Maybe your condo fees have increased one too many times, you’ve got a bun in the oven or you just want your own piece of land to plant some roots – whatever the motivation, there can be a bit of a learning curve when moving from condo to house. If you’re about to step up the property ladder, read on for some useful everyday tips to make the transition as smooth as possible.
The general rule is to change your furnace filter every three months at minimum. If you want to do a little extra dust control and up your air quality, then opt for a filter with a higher MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) and change your filter more frequently (every 30-45 days). This is especially useful after a renovation or if you live with pets.
Missing garbage days can really stink up your week when you aren’t able to rely on the convenience of a condo chute. The importance of sorting organics, recycling and waste dramatically increases when the garbage truck only comes twice a month, while the recycling and organics pick up is often weekly — not to mention the positive green initiative.
Raccoons and Pests
Raccoons are surprisingly nimble! They have tiny little hands that can open cans, jars, bags and anything else with a food scent. They don’t just live at the campsite or cottage either, and you’ll likely see a few in your city or rural backyard. A locking mechanism on your waste containers is a must — you’ll only make the mistake of leaving accessible scraps out one time, because the clean up after a raccoon feast is gross!
Winterize Before it’s Too Late
Empty your garden hose before the winter frost hits or it will freeze (expand) and ruin the tube. Cover your outdoor furniture, store cushions away and keep wide walkway access to make winter shoveling easier. Oh yeah — buy a shovel and stock up on salt or sand.
Winter Boots Gain Value
Winter morning wake-ups get earlier to clear all that midnight snowfall, and you won’t be able to get away with wearing runners in January anymore… Bundle up and get some snow clearing gear for the walkways and driveway.
There’s Always “Something” to Fix
Even if you’re moving into a new build, there will always be something on the fix-it list. You’ll be rid of the inflated monthly condo fees but should still put a monthly amount aside for the inevitable “something”.
The root systems of large trees can cause major issues if they are too close to your foundation. Large vines growing up a brick exterior can damage mortar joints, creating voids and cracks for insects and moisture to penetrate your home. Prune as necessary and keep an eye out for property damage.
Schedule Time for Landscaping
Having a yard is part of the glory of owning a house and it can make or break the curb appeal of a home. Gardening can be therapeutic, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Set aside a couple of spring weekends to weed, plant and maintain your property.
Window and Door Maintenance
Check all of your window and door frames for cracks, chipped paint and points of entry. Paint protects wood from rot and window caulking will seal any gaps. When painting and caulking, always paint first and apply caulking after the paint has fully cured for the cleanest result. Check weather stripping quality to see if exterior doors close with a tight seal.
Locate the Main Water Shut-off
Water leaks are far more likely to occur in a home that has just been renovated. Hopefully disaster never strikes, but if it does, you’ll want to know where the main water shut-off valve is located so you can minimize the interior rain (it’s usually in the furnace/mechanical room coming up through the basement floor).