Home Improvement Guidelines

In this article:

We know you’re excited to start adding your personal touch to your new home. While you can jump right into hanging family photos and picking paint colors, there are some projects that’ll need to wait until your home is officially transferred to your name.

Here’s a look at some updates you can make right away:

  • Paint the home’s interior or exterior
  • Install new flooring
  • Replace hardware and fixtures (i.e., new lighting, faucets, etc.)
  • Install new cabinets or countertops
  • Resurface the driveway or add landscaping
  • Install a deck that’s 30 in. or less above ground

If you’re using a general contractor for any work, make sure they’re licensed and have at least $1M of general liability insurance coverage. The contractor must also provide a Certificate of Insurance (COI) that names Orchard Homes, LLC as an “additional insured.” Lastly, make sure your updates are allowed under any local regulations and HOA rules that might apply.

On the flip side, there are some things you’ll need to avoid until after your home is officially transferred into your name. For example, you can’t install any equipment that’s subject to a third-party lease, like an HVAC unit or solar panels.

You should also avoid any major renovations that require a city permit, such as:

  • Major electrical work (e.g., change the central panels)
  • Major plumbing work (i.e., anything beyond replacing fixtures)
  • Any site work (e.g., build retaining walls)
  • Building an addition or remove/add walls
  • Converting any room (e.g., turn the garage into an office)
  • Adding or repairing fencing
  • Installing a deck that’s more than 30 in. above ground
  • Replacing or installing windows
  • Changing the home’s entrance or exit
  • Demolishing of any part of the home

Have any questions about your new home?

You can always reach the Orchard team at newhome@orchard.com

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