You’ve moved in your favorite lamp, hung your family photos and made your first meal in your new kitchen. Congratulations! Your new house is now starting to feel like home.
With all the excitement of moving and getting settled, it’s easy to forget that a home is also a house made up of thousands of parts, many of which require a maintenance regimen and regular inspection to ensure they are at peak performance, just like your car.
Here’s 10 things to ensure you do regularly to keep your home looking as good as the first day you turned the key:
#1 – Take time each season to repair scratches, chips, stains, scrapes and gouges to the cosmetic surfaces of your home. Something as simple as some elbow grease and touch-up paint can keep walls, baseboards, doors and cabinets looking clean and well kept. This also fights off the age and wear that a home can show as it is lived in day after day.
#2 – Regularly clean appliances and mechanical systems according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Don’t wait until moving day to find that 10 years worth of filth has built up behind or underneath your fridge. You don’t want to find out that your furnace needs it’s filter replaced only after the damage is done and you’re paying a hefty repair bill. Keep good records on when and how often you need to clean and maintain your home’s systems and you’re home will be happier.
#3 – Adjust and lubricate your houses many moving parts. Something as simple as tightening hinges on cabinet doors or lubricating your exterior door locks can make your house feel intact and in good shape. Again, consult your many manuals and manufacturers’ recommendations on this topic, but don’t wait until everything comes unhinged to break out the screwdriver. A little bit of attention applied throughout the life of your home will go a long way.
#4 – Replace consumable parts such as light bulbs, filters and batteries.We all get use to work arounds. The light bulb goes out in the staircase and you just learn to live with it. Or, the batteries die on the outside garage door opener and we just rely on the gadget in our car. Don’t let these little fix-its go without their due attention. Yes, you may learn to live without some of these conveniences, but some of them may be vital to your home’s safety such as smoke detectors and filters.
#5 – Know how your home works and refer to your manuals often.Your new home likely has mechanical systems that are different from those of your last home. Take advantage of to make sure you are familiar with the systems in your home and understand how to maximize their efficiency for your family’s comfort. Know where the main safety shut-offs are for water, electricity and gas so you can act in the care of an emergency.
#6 – Look for your home’s growing pains and act accordingly. Building materials expand and contract over time because of changes in temperature and humidity, requiring some attention and maintenance. Caulk, for example, dries, shrinks and cracks, diminishing its effectiveness until it no longer provides a seal against moisture and air infiltration. Maintaining caulking will be a routine task throughout the life of your home. You should also be on the lookout for some minor cracking in concrete flatwork, such as driveways and patios.
#7 – Show your landscaping some love.Beautiful yards are the result of caring and work, and require consistent attention to flourish. But whether gardening is a passion or a chore for you, consider planting native plants rather than exotics for best results. Cover soil as soon as possible to prevent erosion, and always maintain proper slope away from your home to ensure good drainage.
There are few investments you will make that combine science, technology, art and skill the way a new home does. Make preventative maintenance the hallmark of your home-care plan, and you’ll enjoy the full satisfaction that owning a home can provide.
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