An Expert Reveals Which Renovations You Should Tackle First In Your Home - Exclusive

Many experts warn that there's no such thing as the perfect house. In most cases, such a property will have to be created rather than outright bought — but that's where renovations come in. Whether it's a hidden issue like outdated pipes or a cosmetic one like new kitchen cabinets, a renovation can completely transform your space into a customized and personalized environment.

So while you may not always be able to buy the ideal home, you can certainly create it by remodeling. Plus, renovating your home can build equity, particularly when your take on certain projects; such improvements can increase your home's value if you ever decide to sell it, says Lamont Bros. Design & Construction.

But the question arises of what projects to take on first. Fortunately, we got some expert advice on the subject: Kamil Kowalski, the president of LimakWay, has over 10 years of experience in construction. In an exclusive interview with House Digest, he opened up about the best things to tackle at the outset of your reno. "When renovating a home, the first thing you should do is to take stock of what needs to be done," he explained. "If you don't know where to start, then you should consider hiring a professional."

Tackle the kitchen

If you're planning to update your home, one of the first rooms you should start with is the kitchen, as this is the area that often get the most and heaviest use. Additionally, when renovating this space, it's important to consider both aesthetics and practicality; you want the kitchen to be as functional as possible, which means having the space and tools needed to cook your meals. That's why Kamil Kowalski says to consider this out of the gate. "The first project is updating the kitchen's appliances and countertops," he advised.

For one, selecting updated appliances often means you will wind up with a more efficient and aesthetically-pleasing kitchen. Adding new countertops also allows you to choose a material that's both more attractive and easier to maintain and clean. "These are two areas in which homeowners tend to spend a lot of money on new items, so it's important to make sure that they're current and working properly before spending more money on them," Kowalski continued.

Update your bathroom

After working on the kitchen, Kamil Kowalski suggests renovating the bathroom. This is another area in the home that gets a lot of traffic from everyone living there. "The second project [to take on] is updating your bathroom fixtures and flooring, which will help make your bathroom more functional and attractive with less work than other projects will require," he revealed. Bathrooms are also a place where you have to marry the function and aesthetic of the room. You'll want the bathroom to work for however many people need to use it daily.

Bathrooms are often notorious for surprising homeowners with unexpected costs, too. Updating a shower or bath runs the risk of having to deal with pipes and plumbing, which can quickly increase the price. But cosmetic upgrades like floors and fixtures are easy ways to update the face of the room. Choosing the right flooring especially will improve the function by preventing issues like water damage and mold.

Regular maintenance is important

Not every renovation project needs to result in a major transformation, at least from what you can see. Older homes especially can benefit from maintenance and upkeep, as their systems are often outdated or inefficient. So in cases like these, maintaining your home is just as important as renovating it — and that can mean working on projects behind the walls. "Some other great projects to start with include upgrading the electrical system, replacing old windows and doors, upgrading the heating system, and replacing outdated appliances," Kamil Kowalski shared.

While these tasks may not always make a difference cosmetically, they can greatly benefit your home; they can make it more energy efficient, which can save you money on energy bills each month, for one. These are also base upgrades that will help raise the value of your house if you ever go to sell. They may not be as exciting or fun as cosmetic changes, but they're just as important.

Don't forget the outside

There's one more big renovation that's important to address early on in the process, per Kamil Kowalski. "Also consider the exterior of your home," he explained. It's a valid point, too, as you shouldn't put so much focus on the interior of your space that you forget what people see driving by. The outside of your residence is akin to a first impression, after all, so neglecting it is only doing a disservice to your house regardless of your long-term plans. "A good exterior will make it easier for you to sell your home and get the most value out of it," Kowalski added.

So don't underestimate what a fresh coat of paint or power washing the exterior can do for your façade. Additionally, putting some effort into landscaping and hardscaping can make your property look neat and well-taken care of. In a nutshell, if you're going to put in a lot of work to renovate the interior of your home, the exterior should match.