You love the new house that you just purchased. Yet, you’re already thinking of upgrades that you want to make to your new place. That or you’ve started looking at the walls, decor and furniture in your current home and came away feeling bland. If you’re not careful, you could create a long list of home upgrades.

Make major home upgrades without breaking the bank

To get what you want, prioritize home upgrades. This doesn’t mean that you scratch anything off your upgrade list. It means that you consider important factors before you start making home improvements. To begin, ask yourself:

Determine which upgrades are absolutely necessary – Assess the conditions or parts of your house that are out of compliance with local housing codes. These upgrades are a must. Price electricians, plumbers and contractors who specialize in the fields that these improvements are needed in. Move these home upgrades to the top of your wish list.

Spot declining areas – As you walk through your house, you may spot areas that,although still meeting housing codes, are starting to decline. Curling roof shingles, a light coating of water on the basement floor following a hard rain and uneven hardwood floor panels are signs of decay. After you get your entire house up to code, repair and upgrade these areas.

Time is valuable – Consider how much time you have to not only start, but to also finish, home upgrades. This one gets the best handy person. It’s easy to tell yourself that you can add a new bedroom to your home, install a new tub and faucets in your master bathroom and upgrade the cabinetry in your kitchen, all within six months. Then, your job gets demanding, family visits and you volunteer for a project at church. Before you know it, you’ve got a hole in your bathroom floor and have started taking showers in the guest bathroom.Think about how much time you have to take on home upgrades before you start them.

Review your budget – Get honest about the amount of money you have to spend on home upgrades. Money doesn’t magically fall out of the sky. Look at your current expenses, vacation plans and other personal items that you’d like to purchase.If you’re budget doesn’t allow for immediate major home upgrades, make small upgrades. For example, you could paint your house walls and hang new mirrors in  the bathroom and hallways. You could also place decorative throw rugs on the floor and add new floral centerpieces to coffee and end tables.

Home upgrades don’t have to be expensive. They certainly don’t have to put you in debt. To stay debt free while making home improvements, pace yourself. Think about it. If you expect to live in your home for three or more years, you could implement one to two major upgrades a year. Implement smaller upgrades over a weekend. At the end of three years, you may be delighted with upgrades you’ve made to your home.

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