What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Those Little Details

It is virtually impossible to notice everything that may be needed in terms of repair, maintenance and decor when buying a house.  The reality is with most sales you the buyer sees the house once.  You may have two additional showings - the final walk-through and the house inspection.  These are optional usually written in as part of your conditions of the purchase.  Even if at best you have three walk-throughs before the closing date, the reality is you will not see everything that needs to be done.  Larger furniture can block a surprising number of flaws as we found in this house where multiple cables had been run for television service but there were just the holes with no cover.  We never pay attention to painted surfaces as that is easy to repaint and my husband has an issue with the older style light switches and outlets so it is a given one of the first things he does is replace all light switches and outlets in the house.  Quite often toilets are leaky which is something you more than likely won't notice with one or two walk-throughs.  Windows can be drafty again something you won't notice especially if viewing the house on a calm day.  Little things like window locks, door locks and quite often light fixtures go unnoticed.  Even the thermostat gets overlooked.  All of these things are easy to fix.  We got the keys to our new home on September 1 with a closing date of September 15.  I immediatedly started making a list and shopping for the necessary repairs.  Here's my list of what we have bought so far for repairs:

  • toilet fill valve and flapper (both toilets) - The existing fill valves and flappers are in rough condition with one already leaking. 
  • lock/deadbolt sets (four doors) - Regardless of the neighbourhood it is always a good idea to have the locks changed on a new house.  If the locks and deadbolts are in good condition, you can take them to the hardware store to have the cylinders changed.  The next option is to completely replace the locks and deadbolts.  Beware though as we found in our previouse home, newer locksets will not fit older doors and mobile homes present a special problem in the doors are thinner than normal so a simple replacement may present problems.
  • outlets/switches - My husband likes the modern decora style so I bought enough of both to replace all outlets and switches in the house with matching covers.
  • outlet/switches insulators - Many people do not understand that foam insulators should be used on all outlets and swiches located on outer walls.  These are cheap to buy and easy to install.
  • tub/shower faucet set - The upstairs bathroom tub and shower faucet set is leaking horribly!  As it happens we bought a lovely Moen set for the intended bathroom reno at our previous house that we never got to so we can use that set here.  
  • caulk - Sealing up a house is always high on our priority list.  I fully believe it takes a good three years to seal a house and it is always an ongoing process.
  • floor protectors - We have all hard flooring here which means floor protectors to prevent scratches and reduce noise.

Garden Gnome