Congratulations! You’ve just moved into the home of your dreams. Now that you're finally in and settled, it's time to start getting to know your new home a little better (and we don't just mean enjoying your roomy new tub for the first time!)
While a good builder will take you through a walk-through of your new home prior to your possession date (showing you everything your new home will offer), here are a few things you'll want to familiarize yourself with a little better for later on down the road.
1. Remember Your Breaker Box
If you've purchased your home through Pacesetter Homes, your construction Site Superintendent will take you on a walk-through prior to occupying your home. This means they will show you the breaker box and how it works. Keep this information in mind so that in the event something isn't getting power (i.e. the kitchen stove or a light switch), you know how to reset it.
2. Check All Appliances
It's a good idea to give your appliances a test run to make sure they're all in working order. This includes the washer and dryer, stove and dishwasher. Make sure you stay home for the test run, though. In the unlikely event that one of your new appliances isn't working correctly, you'll want to make sure you catch it.
3. Test Your Smoke Detectors
Gather the family around and do a practice drill for entering and exiting your new home safely. Make sure everyone knows where the smoke detectors are and how to check if they're working. It's important to test them regularly by simply pushing the test button on the surface of the unit.
4. Remember Your Water Shut Off Valves
Just like the breaker box, you will be shown where your main water shut off valve is. This is important to remember as you'll want to be able to access the valve in the event of an emergency or, in some instances, when you head out on vacation. You'll also want to be aware of the local shut-off valves for items such as your toilets, washer, sinks, fridge and dishwasher.
5. Make Sure the HVAC is Working
Check to make sure your heating and cooling system is working properly. Turn on the A/C to see if cool air is flowing through the vents in each of the rooms. Then check to make sure heat flows through every vent.
6. Learn Your Property Lines and Easements
Pacesetter Homes will have staked out property lines and easements prior to construction - but the stakes may not still be in place afterwards. When it comes time to do your new home landscaping and fencing, you'll need to know this information. This can easily be figured out by having your property surveyed to remark the lines.
7. Check for Standing Water
Look around the foundation of the house and yard to see if water stands or puddles when it rains. The next time you get a heavy rain, inspect the yard to make sure there is no water standing near the foundation or driveway. You'll also want to take extra care to ensure your downspouts are down, otherwise water can drain back towards your foundation, forcing your sump pump to work harder to keep water away from your home.
8. Check For Condensation
Newly constructed homes are built to maximize energy efficiency - including triple-paned windows. You may notice condensation collecting on your windows. This is often due to humidity in the home and is completely normal for the first few years of a home’s life. Materials used in the construction contain moisture, and as this moisture evaporates out it can collect as condensation on windows. Ensure the humidifier in the home is set properly for the season, and wipe down moisture collected on windows with a clean towel or paper towel.
9. Make Sure Doors Lock Properly
Here again, when a new home settles it can shift a little. Check your doors to ensure they're plumb and flush with the frame and make sure you can close and lock them easily.
10. Check Your New Home’s Plumbing
Flush the toilets and make sure waste is properly disposed and empties out into the main sewer line. Turn on the shower and let the water run for a while. You will be able to gauge the water temperature and water pressure and see if the shower has proper drainage. Follow the same procedure in the kitchen - run water in the sink and check the pressure. Repeat this process for all faucets in your home.
You've made a big investment, it's time to learn more about it! Now that you're in and settled, be sure to take the time to familiarize yourself with how your new home works. And, should you have any concerns, don't be afraid to ask! A good builder will always be happy to address any questions you may have. Welcome home!