Well-intentioned friends may be warning you “you won't know what to do first” after you move into your new home.
But you know better: after months of thinking, planning, buying, measuring and envisioning, you probably know exactly what you want to do. If you're like many new homeowners, it's a pet project that will instantly bond you to your new home.
What your friends probably mean is there are certain tasks you should tend to before you roll out that pet project. Some of these tasks are directly related to home safety; others could save you a small fortune in repair bills. While it really doesn't matter which task you tend to first, you should address all six of them to mitigate move-in worries and give you well-deserved peace of mind in your new home:
Hide a Key
The risk of misplacing a key while you're dealing with the “organized chaos” of unloading and packing boxes is high enough. The chance of someone in your family eventually misplacing their house key is a virtual certainty. Since you're probably making multiple trips to the hardware store anyway, get an extra key made and hide it in a safe, concealed place outdoors, such as under a heavy flower pot in the backyard or in a garden hose.
Locate and Test the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
You should have one on every level of your home. And if you don't, you'll sleep better during the first night in your home as well as every night thereafter. Now is an excellent time to replace the batteries since you probably have no idea how long they've been lodged in the detectors.
Inspect Your Electrical Panel
First, you have to find the panel, usually in the laundry room, basement or garage. Then you should ensure it's labeled sensibly, showing you which breaker controls the electricity in which room (or rooms). If you cannot follow the diagram, call an electrician as soon as possible so if the power goes out, you know exactly how to respond.
Find Your Home's Main Water Shut-off Valve
You may have shut-off valves on the toilets in your bathroom, but the main water valve is the one you'll need if a pipe bursts or another water emergency erupts. The valve may be located in the same room as the electrical panel. If not, look for a reference to it in your home's inspection report. Failing this, call the real estate professional who sold you your home for direction.
Test the Sump Pump
This task is simpler than it sounds: simply pour a bucket of water into the sump pump to ensure it engages. Now is the time – not during a sudden rain storm – to find out if the pump needs a repair.
Replace the HVAC Filter
You may as well start with a “clean slate,” and a clean filter. It will prevent your air conditioner or furnace from breaking down when you have dozens of things vying for your time and attention.
One of those things is probably that pet project. But now you have maintenance tasks on your mind, you may wish to keep the momentum going. Download The Home Maintenance Checklist from First Quality Roofing & Insulation. Think of it as a housewarming gift from Las Vegas' most trusted and dependable roofing and insulation company – and a company that is always willing to help you figure out “what to do first.”