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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey everybody!

i bought my first small condo here in socal, 3 bdr, 1 bath, 850sqft, 1 story on the 2nd flr. looked nice when i purchased but when i moved in it was a mess!

i have very little to no experience in home remodeling and interior design, not really the fashion, creative type at all :(

so, my question is, where the heck do i start?!?! to think about furniture, paint, small repairs, remodeling, cleaning, etc.... is sooo daunting!! so, does anybody have any advice? if i'm starting from scratch, where should i start? w/ paint and repairs, then furniture? should i choose colors now, or let it evolve??

i've attached pics of what it looked like before the previous owner moved out and it doesn't look nearly as nice after they left! walls are dirty, doors have griime around the handles, things dont shut properly, etc, etc.
 

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start with the easier jobs like cleaning and painting. a fresh coat of paint will give an immediate boost to the look and feel and cleanliness of the place. plus, you'll feel like you've accomplished something and can then move on to the trickier jobs that will undoubtedly take more time and some trial and error as you learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
that doesn't look that bad to me. you should see my place haha
well, these were the photos posted by the realtor, yeah i thought looked nice too. but after they moved out.... wwow. all the doors have dirt grime stains around the knobs, walls are filthy, none of the blinds work, holes in the walls (that were covered by posters previously), and on and on.
 

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Too Short? Cut it Again!
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Definitely come up with a a completer list of what you have want or have to do and then assign priorities to it. Some things have to happen in sequence. You are going to have to clean and do any wall repairs before you paint anyhow so you might as well get that out of the way. Make sure to do ceilings too. Carpets and floors as well.

If cleaning is not your thing, you may find hiring one of the national companies or even a local cleaning company cheaper than buying all the household chemicals--they will bring everything and the equipment.

You will want to make any drywall repairs, swtich out broken switch plates and so forth. I guess if the blinds are all not working you need to replace those. The online blind companies have really great prices.

Then decide if you need flooring changes and of course paint color. Go room by room as far as adding furniture and so forth and don't go crazy buying stuff you don't like to just to have something unless you need it to sit or sleep on.

Give yourself some time. And think it through. You know, a reasonably accurate floorplan is always a good thing to have and easier to scale when you don't have to measure around stuff in a room. Sweet Home 3D is one of the best computer programs I have found for actually drawing them and it is FREE and open source software with extra symbol sets you can download for furniture and so forth.

And do budget for nice paint and tools. And get them from a paint store, not a box store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks sd. i had about 2 weeks before between when i got the keys to when i had to move in so i did a thorough cleaning and painted 1bdr, kitchen and living room. i wish now i just hired somebody to make it move in ready, ie clean, paint at the least.

do you guys all DIY as a hobby or to save money. do you folks enjoy doing this stuff? i think i would if i didn't have school and work and raising my kid to worry about.
 

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As mentioned, start with things that are relatively easy to do, like painting. If you're not sure of how to do something on your list, buy the appropriate book and learn about it. When it comes to electrical things, if you are the slightest bit uncomfortable about something, don't do it.

When I bought my first house in 1976, I had never done anything DIY except paint my room when I was a kid. Two years ago and nine houses later, my wife and I built our log home virtually by ourselves (everything but metal roof, foundation, and HVAC).
 

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Stay-at-home GC
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LOL. Yeah, I look back on things I did 10 or 15 years ago and shake my head.

My first house I actually paid a guy to fix a crack in the drywall. That's OK though, we learn as we go.

Books, Books and More Books. Get a library card. Check out Google Books. You can find a lot of older books on there for free and they often have much better information than some of the newer "Infotainment" Glossy Photo books at the BB Stores.
 

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sweaty
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Your place looks up to date. Clean, declutter, repair, maintain, and make it energy efficient by sealing and insulating. Put in closet organizers. Use quality materials, paint, and equipment because that is what you're left with after jobs are done. Peruse the hardware stores and these forums. You'd be surprised how much you can do yourself and avoid getting scammed by asking questions. Contractors can put you in the poorhouse.
 
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