Home Improvements to Make Before you Move-in

Improving your new home is possibly the last thing that comes to your mind when you have a mountain of pre-relocation tasks such as downsizing, packing, and hiring national moving companies on your to-do list. However, it is actually best to tackle home upgrades before relocating, especially, when your new place is free from family and furniture.

It is reported that within three months of relocating, 53% of homeowners renovate their place and spend up to $4,550 on different projects. Numerous projects are much easier to complete when the home is empty, not minding which types of projects you need to execute.

It is possible you will need to undertake some home improvements in your newly purchased home before you can clearly call it your own as it is a resale or rented apartment.

Before you relocate into your new place, all the homeowners surveyed realized there are some home improvements to make. You may, however, not know where to begin if you are purchasing your first home.

Find out all about home improvements you should make before you relocate into your new place by making use of our guide. This guide aims to expose you to those essential improvements your home may need before it becomes your own. However, let’s handle the first thing first.

Home Improvements to Make Before you Move-in

In this article

Preparing to Purchase a New Home?

Before you can think of a home improvement, you should purchase the home first. One of the biggest investments you will make in a long time is purchasing a home.

Choosing a home with a good location should always be considered. The price of a home with a good location may vary. You will have to be sure about your investment before you sign the final contract.

You may need to check everything if you choose to purchase an older home. Everyone tries as much as possible to avoid getting into a new home where there are many hidden problems that need fixing.

However, for everybody that becomes a homeowner, surprise home improvements to make before you relocate are widely known the other hand.

Consider hiring a professional to help you, so as to avoid losing money when purchasing your new home. The best option for the job would be a reliable contractor or property inspector.

They will issue the official report after they check out your future investment in detail. If there are any hidden or masked faults or damages that require later repairs, the report will show them in detail.

The total cost for the repair will also be made known by the contractor. The truth is that; the value of the home you buy determines the level of improvement to make.

When is the Best Time to Do Home Improvements?

Many of the home improvements to make before you move-in are very easy. It is, however, difficult to complete these small repairs after your relocation. A full moving truck containing moving boxes will be unloaded by your moving company to your home. A

All of the corners and space in your home will be filled and crowded by this. You will have to suspend home improvements until you pack in such a situation.

Just from packing essential possessions on a relocation day, you may really get tired, as it may be too stressful. That period, however, may not be the best time to start making home improvements.

Listing the entire small home improvements and getting it done before you move-in is the best thing to do. You won’t have to worry about your inability to complete all the little tasks when your home is overcrowded with moving boxes or on time.

Before you start making small home improvements and repairs, it is advisable to declutter your possessions from previous tenants.

Decluttering comes first before engaging in those home improvements prior to moving in. It is also in your best interest to lose non-essential possessions in your attic, garage, etc.

Most of the materials you are no longer need will be recycled while some of it will be disposed of by garbage removal professionals as well.

Important Home Improvements to make before Moving

List of things home buyers would like to improve in their new properties already exist.  Some home improvements are much easier-and cheaper-to get done before relocation day while most of it can be pushed off until after recovering from the relocation and its associated costs.

Below is a list of home improvement to make before you move:

1. Get Rid of the Popcorn Ceiling

Average cost: $1.50 – $3.00 a square foot

The homes built from the 1950s and 1980s has a heavily-textured (which may contain asbestos added to it until the 80s) ceiling popularly known as cottage cheese or popcorn ceiling which was painted on or sprayed on.

It is highly recommended to consult a professional before attempting to remove the ceiling if your home was built before the 1980s.

Before work begins, a professional painter or contractor will test a sample of the ceiling first. Premium payment for disposal may be required if the texture comes back positive for this toxic material. Due to the toxicity, asbestos removal should only be done by a licensed professional.

It is very easy to remove a popcorn ceiling. Spraying water on the texture to soften the material helps makes it easier to scrape off with a putty knife.

This process is best done while no humans or furniture are occupying the space as it is terribly messy even though it is technical. Plastic sheeting will be hung throughout the space to protect the carpeting, woodwork, and flooring.

The ceiling should get a coating of mud and then sanded, primed, and painted after the texture has been scraped off. It should take a few days to a week to complete this project depending on the amount of removal, touch up, and painting.

2. Replace Major Appliances

Average Cost: Depending on the type of appliances serviced, costs may vary.

Once you move in, major appliances such as heating and cooling systems, dryers, and washers or kitchen appliances can be replaced. Some of these appliances may, however, require extra work like ventilation, plumbing, or ducting.

Prior to moving in, if you have concerns about particular appliances, hire a professional to come for a home assessment. The work that needs to be done and advice on how disruptive these home improvements maybe will be discussed by this professional.

3. Remove Asbestos

Average Cost: Depending on the type of asbestos, costs may vary.

Most homeowners are frightened when the word ‘Asbestos’ comes up. Derived from a mineral fiber found in rocks and soil, asbestos is still being used in some environments to this present day.

Asbestos is used in a wide variety of applications such as ceiling tiles, coatings, and roofing because it is very strong, an excellent insulator, and can withstand high degrees of heat.

Asbestos was commonly used on ceilings to create a heavily-textured coating until 1978, and it acted as a sound absorber and did a great job hiding any kind of ceiling imperfections. Environmental Protection Agency reported that asbestos might be found in the following places:

  • Wall insulation and Attic produced containing vermiculite
  • Adhesives backing on vinyl sheet flooring and vinyl floor tiles
  • Siding shingles and roofing
  • Patching compounds and textured paint used on wall and ceilings
  • Floors and walls around wood-burning stoves protected with millboard, cement sheets or asbestos paper.
  • Steam pipes and hot water covered with an asbestos blanket or tape or coated with asbestos material
  • Door gaskets with asbestos and insulation and coal oil furnaces
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Automobile brakes and clutches

When the material is removed or dislodged, the risk of exposure to asbestos definitely occurs. In other words, a professional asbestos consultant should first test the remodeling projects that involve demolition.

4. Refinish Flooring or Install Carpet

Average cost: $3.50 – $4.50 a square foot to nicely refinish hardwood floors.

It is much easier to perform refinishing floors, tearing up and replacing old flooring, or installing carpet before the furniture is moved into place, even though it can be done after you move in.

Although more efficient for the professionals working on the home, doing all the rooms at once may be more expensive in material cost; meaning that hiring a crew several times is more expensive than hiring a crew at once.

You can also have your flooring contractors fix any other damaged sub-flooring areas or replace the baseboard trim while your home is still empty.

5. Paint

Average cost: Depending on the scope of the project, professional painters may charge per hour, per square foot, or per room.

Having done enough painting projects, most homeowners know that it’s far easier to paint a room with no furnishings in it.

Before moving in, if you plan to paint most of the rooms in your new home or plan on any special painting projects, it would be best to complete the task before moving in.

To avoid long-term off-gassing, choose a low VOC paint if possible. Before sleeping in the home, you will want to make sure it has been well ventilated even with low-VOC paint

6. Fencing

Average cost: Approximately $450 to $600 per 25 linear feet.

If your new property does not have an existing fence, you might want to consider erecting a fence if you are the private type or you have young children or pets who like to run free in the backyard.

To make your new house feel like home even before you open the front door, having your indoor and outdoor space optimized for livability before you open the front door goes a long way.

This is not an easy thing to do at an undetermined date after your move, as some people do think it is. Get the fence of your yard done as soon as possible if you plan to, so it doesn’t get pushed down on the list of things to do.

This is one project you should get started on as soon as you can, you may need to file a permit in order to build a fence.

7. Baby-proofing

Average Cost: The average cost of baby-proofing of a 2-story home: $1,000 – $2,500

It is a very overwhelming task trying to relocate into a new home, organize, set up furniture, decorate, and clean. If you are attempting to do this with a curious toddler or baby underfoot, it’s overwhelming. Consider baby-proofing the home first before relocating into your new home.

This is usually a do-it-yourself project that includes tasks such as ensuring windows have locks, making cabinets child-proof, moving toxic products out of reach, protecting sharp edges, and setting up baby gates. You can look up for a professional childproofing expert to handle the task if you don’t have an idea of how it is done.

8. Changing Locks

Average Cost: Average hourly rate for a locksmith: $50.

To eliminate the risk of any former key-holders accessing your new place now is the time to change the locks on your new home. Even if you know the former key-holders, go ahead and change the lock as you never know whom they shared keys with. You get peace of mind with this inexpensive and quick fix.

9. Ensure the Mailbox is Secure

Average cost: This is should around $100 – $250

Checking the security of your mailbox is as important as forwarding your mail. Purchasing and installation of a lockable mailbox for your home are easier than ever to purchase, and it is very important, especially if you have a transitional time during your relocation and expect your mail to be delivered few days before you will be in your new place.

10. Set up your Utilities

Average Cost: Depending on the type of size of the home, costs may vary.

You will want to make sure your utilities are set up and functioning properly before you relocate, even though this may sound like a no-brainer.

It is just a matter of contacting your local service providers and letting them into the home for many homeowners.

However, you may want to have a professional installer add extra data or cabling to your home if you have purchased an older home.

11. Smoke and Alarm Systems

Average cost: $20 – $40 for a new smoke alarm

It is very much important to ensure carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors and other alarm systems are properly installed and functioning well before you and your family move-in, as you may not know your way around the home.

Your first night in the new home may not be normal, and you may as well not be as careful about turning off electronic appliances which may cause most frequent relocation day chaos dangerous for your family. Fire extinguishers should also be purchased right from the first day in the new home.

12. Heating and Cooling Filters

Average Cost: Depending on the type of home system, costs may vary.

It can cost you a huge amount of money when using a heating or cooling system with an old or faulty filter that may cause the system not to work as expected or worse, or break.

A fresh filter will provide you with greater protection against having to replace the heating or cooling system itself, which is not so cheap or easy, and also provide you with cleaner air. This filter is easy, cheap, and can be installed on your own.

13. Leaks

Average Cost: Depending on the level of leaks, costs may vary.

If left untreated, any leak can cause major damage over time no matter the size. So don’t waste time in getting it repaired if your home inspector called your attention to a leak.

Untreated leaks expose your home to a host of problems, such as mildew, rotating surfaces, and mold in addition to water damage.

If you’re not living in the property at the time, treating the leak could result in a disruption of your water services, which is not so bad.

14. Cleaning the Home Inside and Outside

Average Cost: Average cleaning cost for a two bathroom, three bedrooms home: $175 per visit.

You and your family may still want to make sure that the bathrooms, bedrooms, and kitchens are rigorously cleaned before moving-in your possessions and food, even though the previous homeowners may have had home professionally cleaned, surfaces such as inside cabinetry and above appliances may be included in your cleaning.

To remove food particles and germs, cleaning the refrigerators will be important. To remove dust, lint, and dirt, don’t forget to clean behind the appliances.

A great time to wash the inside and outside of your windows and have your carpets cleaned is before you move-in furniture.


Relocation is a big task, and it’s mostly joined with complications and added expenses. You can do your future self a huge favor by taking care of these types of home improvement projects before you move-in, even though you cannot prepare for every scenario. Doing most of these home improvements before the move will save you a lot of time and frustration, and as well as money. What do you think about improving your home before you move? Let’s have your views in the comment box!

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