Are you planning on moving to a new home soon? You probably have your whole life packed up in boxes, and you are ready for the movers to pick up your furniture and deliver it to your new abode. But, before you spend that first night in the new place, you should first take the time to become acquainted with your home and see what may need immediate attention. Here are a few suggestions as to what you should look at first:
1. Do You Have LED and CFL Bulbs in All Fixtures?
Whether you have the desire to install track lighting, ceiling fixtures, or any other light decorating ideas, these long-term bulbs last nearly 5 times as long as incandescent bulbs, saving you money on inevitable, multiple replacements. Just remember, while compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs cost slightly less than light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, the latter are much more efficient. However, it should be said that the price of LED bulbs has come down significantly in recent years.
Replacing all light bulbs in the fixtures in your new home with LED and CFL bulbs will also save you tons of money in the long run, since they use only a fraction of the energy that the typical bulbs utilize, which adds up to huge savings on your monthly electric bill. Try to at least install them in rooms that stay lit for long periods of time, such as kitchens and dens. You should also invest in bulbs for the areas that may be prone to having a light that was left on by accident, like a closet or the attic.
2. Change All Your Locks
This may sound strange or unnecessary, especially since you have probably met the sellers of your new home, but it is quite necessary to change your locks immediately before moving in. According to Peninsula General Insurance Agency, a home and auto insurance agency in California, “Protection Starts from Home”. You likely won’t know who the original owners gave a key to, or whether they may have malicious intentions where your property is concerned. With this in mind, it is always a good measure to change all the locks in your new home.
It is simple and inexpensive to change the locks to each outside-leading door. You won’t have to replace the full doors, just a few pieces of basic hardware that you can easily find at any local home repair store. The whole project shouldn’t cost more than $50 and it will protect you from the possibility of a future burglary.
3. Invest in Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are an inexpensive and low-energy method for circulating the air in your home. As the fans move the air around each room that they are installed in, they enable air to be evenly distributed, making temperatures easier to regulate. This means that you can turn the thermostat down a degree or two in the winter and place it a few degrees high in the summer, leading to great savings on your energy bills!
Just be sure the ceiling fan is positioned to blow down on you when it is warm outside, and to pull away from you during the cooler months, in order to maintain consistency.
4. Air-seal the House
If you purchased a slightly older house, you may experience some problems with air leaks. If your house is brand new, this may not be an issue for you, however, since newer building codes have eliminated the problem. Also, many materials used to construct older homes will expand and contract over time, allowing unwanted cold or hot air to seep through.
Check around windows, doorways, dryer vents, and even electrical outlets to see if air is escaping through any cracks or holes. Apply weatherstripping to any cracks for a temporary fix, or use caulk to permanently seal them. Remember, ignoring these leaks can effectively cost you money since any heating or cooling intended for the interior is escaping to the outside.
5. See If More Insulation is Needed in the Attic
Do you have an unfinished attic? If so, then it is best to examine just how much insulation is installed up there, since heat rises and easily escapes through roofs.
There should be insulation installed that is 6 inches thick at a minimum, between the beams, and up to twice as thick if you live in the colder Northern climate. If the insulation is damaged, or inadequate, it is important to replace it right away, so you don’t run the risk of wasting money on extraneous heating and cooling. If you can clearly see the tops of the joists, then you do not have enough insulation to make it through an average winter.
6. Protect the Foundation of the House
The ground that surrounds your foundation outside must slope away from it at a minimum of 6 inches over at least 10 feet. This is imperative because the water from rain and melting snow can saturate the soil that surrounds the foundation walls, and build an enormous amount of pressure there. This pressure can cause cracks in the foundation, and if they are not repaired, your house could sag, and even possibly collapse!
You should also check to see if there are currently any cracks in your foundation. Many buildings that are older have some smaller cracks due to the weight of the home and the settling process, however, no amount of cracking should be allowed if you desire a stable home. And, if the cracks continue to grow, you will need to hire a specialist to take care of the problem right away.
7. Scan your Walls Before Drilling
When you move into a new home, you can hardly wait to start hanging up shelves, family photos, and artwork, but are you fully aware of what may lie behind the walls? There could be cables, wires, ductwork, or even pipes.
Stud sensors, which typically run only about $25, can sense studs, wires, and most metals, but they are not always 100% accurate. Therefore, it is best to drill holes at a maximum of 1 ¼ inches deep for safety. This will penetrate the plaster or drywall, but it is still far from where hidden wires and pipes may be located.
If you check on these items right away, you will save yourself a lot of time and frustration later. You may also save some cash along the way, as well, which you can now invest back into your cherished homestead. You waited a long time for this moment, so treat your home with respect and you will get enjoyment from it for years to come.