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What First Time Homeowners Need to Know

We’ve seen it often enough as we inspect houses across Suffolk and Nassau counties and beyond: a new and excited home owner unwittingly causes damage or problems for themselves.

Here’s a list we’ve compiled based on an article in

  • Know where you main water shut-off valve is located. You’d be surprised how many home owners have no idea where their main water shut-off valve is inside their home. Water can cause enormous damage in a very short amount of time. A burst pipe can soak your floors, drywall, and valuables in minutes and cause thousands of dollars in damages. The main water valve is located at the point where water enters your home. Every family member should know where it is.
  • Before you dig up your yard, make sure you know where your utility lines are buried in your front and back yards. Calling 811, the national hotline for digging safely, can get your local utilities out to your home to mark where all your underground utilities can be found. It can be dangerous to knick a line or gas pipe!
  • Check your soil levels. All the soil around your home needs to drain away from your dwelling by at least 6”. The accumulation of water, rainwater, or snow at your foundation can put unnecessary pressure on it and eventually lead to cracks and thousands of dollars repairing your foundation.
  • Do you have adequate attic insulation? One rule of thumb is to ensure you don’t see the top of your joists. If you do, your insulation is likely inadequate. Contact as as professional home inspectors and we can take a look for you and make a recommendation.
  • Stop before you hammer in that nail! Use a stud sensor to detect hidden items behind your drywall. It can help detect studs, ducts, and cables. They’re not 100% foolproof, but it’s better than just hammering or drilling into a wall to find out your cut a cable. You don’t want to go deeper into a wall than you really need to, by the way. Some rules to keep in mind: 8 inches to 2 feet horizontally between outlets and vertical locations above and below switches are no-go zones. Don’t drill or nail into those areas where electrical wiring is located!
  • Cutting down a tree, even a small one? Call a professional. You’d be surprised how tricky and difficult it can be to cut down a tree and control where it lands. Get it wrong and it could be fatal at worst and very expensive at best.

We’re always happy to work with our clients on home maintenance inspections to help them keep their properties in top shape through the years. By the way, we have created a great info graphic on what you should know about your new home. If you live in Suffolk or Nassau counties, give us a call today so we can provide a free estimate on our services and figure out what your inspection needs are!

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