Home Improvement for the Beginning Homeowner

One of the upsides of buying a new home is that you can decorate and landscape however you want. Of course, it is still a task. The biggest item affecting how you decorate inside and outside is funds available. What does my budget allow me to do? Once you have your budget, then you have to prioritize what gets done first.

My thoughts on the inside of the home tend to focus on electronics areas only. As long as everyone has a bed to sleep on, we are good for that piece of the house. In the earlier days, budget included the potential use of a credit card. This is not the case anymore. If we can’t pay for it, it doesn’t get done.

Our first project inside was getting an entertainment center built right into the wall. It would be set up where the television fits right into the wall. The outside speakers and stereo system would be routed through the wall and play XM radio outside. My wife picked out a wood color that would be a nice match for the house. The person we hired to do the work was highly recommended. We reviewed all of his different photos. We were impressed.

He took the necessary measurements and started working. After he left the first time, we did not hear from him in about three weeks. He did excellent work but did not communicate well. At the three week mark, he had created some of the framework. It looked great. It took about six more weeks to hear from him again. He got it all done. He did not commit to any time frame and we should have asked for one.

The work was excellent when complete. We were happy. The television looked like it was in a frame and the system synched with everything outside also. That was our first priority project. After this was completed, we started to get grief about having the only backyard that was still dirt. It was very easy to set up tables on dirt for a birthday party we had. It was time to upgrade. The easy part was getting a sprinkler system and some sod put in. We negotiated and contracted the father-in-law to put in sprinkler system. That did the job for the main backyard.
We had slopes around the yard that would need some type of vegetation. We put in a waterfall on one part of the slope. This left about 75% of slope that needed something. A few landscapers stopped by and we came up with some palm trees surrounded by some smaller plants. They looked good as they grew up.

One thing that we always realized was that any work in or around new home was based on budget. After the backyard was squared away, we had to save up again for whatever was next. Our tip for all would be to take care of high visibility needs first. We waited a long time before squaring away the backyard. It should have been completed before anything on the inside is done.