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Autumn Home Maintenance Tips | 2020

Categories: Home maintenance tips, Home Owner Tips | Posted: September 22, 2020

It’s finally Autumn! Hooray! With the changing of each season we recommend a few tips to help maintain your home. But as we all know this summer in Washington state was a little different this year. The smoke from the summer forest fires have finally dissipated, but while gone, there are now additional home maintenance steps we recommend as we head into the new season.

It’s important to note that ash is made up of different sized particles and ash deposited on surfaces, indoors and outdoors, and can become airborne when cleaned up. Please use extreme caution when clean anything with ash on it. For additional indoor air quality tips and clean up safety gear recommendations, we advise that you visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website here.

Additional Home Maintenance Steps To Take Now That The Summer Forest Fire Smoke Has Cleared:

  • The EPA’s Recommended Actions To Take From To Protect Yourself From Ash When Cleaning:
    • Clothing: Wear gloves, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes, and socks to avoid skin contact. Goggles are also a good idea contact with wet ash can cause chemical burns or skin irritation. Change your shoes and clothing before you leave the cleanup site to avoid tracking ash offsite, into your car, or other places.
    • Protecting your lungs: Wear a tight-fitting respirator that filters ash particles from the air you breathe to help protect your lungs. Select a respirator that has been tested and approved by NIOSH and has the words “NIOSH” and either “N95” or “P100” printed on it. These have two straps and are available online, and at many hardware stores and pharmacies. Buy respirators in a size that can be tightened over your mouth and nose with a snug seal to your face. Surgical masks and one-strap dust masks will not protect your lungs. They are not designed to seal tightly to the face. If you have heart or lung disease talk to your doctor before using a respirator or working around ash.
  • Cleanup Steps:
    • Cleanup: Avoid stirring up or sifting through ash as much as you can. Avoid actions that kick ash particles up into the air, such as dry sweeping. Beforesweepingindoor and outdoor hard surfaces, mist them with water to keep the dust down. Follow with wet mopping. Use a damp cloth or wet mop on lightly dusted areas. When you wet down ash, use as little water as you can.
    • Vacuum: Use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA)-type vacuum to clean dusty surfaces. Don’t use a typical household vacuum or a shop vacuum. They will send the collected dust or ash out into the air. Don’t leaf blowers or do anything else that will put ash into the air.
    • Food and Water: Wash any home-grown fruits or vegetables from trees or gardens where ash has fallen. Avoid bringing food or eating at the affected site, unless you keep the food in a sealed container. Wash your hands well before eating. Check with your drinking water provider to be sure your water is safe to drink.
    • Disposal: Collected ash may be disposed of in the regular trash. Ash should be stored in plastic bags or other containers to prevent it from being stirred up. If you suspect hazardous waste, including asbestos, is present, contact your local hazardous waste authorities regarding appropriate disposal. Avoid washing ash into storm drains.
  • Extra Steps To Take For Your Home This Year:
    • Check and change out your furnace air filters asap.
    • Change any humidifier filters out.
    • Clean all outdoor furniture before putting it away for the season.
    • Have your fireplace and flues inspected and cleaned before starting a fire.
  • For a full list of recommended clean up tips from the EPA’s website please see their fact guide here.

 

Standard Recommended Home Maintenance Recommendations For Fall:

  • Purchase necessary snow shovels, salt, and sand. (We know it might not snow that often in the Seattle area, but it’s best to be prepared just in case!)
  • Turn off any exterior taps.
  • Clear window wells and eaves troughs.
  • Winterize all plants and shrubs.
  • Winterize hose-bibs.
  • Weatherproof windows and doors.
  • Inspect roof openings, woodstoves, and weatherproof as needed.
  • Have your fireplace, any woodstoves you may have, and flues inspected and cleaned before starting a fire. (Yes this to-do is on both lists on this blog because it’s very important that you have your fireplace inspected)
  • Clean/change furnace and humidifier filters.
  • Check/test fire extinguishers.
  • Check your supply of electrical fuses, breakers, emergency candles, and flashlights.
  • Fertilize your lawn and garden.
  • Prune trees and shrubs away from the house.
  • Plant your spring bulbs.
  • Put out your hummingbird and birdseed feeders.

 

5 Must-Haves for the Backyard Grilling Season

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: April 23, 2020

The weather is getting warmer, the grass is getting greener, and cool breezes are blowing across backyards across the country. All of this can only mean one thing: It’s grilling season! For most people, that means spending tons of time enjoying your patio or porch accompanied by the sweet smells of barbequed meats and vegetables. To help you make the most of this year’s grilling season, here are our top five must-haves.

Find a Reliable Grill

We’re not going to weigh in on the age-old debate of charcoal versus propane or wood pellet. Instead, here’s a quick rundown of the main benefits of each type of grill:

  • Gas Grill – Ready to go fast with easy cleanup.
  • Charcoal Grill – Great for a strong smoky flavor.
  • Wood Pellet Grill – Combines the flavor benefits of charcoal and the precision of electric heat.
  • Electric Grill – Perfect for portable grilling.

Whichever option you choose, make sure you have a reliable grill that can handle whatever you throw at it. That means picking the right size grill. If you often find yourself acting as the grill master for a group of neighbors, you’ll want a grill big enough to handle it. Whereas if you’re a weeknight griller for the family, you might not need such a large grill.

Get the Right Tools for the Job

Grilling outside can be a pain when you don’t have the right tools. You can’t use a plastic kitchen spatula to flip burgers on the grill, and you can’t use small tongs to pick up steaks or vegetables. You need to have the best tools for outdoor grilling use. Here are a few of our top picks:

  • Spring-loaded grill tongs
  • Stiff wire grill brush
  • An instant-read infrared meat thermometer
  • Stainless-steel kabob skewers
  • Long-handled metal spatula

Here’s a pro tip: Keep all your grilling accessories in a small Rubbermaid container. If you keep it outside, make sure it has a tight-fitting lid. In the same container, stash some aluminum foil, salt, and pepper. This handy grill box makes for an easy spur-of-the-moment cookout.

Weather-Proof, Comfortable Patio Furniture

We’ve been focusing on the grilling itself, but what about after? Make sure you have a comfortable place outside to eat that meal! We recommend a sturdy table with enough chairs for the whole family – plus one or two extra for dinner guests. Keep in mind that any fabric – like seat cushions – should be kept indoors whenever possible. The last thing you want is for your furniture to get moldy after a summer rainstorm.

Make a Shady Spot

Speaking of creating a comfortable space to enjoy your grilling, don’t forget about the sun and heat! Make sure to build in some shade around your patio furniture to avoid melting in the hot sun during the summer. There are plenty of options, both permanent and temporary. Here are a few ways you can bring shade to your backyard:

  • Patio umbrella
  • Free-standing or home-attached pergola
  • Gazebo (with or without netting)
  • Canopy (perfect for large gatherings)
  • Retractable awning

For the more permanent options, you can also dress them up with lighting or speaker systems to completely transform your outdoor space.

Outdoor Firepit or Fireplace

Grilling goes hand-in-hand with summer entertaining. Take your backyard parties up a notch with an outdoor firepit or fireplace. They’re beautiful, affordable, and can be used nearly year-round to create a cozy atmosphere. You can opt for a classic wood-burning fire pit or go for a smokeless propane firepit.

Building an outdoor fire pit is a great way to bring creativity and design to your backyard. You can construct a modern fire pit with clean-cut stones or vibrant mosaic patterns, or you can opt for brick and stone. There are endless options here, as well.

Gathering these must-haves before the season hits is sure to bring you months of backyard grilling enjoyment! Have fun entertaining friends and neighbors, or get cozy with your family around a firepit, and create happy memories outdoors.

5 Ways to Make Your Home Safe for Kids

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: February 11, 2020

Accidents happen. Any parent with a young kid knows this – whether it’s bumps and bruises or scrapes and burns. It’s hard to think about anything worse happening beyond a bloody nose or skinned knee, but it’s essential to take the time to make sure your home is safe for children to avoid a more significant injury.

Here are five ways you can ensure your children’s safety in the home:

  1. Watch out for drowning hazards.

You would be surprised at how little water it takes to cause a big problem for small children. Never leave buckets of water around, especially outside. Even dry buckets can fill with rainwater, and sturdier ones won’t tip over if a child climbs inside. Make sure pools, or hot tubs are also fenced off with a locked gate.

  1. Fire safety is a top priority.

When was the last time you checked your smoke detectors? Do you have fire extinguishers in your home? Do you have a quick escape route upstairs in case of fire? Make sure every room in your home is prepared for a fire, whether it’s safety ladders to climb out of second-story windows or a kitchen fire extinguisher. Also, keep flammable materials away from small prying hands, including lighters, matches, stovetop burners, and hot appliances.

  1. Avoid falls with gates and guards.

Falls are one of the biggest causes of ER visits for young children. Make sure you have sturdy safety gates installed at the top and bottom of every set of stairs in your home. Even a few stairs could injure a young child. Check the latches regularly to make sure they are steady. Additionally, make sure you have window guards protecting children against falls – remember, screens aren’t meant to hold weight and won’t protect against a fall. Any window above the first floor should have window guards.

  1. Keep chemicals, cleaners, and medicines behind locked doors.

Any parent will tell you – kids will eat just about anything they can find. Keep all cleaning supplies, cleaners, chemicals, and medicines behind locked cabinets or drawers. Don’t rely on tall shelves to help you out here; children can climb or knock things off high places easier than you’d think. To safeguard against a medicine getting into their hands, make sure to buy ones with child-resistant caps.

  1. Avoid electric shock or choking hazards by managing your cables.

Keep electric cords and power sockets away from your kids, especially toddlers who are curious about different colors or objects. To avoid electrocution, install safety switches (with the help of a professional) that cut off power and use socket covers for unused outlets. You’ll also want to consider how you manage cables. Are they tangled up and running amok? Bundle them up with cable organizers to keep them neat, tidy, and out of the way of small children.

There are many ways to protect your children from hazards in the home. Besides following these five safety tips, keep your young child within sight whenever possible. You may not realize you have a bottle of aspirin sitting out, or a bucket of water that filled up during a storm in your yard. But, with a few precautions and a bit of prep work, you can rest assured in the safety of your home and your children.

Keep an Eye on Your Home from Anywhere with These Gadgets

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: December 31, 2019

It’s vacation time! You’ve spent weeks planning the trip and double-checked your packing list. But on your way to the airport, you have a moment of panic. Did you close the garage door? Did you turn all the lights off? That gnawing feeling won’t go away, even if you’re sure you took care of everything.

Isn’t that feeling the worst? Luckily, we’re in the age of technology, where the ability to monitor your home remotely is as simple as opening up a smartphone app. Even if you’re gone for just a few hours, now you can check up on your home, your backyard, and even your pets from anywhere. These home automation gadgets can help you monitor everything in your home, no matter how many miles away you’re traveling.

Ring

You’re probably already familiar with Ring. It’s a smart video doorbell that records activity near whichever door it faces. You can watch it in real-time or be alerted to activity when USP delivers a package, when girl scouts come knocking, or even when strangers walk up to your door. This clever doorbell also has the option for you to speak to people at your door through the app.

Remote Pet Monitors

Ever wondered what your cat or dog gets up to during the day? You can keep an eye on your pets from anywhere with pet monitors like Nest, Furbo, and TOOGE dog cam. Set them up in high-traffic areas throughout your home to keep tabs on what your pet is doing. These are great for highly anxious pets or for those who jump onto places they’re not allowed (counters, couches, you name it!).

Remote Light Control

Controlling lights today is so much more sophisticated than just a few years ago. We’ve replaced clapping (do you remember those lights?) with high-tech apps that work with smart light switches to remotely control different lights inside or outside your house. You could be halfway across the world and still be able to turn lights on or off strategically inside your home. This is perfect for when you’re away on an extended vacation and don’t want your house looking vacant.

Security Apps

Security smartphone apps allow you to monitor your security system remotely. If it detects any unusual activity, you’ll be alerted right away and can opt to send the police over to check it out. Most security systems today have an app connected to your system so you can arm it, disarm it, or check on its status day or night from anywhere.

 Fully Connected Smart Home Options

Each of these options allows you to control a specific function in your house, like adjusting the outdoor lights or monitoring your cats and dogs. If you’re looking to fully automate all these functions and bring them into one system….now you can. Automation systems like Kasa Home, Google Home, or the Amazon Echo allow you to connect multiple smart devices in one place and operate them all from a single dashboard. You can control lights, speaker systems, TVs and screens, even your window blinds or refrigerator for a truly smart home.

So breathe a sigh of relief the next time you’re out of town for a few days. With home automation gadgets like these, you can check in on your home, turn off the lights you forgot to hit on your way out, and relax knowing you’re protected.

Stress-Free Ideas for Hosting Thanksgiving In Your New Home

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: November 25, 2019

It’s the holiday season! The weather is getting colder, the Halloween candy is almost gone, and turkey day is right around the corner. Depending on how recently you moved into your new house, tackling Thanksgiving dinner may be a tremendously gutsy thing to do. Even if it’s been a couple of months, you probably still have at least a few boxes left unpacked. But that’s just fine because we’ve got some ideas that will help your Thanksgiving dinner be a little less stressful.

Roll Your Housewarming Party into Thanksgiving

Even the happiest host is going to feel fatigued having people over when there are pictures to hang and rooms to paint, so make it easy on yourself. You’re already inviting people over, whether it’s your group of friends or family, so why not host a double-feature? Combine your Thanksgiving dinner with your housewarming party.

Who knows — you might even convince those friends or family members to help you unpack or set up a room or two. It’ll be a way for your guests to stave off the post-turkey nap, at least.

Give a Potluck Spin to Thanksgiving Dinner

Instead of spending the entire day (or several days, if we’re honest) preparing dishes, digging out roasting pans, and shopping for last-minute ingredients you couldn’t find in the post-move chaos, why not ask your guests to help?

Ask each guest to sign up for an item to bring on the big day. That way, you’ll only be responsible for one or two dishes and can focus your energy on getting your new home ready for your friends and family.

Serve Food You Can Eat on the Go!

Every single person who walks into your new house is going to want a tour. Like, right away, please. It’s going to be a blast showing off your new home to your loved ones, but make sure nobody’s feeling peckish while you’re taking on the role of a tour guide. Put out plenty of snacks and finger foods for guests to nibble on while you take them through the rooms of your new home.

Don’t Just Prep Dinner — Prep the Cleaning Station, Too

Thanksgiving dinner is a warm, cozy meal that makes you want to curl up and take a nap, not spend hours washing dishes. Save yourself the hassle by preparing for the Big Clean Up even before guests arrive. Make sure your dishwasher is empty and ready for business. Clean your pots and pans while you’re cooking, so there’s not a mountain of dishes to wash before you even eat. And finally, fill your sink with soapy water and encourage guests to pop their plates right in after dinner. You’ll be happy you put the time into this when you’re deep into the post-turkey haze.

Have Fun and Be Thankful!

Finally, Thanksgiving is about spending time with your family and friends. So enjoy it! Even if you’re eating off of paper plates, or you’re sitting on uncomfortable folding chairs between boxes, what’s important is the time you’re spending together. Enjoy your holiday!

Preparing for the First Night in Your New Home

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: November 10, 2019

You’ve been waiting all week, all month, and maybe all year for this day: It’s move-in day! Maybe you’ve hired movers, or you’re enlisting the help of friends and family. Regardless, today is going to be a long day filled with heavy lifting, excitement, and probably a good deal of exhaustion. After the last box makes it into the house and the keys are in your hand, now what? You don’t want to scramble around looking for blankets or paper towels or anything else when you’re tired and just want to relax before going to sleep.

Here are some ways you can make the first night in your new home a ton of fun and not incredibly stressful. After all, this is a big change. Make sure you enjoy it. Here are some tips for spending the first night in your new home.

Don’t Even Think About Cooking

Moving is expensive. We get it. But the last thing you want to do is to try and save money at this exact moment by avoiding takeout. Every cooking utensil and pan you own is probably packed up in a box that made its way into the living room anyway, so don’t waste your time or energy. Go ahead and order a pizza or your favorite takeout option. Now’s the perfect time to try out a restaurant in your new neighborhood.

Pack a “First Night” Bag

Yes, you did just pack up everything you own, so it seems silly to have this as a tip. But most people don’t think beyond the moving in itself, and when you’re ready to go to bed on that first night, you’ll be glad you thought ahead.

Pack a bag that contains your essentials, like:

  • Toothbrushes, toothpaste, and toiletries
  • Chargers for your phone, computer, smartwatch, and other devices
  • Medication
  • Pajamas
  • An extra set of clothes (for tomorrow morning!)

Basically, anything you use every day should be in this bag.

Set Up A Home Essentials Kit

You know all those super necessary items that you never think about but always need? That’s what should be in the home essentials kit. You’ll pack a few of these items separately and will want to unpack it immediately. What’s a super necessary but often forgotten item?

We’re talking:

  • Toilet paper
  • Hand soap (for kitchen and bathroom)
  • Paper towels
  • Kitchen sponge
  • Kleenex
  • Trash bags
  • Lightbulbs (you’re guaranteed to need at least one)

Unpack Your Bedroom Right Away

No matter which room you’re most excited to set up, always set up your bedroom first. At the very least, set up your bed complete with blankets, pillows, and sheets. Even if you’re unpacking bright and early in the morning, and you’re hours away from needing to go to bed.

You will be so happy when you’re ready to fall into bed exhausted that first night if you just take the time to do this right away. Sleep will come with no extra work needed.

Pour a Cup of Tea, or Crack a Beer and Just Chill

This one’s the last and most important tip for having a stress-free moving day. At the end of the day, when you’re sitting between boxes on the floor, take an hour or so to relax. You did it — you’re home! Enjoy a few quiet moments in your new house. Congratulations!

Meeting Your New Neighbors During Halloween Doesn’t Have to Be Spooky!

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: October 5, 2019

Moving into a new neighborhood comes with a lot of change. The prospect of meeting all your new neighbors and getting to know the people who live nearby can be daunting. But if you’re moving in the fall, making new friends in the area is a lot easier. Why? Because Halloween, celebrated by walking around the neighborhood and greeting everyone – from friend to stranger – is the perfect time to meet your new neighbors.

Here are a few ways to quickly meet your new neighbors this Halloween:

Stock Up on Candy for Trick-or-Treaters

Moving can be hectic, but even if your move-in date is October 31st, don’t skip handing out candy. Stock up on candy for kids, and be sure to chat up parents that tag along. They’re probably curious about their new neighbor, and nothing says “great first impression” like handing out some top-tier candy.

Dress Up Your House with Spooky (But Wholesome) Decorations

Besides candy, the best part of Halloween is all the fun decorations! Jack-o-lanterns, dancing skeletons, flying ghosts… take some time to dress up your home in some fun and spooky decorations! The goal is to be festive and inviting rather than genuinely creepy or gory. You want an opportunity to greet kids and their parents, so keep the decorations wholesome and not terrifying.

Make Halloween Gift Bags for Neighbors Close By

If you have the time, consider putting together a cute and fun Halloween gift bag for your next-door neighbors. Put aside any shyness and ring your neighbor’s doorbell with the treat – it’s an excellent excuse for walking around the neighborhood to meet the people who live nearby.

Join in Neighborhood Halloween Celebrations

Many neighborhoods hold block parties or group celebrations, especially those with small children who won’t be out past 7 p.m. Keep an eye on your neighborhood’s Next Door feed, billboards around the community, or your HOA board for any events. Attending these gatherings near your new home is a stress-free way to get out and meet your new neighbors.

Celebrating Halloween is a great way to get to know your neighborhood and community. If you have young trick-or-treaters in your house, be sure to greet neighbors along with your kid. And be sure to attend any neighborhood gatherings! If it’s a costume party, be sure to dress up. You’ll get comfortable with your new community in no time.

How to Keep Your Carpets Looking Like New When Life Happens.

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: July 30, 2019

Sure, your brand-new carpets look fantastic when you move into your new home! But, how do you keep them that way when you really live in your new home. Even if your carpet looks clean from across the room, think about everything that might eventually be lurking underneath. The mud your kids tracked in from the backyard this weekend. The glass of wine your aunt spilled last Thanksgiving. Not to mention whatever’s on the bottom of your pet’s feet!

If you have kids or pets or a particularly messy significant other (not pointing fingers!), learning how to clean your carpets properly is a must. You can certainly shell out the money to rent a steam cleaner or shampooer every few months, but that gets expensive not to mention unrealistic — you definitely want your carpets to look like new forever, but life happens.

Keep your carpets looking just like the day you move in by following our tips for squeaky-clean floors – no steamer required.

  1. Tackle Stains the Right Way, Right Away

We all know you can’t stop spills from happening – they’re just a fact of life. But there are things you can do to prevent stains from settling deep into the fibers of your carpets. It may seem obvious, but it’s best to tackle a stain right away. Don’t leave it until it’s dry. Take care of those stains right away – and do it the right way.

  1. Blot, don’t rub!

Blot stains with a cleaning solution or water using a clean cloth or sponge. Apply minimal pressure to soak up the stain, but not so much you rub it into the carpet. Professionals will also recommend blotting from the outside in, to prevent spreading the stain around.

  1. Take it to the Club

It’s not just a myth. Club soda really can lift out wine and beer stains, as long as you use it properly. Looking back at tip #1, add club soda to a clean cloth or paper towel and gently blot the stain. Remember to blot slowly and deliberately, taking care not to rub or press too hard.

Alternately, you can spray a mixture of equal parts of white vinegar and water on the stain. Let it soak in for 10-15 minutes, then press a clean towel or sponge to the area to soak it up. Repeat as needed until the stain is gone. Be sure to rinse the area with water afterward if you don’t want to smell vinegar for a few hours.

  1. Detergent – not just for dishes

Grease stains are notoriously difficult to remove. But a little trick is to turn to the substance you use to remove grease every day – dishwashing detergent! In a cup, dilute a few drops of dishwashing detergent in a cup of water. Then, put it in a spray bottle or soak a towel in it, then blot using the method from tip #1. Repeat as needed until the stain vanishes!

  1. Blood on the floor? No problem.

Anyone who has gotten a small cut or bloody nose knows the fear of ruining a light-colored carpet. Even darker carpets show blood. Luckily, there’s a pretty easy solution to this.

First, scrape up any dried blood using a mixture of water and soap. Then, apply hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain and wait. It’ll start foaming – don’t worry, that’s normal. After letting it sit for a moment, dab it up with a clean cloth. Be sure to test the peroxide on an inconspicuous part of your carpet, as it could bleach darker rugs. Stick with our other solutions if you have dark carpet or are worried about this.

  1. The Deep-Clean Baking Soda Method

Here’s a method that lets you deep clean a carpet without needing to rent machinery. You’ll need a vacuum cleaner, baking soda, a clean towel, and a spray bottle. Ready?

First, give your entire carpet a thorough vacuuming. You want to get up all the dirt and dust clinging to your carpet fibers. Then, lightly but completely spray your carpet with warm water. You want it to be damp, but not soaked. Next, sprinkle baking soda across the wet carpet. Be sure to have an exit strategy, so you’re not stuck in a corner for hours!

Open your windows or turn on some fans to speed up the drying process. Once the carpet is fully dry, vacuum up the baking soda.

You can supplement any of these tips with a professional deep-cleaning by renting out equipment or hiring local cleaners. Generally, you should plan to clean your carpets every six months using method #6 or with a carpet steamer. Be sure to tackle stains as they come, and enjoy a squeaky clean floor!

Easy Glossary of Home Building Terms for New Homeowners

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: June 10, 2019

Being able to build a home from the ground up is so exciting. You’ve spent time pouring over your options and selecting the very best – from the color of the home the color of the flooring. Now it’s time to start putting those ideas into action. Here’s where all that excitement can turn to confusion if you’re not sure where you are in the process. You may be hearing terms flying around and have no idea what they are, or what comes next.

Whether you’re in the middle of buying a new home or just preparing for it, we’ve put together a quick glossary to help you understand what’s going on. Here are some terms you’ll undoubtedly come across as a new homeowner when you purchase a brand new pre-sale home.

Scraping

You’re starting to see some progress! Scraping is when your home’s future site is prepped for foundation work. The site’s protective grass layer is scraped away to reveal the dirt below. Once this happens, the crew can start building your future home’s foundation.

Pre-Construction & Selections Meeting

This one may seem self-explanatory, but this is a meeting between you, the American Classic Homes selections manager, and the construction manager to review your home plans. You’ll all make sure all the options you selected are then represented on the plans.

Once you’ve finalized everything, you’re ready to go! You can expect to start seeing your new home slowly but surely take shape after the pre-construction meeting.

Homeowner Orientation

Your new home has walls, floors, a ceiling, and you’re so close to moving in the excitement is palpable. All that’s left is your homeowner orientation. We’ll send you out to meet with the Customer Service manager to look over the almost finished house to walk the home and to learn the ins and outs of it.

Here, you’ll make sure the new home has been built following the plans, matches all of your chosen options, and that nothing is missing.

You will also go over your plumbing and additional home details and we’ll make sure you understand how to change filters, check for problems, and know where your emergency shutoffs are.

Now onto the next step…moving in! You’re finally ready to move into the house you’ve watched being built from the ground up. Or at least, you know what to expect when you finalize building plans and get to the pre-start process. Keep this glossary handy as you move through the building process, and you’ll be ready every step of the way.

Simple Monthly and Yearly Maintenance Schedule for New Homeowners

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: May 28, 2019

If you’ve just moved into a new home, it’s hard to imagine anything but that shiny, perfect interior and exterior. However, as a homeowner, you’re going to be putting a lot of time and energy into maintaining that home. When you start considering everything that needs to be updated, cleaned, and repaired over time, it can get a little overwhelming.

But you can prepare for regular maintenance by keeping this schedule in the back of your mind (or right in your Google calendar). That way, you can tackle these tasks head on and keep your home safe and secure for many years to come.

Monthly Tasks

Check and Change HVAC System Filters

Checking your filters each month is an easy way to avoid super expensive repairs later on. Plan to go around the house checking these filters at the same time each month; you can even build it into your regular monthly chores. Be sure to clean or replace filters when they get dirty.

Inspect Your Fire Extinguisher

Don’t wait for a full-blown grease fire to realize your fire extinguisher is outdated or worse, missing. Every monthly, take a look at your fire extinguisher(s) to make sure it’s easily accessible, has the right amount of pressure, and isn’t expired.

Clean Your Kitchen Range Hood

Range hood filters get grimy fast. You definitely don’t want to pull yours out a few months from now and find a thick layer of grease covering it. Use a degreaser to clean it, then rinse and dry before replacing thoroughly.

Check Water Softener

You won’t need to add salt to your water softener each month, but it’s a good idea to take a look and make sure.

Yearly Tasks

Replace Batteries in Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

There’s nothing more important than your family’s safety. Regularly check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they’re in working order. Once a year, replace all the batteries in those detectors. Don’t forget — plan to do this every year on the same day, like an anniversary, daylight savings, or a holiday.

Service Your HVAC System

Once a year, it’s a good idea to get your HVAC systems serviced by a professional. Clean systems are more energy-efficient, and you can stay ahead of potential issues by regularly serving these systems.

Vacuum Refrigerator Coils

You heard that right. As the fridge coils get dusty and dirty, they can suck up a ton of extra power. Keep your refrigerator running efficiently by vacuuming out all that grime.

Service and Prepare Air Conditioner (in the Spring)

Depending on whether your home uses window units or has central air, you’ll want to prepare your air conditioner before the hot weather rolls in. If you have a central air system, consider calling in a professional to service it and get it ready for summer.

Turn Off Outdoor Faucets, Unhook Hoses (in the Fall)

Prepare for colder weather by turning off your outdoor faucets and flushing them, and doing the same to your hoses. Unhook them and store them until the Spring.

There are other tasks you’ll want to do on a semi-regular basis to keep your home exterior maintained, like cleaning out your gutters in the Spring or cleaning out window wells in the summer. But the list above of monthly and yearly tasks are the most important ones to keep in mind to make sure you’re keeping your home up to date. With regular checks and repairs, you’ll be able to live in a safe and secure home for years to come.