Michele Lerner, The Washington Post
A big advantage for buyers of newly built homes is the opportunity to own something no one else has lived in - a brand-new property. You're the first person to use the oven or take a shower in the property. You're also free from worrying about repair bills and home improvement projects.
But just because a home is new doesn't mean homeowners don't need to care for their property.
We asked Kim Ambrose, vice president of marketing at Miller & Smith, which builds homes in the Washington region, for advice for owners of newly built homes.
"Even though your house is brand new, home maintenance includes regular, seasonal and one-time tasks," Ambrose wrote in an email. "Establishing a maintenance schedule is the best way to manage a home maintenance budget which will save you both time and money."
Ambrose suggested the following monthly maintenance tasks:
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Check their operation by pushing the test button. Check and replace the battery as needed.
Clean or replace a dirty filter in oven range hood: Your range hood pulls smoke, steam and odors through the filter and vent to help clear the air. Without a clean filter and effective range hood, your smoke alarm could go off frequently because of a buildup of smoke while you cook or food smells may permeate your home and nearby walls.
Check the Temperature Pressure Release (TPR) valve on the water heater: The water heater should be drained periodically. In areas with hard water, be sure to drain at least five gallons of water every six months to prevent sediment buildup.
Furnace filter: A good rule of thumb is to change one- or two-inch furnace filters every three months, four-inch filters every six months and five-inch filters every 12 months. If you have pets, filters should be checked and/or replaced every two months.
Roof: Inspect the roof for broken or missing shingles and identify anything that may cause leaks. This is especially important with unpredictable D.C.-area weather. Be sure to also inspect and clean gutters and downspouts.
Heating and air conditioning: Complete seasonal maintenance on heating and air conditioning should be handled by a licensed HVAC contractor. The best scenario is to have the heating system checked in the fall and the air conditioning checked in the spring.
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