One of the advantages of buying a new construction home is that you don’t need to worry about renovating or fixing anything up before you move in. The appliances are all state-of-the-art, the fixtures are in style, and the design is just what you wanted. You won’t have to worry about any major maintenance or repair needs for a number of years.
Even though the move-in will be a lot easier than with an older home, new construction doesn’t mean you can just ignore home maintenance altogether. Putting a little bit of effort into maintaining your new construction home can spare you from some big fixes down the road.
Time, the weather, and use take their toll on even the best built houses. But a few proactive tips can help you stay on top of regular maintenance and reduce the risk of major breakdowns or repairs. By buying a custom home, you’re making a big investment, one that you can protect with a few simple maintenance tips.
#1 Pay Attention at the Walkthrough
You’re retiring to a bungalow townhome that’s just been built. You’re excited to move into your dream home in a new community, but it’s important to pay attention to the move-in process. Before you move in, builders will do a walkthrough and provide some crucial information about your new home. They’ll tell you some basic things like where to find the circuit breakers and water shut-off valves, where to access the air filter on your furnace, and what you need to know when maintenance is done on your home.
Pay attention during the builder walkthrough and even write down anything that’s not readily apparent. Following the builder’s recommendations can save you a lot of headaches down the line.
#2 Follow Appliance Manuals
Every appliance has an owners’ manual and it pays to follow the instructions. Keep them organized and accessible so that you can refresh your memory easily. Every now and then you’ll probably have one of those moments when you wonder, “How often should I drain the water heater?” You’re more likely to do it right if the answer is close to hand.
Appliances are usually the first source of home repair problems. HVAC units, water heaters, and plumbing systems do a lot of work to keep your home functioning and comfortable. Do yourself a favour and follow the manuals to keep them running at peak performance for longer.
#3 Change Air Filters Monthly
Sometimes it pays to do better than the manufacturers’ recommendations. While many air filters may say that they’re good for 90 days or longer, you can reduce wear-and-tear on your HVAC system by changing air filters monthly.
A dirty air filter makes it harder for a furnace to intake air and heat your home. That means your bills are going to go up, while the strain on the system can also necessitate repairs or replacement sooner than if you kept regularly changing the filter. It’s especially important to change your air filters regularly during winter and summer months, when your furnace and AC are running more frequently.
Changing filters regularly can also improve the air quality in your home. Plus, it’s just easier to remember to do something on a monthly schedule.
#4 Perform Seasonal Inspections
Canadian seasons can be extreme. From huge winter snowfalls and deep freezes to high winds and summer rain storms, the weather is always throwing something new at our homes. Even the transition from one season to another causes more wear and tear.
You can prevent small issues from becoming bigger, more expensive problems by doing seasonal inspections on your home. For example, here is a great spring maintenance checklist to perform after every winter:
- Inspect the roof for any lost or damaged shingles.
- Check the gutters as freezing and thawing water can easily cause leaks and faulty drainage.
- Look for cracks or movement on any concrete, such as landscaping features.
- Check your outdoor faucets to make sure they haven’t burst in the cold.
- Have your AC unit cleaned so that it operates more efficiently.
Every season has its unique hazards. Doing a quick inspection gives you a chance to identify problems before they get out of hand.
#5 Watch Your Yard
New construction inevitably disturbs the soil around it. It takes time for the soil to settle back in, and that can mean changes in the grade of your yard. In fact, it takes seven years for soil to resettle.
The big concern you should have is the grade settling in a way that causes water to flow toward your home instead of away from it. That can cause basement flooding during spring thaws or heavy-rainfall summer storms. Maintaining outside soils can help you make sure drainage doesn’t become a problem.
Here are a few tips for improving yard drainage:
- Using a French drain or underground drain, i.e., a gravel-filled ditch that is subsequently covered.
- Improving clay soil with organic material like plants, leaf mould, and other compost.
- Creating a berm that redirects water flow and protects your home from excessive rain.
The Maintenance Advantage of Townhome Condominiums
One of the big draws for our townhomes is that they are condominiums, meaning you don’t have to worry about upkeep like lawn maintenance. While many people think of glass boxes in the sky when they hear “condo,” townhome condominiums have been around for decades. Townhome condos, as opposed to freeholds, mean you own the home, but not the land.
Not only can townhome condos be more affordable because land ownership is not included, it also means that many regular maintenance tasks are handled by the condo board and covered from the fees. This can include anything from yard work to roof repair. It’s a great solution for anyone who travels frequently and isn’t home to take care of yard work, or anyone who no longer wants to be responsible for that kind of home maintenance.
Take advantage of townhome condominium if you’re ready to say goodbye to mowing the lawn.
Quality Blythwood Homes
Quality construction is where every Blythwood Homes community begins. We believe that communities are stronger and neighbourhoods are better when the houses that make them up are well built. If you’re interested in bungalow living in an adult community, check out our home listings in the Niagara region.
A new construction home shouldn’t give you any major repair troubles. But as you settle in, a few preventative maintenance tips can make your life much easier and keep your maintenance costs down.