Taking care of your new home
January 14, 2020
- At the pre-handover inspection, the builder will explain how to operate and maintain the heating, cooling, electrical and water systems. You will want to know basic procedures like how to turn the systems on and off, when to schedule maintenance and who to contact. You also need information for ‘troubleshooting’ before calling in service people. The builder will give you manufacturers’ literature for later reference, along with any warranty documents for specific equipment.
- Thanks to modern finishing products, today’s new homeowners face less maintenance and upkeep than ever before. Before establishing a regular housekeeping routine, take a few minutes to read through the product literature provided by your builder. Follow the directions from the manufacturers to preserve the beauty and quality of your home.
- A little commonsense goes a long way when decorating your new home. Place furniture away from heating and cooling vents. Keep non-carpeted floors in great shape by using easy-to-apply protectors on the legs of chairs, tables and lounges. When hanging pictures or shelves, take care to make as few holes as possible in the walls.
- Today’s low-maintenance external cladding, windows and trim have reduced or eliminated many of the ‘traditional’ outside chores such as scraping, sanding, glazing and painting. However, you should do a visual inspection of the outside of your home from time to time for the effects of any settling or extreme temperature fluctuations.
- Clean the gutters regularly to prevent a build-up of leaves and to ensure proper waterflow all year round.
- Well-planned landscaping enhances your enjoyment of your new home and can add value to your investment. Your builder can explain the ground rules of landscaping – how to avoid disturbing underground utility services, and the importance of maintaining the grading around the house to direct surface water away from the house to prevent moisture problems with the slab and footings. You might also want to speak with your builder or a local nursery about the soil conditions on your property, and the kinds of plants that would grow best, and their recommended care.
- Many builders provide their customers with a complete information package or a homeowner’s manual to help them understand how their home works and how to maintain it in top condition. If you don’t get one with your home, ask for it. You can obtain a copy of the HIA Homeowner’s Manual by calling 1300 650 620.
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