Five Tips for Making a New House a Home
A lot of people realize after they move into their new houses that mortgage payments do not actually make them homeowners. A “home” is not merely the structure. It is a reflection of you. Many of your most important life events will likely happen within it alone or in the company of family and friends. As a result, your house must be a clean, healthy, safe and comfortable place to actually be a home.
The following tips help speed up the process:
Install New Locks
Anyone who previously owned or used the structure might have keys to the locks. Additionally, some older houses have poor security systems like small bar deadbolts that slide across at the back of doors. As revealed by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, 19.8 percent of all property crimes in 2015 involved burglaries. Hire a professional locksmith to replace the existing locks. Consider adding a keypad pass code system in addition to traditional in-door deadbolts and key locks. Also, consider installing horizontal, tamper-proof sliding window lock bars as an extra precaution.
Fix Electrical Systems
An inspector points out electrical problems before a buyer signs on the dotted line, but some things get overlooked. For example, there is nothing more frustrating after moving into a house then plugging an appliance into an outlet and finding out that it physically sinks back into the wall. Some new homeowners also knowingly move into houses with electrical systems that need critical repairs or upgrades to improve compatibility with new technologies. The best time to fix these systems is before you unpack or clean since removing outlets or wall sections to replace wiring, if necessary, makes a mess.
Clean Every Surface
Beyond construction debris, a house can contain plenty of dust, dirt and other debris along with various animals, insects and microorganisms. Start cleaning from the top of the structure and the top of each room. To make the job easier, consider hiring a commercial cleaner to help you. If you can’t afford one, try to find a way to at least invest in a commercial carpet cleaning service. Carpets often contain dead skin, mites, beetles, fleas, hair, soil, heavy metals, urine, fecal matter and microorganisms from a variety of sources that can make you extremely sick.
Check All Filters
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air pollutants can make people sick with a variety of symptoms that include breathing difficulties and muscle pain. “Sick Building Syndrome” can happen in any type of house. For example, older houses can have lead paint and mold. A newly constructed house might have particles from construction floating around in the air, including plastic, fiberglass and fiberboard particles. All residential structures typically also contain materials like paint and plastics that break down and release volatile organic chemicals. Replace all inside and outside filters after cleaning, including the furnace or HVAC system main unit filter and the filter above your stove. Lastly, consider installing electrostatic filters in floor, ceiling or wall vent grates.
Pick Green Options
Bills pile up fast after you move into a new house. Reducing the stress related to a sudden increase in debt can make your house feel more comfortable from the start. Certain “green” systems reduce electrical and water bills. Replace older appliances with ones that been certified for saving energy. These appliances are usually labeled with the government’s “Energy Star” symbol. Low flow toilet and shower heads also exist to reduce water consumption. If you can afford big renovations, consider installing an energy-efficient solar roof and automated systems that shut down anything that uses electricity, such as appliances, personal electronics, outlets, lights and sprinklers, based on a preset schedule.
As you can see, you can make a new house a home. Once you finish with these five tips, you simply need to do a bit of rearranging and organizing and add a few personal decorative touches.