When Do You Consider A Place Move-In Ready?

updated Mar 11, 2020
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(Image credit: Anna’s “After After” Paint Job)

In all my years of apartment renting, moving-in was a rushed, desperate attempt to get out of whatever storage unit/friend’s basement/truck I was stranded in—though I did always manage to scrub down each apartment first. Now that we’re renovating a house, the move-in-ready question is trickier…

When we first began work on the house, it was put forward that we didn’t necessarily need to have the walls painted before we moved our stuff in. My response was something like, “Oh, please no, I’ll do anything, just let me get them painted first, I’ll start painting right now!” I desperately did not want to paint around piles of possessions while attempting not to ruin our furniture. Luckily (ha!), the house has proven to be a big project, so there’s been plenty of time for me to get all 8 rooms, 1 floor, and 1 staircase painted!

We now find ourselves at the cusp of move-in ready, but we’d like ALL of the following in place first:

  • All rooms painted √
  • All flooring installed √
  • All plumbing installed (definitely shower and sinks, dishwasher optional) √
  • Potable water
  • Vents (bathroom, range hood) wired in and vented through attic
  • Construction dust cleaned off all surfaces
  • Kitchen countertops and back-splashes installed

When all of those are done, we’ll be able to cook, drink water, take showers, wash dishes, sleep in non-fumey, non-concrete-dust-filled rooms, and have all of the various holes in the walls/ceilings/floors closed up. There are still a million things to do—sand and paint the exterior doors, install shelving, hang hooks/towel bars, buy/make/install window coverings, etc.—but all of the dramatic, noisy, mess-generating work will have been completed… fingers ever-so-crossed.

What do you prefer to have taken care of before you move in?