When you’re a renter, there are a lot of details you might overlook. Given how much is out of your control about the condition or landscaping around your apartment complex or rented home, you may not be greatly interested in certain aspects of the house.
All of that changes when the home is your own investment. With your money and your safety on the line 24/7, you’ll need to pay attention to some areas which renters take for granted. In order to avoid several common homowner mistakes, Realty Executives Midwest suggests you to keep the following few tips in mind.
- Call 811 before digging up the yard. Landscaping is a great pleasure for many homeowners, especially those who want to plant their own food or dig in a nice water feature. The only problem? There could be pipes, power, and telecom cables underneath your soil. Before you rent the backhoe, call 811, a national hotline dedicated to dig safety. By calling 811 first, all of your local utility providers will get the heads-up to come out and mark all of the areas you’ll need to avoid when digging.
- Find your water main’s shut-off valve. When a pipe bursts and you don’t know where to turn off the water to your property, a simple leak can turn into a catastrophic amount of water damage. Make sure you know where your shut-off valve is located and that you have the tools you need handy to cut off the flow should an accident happen. (The same is true for those of you with natural gas connections. Special tools can be used to shut off the gas in an emergency.)
- Before you drill, use a stud-finder. For less than $30, you can get an idea whether or not you’re about to drill yourself a hole into power conduit, plumbing, or ductwork. Also, you’ll want to be sure the art or shelves you hang in your home has a firm grip and doesn’t come crashing down with the drywall.
- Check your insulation depth. You know that funny looking door in your ceiling? It leads to the attic or crawlspace. Inside, you’ll want to make sure you have insulation deep enough to trap your heat and keep your cool. Most insulation needs to be 12 to 16 inches deep, depending on the quality of the insulation. You can even hire companies to “blow in” the additional insulation you need. Conserve energy with this simple move.
- Checking your foundation. You want your soil to slope away from the house at least 6 or so inches over 10 - 12 feet. This prevents water from pooling at the foundation, which can lead to costly cracks and repairs.
Looking for a home worthy of your careful attention? Let us help you find the right one!
Realty Executives Midwest
1310 Plainfield Rd. Ste 2 | Darien, IL 60561