Once you’ve finally settled into your new home, you may start viewing your home with a more objective eye. Perhaps there are things you’d like to change — the kitchen cabinets or the flooring, for instance. Perhaps there are things that require repair, such as the plumbing or the windows. You’ll soon realize that maintenance and repair are a normal part of homeownership.
Here are some things you need to know about your new home:
- Your home is made up of various components that work together. These include mechanical systems (heating, air conditioning and ventilation) and the building envelope (foundations, floors, walls, windows, doors and roof).
- You need to learn enough about the major mechanical systems of your home to perform routine maintenance and handle various emergencies. Every adult member of your household should know the location of the following:
- Main shutoff valves for water and fuel
- Emergency switch for the furnace or burner
- Hot water heater thermostat
- Main electrical switch
- Fuse box or circuit breaker box
- Renovations targeted at increasing energy-efficiency may affect appliances exhausting by a chimney. Check chimney performance if you tighten the envelope or add exhaust fans.
- Moisture, heat, and air pressure must be balanced to ensure a healthy home
Homes, like people, get old. It’s a good idea to inspect your home regularly and replace or repair parts and materials that wear out with use and time. Since different components of your home work together and affect each other, minor repairs can quickly become major ones if you don’t immediately address them. And major repairs cost more money.
You probably can do many of the repairs yourself. However, if can’t handle the job on your own, call an expert. No matter who carries out the repair, the work has to be well done. Bad materials and poor workmanship will end up costing you more in the end. Don’t forget to keep records of any repairs and improvements you make.