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What DIY skills do you need when moving home?

If you’re planning on buying a house, it’s a good idea to match your DIY skills with the type of home you choose to buy.

Whether you’re a zero or a hero when it comes to DIY, here’s a quick rundown of the odd-jobs and big projects you may encounter as a house buyer.

For a new build home

Thankfully, if you’re buying a brand new house, you can get away with having virtually no DIY skills. The house will be ready to go as soon as you move in, and although some basic skills will come in handy, they’re not essential.

If you choose to do a DIY removal by hiring a van, you simply need to be well organised with your packing and unpacking, while being careful with heavy lifting. It’s also worth knowing how to use a drill and hammer for putting up shelves and safely hanging pictures and mirrors, or finding a family member who can do it for you. Basic painting and decorating skills are also handy if you want to be creative and give your property your own personal touch.

As the months and years go by, you may need to perform basic maintenance on your new home, like clearing the gutters, changing the lightbulbs and keeping the garden in check.

Other DIY maintenance tasks include:

  • Assembling flat-pack furniture
  • Testing your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Resealing the shower
  • Making sure rooms are well ventilated
  • Bleeding radiators
  • Putting up shelves

Barratt new builds are protected by a NHBC Buildmark Warranty which gives you a 10-year structural warranty and a 2 year fixtures and fittings warranty as standard.

For an older home

If the house you’re buying is a few years or even decades old, you’re likely to need more DIY expertise. Some jobs might need doing immediately, such as putting up curtains, fixing doors or looking at issues in the kitchen or bathroom(s). You might also need to do bigger jobs like upgrading the kitchen or replastering walls. These jobs are much bigger and it helps to have good DIY knowledge or extra budget so that you can get professional help in.

You’re best looking online for professional help, whether that’s in local community groups on Facebook or on search engines. You could also ask for recommendations from friends, family or neighbours.

Even if your older home is in relatively good condition, most people will want to dedicate a couple of weeks to redecorating. Although it’s a basic job, it can be very costly and time consuming, so make sure you’re prepared. 

Remember that it’ll take longer to ensure an older home suits your tastes compared to a new build property. Additionally, buying off-plan means you’ll have to do even less, as you can choose your preferred furnishings as the build takes place.

With an older property, you’ll be moving into a home which has been designed with somebody else’s taste in mind, meaning you’ll have to factor in time for decoration and DIY. To achieve this, you might need to think about flexible working so that you can stay on schedule, while you’ll have to consider the safety of children and pets as the work is taking place. 

Which is right for you?

If your DIY skills leave a lot to be desired, it’s worth thinking about moving into a new build home where you can slowly grow your skills over the years that follow, rather than being thrown in at the deep end.

If you’re a first time buyer, it’s worth keeping the process as simple as possible, so you can turn your house into a home with minimal fuss and stress. 

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