There’s a funny commercial about a therapist who specializes in helping young adults who after buying their first house become their parents. As an example of the parent generation I try to just see the humor in it but…. There is more than a grain of truth in becoming like your parents when it comes time to take care of a house. Yes, turning off lights when you leave a room does cost money. The difference between 67 and 70 degrees can make the oil last longer. And the lawn won’t mow itself.
So, what do 1st time homeowners need to know? Above and beyond the normal housekeeping.
1. What type of heating do you have? Do you need to get on a plan to supply oil? Do you know the end of a propane tank has a smell to alert you when it’s almost empty?
2. Do you have a water pump? Do you realize if it’s kicking on frequently there may be a leak somewhere or your toilet flapper might be stuck open?
3. Did you know the toilet has a flapper? It’s the part that the handle pulls up to let the water out of the tank and then falls back down to allow the tank to fill up again.
4. Speaking of toilets, you can clear most clogs with dish soap and hot water and plunging the heck out of it. Also, there are 2 types of plungers and you need the bigger one with the rounded bottom for toilets. The smaller flat one is for sinks. You don’t want to mix them up.
5. You can always look at when your neighbors put out trash and recycling. Also, the more expensive trash can with a secure lid is a worthy investment. Especially if you are in bear territory. You probably can only put your trash out the night before. One early morning with your trash all over the driveway will teach you the joys of a tight-fitting lid.
6. Once you know your trash day you need to clean out your fridge the night before of the green fuzzy stuff. All the squishy veggies and leftovers that you just won’t eat belong in the trash.
7. You learn the joys of finding the right lids for your leftover containers. You look forward to upgrading from using take-out containers.
8. Doing laundry is so much easier to stay on top of when you have the machines in your own home. Same when you get a dishwasher. It does make sense to do run it every day. At least every other day.
9. You do need to plan ahead to have toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, cleaning products on hand before you run out. It’s amazing how many types of soap you need to have. Body, dish, laundry, furniture, window, and pet. And butter, bread, sugar, salt & pepper, and pancake syrup don’t magically appear when you need them. Your parent planned ahead and purchased them.
10. There are some jobs that no matter how well you do them you will need to do them again. And again. And again. And no one is going to pay you to do them.
Before I frighten you let’s look at the perks of being a homeowner.
1. You can decorate it however YOU want. Always wanted black walls? There’s no one to stop you. Want a couch in the dining room? Go ahead. Just remember to buy curtains.
2. Get as many packages delivered as you want from whatever stores you want.
3. Eat cereal all day? Make elaborate meals on paper plates. Use good china for pop tarts. Learn how to use chopsticks.
4. Have a dance party anytime. Play music all night. Sing in the shower. Sing in the kitchen.
5. It feels great to unclog your own toilet. Really. And to mow your own lawn.
6. Want to make breakfast in just a robe? Or your birthday suit? Go ahead. Remember those curtains.
I’m sure you can think of more and we here at Pavolony Construction want to help you make your house into your home. You lucky homeowner you!