You've got the keys, and it's time to move. You've saved and saved and finally, the day has arrived, you are now a homeowner. Buying your first home can mean a lot of work. But there is a lot you can do to try and save money, providing you have the time and the motivation to get the job done yourself.
Work Room by Room
If you need to move into your house sooner rather than later, chances are you won't have a great deal of time to spend on working on your new home prior to your move-in date. It might be that for financial reasons, you need to move in as soon as you get the keys. That's perfectly normal. We don't all have pots of money sitting around to pay for two lots of accommodation. If this is the case, you will need to work around your living space as you go. If you're not blessed with a great deal of space in your new home, you might want to explore furniture storage options at a secure unit. To start, pick a room that requires the least work doing to it, and use that as your main living space. It might be a bit cosy for the time being but remember it's only temporary. Set yourself an order that you plan to tackle the house in, and a rough time frame for completing each room. It's worth overestimating on how long it will take, as often things crop up that you might not have considered, and also watching paint dry can take some time!
Clean Up Instead of Buying New
It may be tempting to rip everything out and start again when you move into somewhere that is a little tired and dated. However, often, the existing features might have character or be quite interesting and just need a little bit of love to bring them up to date and freshen them up. Carpets are a prime example; hiring a professional carpet cleaning company can bring a well-trodden carpet back to life. It can be surprising the amount of dirt that gets into carpets, and how much cleaner they appear after a good wash. This could potentially save you hundreds, if not thousands on new carpets.
Paint it Yourself
Painting is one of the most obvious ways of really improving the look and feel of your home, it is relatively inexpensive, and you can do it yourself with minimal experience. Firstly you will need to plan the colour scheme for the room. You may want to have a feature wall within the room which is either painted a different colour or uses a patterned wallpaper. Think about features of the room such as doors, door frames, skirting boards and picture rails; you may want to accentuate these by using another colour, or you may want everything the same. Get samples from your local DIY store. Many major paint suppliers produce tester pots so you can see how the paint will look on your wall, and next to another colour if required.Once you have bought the right paint, you will also need the following; sandpaper for smoothing down and rough areas of your walls. Sugar soap for cleaning greasy patches on the walls. Masking tape for covering areas that you don't want to get paint on. A roller, refills, a paint tray and a brush. A ladder, some white spirit for cleaning brushes and a sheet for protecting your floor.
Lay your sheet down, and begin prepping your walls by taping off any areas such as plug sockets as well as any edges. Then look to sand off any flakey or rough patches on your walls. When it comes to painting, if you are painting with multiple colours, go with the lightest shade first. You may need two or more coats, depending on the colour of the paint you are using and the existing wall colour. Roller as much of the wall as possible, then gently and neatly paint to the edges with a brush. This is where your masking tape will prove it's worth. Leave any wallpapering until after the painting is finished, this will make sure that you do not get any paint on it and will create a stronger finish. Always clean as you go when you paint and remember to put lids back on paint pots when not in use. There is nothing worse than getting your walls beautifully finished, and then tripping up on your paint and causing a nasty spill.
Do you enjoy doing DIY or prefer to get the professionals in?
All pictures in the collages are via Pinterest.