Finally moving into your new home is the end of what can feel like a long journey – take some time to sit back, relax, and enjoy your new surroundings and be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
Now that you’ve had some time to chill, don’t forget that as a homeowner you’ve taken on a whole new set of responsibilities. Although your house comes with a comprehensive warranty, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t require maintenance from time to time. Just like your new vehicle’s warranty doesn’t cover things like windshield wiper fluid, oil changes, and tires, your new home warranty does not cover homeowner maintenance items. Here’s a list of some of the things that people commonly ask us about – the Alberta New Home Warranty program has a comprehensive list here.
- Landscaping – unless you have Crystal Creek complete your landscaping for you, we only provide the rough grade – the base layer of clay that ensures water drains properly away from your home. It is up to the homeowner to complete their landscaping by adding topsoil (the “final grade”), sod, trees and shrubs, and so on – see the City’s link here. Don’t forget that the City of Edmonton has a bylaw (bylaw 12800, section 55) that determines what the landscaping requirements for your lot are. You can find it on the City’s website by searching for “landscaping”, or view it here.
- HRV, furnace, and humidifier filters – all of our new houses come with heat recovery ventilators (HRVs), which help make the house more energy-efficient and comfortable year-round. Your HRV has removable, washable filters that should be cleaned twice a year, in spring and fall. Your furnace filter is typically a disposable filter that should be changed every six months, and your humidifier has a pad that will have calcium and lime build up on it and will need to be changed or cleaned every year. If you don’t keep your filters clean, you will have worse indoor air quality and your heating and cooling equipment will not function at its best efficiency, which will cost you money and lead to a reduced operating life for the equipment.
- Hose bibs – that’s what we call the faucets that stick out the side of your house that you use for watering your plants and washing your car. These are non-freeze by design, but it’s important that you disconnect the garden hose in the late fall to allow the hose bib to drain properly. A frozen hose bib can split the pipe or water line inside the house, which can result in water in your basement.
- Downspouts – the rectangular pipes that come off the bottom of your downspout from your eavestrough should be lowered in the spring to direct any melt or rainwater away from the foundation of your house, and they should be raised in the fall so they don’t get damaged by the winter snows (or by people stepping on them when they are buried under the snow). Keeping water away from the foundation of your house is essential to avoid having water in your basement.
There are other maintenance aspects to home ownership, and if you’re first-time homeowner it’s a good idea to read through the maintenance guide linked above.
A little time spent on maintenance of your house will ensure it stays in good condition over the long term, so you can enjoy it to the fullest!