You’ve finally done it – you’ve just moved into your brand new home! The smell of fresh paint still permeates the air. You’re likely consumed with unpacking, setting up furnishings, rearranging, decorating – energized by the blank pallet you have to work with. But once you’ve signed the thick pile of closing documents, the moving trucks have left and everything is neatly in its place, what do you do next? It’s time to get a handle on the routine maintenance you’ll need to perform in order to ensure that you and your family live comfortably in your new home for years to come. Here’s some advice to get you started and help save money while you’re at it:
- Maintaining a clean home will ensure it lasts longer and works better. Dust and dirt, if allowed to accumulate, can harm the finishes on blinds, cabinets, counter tops, floors, sinks, tubs, toilets, walls, tiles and other items. If dirt does accumulate, make sure to clean it with a substance that does not scratch or damage the finishes.
- On the outside of your home, make sure that gutters and downspouts do not get clogged with leaves or other objects. The exterior of your house is built to withstand exposure to the elements, but a periodic cleaning will improve the appearance and, in many instances, prolong the life of siding and other exterior products.
- When you bought your home, you probably received a warranty from the builder on workmanship and materials. This warranty applies to problems related to the construction of the home, but it does not apply to problems that arise because of failure to perform routine maintenance. For example, if your roof begins to leak after six months because of faulty workmanship, your warranty would cover that. If you develop a problem because water backed up in clogged gutters that you should have cleaned, the builder is not responsible for repairs. Also, some items, such as appliances, may be covered by manufacturers. Those warranties are not the responsibility of the builder.
- You should fully familiarize yourself with the terms of your warranty soon after you move into your home. With all the excitement surrounding a move into a new home, most people have little desire to curl up in front of the fireplace and read a legal document. Nonetheless, you should not wait to read your warranty until a problem arises. Set aside an hour to learn what your rights and responsibilities are from the outset.