Ah, the excitement of becoming a homeowner! You can paint the walls whatever color you want, your dog can run freely in the backyard… YOU are the boss. But with this new title comes all-new responsibilities.
Whether you’re currently in the process of moving or just starting to look into buying a new home, these 7 skills will help set you up for success and ensure that you avoid common mistakes new homeowners make.
How to Fix a Running Toilet
Running toilets are never a fun thing, especially when it comes to your water bill. The good thing is most issues involve the flapper, chain, or float and can be resolved without calling a plumber. See HERE for some easy DIY fixes. Oh, and don’t be afraid to put your hand in the tank – it’s clean water.
How to Find a Wall Stud
If you’re wanting to mount your TV or hang a heavy mirror, locating where a wall stud is can make all the difference. Thanks to technology, you can easily do this with a stud finder for around $10. FYI – Walls alone aren’t enough to support the weight; find the center of a stud to provide the best support.
How to Clean Gutters
Clogged gutters are no fun and can lead to some serious issues! If the water is unable to flow correctly, it may cause rot by flowing directly on the wood trim or siding of your house. If you feel confident on a ladder, clean your gutters every year with a small garden shovel, followed by a high-pressure rinse with your water hose. Interested in prevention? Consider installing gutter guards for around $6-$8/foot.
How to Caulk
Caulking is a simple, yet very effective task. Keep air and water at bay by applying a long-lasting silicone seal to any gaps and cracks. Skip acrylic as it can crack over time. Already sealed? Always remove older caulk with an utility knife – this will help remove any mold or mildew.
How to Change the Water Heater’s Temperature
Most thermostats are set to 140 degrees, but most houses typically only need 120. Not only can a lower temperature help prevent corrosion in your pipes, it can also save you $10-$30 every year per each 10-degree reduction. It’s as easy as turning a dial!
How to Turn Off Your Water
If you’re unsure where the main water valve is, ask your home inspector or a plumber. With water being one of the leading causes of home damage, knowing where the valve is could help prevent thousands in damage. Going out of town for a couple of days? Turn off the water to your washing machine – it’s the water valve handle behind the machine to the right.
How to Change an Air Filter
Moving from a rental? Chances are your property manager took care of this for you. If you’re a new homeowner and can’t figure out why your home is so dusty, it’s time to change your air filter. Every three to six months is recommended for homes without pets or allergies. Have both? You should probably change it out every 30-90 days. Once you determine the size of your filter, set an alert in your calendar as a reminder to replace and you’re good to go!