The home buying process can be an exciting experience, especially if this is your first time buying a property. When you have signed the final paperwork and picked up the front door keys, a new adventure begins. Of course, home ownership can also be a daunting experience since you are now responsible for the upkeep of your house, from the curb to the backyard fence and all points in-between. What are some essential do-it-yourself (DIY) tasks that a new homeowner needs to know how to do?
Mowing and Edging Your Lawn
Even if you eventually decide to hire a professional lawn service, knowing how to mow your grass and whack down weeds will prove to be valuable as you evaluate how the hired hands are doing. If you want to save a few hundred dollars every month, learn how to mow and edge your lawn. If you don’t have lawn equipment, it’s not uncommon for neighbors or friends to let you borrow theirs (just so long as they get it back!).
Cleaning and Maintaining Flowerbeds
This simple task can make a world of difference in how your house looks from the street. All this amounts to is pulling weeds, trimming bushes, removing old mulch, going to the landscape store to buy fresh mulch, and spreading it out over your flowerbeds. If you want to get adventurous, consider buying some flowers while you are at the store, and plant them 9-12 inches apart in your flowerbeds.
Change Out Air Filters
This simple task can greatly improve the atmosphere of your new home. Air conditioning experts recommend that homeowners change their air filters every three months. Why? Air filters collect dust, pollen and other airborne particles as air is sucked into your AC system. If the filters become too coated with “junk,” the flow of air is restricted throughout your house, the pollens stay in the air, and your health may suffer. Air filter locations vary depending on your house. Sometimes they are located near your main air intake, other times they are located next to the air conditioning unit. Filters can be purchased at most grocery stores and home improvement warehouses.
How to Paint Walls and Install Wallpaper
Not every house comes “move-in ready,” and most new homeowners are set on owning their dream home. Learning a few simple tasks like painting walls and working with wallpaper can really help you transform your new living space. Local hardware stores are a great place to ask questions, and even take a class or two.
Caulk Doors, Windows and Kitchen Surfaces
Learning this simple skill might save you hundreds of dollars each year on your utility bills and water damage repairs. Caulk is a pliable paste that is easily applied to the joints around your windows, kitchen countertops and sinks, and anyplace else there is a thin gap that air or water might sneak through. Don’t start off life in your new house with insanely high utility bills. Be sure to check each joint to see if caulking is needed.
How to Winterize Your House
It’s a wonderful feeling to stay warm inside your house during the winter but is your house also staying warm? A few simple preventative tasks can help your house survive sub-freezing temperatures, such as covering your outside faucets with foam covers. Ice and pipes don’t get along and every winter someone is affected by flooding caused by burst pipes. So cover your outside faucets and make sure any exposed pipes are insulated.
Dennis Gray is a home improvement blogger. His most recent home rennovation project began with enlisting the help of Texas Fence Co. to build a quality fence.