Getting a new home, especially if it is your first one, can be such an exciting time. So exciting, in fact, that you might have a blinkered view of everything, and you are just happy to get the keys and move in. This feeling might fade quick quickly though, when you realize you have a lot to be responsible for, and while all of the major structural checks were done prior to you moving in (or should have done at least!) you still have quite the checklist to work through.
Some of these will be done as you work through any little renovation projects you have lined up. You’ll soon discover, however, that some of these are quite pressing and getting them fixed sooner rather than later is likely to save you from distress and expense further down the line.
#1 Check all the detectors and alarms work
This might seem like common sense, but you might be so fixated on ripping that dated bathroom or kitchen out that you miss the basics. You might find that, depending on where you live, you’ll have smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and probably a burglar alarm as well. You need to ensure that those devices that need batteries have fresh batteries in them and are tested, and that you know exactly how the burglar alarm works and what it sounds like.
This process is not that much fun and can be a bit tough on the ears but checking everything works now is better than finding out they don’t work when you need them. Of course, if you find that any of these items aren’t there, it might be the ideal opportunity to have them installed.
#2 Check your HVAC is working correctly
Another item that will need your immediate attention is whatever you have to control your climate. You might have heating, air conditioning or more likely both, and you need to check they work before you find out the hard way. If you don’t feel like you can do this yourself, you may want to find a local ac maintenance company to do the work for you.
They might save you from a bigger bill when the seasons change, and on top of that, a well serviced and efficient system is likely to be more efficient than one that has been left for a couple of years because the occupants have designs on selling up. This could keep the utility bills down when fuel bills everywhere are rising.
#3 Check for exterior damage
It is likely that any checks that were done on the property were looking for major problems, so it is your job now to root out any minor or potential ones. This can be things like rotting exterior woodwork, cracks in stonework or damaged guttering. Not only do these make your home look shabby, but they also have the potential to lead to greater damage and hefty repair bills or personal injury.
This is another area where, as a new homeowner, you might feel out of your depth. In this case, it is better to get a local handyman to look at all of the areas you are concerned with, either to fix them or reassure you that they aren’t a problem.
#4 Know where your fuse box and water main are
Again, it might seem basic, but is often overlooked by those looking at their new home through rose-tinted glasses. Locating your fuse box should really be done as soon as you’ve had your first tea or coffee in your new home and see what types of fuses and fuse wire you need not to be left in the dark should something blow. Depending on where in the world you live, there is likely to be some kind of shut-off valve where the water supply comes into your house (often the kitchen), and possibly an additional one upstairs as well if you have a pump for your shower. It’s better to find these now (and check you can turn them by hand) rather than running around in a panic when you have water gushing all over your home.
#5 Other small checks you need to do
While you are looking for these problems, you might come across other things that require closer examination. You need to check out patches of mold in bathrooms which are a sure sign of a faulty or inadequate extractor. Look for creaky floorboards, as this can be the first sign of an aging joist underneath, as well as a host of other problems. You should also look to any exterior woodwork, that might need repainting, especially any that is behind creeping foliage like wisteria or ivy. This might have been neglected for many years and could probably do with a once over.