Save Money and Take Pride in the Work that you do
Home ownership is a joyful step in life that can come with many changes, many of which include maintenance of the home. If you’ve been renting an apartment or a house for several years before buying a home of your own there are likely a number of tasks you’ve never had to worry about because a management team has always maintained the property. Now it’s your turn, we’ve put together a list of 6 tasks that every homeowner should know how to do, many of which you can find videos online teaching you how to complete them.
- Figure out how to change the air filters
If you’re moving from rental to a home of your own, it’s likely that the landlord or management company took care of the air filter in your home. Well now that job falls on you, it’s important to change your air filters ever three to six months if you don’t have pets or allergies; if you do you should be changing it every 30 to 90 days to maintain air quality. If the home is new construction, consider changing the filter every 2-3 weeks for the first few months to clear out any leftover drywall dust.
To change the filter all you need to do is locate the HVAC unit in the home and look on the side of the filter in place to determine the size you need. You’ll be able to pick up a new one at most major box stores. Once you have a new filter, pull out the old one and slip the new one into place, dispose of the old and you’re all set. You’ll keep your HVAC unit running smoothly and save on energy bills, while maintaining good air quality in your home.
- How to Turn off the Water Supply
Water is one of the most common causes of damage in homes, so it makes sense that you should know how to turn the water supply off quickly to stop damage from spreading. You can ask your home inspector, a plumber, or even a friend with some construction background to show you where and how to turn off the main water valve in your home. It can save you thousands of dollars in repairs if you ever have a leak or an issue with plumbing. Many experts suggest turning the valve behind your washing machine off if you’re going to be gone for more than a few days too, to prevent any sudden leaks from becoming a huge problem.
- How to Reset the Breaker
When you move into a new home take the time to locate the circuit breaker. Flip each one to determine which parts of the house each one controls and double check that they are labeled correctly. This will save you time and potentially an embarrassing call to the electrician later if only one room loses power because you’ll know to check the breakers first.
- Know How to Find a Wall Stud
One of the first things you’ll be doing when you move into a new home is making it feel like a home, by adding shelves, photos, and even TV’s to the walls. You need to know how to find a stud, the vertical boards behind the drywall that can handle the weight of what you’ll be hanging. They are typically located 16 or 24 inches apart in most homes. In comes technology with the assist here, you can go to any hardware or home improvement store and find a low cost electronic stud finder.
- Learn how to Caulk
In order to seal out air and keep water in line, a little caulking goes a long way and it’s simple to apply. Be sure that you are picking a caulk that will last a long time with no cracking, silicone based is one of your best options. Remove the old caulk with a utility knife, clean/dry the area and cut your tube to the desired bead size and you’re ready to seal up those cracks.
- Clean-Out the Gutters
Over time leaves, twigs, and other debris can build up in your gutters causing them to overflow. An overflow can lead to issue with your wood trim, siding, and even roof and cause you more money in repairs down the line. To keep this from happening clean out your gutters once or twice a year depending on if you have overhanging trees near the house. If ladders and a little muck don’t bother you, climb up on the ladder and get to work with a small garden shovel, high-pressure water flow and get to work. You should focus on where the downspouts join the gutter system, as this is where clogs and backups are most likely to occur.
As a homeowner you’ll save yourself a lot of time, money and unnecessary calls to repairmen by learning how to maintain your own property.