You’ve just bought your dream home. Now’s the time to add some personal touches to make it your own, like painting the interior walls and installing new flooring. Most people complete these home renovations right when they get a new home.
Why not get started before you move in? An empty house means your furniture won’t be in danger of spilled paint or other damage — plus you or your contractors can take advantage of open space. And most importantly, you and your family can limit exposure to renovation dust and odors that can be hazardous to your health.
So, as tempting as it is to move in right away, try tackling these three home improvement projects before the moving trucks show up.
1. Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling
Remodeling the kitchen is a priority for many homeowners when moving into a new home. There are many simple ways of personalizing and revitalizing outdated looks, like adding new appliances, countertops and vanities, changing out fixtures and hardware, or replacing or refacing the cabinets.
But if you’re going to install new or refaced cabinets and you’re going to finish them on site, make health a priority. The formaldehyde used in cabinet glues will be released into your home (what’s known as “off-gassing”) for a long time, so choose cabinets labeled NAUF (No Added Urea Formaldehyde)
During finishing, contractors and homeowners should properly ventilate the house and wear a respirator
2. Painting The Walls
Changing the color of the rooms in your home is a simple project that can personalize your home for little cost. But take precautions, Unless you use low- or no-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paints, you are polluting the indoor air with volatile organic chemicals — such as benzene or formaldehyde — that you really don’t want to breathe in. Low- or no-VOC paints are available in many colors and price points, so making them a priority is easy
3. Flooring Installation & Refinishing
In a new-to-you home, you might be lucky enough to find something salvageable underneath that old carpeting. But in many cases, the floor will need to be refinished. If you do it yourself, take precautions when prepping, sanding and applying the new finish. Open all the windows and put up barriers to contain dirt and debris for easy cleanup.
Note that a water-based finishing system will produce significantly less smog than an oil-based system, which will off-gas for six months to a year, A water-based system, on the other hand, may off-gas for only 48 hours.
If you opt for installing a new carpet, be aware that it actually gives off a lot of fumes. It’s one of the big nasties when it comes to off-gassing, Look for wool as opposed to synthetics and a floor underlayment with low VOCs(Volatile Organic Compounds). If the house already has carpet, be sure to get it professionally cleaned (you don’t even want to think about the dead skin cells and mites that might be lurking within).
Moving can be stressful enough — make it less complicated by getting some of your home improvement projects out of the way before all the boxes and furniture get in the way.