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Last updated on November 29th, 2022

8 jobs to do in your new home when you first move in

Moving home? We've pulled together all the considerations, priorities and costs for when you first move into a new home. These tips could save you a lot of hassle and further costs down the line.
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The key when you first move into your new home is to carefully consider everything. Take the property for what it is. Don’t rush into making any rash decisions and live in your new home for a little bit. Living in your new home means you can find out all the ins and outs, and your initial ideas may begin to change as you become more familiar with your new surroundings.

When you have a better idea of how the house can be lived in, you can then think about any renovations you want to do.

Changing your locks

One of the first jobs that’s important to do when moving into a new house is to take a look at the locks. For security purposes and peace of mind, it’s always best to get new locks fitted so that you know exactly who has access to your new home.

Locksmiths often charge an hourly rate for jobs, plus the cost of any locks and other materials they need to use. Some will charge a set charge for specific jobs. To change a yale lock, you’re looking at a cost of between £80 – £120. To change all locks, including two exterior doors and windows, you’re looking at a ballpark cost of between £300 – £400.

Take a look at our locksmith cost guide for more information.

Cleaning your home

Before any renovation begins, you may wish to clean every surface in your home, and we would recommend doing so. Moving into a new home is not like moving into rented accommodation; there’s no luxury of an end-of-tenancy cleaned home!

Now would not be a bad time to hire a professional cleaning company to complete a deep clean. The average full house cleaning service cost is £14.50 per hour, and you can expect it to take six hours for a one-off clean. This will vary from house to house. You will be surprised at what a difference it makes to have the house cleaned.

If you have big renovation plans, then be prepared for more dirt and dust to accumulate. This is unavoidable, unfortunately on your new and exciting journey.

Just know, there is always a cleaning company around to help you. Don’t be left overwhelmed by the amount of dust after building works. There are after-builders cleaning services that can deep clean your home to make it homely again. This costs around £23.50 per hour.

Check out some of our other deep cleaning costs.

Don’t forget the gutters!

Don’t be left gutted by your guttering! Blocked gutterings can allow water to seep into places it shouldn’t and cause substantial damage. They may not have been done for a while with the previous owners, so it’s a good idea to get a professional in right away.

Cleaning the gutters is a quick win, and you’re looking at a ballpark cost of £90 for 5m of guttering on a terraced house. For a medium, semi-detached house with 15m of guttering, you’re looking at about £120. Costs will all depend on different factors, such as where you are geographically and how easy to access your gutterings are.

gutter leaves

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Getting your boiler serviced

A boiler is arguably one of the most important aspects of your home, so it’s essential that it’s working efficiently.

Whilst in the process of buying, you may have received or asked for the information on when the boiler was installed and last serviced. If not, then you can always find a boiler professional to take a look. They may suggest you service the boiler. For a gas boiler, you can expect to pay, on average, £100 for a service

If it turns out that you do need a new boiler, then this will be high on your priority list. In fact, it should be your first major job.

If you need a new boiler

We highly recommend that you install a new boiler before completing any kitchen or bathroom renovation. Mostly because if you’re switching from a different central heating system altogether, then it means new pipework and a new location for your boiler.

For example, if you’re switching from a gravity-fed heating system to a combi boiler, it means any tanks in your airing cupboard and loft will be removed, and your piping will be changed. It’s a big job, and you don’t want to install your beautiful new kitchen only to find a tradesperson will need to dismantle it to install a new boiler later down the line.

It will save you money in the long run if you prioritise this first and prevent disruption in your home. And if this is your long-term home, or even ‘forever home’, then it’s a no-brainer – a new, efficient boiler will save you money on your bills too!

Here’s what you can expect to pay for a new boiler:

Type of BoilerAverage cost
Combi Boiler£1,500 + VAT
System Boiler£1,300 + VAT
Conventional Boiler£2,000 + VAT
LPG boiler£1,500 +VAT
Biomass boiler£10,000 + VAT
Condensing boiler£2,500 + VAT
Additional costs
Cost of installation£1,500 + VAT
Wifi-enabled heating controller£200

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

Find a boiler engineer near you.

When looking at your central heating, consider a new thermostat too

Thermostats today are smart. If you want to be fully in control of your heating, then it’s worth checking out smart thermostats such as Hive, Nest, and Tado. Smart thermostats allow you to connect to the home via wifi and give you full control of the heating in your home from a smartphone or tablet.

The average cost of a Hive, Nest, or Tado installation is around £238 for materials and labour.

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Decorating your new home is a given – we all have our own taste, and it’s unlikely that you will find a home with the perfect decor to suit you. This is a job to hold fire on until you know exactly what you’re doing with your home.

If you’re looking to fit a new kitchen and bathroom, or you’re looking to knock a wall or two down, or it turns out you need a new boiler, then you won’t want to decorate before you complete these tasks. Jobs of this size will cause dust, and there is always a chance of accidental damage in the process of moving and removing old units.

Wait until the big jobs are complete before grabbing paintbrushes or hiring a professional decorator.

Painter and decorator pricesUnitPrice range - LowPrice range - HighAverage UK cost
Painter and decoratorPer day£250£400£325
Painting a housePer m2(floor space)£40£60£50
Painting a housePer m2 (wall area)£8£16£12
Painting a medium-sized roomPer room--£400
Painting a 2-bed flatPer flat£1,500£2,500£2,000
Painting a 5-bed house Ea£5,500£7,500£6,000
Painting hallways, landing and stairsEa£1,450£1,750£1,600
Painting ceilingsPer m2£7£10£8.50
Exterior paintingPer m2£15£25£20
Exterior painting a 3-bed semiEa£1,100£1,500£1,300
Exterior painting a 4-bed detachedEa£1,750£2,500£2,000
Wallpapering (labour only)Per m2£12£16£14
Wallpapering a room (labour only)Per room£350£500£450
Painting a door (both sides)Per door£80£100£90
Painting woodworkPer m2£10£15£12.50
Painting radiatorEa£10£20£15

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

If you can make a start, start with your ceilings

If, however, you’re confident about the structure of your home and all the walls are staying, then a good first job to do before moving in all your things is to paint your ceilings. Keep your possessions out of any rooms before painting the ceiling so that no splatter marks will ruin furniture.

At this point, if you’re painting your ceilings and you want coving, this is a great time to do this. For a whole room, you’re looking at a coving cost of about £335 to supply and fit standard coving.

The same goes with your flooring; if you’re not planning on having new flooring installed, then consider at this stage if you want skirting boards.

Checking your fire alarms

Fire alarms are paramount for safety in the home. If there are existing fire alarms in the home, then ensure they are working by getting them professionally serviced. If there are no alarms, then it’s a wise idea to get a professional in to fit fire alarms throughout the home.

The cost of an average domestic fire alarm system installation will be between £50 - £250.

ItemUnitRange - LowRange - HighAverage cost
Laminate flooring (materials only)Per m²£15£80£47.50
Fitting costPer m²£15£25£20
Fitting costPer day£240£300£270
Fitting costPer room£270£450£360
UnderlayPer m²£5£10£7.50

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

Flooring plans

You may be used to looking at floorplans in your search for a new property, but now you need to shift to your actual flooring plans. There are lots of options, from carpets, vinyl, laminate, wood effect or even real wood. You might have a good idea of what you want already (herringbone is very popular at the moment!). If you have pets, you might be more likely to think of those easy-to-clean options of laminate and vinyl.

Either way, whatever flooring type you choose, we recommend completing your flooring before you decorate.

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Is your new home well insulated?

It’s worth getting a professional round to assess the current insulation so they can advise on what to do.

Getting someone in before you start decorating is a good idea to prevent any time and money from being wasted. A well-insulated home means a more efficient home that will save you money in the long term.

A good place to start is to look at the loft insulation and also cavity wall insulation. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that well-fitted loft insulation can save you an average of £150 a year and can also increase the value of your home by up to 16% should you look to resell in the near future. The cost will depend on the type of insulation you choose, whether that’s blanket loft insulation, loose-fill loft insulation, or sheet loft insulation.

Handyperson jobAverage time takenAverage cost +VAT
Flat pack furniture assembly2-4 hours£90
Put up 8 basic shelves in living room 4-8 hours£200
Paint woodwork (skirting boards and door in 4m x 4m room)3-5 hours£95
Picture and mirror hanging1-2 hours£45
Put up curtain rail
1-2 hours£45
Minor electrical work1 hour£60
Minor plumbing work
1 hour£60

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

Loft insulation cost

Hiring a handyperson may be a good idea

A handyperson will be handy by name and nature. They can help you with various smaller tasks that you may wish to complete such as hanging pictures and changing light bulbs and fuses, among many other things.

The average UK hourly rate of a handyperson is £30 per hour, but charges can range depending on their skill set and your location.

It’s worth noting that most handymen have a minimum call-out fee of £40-£50, so you may want to make a list of small jobs you need doing before making the call. 

With this in mind, the average cost to hire a handyman is £80.

You’re not alone on this journey

Moving into a new home can be overwhelming. It may feel as though you have all the weight on you when your to-do list starts to grow. But remember, you are not alone. Friends and family will always be more than willing to support you.

Even better, you have thousands of approved and guaranteed tradespeople available to help here at Checkatrade.

See the tradespeople we've checked and recommend for your job
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Hi Angela, thank you for your comment. To find a window cleaner near you, I recommend entering your postcode in the search bar above, or alternatively, use our request a quote feature to get quotes from three window cleaners near you.

Mrs Angela House

I need a window cleaner. Once every four weeks. My house is double fronted end of terrace with side passage to access back.

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