Owning a home is an achievement that most people are not reaching until at least their late twenties or early thirties these days, and schools do not teach us what we should know about properly maintaining our own home.
What do homeowners need to know?
You should inspect a few locations in your home for any potential issues that could become worse if left untouched.
It is also important to get home insurance, locate items like the circuit breaker, and hire skilled contractors for modifications.
Keep reading to learn more about the eight specific things every homeowner should know.
Top 8 Things Every Homeowner Should Know
These are the top eight things every homeowner should know to do after buying a house, though it is better to do the inspections prior to purchasing the place, if possible.
1. Inspect the Foundation
You can either hire an inspector to inspect the foundation, or you can do it yourself.
You may want to inspect the foundation before committing to a home purchase, as issues may be discovered that you do not want to fix or pay to fix yourself.
When inspecting the foundation, check that the ground slopes at least six inches away from the house for at least ten feet.
This is to prevent water damage.
If you find cracks, they will need to be caulked to keep them from becoming bigger and weakening the foundation.
2. Inspect the Attic
Again, you may want to do this or hire someone to do this inspection before buying a house.
Often, you can hire the same inspector to check the attic and foundation of a home.
Make sure that no floor joists can be seen in the attic, as this means the house has not been insulated as well as it could be.
Better insulation will keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer while reducing heating, cooling, and even energy costs.
3. Purchase Good Insurance
While getting homeowner’s insurance is sometimes required, you should purchase a good insurance plan that covers what you need.
For example, if your home is in an area that experiences a lot of hurricanes, you should probably get a plan that covers hurricanes.
You should also look into insurance plans that are not explicitly for housing.
Life insurance may be helpful, for instance, if anyone lives with you that needs you to pay the mortgage.
That way, if you were to die, the policy would prevent them from losing the home.
4. Locate the Main Water Valve
You will want to know where the main water valve is for times when you need to shut off your water, like if a pipe bursts or becomes clogged.
In an area with a colder climate, this valve is typically indoors, often somewhere in the basement.
In locations with a warmer climate, the main water valve may be outdoors, possibly on a wall.
If the valve is a curb stop, you will probably need a crescent wrench to shut it off.
5. Locate the Circuit Breakers
Similarly, you should know where the circuit breaker box is in case a fuse blows, which will prevent a lot of future frustration.
Once you locate the box of circuit breakers, test the circuit breakers to determine which areas of the house are affected by which fuses so you can label them.
It is even more important to do this if your home is an older house, as many areas may be attached to a single breaker.
6. Hire Credible Contractors
Although there are several do it yourself (DIY) tutorials for home repairs on the internet nowadays, some repairs or modifications are simply too complicated for you to do on your own.
Take the time to find and hire a reputable contractor for large jobs like removing walls.
7. Check Walls Before Drilling
Everyone likes to hang things on the walls, either for decoration, sentimental reasons, or both.
This is totally fine, but you should always check the walls before drilling into them.
You can get a stud sensor to check the desired hanging area for things like studs or cables.
Even after using a stud sensor, never drill farther than one and one quarter of an inch into the wall.
This will keep you from snagging any vital items that the stud sensor might have missed.
8. Call 811 Before Digging
If you need to dig in your yard for projects like putting in a fence or adding plants, it is important to call 811 first.
This is America’s hotline for digging safely, and they will send an expert to your property so they can mark the location of all underground cables, pipes, and wires.
Having these structures marked will prevent you from doing something like disabling the neighborhood’s power supply.
While maintaining a home may sound daunting, doing so is not very difficult, especially if you know your limits and take the time to hire credible contractors for any large modifications or necessary repairs.
You can even hire inspectors to check on the attic and the foundation.
Some of the things you should know about maintaining a home are mostly for convenience, such as knowing where the circuit breakers are and what they affect.
Other things will keep your house in good condition, like avoiding wires, pipes, and cables as you drill or dig.