Being a first-time homeowner brings many joys – and also a learning curve as you navigate home maintenance issues. Sometimes, what you don’t do can hurt you as much as what you do.
To that end, Axium Inspections, a home inspection firm, recently offered a list of common mistakes new homeowners make:
NOT knowing where the main water shutoff valve is. “Water damage is the most common of all household insurance claims,” says Axium. If you notice water leaking, you may need to shut it off in a hurry. Know where the turn-off valve is.
NOT paying attention to the slope of the soil around your foundation. The ground around your foundation should slope away from the house at least 6 inches to keep water and melting snow from flowing into your foundation. Failing to remedy poor sloping can result in cracks in your foundation walls.
NOT calling 811 before digging in your yard. Before putting in new trees, fences and other outdoor enhancements, you need to know where the underground utility lines are located. Damaging such lines can disrupt service to your neighborhood and result in fines and repair costs – not to mention injury. Call 811 and request that someone come out and mark the utility lines first. (This service is free.)
NOT being careful when drilling into walls. Walls hide all sorts of electrical wiring, so be sure you know where that wiring is before drilling. Generally, 8 inches to 2 feet above the floor is a “no drilling zone.” Also, says Axium, “stay clear of vertical locations above and below wall switches.”
NOT paying for a written report from a structural engineer. If you hire a structural engineer to assess structural issues at your home, it’s important to obtain a written report about what needs to be addressed. While the paperwork costs extra, it’s critical when selling the home, in order to demonstrate to potential buyers that the problem has been properly corrected.