Monday, January 11, 2016

6 Essential Skills Every Homeowner Needs

Owning a home definitely requires a different set of skills than living in an apartment.  If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, here’s a short list of the 6 of the most important skills you should master.

Hanging things

No more landlord means no more finding creative ways to hang the things you want. Of course, that doesn’t mean you want to damage your walls, either. If you’re hanging something heavy, like a TV or large mirror, you’re going to need to find a stud first, or end up with a big mess.

Installing new locks

One of the first things you should do after that now-empty moving van pulls away from your new house is change the locks on your doors. You have no way of knowing who else has copies of the keys, after all.  But even if you’re not a brand new homeowner, locks can seize or break, and you should have the skill to deal with them.

The specifics of this can differ greatly depending on what kind of lock you’re dealing with, though. So remember to do your research first.

Cleaning the gutters

If you have trees anywhere near your home, then you’re probably going to need to clean out your gutters at least once a year. If you don’t, you can end up with gutters that don’t drain properly and put your roof at risk.

Unclogging a drain

Backed up sinks and showers definitely aren’t the fun part of home ownership, but they happen all too frequently. Depending on the drain and the type of clog, this can mean everything from chemical drain cleaners and plunging to unscrewing your p-trap.

Understanding a circuit breaker

When you overload a circuit—plug in too many electronics, try to vacuum and watch TV at the same time, etc—your circuit breaker fixes the problem by cutting off electricity to the circuit. This helps prevent damage to your system.

When this happens, you should first unplug a few non-essentials. Next head to your electrical panel and find the switch that has been tripped. It will be in the “off” position. Flip it to “on” and you’re all set.

Cutting your water supply
When a pipe bursts or a home repair job goes awry, you better know where you water cutoff is. If you don’t, you’re going to end up with a lot of water in places you’d prefer to keep dry. Most individual fixtures have their own valves, typically near where they connect to the wall.

A main shut off valve, though, can be a little trickier to find.  It can be inside or outside, depending on the house, and will be located where the water pipe enters the house, which can vary.  It’s usually a round brass valve.