While purchasing and moving into your new home is a major achievement and milestone in and of itself, it’s rarely the end of the struggle, because you can’t simply buy the home of your dreams. Rather, you’ll have to build it yourself, or at least renovate your existing home to make it just right. On the other hand, a newly purchased home can be objectively insufficient due to negligence on behalf of the previous owners. Here’s what you need to know to make your house a home.

Maintenance

The first thing you need to do before even buying a home is to have it inspected. This can protect you from paying your hard earned money for a home that will or already does need costly repairs to be made livable. Even with this in mind, you may have to settle for a home in suboptimal condition for the sake of your budget or time constraints. In these cases, making those repairs is crucial. Consider using smoke testing to root out and repair cracked pipes that can lead to leaks and, eventually, water damage. Likewise, a cracked foundation can be a major problem. What’s worse is that these examples and many others are insidious, because they often take quite a while to become noticeable problems, but when they do, they can be catastrophic. Dealing with them immediately is ideal.

Renovation

With maintenance out of the way, you’re prepared to start making more transformative changes in pursuit of a house that perfectly suits not only your needs, but also your tastes. Because tastes are subjective, it’s up to you to find the right projects for your dream home, but some general guidelines can’t hurt. For example, renovating your home with energy efficiency in mind is a great way to save money while also beautifying your living space. The inclusion of more natural light via more or larger windows, or even a skylight, can cut down on electricity costs during the day while making your home a much more relaxing space. Another great angle for creating a dream home is by livening up the exterior of the home via landscaping. Including a flower garden with stone pathways can elevate your property even further, and it can also give you an ideal locale for a dinner party with friends.

Finding the home of your dreams may be impossible, but these tips can help you make it yourself.