Every home, no matter how new or well-built, requires regular care and attention. And being a homeowner means you can no longer text or call your landlord if the tap is leaking or the split system suddenly goes bust, leaving you and your loved ones to commiserate in the sweltering heat. As a new homeowner, one of the essential skills you’ll need to master is home maintenance, and the good news is we’re here to make things a ton easier with our handy expert tips.
Not only will these home maintenance tips keep your humble abode in tip top shape, but they’ll also save you a ton in costly repairs in the long run. Let’s dive into the first-time homeowners guide to home maintenance.
Familiarise Yourself with Electricals
As a first-time homeowner, familiarising yourself with the basics of your home’s electrical system is a great way to empower yourself and ensure your family’s safety. For starters, consider learning about the different types of outlets and plugs in your home. Understanding which appliances require grounded outlets (mounted ovens, clothes dryers etc.) and which can function with regular ones will help to prevent a wide array of potential electrical hazards.
Next, get acquainted with your circuit breaker box and figure out which switches correspond to different areas of your home. This knowledge can be super useful during power outages or when troubleshooting electrical issues.
With that said, when it comes to electrical tasks beyond resetting a tripped circuit, it’s crucial to enlist the help of a licensed electrician. Electricals can be dangerous business, so ensure your safety by leaving the complex issues to the pros.
Stop The Drips with Plumbing Proficiency
While no one expects a new homeowner to be an expert plumber, having some basic plumbing skills can save you from a lot of headaches, not to mention costly water damage. We’ve all encountered a leaking pipe or a dripping tap at least once in our lives, and having the knowledge to tackle these tasks on your own will save you a ton of money that could otherwise be spent on furnishing and decorating your brand new home.
A great starting point is to familiarise yourself with the location of shut-off valves in your home. Knowing how to turn off the water supply quickly in case of a leak can prevent significant damage to flooring, furniture and rugs in the event of a damp emergency. Additionally, be sure to invest in a basic plumbing toolkit that includes a pipe wrench, plunger, and pipe tape. With online tutorials and DIY plumbing guides at your fingertips, you can tackle minor plumbing problems confidently and ensure peace of mind.
Regularly Check HVAC Filters
Checking and cleaning your HVAC filters may not be the most fun of home maintenance activities. However, this home maintenance task plays a crucial role in optimising the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, as well as lowering your energy bills. Whether you have a split system or ducted heating, HVAC filters act as the lungs of your home, trapping dust, dirt, pollen, and other particles.
With this in mind, checking and cleaning your filters at least once every 3 months is always a good idea. To get started, turn your power supply off and then locate your air filter — this is typically found near the return air duct or inside the air handler unit. If the filter is visibly dirty or clogged, replace it with a brand new one. If the filter is reusable, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning. It’s that simple.
Remember, proper maintenance not only improves the air quality in your home but also keeps your HVAC system running smoothly, ensuring a comfortable and energy-efficient living space. Don’t wait till it’s too late.
Schedule A Smoke Alarm Service
Is your smoke alarm beeping and begging for a tune up? It’s easy to ignore the occasional beep, but that small sound is your home’s way of saying that it needs attention. Remember that your smoke alarm is your first line of defence in case of a fire, and regular maintenance is a crucial safety measure that will ensure you are prepared for whatever comes your way.
Many people assume that once the smoke alarm is installed, that’s all there is to it. However, like any other electronic device, smoke alarms require regular checks and battery replacements. Fortunately, this can easily be done by scheduling a professional smoke alarm service. Not only will the professionals replace batteries that are out of juice, but they’ll also ensure that sensors are free of dust and that your smoke detectors are functioning at their best.
So take that beep seriously, schedule that service, and ensure that your new home remains a safe and secure haven for your family and friends.
Clean Those Fridge Coils
Fridge coils are one of those things that most people tend to neglect. After all, navigating behind a big and bulky fridge, let alone cleaning it out, can be quite troublesome and time consuming. However, if you’re looking to preserve the longevity of your expensive fridge, this is one home maintenance task that should be carried out at least once every 6 months. Clean coils mean a longer lasting and more efficient fridge, and lower energy bills that will save you a ton in the long run.
So how does one go about cleaning those fridge coils? For starters, identify the location of your coils. In most fridges, this will be behind the base grill or on the top of the refrigerator. Now, unplug the fridge to avoid any accidents while cleaning. Finally, use a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner and get to work. That’s all there is to it! With just a little time invested, you’re ensuring that your fridge stays cool and your wallet stays happy.
Embrace The Art of DIY Painting
Keeping our walls perfectly clean can be an impossible task. Whether it’s scratches from moving furniture, sticky handprints from kids, or accidental spills, our walls often bear the marks of life’s little adventures. The last thing you want is to fork out thousands of dollars each year by hiring a professional painter to fix minor scratches and dents, and that’s where embracing the art of DIY painting can really come in handy.
Whether it’s plastering, painting walls, refinishing skirting boards or architraves, a little skill and knowledge can go a long way in keeping your house looking pristine for years to come. Even if you have little to no experience in painting, there are numerous online tutorials and videos available that can guide you step by step. You could even head to your local hardware store to speak to an expert who will be able to offer valuable advice and recommend the right tools and paints for your project.
So don’t shy away from the paint cans and brushes. At the end of the day, the satisfaction of stepping back and admiring the freshly painted walls, knowing you accomplished it yourself, is truly priceless.
Fortify Your Windows and Doors
If you’ve been noticing a cold draught travelling through your home, it just may be time to look into fortifying your windows and doors. Unsurprisingly, leaky windows and doors not only compromise your comfort but also lead to higher heating and cooling costs that we’d all prefer to avoid.
The good news is that securing your access points is a relatively easy task, and can be easily done by installing new weather-stripping and/or refreshing your caulking every 3-5 years. These small fixes don’t require specialised skills and can be accomplished with basic tools, saving you money and making you feel like a DIY pro at the same time.
Don’t Forget About Your Defects Liability Period
If you’ve purchased an established property, feel free to skip this step. However, if you are the owner of a brand new build, don’t forget about your defects liability period. This is essentially a safety net provided by builded and generally lasts for a minimum of 3-6 months from the date of practical completion, depending on the builder. Should you find any minor defects such as chipped paint, cracks in walls, water leaks or electrical issues, be sure to note them down and forward your maintenance requests to the builder. This way, you won’t have to spend extra money on maintenance and repairs, ensuring your home stays pristine without making a dent in your wallet.
Note: If your builder is failing to meet the standards outlined in the defects liability period, consider reaching out to the domestic building dispute resolution service in your state. They will be able to help you mediate with the builder, ensuring that you reach a fair outcome.
And there you have it — everything you need to know about home maintenance as a first-time homeowner. Equipped with these handy tips and skills, you’ll be well prepared to tackle anything that comes your way. Whether it’s a leaky faucet, scuff marks on your beautiful new walls, or a draughty front door, nothing will stand in your way. All the best and congratulations on owning your first home!
This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Digital Next