How to Choose Which Rooms to Renovate First in Your New Home


After scrimping and saving for a down payment and checking out listing after listing with your real estate agent, you finally found your dream home. While you love your new place and cannot wait to make some improvements, you are admittedly a bit overwhelmed about everything you need to do. From an updated kitchen and bathroom to re-doing your bedroom and family room, you know what you want to do, but you are not sure where to start.

Fear not, brave new homeowner: you do not have to tackle every item on your list at once. Consider the following tips to help guide you on where to start in your home renovation.

Start by Looking at the Big Picture

Before you choose new appliances for your kitchen or tear out an old vanity in your powder room, make sure your home is structurally sound. If you have water leaks, the roof is in bad shape or the foundation needs work, these should be addressed first prior to choosing any room projects. Any work that you do inside your home will be impacted by these issues, so focus on these improvements first. Since you are a new homeowner, any potential structural problems should have been discovered during the home inspection, so you should have a good idea of what needs to be addressed.

Think About Function and What is Missing

A great way to decide which room to remodel first is by assessing what your new home is lacking. This is especially helpful when you are equally excited about improving your bathroom and bedroom. If your bathroom is in pretty decent shape and has adequate storage, but your bedroom has a tiny closet and an annoying wall between the bed and sitting area, the bedroom renovation should probably take priority over the bathroom. By focusing on “needs” versus “wants,” you can trim down your huge to-do list and start with the room that has the biggest “functional deficits.”

Consider Which Rooms You Use the Most

Another effective way to decide which rooms to remodel first in your new home is how often you use them. If you are a devoted fan of takeout food and the local pizza joint knows you and your order by heart, you might not want to redo the kitchen right away. However, if you love cooking and your current kitchen is filled with avocado green appliances, starting with this space makes sense. To avoid financial surprises along the way, research the average kitchen remodel cost; while each project is different, knowing typical prices will allow you to confidently discuss price with your contractor. For example, trim work can run from $1,200 to $3,500, but cabinets really vary in price, from $5,000 to upward of $12,000. Appliances and electrical work fees will also be different, depending on what you select and how much you are having done.

The great thing about home improvement projects is that they do not usually have to be done at once. By addressing any major issues first and then tackling the rooms one by one, you will get those renovations done in a very efficient way.