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Deft
Stros in '08
Premium
join:2003-09-06
Grand Forks, ND
Reviews:
·Midcontinent Com..

1 recommendation

[Everything] New Home Owner!

So we recently closed on a house and im pretty pumped! Got the inspection done and a few things needed to be fixed (and are now). My first question is what did you guys/gals do when you first moved into your new home?

The wife and i are planing on painting the walls right away before we even move in (staying at the apartment till end of next month) so 10 days of basically painting and "cleaning" maybe!

Just a fyi, this will be our 1st home. and any advice/help is appreciated!


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
If you have anything that needs to be sanded (walls, floors, ceilings, etc.), do it now BEFORE you move in...


John97
Over The Hills And Far Away
Premium
join:2000-11-14
Spring Hill, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Bright House
·ooma
reply to Deft
Check all your smoke detectors, replace batteries, etc. Make sure you have fire extinguishers in the right places as well. The home inspector should have checked this, but use all your sinks and toilets. Run water, make sure there are no leaks before you put all your stuff in the cabinets under the sinks, etc.

I bought my house from a very elderly woman and she was only using one bedroom and one bathroom. The home inspector checked all this stuff (supposedly). But, most of my bathroom sinks and the kitchen sink had small leaks underneath. Most of it was easy to fix, just tightening a few fittings, etc. I suspect it was because she had the water turned off (even though we had agreed I would get the service transferred on the day of settlement). When the water got turned back on I checked everything and that's how I found the leaks.

--
So put me on a highway, and show me a sign.
And take it to the limit one more time...


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to Deft
We got a pre-foreclosure in bad cosmetic shape. First gutted the kitchen - it was in need of a complete remodel. While working on it also painted all walls, fixed two bathrooms, had central air installed. Replaced all doors and trims. Then had the hardwood floors refinished and had to stay at some friends for a week.


Deft
Stros in '08
Premium
join:2003-09-06
Grand Forks, ND
Reviews:
·Midcontinent Com..
reply to John97
said by John97:

Check all your smoke detectors, replace batteries, etc. Make sure you have fire extinguishers in the right places as well. The home inspector should have checked this, but use all your sinks and toilets. Run water, make sure there are no leaks before you put all your stuff in the cabinets under the sinks, etc.

All the plumbing and wiring is brand new. and he said everything works but im still going to put brand new batteries and buy a fire extinguishers

said by SwedishRider:

If you have anything that needs to be sanded (walls, floors, ceilings, etc.), do it now BEFORE you move in...

Its a decently old place i was thinking of tearing up a corner to see what it looks like. but dont you have to sand and seal like 3 times?


stevek1949
We're not in Kansas anymore
Premium
join:2002-11-13
Virginia Beach, VA
reply to Deft
Get one of thise five dollar outlet testers and check each one for proper cabling.
Check the breaker panel for proper labeling.
Change the air filters after you clean and dust.
Make sure that the outside water spigots are winterized.
Check window and door sealing against the ND weather.
Check the toilet flapper valves. Put food coloring in the tanks to see if any gets by the flapper.
CHANGE THE LOCKS!
If you have an electric dryer, make sure that the pigtail is the same as the socket (three VS four wire)

Good luck to you and your wife with the house!


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to Deft
Yes, typically 3 coats of mud and then a final sanding. Get all of it done before you move in.... Trust me.


Jeffrey
Connoisseur of leisurely things
Premium
join:2002-12-24
Long Island
kudos:3
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage
reply to Deft
Between the painting, staining, the changing of the door locks, winterizing the outdoor water bibs and/or sprinkler system, there is good advice here.

My wife and I closed in Nov of 2008 and moved in shortly thereafter. Since I'm now out of the "new" homeowner stage, I'll give you some advice that helped me:


  • Ask questions. This forum is a great resource.

  • I don't know how handy you are, but in 2008 I was not. I've become quite handy, and while I still can't demo, design and build my own bathroom, I still know a lot more than I did in 2008. You learn a lot "on the job" so to speak.

  • Know where your closest Lowes Depot and plumbing supply store is. You'll be there from time to time, often more than 3 times per day to get something done.

  • When the hot water heater pressure release valve gets stuck in the open position throwing water at a constant rate into the basement, don't panic. If you don't know how to handle it, call the plumber, watch and you'll know how to do it for next time.

  • Paint anything and everything before you move in and before furniture comes. I can't stress this enough.

  • Various vendors you'll need to use will be worse than others. Find the good ones for the jobs you can't handle; electrician, plumber, etc.

  • If you have a sprinkler system, learn how to fix/change the heads yourself. A $9 head at Lowes Depot sells for $45 from the sprinkler companies that will come by and fix it for you.



Congrats and good luck.
--
He used to say that soul shine, is better than sunshine, better than moonshine, damn sure better than rain.

I take direction from one person under protest.


Deft
Stros in '08
Premium
join:2003-09-06
Grand Forks, ND
Reviews:
·Midcontinent Com..

3 edits
reply to stevek1949
said by stevek1949:

Get one of thise five dollar outlet testers and check each one for proper cabling.
1. done, was done by inspector

Check the breaker panel for proper labeling.
2.will do that

Change the air filters after you clean and dust.
3. same as above

Make sure that the outside water spigots are winterized.
4.uhh how and what

Check window and door sealing against the ND weather.
5.windows from north to south are brand new, not the east/west

Check the toilet flapper valves. Put food coloring in the tanks to see if any gets by the flapper.
6.have kids will use food coloring immediately

CHANGE THE LOCKS!
7.have any suggestions

If you have an electric dryer, make sure that the pigtail is the same as the socket (three VS four wire)
8.inspector checked and wasnt to worried

Good luck to you and your wife with the house!

We dont have much cashola but in due time i will get this damn house under control.


SaveMollah

@videotron.ca

1 recommendation

said by Deft:

So we recently closed on a house and im pretty pumped!

Just a fyi, this will be our 1st home. and any advice/help is appreciated!

New home owners are excited and go overboard. Take it all with a grain of sand and now start putting money aside. Idea's, repairs, things you don't like, and small projects will come to you over the next 3 years.

said by Deft:

We dont have much cashola but in due time i will get this damn house under control.

As is with most new home owners.

Don't go overboard. Just get clean, get some paint on the place, move in and relax.

Trust me, the house jobs will find you, don't go looking for them.

New home owners tend to want address everything possible on the first shot, then over-spend. Back yard, front yard, in the house (ahem, breaking open walls) and so forth.

Don't get caught in the trap. Go slow.


Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to Deft
While it has only been mentioned to check the batteries in the smoke detectors you also need to check how old they are. They have a date sticker either inside or on the bottom against where they mount. They need to be replaced when they have been in service no longer than 10 years, some manufacturers even recommend after 7 years. No sense in putting new batteries in a device that's passed its useful life.

As far as winterizing outside spigot there are several ways to do it depending on the type you have. Some have an inside value can shut off and then drain the water from the outside section of the piping. If you don't have that the big-box stores (Lowe's and Home Depot) as well as most hardware stores stock Styrofoam covers you put over the outside to keep the metal from getting cold and freezing the water inside of it.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
reply to Deft
Flea bomb...


StillLearn
Premium
join:2002-03-21
Streamwood, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T Midwest
reply to Deft
Either get a leaf rake or mow over your leaves to grind them up. Oh, and get a lawn mower. Maybe you will find a good out-of-season deal on a new or used mower.

Check weatherstripping and caulk.

I would go with Schlage locks for reasonable cost and security. Kwikset SmartKey is a cool idea, but I don't know if they have solved their security flaw.


Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 recommendation

reply to Deft
Just remember the immortal words of comedian(and devoted apartment-dweller), Alan king: "Anyone who owns their own home... deserves it!"

It is a never-ending list of things that must/should/would like to be done. Welcome to the club!
--
Keep your eye on the ball, your shoulder to the wheel, your nose to the grindstone, and your ear to the ground. Now, try to work in that position!!!

cjski
The Wheel Weaves As The Wheel Will
Premium
join:2001-01-04
Sun City, CA
reply to Deft
You guys have given some great ideas. I've been in my house for 16 years, but I'm going to be doing some of this stuff...


Deft
Stros in '08
Premium
join:2003-09-06
Grand Forks, ND
Reviews:
·Midcontinent Com..
reply to StillLearn
said by StillLearn:

Either get a leaf rake or mow over your leaves to grind them up. Oh, and get a lawn mower. Maybe you will find a good out-of-season deal on a new or used mower.

Check weatherstripping and caulk.

I would go with Schlage locks for reasonable cost and security. Kwikset SmartKey is a cool idea, but I don't know if they have solved their security flaw.

Im expecting the in-laws to get us a mower for sure.. i can get the other stuff when the snow goes away and i have just realized i have to shovel a sidewalk and driveway... SOB..

I called our Water/Lights Dept here in town and he averaged 90 bux during the summer and about 130-210 during the winter. It is baseboard heating and yes i know thats the spendy part of heating but we understood what we were getting into.

Beezel

join:2008-12-15
Las Vegas, NV
reply to Deft
I had to paint inside, remove all open gas heaters, removed all gas appliances and replaced with electric. Put in central HVAC, replaced and upgraded gas water heater. Replaced the sewer line, put in new windows. Removed illegal wiring, refinished all hardwood floors. Put up new gutters, and fascia boards. Replaced 3 exterior doors and 1 garage door. upgraded electrical service entrance and brought it up to code. Gutted and redone basement after flood. Added carport beside detached garage, patched driveway. Removed overgrown trees causing damage. Sold house because of retirement, and moved from the east to the west.

My new home will be finished in Feb. So I won't have to do squat except bug the builder to make sure he doesn't cut corners. Also pick my battles over what will be installed and such with the boss.


jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1
reply to Deft
When you replace the entry door locksets, and if you decide to install deadbolts (recommended) have them keyed alike, that way one key does all the locks.

I've used »www.handlesets.com with good results.

Just measure the backset, (centerline of the handle to the face of the door) typically it's 2-3/4 inches.
--
~Help Find a Cure for Cancer~
~Proud Member of Team Discovery ~


02778712

join:2013-07-08
MA
reply to Deft
said by Deft:

said by StillLearn:

Either get a leaf rake or mow over your leaves to grind them up. Oh, and get a lawn mower. Maybe you will find a good out-of-season deal on a new or used mower.

Check weatherstripping and caulk.

I would go with Schlage locks for reasonable cost and security. Kwikset SmartKey is a cool idea, but I don't know if they have solved their security flaw.

Im expecting the in-laws to get us a mower for sure.. i can get the other stuff when the snow goes away and i have just realized i have to shovel a sidewalk and driveway... SOB..

I called our Water/Lights Dept here in town and he averaged 90 bux during the summer and about 130-210 during the winter. It is baseboard heating and yes i know thats the spendy part of heating but we understood what we were getting into.

I wish heating was only $130-210 here. Heating oil runs us about $3,500-4,000 a year which we use for 6 months. Say $600 a month to heat for me. Your heating bill is about our Summer rate.

tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2
reply to Deft
You might be passed this point but I'd always recommend doing your own inspection... usually at the same time the home inspector does his (if things are being repaired you might be able to do an inspection on your own in order to confirm that those things were done). I simply don't trust most home inspectors. I also recommend that you do the final walk through the day before the closing (or even several hours before). Do look for any issues.

Painting is a good idea to do right away as you will see the walls every waking moment. I'd pace yourself for most other things. Things you want to do/change will be a never ending cycle. I'd say it would be easy to drop $2000 on things in the first few months of owning the home.


02778712

join:2013-07-08
MA
reply to Deft
I plan $4,000 for a new house. If you get quality locks you can spend $500-800 right there. Paint is $40 a gallon and a normal house will need 1-2 gallons a room so you can easily drop $300-500 on paint if you DIY it. Add another $1,500-2,000 if you want someone to do the painting for you. I dropped another $300-400 on outlets, switches, plates, etc. and replaced them all. That way I know they are all wired correctly, correct color, lighted if needed, sensor nightlights, gfci, etc. You also get to play with all the breakers to see if they are labeled right.


StillLearn
Premium
join:2002-03-21
Streamwood, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T Midwest
reply to Deft
said by Deft:

called our Water/Lights Dept here in town and he averaged 90 bux during the summer and about 130-210 during the winter. It is baseboard heating and yes i know thats the spendy part of heating but we understood what we were getting into.

Is that electric baseboard heating? If so, he wore coats all of the time, or the insulation is really really good.

If it it natural gas hot water heat, that should not be more expensive to run -- just to install.

Are those numbers for heat and electricity? Maybe he took long vacations in the winter.


Deft
Stros in '08
Premium
join:2003-09-06
Grand Forks, ND
Reviews:
·Midcontinent Com..
 
said by StillLearn:

said by Deft:

called our Water/Lights Dept here in town and he averaged 90 bux during the summer and about 130-210 during the winter. It is baseboard heating and yes i know thats the spendy part of heating but we understood what we were getting into.

Is that electric baseboard heating? If so, he wore coats all of the time, or the insulation is really really good.

If it it natural gas hot water heat, that should not be more expensive to run -- just to install.

Are those numbers for heat and electricity? Maybe he took long vacations in the winter.

Yes its baseboard electric. just to give an example here is our month bill from last month. Now granted this is a apartment complex and we're in the middle of the 3 story building
Average Daily Temperature
69°
Electric/kWh per Day
26.0
Electric/Cost per Day
$3.24

The installation was put in by a non profit group and here is a picture of it. Not only that but the windows were also put in by this group too so IM ASSUMING this is a legit reading from our company. she basically told me every month what he had to pay.. between jan-march he was around 150-200 a month.


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
reply to 02778712
said by 02778712:

I plan $4,000 for a new house. If you get quality locks you can spend $500-800 right there. Paint is $40 a gallon and a normal house will need 1-2 gallons a room so you can easily drop $300-500 on paint if you DIY it. Add another $1,500-2,000 if you want someone to do the painting for you. I dropped another $300-400 on outlets, switches, plates, etc. and replaced them all. That way I know they are all wired correctly, correct color, lighted if needed, sensor nightlights, gfci, etc. You also get to play with all the breakers to see if they are labeled right.

I think you can get good paint for $25/gal. Remember the colors you pick today probably won't be the same as what you have 5 and 8 years down the road. The best locks in the world won't keep a determined thief out so I think this is a little high as well.

My advice: Shop sales.


Deft
Stros in '08
Premium
join:2003-09-06
Grand Forks, ND
Reviews:
·Midcontinent Com..
said by mityfowl:

said by 02778712:

I plan $4,000 for a new house. If you get quality locks you can spend $500-800 right there. Paint is $40 a gallon and a normal house will need 1-2 gallons a room so you can easily drop $300-500 on paint if you DIY it. Add another $1,500-2,000 if you want someone to do the painting for you. I dropped another $300-400 on outlets, switches, plates, etc. and replaced them all. That way I know they are all wired correctly, correct color, lighted if needed, sensor nightlights, gfci, etc. You also get to play with all the breakers to see if they are labeled right.

I think you can get good paint for $25/gal. Remember the colors you pick today probably won't be the same as what you have 5 and 8 years down the road. The best locks in the world won't keep a determined thief out so I think this is a little high as well.

My advice: Shop sales.

Yeah i just recently painted a house and it didn't cost anywhere near that price. i think our Menards store here is around 18-20/gal for the good brands.


Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to Deft
You can buy paint and just about any price you want to pay but better paints certainly pay off in the long run because you won't have to paint again as soon! Stick with Sherwin-Williams or one of the other major brands. Stay away from the store brands at Lowe's, Home Depot etc. That may sound good but don't hold up in the long run.


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
said by Msradell:

You can buy paint and just about any price you want to pay but better paints certainly pay off in the long run because you won't have to paint again as soon! Stick with Sherwin-Williams or one of the other major brands. Stay away from the store brands at Lowe's, Home Depot etc. That may sound good but don't hold up in the long run.

I don't think that there is a long run for a new homeowner.

Tastes change and so do styles. No sense spending $40/gal when in 5 years $18/gal paint will do.


djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO
reply to Msradell
Click for full size
CR paint raitings

Stick with Sherwin-Williams or one of the other major brands. Stay away from the store brands at Lowe's, Home Depot etc.

Consumer Reports disagrees with your assessment.

I'm pretty impressed with Behr Premium Plus. You can get by with just one coat, even when you're painting over something drastically different. Painted over a bright red wall with a light neutral, no problem.

No sense spending $40/gal when in 5 years $18/gal paint will do.

Right. It might make sense for exterior paints. On the interior, it doesn't matter how good the paint is, it's going to get dirty, base trim is going to get scuffed up, taste will change, etc.


Deft
Stros in '08
Premium
join:2003-09-06
Grand Forks, ND
reply to Deft
I'll take your paint rating graph seriously and will go with a good product, if i can get away with one coat with that Behr like you said im going to shoot for that one!


StillLearn
Premium
join:2002-03-21
Streamwood, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T Midwest
reply to djrobx
said by djrobx:

I'm pretty impressed with Behr Premium Plus. You can get by with just one coat, even when you're painting over something drastically different. Painted over a bright red wall with a light neutral, no problem.

I used that. It was ok where I had the paint tinted to color. The untinted white that I used in closets was terrible for hiding power. It took three coats to cover. I suggest not using the untinted white.

For ceilings, I recommend white ceiling paint. That's what it's called. Flat to hide small imperfections; it helps brighten a room.