10 Things to do First for a House That Needs Updating

So you just bought a house that needs updating, because t’s a few steps above a fixer-upper and a few steps below renovated. What should you do first to get the most bang for you buck to make your house look really good without doing major work? We’ll tell you.


10 Things to do First for a House That Needs Updating



Using paint to update your home

use fresh paint on walls for a house that needs updating


1 Remove any outdated and unused fixtures: old doorbell boxes, non-functioning alarms, old AC control panels. You’d be surprised what people leave on the walls and how much it makes your home look uncared for.

2. Repaint the walls. This is one of the quickest, cheapest, easiest ways to update your home and make it feel like yours. We love Benjamin Moore’s colors this year. If you’re new to painting, we’ve got a quick tutorial to help you paint like a pro.

3. Paint your kitchen cabinets and change out the handles. Are the cabinets in the kitchen drab, dirty or too dark? Just like your walls, a fresh coat of paint and updated hardware makes a big impact.

4. Repaint your baseboards, door moldings and window sills. This is a bit more of a project than painting the walls, unless your walls needed major repair. You’ll first need to fill any nicks or dents in your baseboards, moldings and sills with spackle, and then sand to a smooth finish. We’re loving the trend to paint your baseboards a darker hue than your walls.

Cleaning and replacing for a house that needs updating

roman shades to update your home

5. Clean the grout in your tile floors or buff and add a new coat of varnish to your wood floors. Most of us don’t even notice or think about the grout in between tiles, but the difference in appearance when it’s clean and white versus dingy and grey is surprising. And the scratches in a wood floor add up over time. You can always do a full refinishing, though a good buff and shine will improve the look enough until you’re ready to dive into that bigger job.

6. Replace front and back doors. Your front door sets the tone for everyone who enters your home, even you. Maybe especially you. If you like your door, and it’s in good shape, you can repaint it a fun new color (or re-stain it) or you can take it up a notch and install a new front door that’s got a style that suits you and your aesthetic.

curtains are great for a house that needs updating
7. Upgrade your window dressings. This is one of the best ways to update your home. Roman shades, roller blinds, curtains; they all make a huge visual difference in a home. With window dressings, you can go modern, boho or classic to create drama, calm or whimsy and set the tone for the style of your whole house.

8. Tidy up the yard. You may be planning a landscaping remodel project, but in the first couple of months while you get used to you new home and figure out what you want to do with your yards, the easiest way to make a tired yard look better is to clean it up. Trim your trees and any plants or shrubs that are overgrown and unkempt. Oftentimes when the old owner moves out, they leave behind miscellaneous garden things: bricks, out of place stepping stones, garden art, old plant pots. Clean all of this up and it’s a lot like scrubbing the grout. While it didn’t look that bad before, when you’re done, you’ll notice a big difference.

9. Update bathroom counters and sinks. You can get a long way in a bathroom by painting, but if you’re sinks and fixtures are outdated it brings down the look of the whole room. There is no end to the selection of sink stands, sinks and sink hardware you can buy and there are great options out there with a lot of character that won’t break the bank. If you’re not a DIY plumber, you’ll need to hire someone, but if you make sure your new sink and cabinet fit and match your current pipe location, the plumber shouldn’t have to spend too much time hooking everything up. You can also hire a certified handyman through our Ace Handyman Services.

Don’t underestimate a good cleaning to update a home

10. Thoroughly clean the switch and outlet plates – or replace them. If you have an electronics background, you can upgrade from the traditional flip switches to more modern flat, toggle-switches and plates. If not, just a deep clean the old ones will do. While it doesn’t seem like it’s all that noticeable, it’s these little details that add up to making a big overall difference.

replacing light switches


There’s no end to the updates you can make to your home. Start with these though and you’ll feel a sense of newness and ownership, as you start putting your own stamp on your new-to-you house.

Show us what you’re up to @hassettacehardware.

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