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Fox Around the House

DIY Projects to Make a New House Feel Like Home

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 (iStock)

Moving in to a new home is an exciting opportunity, but it can also be a lot of work. After getting unpacked and taking a moment to settle in, it’s time to whip the house into shape. Whether you’re looking to put your own personal touch on a new house, or just want to make sure everything is in tip-top shape, check out some of these DIY projects for new homeowners.

Give Your Home A Checkup

One of the first steps in any new home should be to give the place a checkup. By checking for some of these common problems around the home, you have a great chance to take ownership of the place and practice some DIY skills on easy projects.

The first step should be a quick safety check. Inspect smoke detectors to make sure they are working properly, and check to see that you have carbon monoxide alarms installed and a fire extinguisher on hand. Next, you’ll want to ensure that major equipment is in working order. Take a look at your furnace filter to see if it needs to be replaced. While you’re down there, look around the hot water tanks for signs of leaks or corrosion. If the house came with appliances, you’ll also want to ensure that they are in working order. An probe thermometer can tell you if the oven and fridge are both properly calibrated and maintaining consistent temperatures.

Create an Open Space

There was a time not too long ago when kitchens were spaces of domestic toil that were largely closed off to the rest of the home. These days, however, open-plan kitchens have become all the rage. By knocking out a few walls to connect the kitchen to the dining or living rooms, you can add a brighter and more spacious feel to the kitchen and make it a truly communal space. But before you pick up a sledgehammer and start swinging, take note: knocking down a wall is not for DIY novices. You’ll want to ensure that you’re not removing a load-bearing wall or severing electrical and plumbing lines that are tucked behind the wall. For a big job like this, it’s probably best to call in a contractor, who can do the job right and also make sure that you aren’t violating any local building codes.

Finish a Basement

In many homes, the basement is a cold concrete box that goes largely unused. Sure, maybe it serves as a storage space or laundry room, but by finishing the basement, you can create a warm space that serves multiple purposes. For instance, you can add an extra bedroom — perfect for guests or growing families. Or how about a man cave, home office or games room for the kids? Just because the space is below ground, doesn’t mean it should go to waste.

Plant a Tree

It’s a dead-simple DIY project, but one that will pay off over the years. By planting a tree early on in your new home, you can watch the tree’s growth and use it to track your time there. Twenty-five years from now, when the kids have moved out, you can reminisce about how that towering elm or maple tree was a tiny sapling when you moved in.

Make a Space For the Kids

Many young families moving into new homes discover that the space isn’t exactly kid friendly. But you can change all that with a few simple projects. Transform the backyard into a space for play by building a simple swing set or sandbox. For an easy weekend project, pick up a paint brush and give the walls a facelift with a bright, kid-friendly color scheme. Or you could spur their creativity by picking up a can of chalkboard paint, which allows them to transform an entire wall, or an entire room, into a blank canvas.