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Owning Up To Home Ownership: Some Timeless Tips For Making Your House A Home Sweet Home

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Whether your moving into your first home, first new home, or simply to another home, it never ceases to be exciting, including all the added responsibility that comes along with home ownership. Part of this beautiful experience is learning all about making and keeping your house a home beautiful. Some of the basic essentials in ownership etiquette include:

1. You gave and inch, you got a yard: Yards, both front and back are one of the most aesthetically appealing ownership assets, they are also one of the most time-consuming and expensive. Lawns need to be well manicured and plants and shrubs are essential to flower power. But for all there bloomin’ beauty, remember, it’s not always easy being green.

· Lawn: You should invest in either a lawn mower or weekly mowing service. You’ll also want to make sure it’s weed and pesticide free. Your best bet is a dandelion puller and a rake for all those fabulous fall leaves.

· Flowerbeds: To wake these “sleeping” beauties, you should invest in a shovel and a hand trowel for planting and moving. Also consider a three-pronged hand cultivator for weeding. If you dream of xenias and other annual prized perennials, you’ll want to a sturdy gardening forks, a metal rake, and a quality pair of short-bladed pruners.

· Trees, shrubs and bushes: Unless you’re hedging toward hiring a grounds-keeper you should purchase a long-bladed hedge trimmer, a small pruning saw, and perhaps a tree lopper.

· Cutting A Deal: Trimming costs is easy if you know how and where to shop. Check out local yard sales first. According to experts, don’t pass up tools just because they look old, chances are they are probably in good condition and quite durable.

2. Who’s The Boss: Since you signed the papers and closed on the deal, it was “official”, you are (the boss). No more mom and dad or super to rely on. It’s all YOU.

A few helpful homeownership hints

· Reaching Your Boiling Point: Knowing where the furnace is, and how to use it can make sure you never have to lose your cool. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the filters, when they need to be replaced, how to replace them and where to get the. You’ll also want to know who to call for maintenance or to change the oil, if it’s an oil furnace. Furthermore, you should know where the reset button is and if it has a fan to cool the house in the summer.

· It’s Electric: Make sure you not only know where all your electric outlets are but also where the main fuse box (or switch box) is. Know which way is on and which is off, and what each switch is responsible for controlling. Experts also recommend labeling each switch so there’s no guessing, especially in the dark.

· Water Works: You’ll need to locate the meter and the turn-of valve inside the house. You’ll also need to turn off the outside faucets in the winter and/or find out how friends and neighbors go about winterizing theirs (especially on outdoor sprinkler systems)

· Burning The Midnight Oil: If you have a fireplace you also have a fireplace flue. Make sure you have it cleaned approximately every 1-3 years, depending on frequency of usage. Putting off necessary maintenance may cause the chimney to not draw well, causing smoke to remain within the room (instead of escaping through the chimney), and may even cause a chimney fire.

3. Applicable Appliance Applications: Things you’ll need to know about make the conveniences of life more convenient.

· Water Heater: Make sure it has a pilot light or that you know how to reignite it should it go out. Find out how to set the temperature and to what degree you should set it to.

· Clothes Dryer: Make sure to clean out the lint tray after every load or at least every other load. Otherwise, it will build up making it harder to dry your clothes, and eventually posing a fire hazard as the dry lint becomes susceptible to causing a fire.

· Washer: Add a filter to the end of the hose if your washing machine drains directly into a utility sink. This will help prevent clogs.

· Refrigerator: It’s suggested that you clean out the water tray at least twice a year. It’s also recommended that you clean behind you refrigerator where dirt seems to accumulate and to vacuum the coils in the back periodically to ensure continued proper cooling.

· Garbage Disposal: Identify and locate the reset button and know how it works, it may come in handy if the disposal decides to automatically stop working for no apparent reason. Prior to restarting it, check with your fingers that there’s nothing blocking the blades. Then, press the reset or restart button. Run cold water in the sink and keeping your hands and fingers at a safe distance (from the blades) turn the disposal back on.

4. Tooling Around The House: Some helpful and essential items to include in a home toolbox or belt.

· Hammer

· An assortment of nails

· Picture Wire

· An array of screws, nuts and bolts.

· A variety of screwdrivers including flathead and Phillips.

· Pliers

· Plumbers wrench

· Electric drill featuring drill, screwdriver and indoor/outdoor bits.

· Ratchet set

· Saw

· Duct Tape

· Packing Tape

· Rope

· Flashlight

· WD 40

· Clean “shop” rags

Long Island Home & Lifestyle Articles > Owning Up To Home Ownership: Some Timeless Tips For Making Your House A Home Sweet Home

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