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 :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Whirlwind of Household Activity

It is only human nature to want to change wall colours, window treatments and even decor when you first move into a different home.  As tempting as this is, it is better to live in the home for a few months before rushing out to buy new decor items.  Even repainting should be left until you get the feel of the house and see how the natural light affects each room.  We have been in our new home for seven and a half months.  Our house has become a whirlwind of activity since the new year.  There are service people coming and going, painting, various installations combined with still unpacking and organizing.  I am so glad we resisted the urge to make immediate changes which kept us with enough money to cover emergency and unexpected repairs.  Here are a few reasons why:

  • unexpected repairs -   It is common to encounter unexpected repairs that may need immediate attention but were not apparent during your viewing.  Sellers can be very good at hiding these types of problems and even a home inspection may not uncover them.  Since moving in we have had to fix a shower leak, two leaking toilets, replace the outdoor sewer cap, repair the fence and fix one of the kitchen sink drains.  Every sink in the house needed drain cleaning as they were clogged almost to the point of not draining at all.  We had to replace the winter pool cover as the one on the pool was full of holes and quickly getting worse.  We had to have the seals on three windows repaired.  These are all repairs that needed immediate attention and the shower involved getting a plumber in.
  • unexpected security issues - We live in a lovely, relatively safe community but there have been a rash of break-ins.  In addition we live in what our insurance company considers a high risk flood location and we have a pool so our house insurance actually increased by $300 per year.  We a water powered backup system installed for the sump pump so if the power is out the sump pump will still work.  With being urban and a recent rash of break-ins along with our extend period of time away, we had a monitored security system installed.  Our garage door opener suddenly stopped working so we had to replace that as well.  A garage door opener really is part of your overall household security plan despite it's convenience as your garage is always locked when the door is closed.   We still have to install motion activated outdoor lighting which is on my to-do list but I will more than likely use our X-10 for this as well as extending interior motion activated lighting.
  • basic maintenance - We had to clean to our standards from top to bottom which is expected but that meant buying a few necessary pieces of cleaning equipment (eg. dust mop, vacuum cleaner [replaced with central vacuum]) to compensate for all hard flooring.  The vacuum cleaner bought new when we moved in broke so we replaced with a central vacuum that was on sale for less then the cost of a better quality rolling vacuum cleaner.  The furnace and hot water tank had to be cleaned.  We had the exterior of the house power washed as well since it looked like it had not been cleaned in several years. 

Garden Gnome