What new homeowners need to know about their house

TreesSo you have just purchased your new home and are so excited to start making it your own. What an exciting time!

Congratulations! Following are some important things you need to know as soon as possible about your new house.

  1. Know where gas lines and main water lines are, and where the shut off valves are for each.
  2. Call 811 to find out where major lines are leading to and from house before digging any holes for trees, water features, sprinklers, etc.
  3. Get yourself a good stud finder, and drill no more than 1 – 1 ¾ “ into a wall before you start hanging heavy items, such as that TV wall mount. There are pipes, electrical wiring, etc. in your walls, and you don’t need the extra expense of repairing wiring or plumbing as a new home owner.
  4. Can’t wait to put in a new deck but there’s a tree in the way? Many cities and counties in Portland require permits to cut down trees. But once you have that permit, unless you really know what you’re doing, you really should hire a professional. Trees often don’t fall the way you expect them to, and roof damage to your home, or your neighbors’ isn’t a great start to home ownership.
  5. If you had a home inspection, you should know the depth of your insulation, but in case you don’t, a trip up to the attic might be in order. Insulation should be 10-14 inches deep to really do a good job, so locate your attic access, get a ladder and take a peek. (Hint: if you can see the joists in your attic, you don’t have enough insulation).
  6. Make sure the soil around the foundation of your home slopes away from the foundation. The moisture from standing water around the foundation can weaken foundation walls. If it freezes, it can cause cracks that can lead to major foundation damage and major expensive repairs down the road.

It’s always a good idea to be prepared, just in case a disaster strikes, or just a small error on your part requires fast action. Take an hour or so to become really familiar with your new house,  write it down, and keep the information on a bulletin board so it is readily available to all members of your household.

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