric sockets, putting protective covers on sharp edges all around the house and securing cabinets among other things.
The importance of childproofing a house cannot be overemphasized, especially if you have children or pets that you wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to. The home is meant to be the number one safe place for your child or pet, and that means you need to childproof it, and this is best done before your child is running around the house while you struggle with unpacking boxes and placing things in the appropriate places on moving day, unaware of your child’s curious exploration that might lead to an accident.
Fix for Leaks
There are few things that can be more frustrating than a leaky house, whether it’s the roof leaking water into the house when it rains or the plumbing leaking into the walls and these are details that sketchy realtors would not wish to share with you concerning a house, so you never know.
It is important that you check your new place for leaks in the plumbing system or roof and fix these before you move in because that would always be the lesser evil compared to having your wall, property, or electric appliances unexpectedly made into a mess by leaks when you’re already settled in. Also, fixing the leaks in a plumbing system usually involves shutting off the water supply for the duration of the repair, as well as breaking the walls to get access to the pipes that feed water into your home, both of which would be a huge inconvenience if done when you’re already living in the house.
Change Heating and Cooling Filters
The heating and cooling systems in your new home are your stewards of comfort as far as optimum temperature is concerned, and a faulty filter can easily cause them to malfunction or stop working entirely, which would lead to some serious financial expenses as those systems don’t come with a low expense price tag, and they aren’t cheap or easy to fix either. Changing a filter however is an easy and financially breezy process that you can do for yourself. While there’s no risk in doing this after you’ve already moved into your new apartment, it is better to have it done before you move in because the busy activities surrounding a move can easily make you forget about it and who knows how long those heating systems have been near the point of breaking down?
Bonus point: Thoroughly Clean the Entire House
Whatever the condition of your new home when you bought it, whether it was clean as a dime or a little dirty, a thorough clean should be an important part of your pre-move activities. A thorough cleaning, if done personally, brings you in close proximity to every corner of your new home, and what better way to get acquainted with a new apartment. If you’d rather get a cleaner to get the cleaning done, you still enjoy the removal of all dirt and stains, on the floors, the windows, cabinets, sink, bathroom and toilet. Having your home ready to use from the moment the moving trucks arrive is a plus that you’re definitely going to enjoy.
Moving into a new house can be an emotionally, financially and physically tasking experience but it could be made a little less wearisome if you make some or all of these improvements before you move in, not only would doing this save you time and money, it would also give you a sense of readiness for the task of settling in after your move is done.