First time homeowner what where why start where first

+16
Answered
Okay I live in Iowa and bought my house 2012 I need new windows and would like new siding... and I need so many updates throughout my house wall paint carpet ... wood floors would be nice but where do I start definitely know I should start with the siding and Windows for heat/air lowering those bills but not sure who to trust how much to save for the work needing done .... so over helmed on where to start .. again if money weren't an issue I'd just get it done today ....... 2015 well ive updated little by litttle
q first time homeowner what where why start where first, curb appeal, flooring, painting, windows, woodworking projects, my home
my home
q first time homeowner what where why start where first, curb appeal, flooring, painting, windows, woodworking projects, my first demo got new plywood
my first demo got new plywood
q first time homeowner what where why start where first, curb appeal, flooring, painting, windows, woodworking projects, done till i decide a different paint scheme
done till i decide a different paint scheme
q first time homeowner what where why start where first, curb appeal, flooring, painting, windows, woodworking projects, old door and entry way
old door and entry way
q first time homeowner what where why start where first, curb appeal, flooring, painting, windows, woodworking projects, new entry way flooring down
new entry way flooring down
q first time homeowner what where why start where first, curb appeal, flooring, painting, windows, woodworking projects, new front door
new front door
q first time homeowner what where why start where first, curb appeal, flooring, painting, windows, woodworking projects, old door and side lite
old door and side lite
q first time homeowner what where why start where first, curb appeal, flooring, painting, windows, woodworking projects, new door with a spray painted shutter to cover until funds allow me to reside the house
new door with a spray painted shutter to cover until funds allow me to reside the house
q first time homeowner what where why start where first, curb appeal, flooring, painting, windows, woodworking projects
garage doors before
q first time homeowner what where why start where first, curb appeal, flooring, painting, windows, woodworking projects, garage doors after stain
garage doors after stain
  16 answers
  • Chris B Chris B on Jan 07, 2014
    Always start with the roof, if you need a roof!?! Then, I know, replacement windows at the big box home stores, Lowes, Home Depot,etc., are pretty reasonable, and easy to install once you know how. I ( and this is what we did) would start by replacing windows one or two at a time, what ever you can afford....and always buy at least double pane glass windows. If possible ask someone to show you how they put them in, then do the rest yourself. If you are careful you can usually reuse the original trim around the window. Paint is cheap so while picking up a couple windows pick up the paint for the bathroom and the kitchen. You can paint it yourself saves money. Flat paint hides less than perfect walls, but the hardest to clean. Satin finish is next, It's what I use on all walls, and High Gloss is good for moldings and trim work. Siding is very very expensive, but you could always think about having your home insulated, that really helps on the bills and should be done before doing the windows. A good local handyman is a good bet but ask for references and check them out.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jan 08, 2014
    There are a lot of things you can do to "cover" bad walls such as texture paint and beadboard instead of having to re-sheetrock or float out old. If you have an old fashioned color in the bathroom you do not particularly want but changing it out is not your priority right now, you can play "into" it. keep in mind that white goes a long way to soften colors. Try to keep things simple and work with what you have that is sturdy. Clean and sturdy works every time. a home is a long, lifetime process...enjoy the journey!

  • We just bought a fixer upper - although I had the downstairs floors restored - I am painting all the upstairs floors - the savings are huge - and painted floors can be beautiful - ( and cost effective )

  • First question is how old is the house. Next is do you have the right insulation i.e. r 13 in walls and R 32 or higher in the attic. This is relativity inexpensive to fix ( way cheaper and more effective than windows) and will give you a quick pay back. You will also get a rebate from the IRS

  • P.S. if you need a roof start there and get a white one. ie the sun

    • Packrat Packrat on Jan 09, 2014
      @Gene McCormick Construction Living in Iowa, white is not as good an option as it would be in CA. You WANT the sun in cold areas. I live in MO, and have a medium brown color. Its not drastic for hot or cold times

  • Diane Woods Diane Woods on Jan 08, 2014
    If you can afford it, I'd invest in things that will add the most value, and save you money at the same time. Wood rot, new roof also, but only if it needs it desperately. Then pick one room that doesn't cost a lot to finish inside. Maybe the bedroom. That way you see progress inside, and have an escape to plan your next DIY.

  • Jennifer Bender Jennifer Bender on Jan 08, 2014
    @gene my house is built in 1977-78 my roof new when I purchased my home added in my loan bc it needed it then. insulation looked good in the attic, my windows have storm windows are all single pane and some have a lock on the windows that don't line up to make them more air tight. and the plastic trim iis so brittle around the trim it breaks easily so I try not messing with the screens unless I have to for repair but in most cases cause more damage grrr.....

  • Jennifer Bender Jennifer Bender on Jan 08, 2014
    on the other hand my neighbor just put the new siding on his (less upkeep) he had no house wrap which he said he can really feel the difference since he updated .... I don't think I can do my own windows .... I stressed out over putting a new door in with a family friend ... I think I have beadboard on my house now some areas has rot arnd the garage door a window and around the old front door. and im not sure when it has been last updated or panted.,,i think my house has settled a bit I also have a crack in the drywall in a few areas not sure how to fix that yet but im learning im just trying to plan financially.

    • @Jennifer Bender Watch for companies that offer low cost windows. Here in VA there are several who advertise $169 and up for windows. That is a good price since a normal window at Lowe's or Home Depot can be about $129. For now you could use plastic to keep air out and with the shrink plastic window kits it is not that noticeable.

  • Jennifer Bender Jennifer Bender on Jan 08, 2014
    so what are things that put or add value to a house indoor and out

    • @Jennifer Bender the kitchen is the room that adds the most value along with bathrooms. You need to think long term goals. In 17 years I have renovated 3 homes and built 1. I found that you have to have a plan! Or stress will get to you. Personally I did my kitchen almost last and now I regret that but Kitchens are the most expensive to renovate.

  • Diane Woods Diane Woods on Jan 09, 2014
    Did you have an inspection done when you bought the house, and did it reveal deficiencies in the home? If so, those should be addressed first. If systems (electric, plumbing, water and weather protection - like roofing, siding and windows, etc. ), aren't working correctly, they may become worse and be the biggest problem if you want to/have to sell down the road. Those are what is inspected in the home selling process that can detract from selling price. It's also what can save you the most money, long term as you continue to live in the home. I would say whichever is the worst, you address first. Other top investments to yeild the biggest return are curb appeal, adding square footage, and kitchens and bathroom updates. Cosmetic investments are the lowest in the priority in terms of importance, especially if you plan to stay in the house for awhile. That being said, I always tell my buyers to pick one inexpensive room to at least paint, so they can see, and live in something to keep them motivated and enjoy.

  • Is it just you? kids? husband? Start with the bedrooms since they are the are the rooms with the least amount of renovations costs. Paint. Get them comfortable so you have a retreat at the end of the day. Then do your family/living room so you have a place to sit and relax with family and friends. Then tackle a bathroom and if paint is the only thing to do then find a color that will please you or your family. Painting vanities, new mirrors, new light fixtures, and painting the walls will make a dramatic difference for under $100. Just remember that color can evoke emotional responses--like red stimulates and you do not want red in a bedroom. To make a home flow you need to have your eye wander from room to room--think about walking into your home and one color throughout the home balances out--like neutral walls and have splashes of color in each room with your furniture or accessories. If you want one room to have color then make sure that the rest of the rooms coordinate. Start looking through Hometalk & HGTV website for ideas too. There are many things you can do to hide imperfections. Work with what you have if on a budget. Take pictures of each room and each wall with measurements and put in a folder to carry with you. Carry paint, fabric, or tile samples with you when you make a trip to the store. Trust me when I say that you will not remember what color that darn throw pillow is when you get to the hundreds of paint samples LOL

  • Shari Shari on Jan 09, 2014
    Believe me, I completely understand the overwhelmed feelings! Four years ago, we bought a house on a 30 acre horse farm. Everything--house, barns, property--had been neglected for a long time and we are still working our way through a very, very long list of repairs and improvements. For us, replacing broken/unsafe fencing, mowing and clearing acres and acres of over-growth, and getting the barns ready for our horse boarding business was our #1 priority. Inside the house, removing old wallpaper, fresh paint and new flooring was at the top of the "Do Immediately" list. Yes, we could also use new, more energy efficient windows too but that's on our "Some Day" list. The fresh paint, flooring, and a complete kitchen and 1 bathroom remodel (during year 2) was way more important to me than windows. Even a new front door (a pretty one with glass to let light into my dark foyer) is on my "wish" list before new windows. You might want to sit down and make a list of everything you would like to do to your house. Include anything and everything you would do if money were no object. From that list you (and only you) can decide which repairs and improvements are most important to you now, and what will have to come later when your budget allows. It is perfectly okay to let your emotional well-being determine the order of some of your improvements/repairs. Example: I do a lot of cooking so for me, a pretty and efficient kitchen did more for my day-to-day happiness and contentment than replacing windows that are a bit drafty. I will say one thing that seems to ALWAYS make a huge improvement for very little money is fresh paint. Of course, as a homeowner, you will always be faced with unexpected repairs and expenses that dictate the order in which you do things. Last spring our central air conditioning unit died. We knew it was living on borrowed time but had hoped it would last a few more years. Since we cannot go without air conditioning here in Florida, once it died, replacing it ($5,000) had to suddenly be moved to the top of the "To Do" list whether we were ready or not. And, as a result, a few other things got pushed further down the list. To find reputable repair people, contractors etc., ask friends, relatives, co-workers, neighbors etc., for recommendations. Word of mouth from satisfied customers is the best advertising a business can get. Get at least 2 or 3 estimates for each job you are hiring out. Check with your local Better Business Bureau for any complaints against companies or people you are considering doing business with. Good luck!

  • Moxie Moxie on May 14, 2014
    I would make the house watertight as number 1 priority to insure other interior fixes dont get damaged. Alot of things canbe sealed with calking pending future main projects. For many interior updates you can paint (specially those stairs! ) for now and add more expensive options lateras time goes on. Example, the door looks fine...replace the jamb and calk and reset the existing door. Redo all exterior calking, etc. Just my 2 cent : ). Good luck with all you will luv the results of all your hard work when your done!

  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on May 23, 2014
    I bought an older home in Michigan (a1950's ranch in October 2000.) It needed most everything redone. I found I worked with the seasons, working outside from spring through Fall, inside during the snowbound winter months. Circumstances required that FIRST we replace the septic and drain field. Then I picked out my flooring and spent the winter painting interiors. When spring arrived I started working outdoor again on our landscaping-a DYI project and exterior painting. That worked for me. We have lived in the Small House Under a Big Sky now for 13 years. Our remodeling and landscaping continues. It takes a long time for some of us on small budgets!

  • Colleen Colleen on May 23, 2014
    I agree with White Oak-get the most immediate item taken care of (even though it may be expensive). If the windows are an issue and they are as old as the house, you may want to start there. Some window companies will give a discount on the number of windows ordered. If you live near a window manufactureing company, check out their "discounted windows" (kind like the oops paints at a paint store). Remember "Rome wasn't built in a day" so make up a to-do-list, and take your time.

  • PAULA PAULA on Jun 01, 2015
    If you have a Habitat ReStore nearby, BECOME A REGULAR! It's a great place to find all kinds of hardware, flooring, appliances, lighting, plumbing - furniture - doors, cabinets, sinks --- you name it - it get's donated!! (I even found a huge river raft there!) My favorite find was a mid-century modern birch dresser. It's beautiful. You buy it for cheap and the money is used for Habitat for Humanity. Win/Win!!