Household Chores Every New Homeowner Needs to Know
The excitement of being a new homeowner comes with a lot of uncertainty. If you purchased a fixer-upper, you might feel overwhelmed with the amount of work there is to do. And if you bought new, it’s only a matter of time before you’re going to have to flex your handyman’s muscle.
While some home maintenance tasks can seem—and are—too much for you to handle, you are completely capable of many other odd jobs. Below are ten common household chores every new homeowner needs to know how to do.
10 Common Household Chores Every New Homeowner Needs to Know
Purchasing a new home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make. And unfortunately, the spending doesn’t stop once you move in. According to the National Association of Home Builders, after closing on the sale, the average homeowner spends more than $4,000 in the first two years, even more, if they’ve bought a new house. Cut back on expenditures by learning how to do these common household chores yourself.
With a solid grasp on these indoor tasks, you’ll be able to make your house a home.
- Fixing Leaky Faucets
Leaking faucets can add up to a lot of lost money. A drip calculator from the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that a faucet that drips once per second can equal five gallons of lost water each day. Most likely, you’ll need a set of Allen wrenches, screwdrivers, and slip-joint pliers to repair a leaky faucet. Read this article from the Family Handy Man for a repair guide.
- Changing Air Filters
To maintain your home’s air quality, and keep your energy bills low, you’ll need to know how to change your furnace and air conditioner’s filters. And this is a chore you’ll need to do on the regular; at least once every 6-12 months, and more frequently if you have pets.
First, turn off the unit to prevent electric shock. Once you locate the slot where the air filter goes, remove the old filter. If it is a reusable filter, use a hose to rinse off dust and debris. If it is disposable, simply replace with a brand-new air filter.
- Locating Wall Studs
Hanging anything besides light-weight picture frames will require the support of a wall stud. Wall studs run vertically behind your drywall and will be necessary when you’re mounting TVs, shelves, mirrors and more.
Wall studs are usually spaced between 16-24 inches apart. But to make your busy life even easier, purchase a stud finder tool at your local home improvement store.
- Paint like a Pro
It is likely, as a homeowner, that at some point you’re going to need to do some painting. Whether it’s touch-ups, trim work or whole rooms, the steps are similar.
Be sure to clear furniture, light fixtures, and other elements out of the way. Use painter’s tape to protect edges, trim or baseboards, and lay down drop cloths to cover floors. If you’re painting walls, use a trim brush to cut in, then use a roller to apply paint evenly in a zig-zag pattern.
- Stopping a Running Toilet
Running toilets are both annoying and wasteful. To stop the running, first, remove the lid of the toilet tank. Then check, repair and/or replace the most common offenders: the flapper, chain and float. Read more about easy diagnosis in this article from Apartment Therapy.
- Replacing Outlets
Replacing your outlets can spruce up a room. To do so, first, make sure you turn off the power to room your working in. Use a voltage testing tool to confirm you’ve done so properly before starting.
With a flat head screwdriver, remove the faceplate and unscrew the receptacle. Make note of where the wires were attached to the old outlet. Reattach the wires to the terminals of the new outlet and return it to the electrical box. Screw both the receptacle and cover plate back in place.
It’s not just the inside of the house that needs attending to. Knowing how to complete these common outdoor maintenance tasks will make you feel right at home.
- Cleaning Out Your Gutters
Cleaning out your house’s gutters is a simple, yet important task. Prolonged clogged gutters can cause foundation damage which can cost upwards of $10,000 to repair.
All you need to complete this task is a sturdy ladder, a pair of gloves and maybe a face mask for overspray. Moving around your house, clear your gutters of leaves and other debris, paying particular attention to the joints that attach the downspout to the gutter.
- Power Washing
The outside of your home will shoulder a lot of wear and tear over the years. One handy tool to know how to use is a pressure washer. Power washing your siding, deck, patios, garage door, fence and more removes grime and buildup that may have accumulated with the seasons. Spray from the top down to prevent streaking. Be sure to spray cleaning agents or detergents off surfaces promptly. If the detergent dries before you have a chance to wash it off, it could cause discoloration and stains.
- Sealing the Driveway
An easy way to extend the lifespan of your driveway is through periodic sealing. Driveways are very expensive to replace so make sure you keep your current one intact for as long as possible.
First, check the weather forecast and choose a clear day to seal your driveway. Then using a broom or leaf blower, clear the driveway of debris and fill in cracks. Pour the sealant on your driveway, working with small batches, and use a specialty squeegee to push and pull the sealant into an even layer. Let the sealant sit for a full 24 hours before using the driveway.
- Tuning the Lawn Mower
Chances are your home came with some yard, which means you’ll need to mow it. At the start of the mowing season, service your lawn mower to keep it running properly.
If you have a gas-powered lawn mower, change the oil, and replace/clean both air filter and the spark plug. If you have push reel mower, check out these DIY maintenance tips from Mother Earth News.
For more tips and home maintenance inspection services, contact the professionals at Inspect-It 1st! We perform a variety of home inspections to give you peace of mind. Find your local Inspect-It 1st office here.