By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Congratulations! You got the paperwork and the keys; the lights and utilities are on and the moving company
will be there shortly to move your things into your new place. You have a thousand boxes (or so it seems), bags, crates, furniture, electronics, pets, and plants to find the right places and make this new abode feel like home.
But before you take anything out of the van, unpack a box or hang a picture, are you confident about the safety, security, and cleanliness of your new place? Did you inspect and check everything before saying, "I love it! I'll take it!" Did you assume because the place is new and you're the first occupant, everything was fine without a second look? Investigating your new home before the professional movers arrive and while it's empty to rectify issues now, is easier and cheaper than trying to fix problems later, which may involve moving furniture or replacing damaged property.
Here are 10 fixes before the moving van pulls in:
Open wide, now close — if you can
Windows that don't open or close properly, missing locks, broken sashes, are more than just a nuisance; they are a safety hazard. In a fire, your only exit point may be the nearest window, and if you cannot use it (or first responders cannot reach you), you have a life and death situation. Malfunctioning windows are also an invitation to burglars to come inside and take what's not theirs. Windows that don't close completely allow warm air to escape in winter and cool air in the summer, costing you more money on your gas or electric bill and allowing flying pests indoors.
Missing, damaged doors and locks
Doors locks that don't work are an "Enter here, steal what you want" invitation to crooks. Doors that are poorly fitted, warped or leave too much space between the door and the frame also allow cold or warm air to escape, increasing your electric or gas bill.
Dirty air ducts
Air ducts need cleaning before a move in, particularly for allergy sufferers. Replace all the air filters. Dirt, dust, pet dander, hair, spider webs, and bugs collect in these ducts, and professional cleaning is worth the cost of clean air and living allergen-free.
Pest problems (inside and outside)
Most pest problems begin outdoors and move indoors, courtesy of openings in the home (concrete cracks, faulty windows or doors, roof leaks) but some, such as German roaches, proliferate in appliances, luggage, and furniture and resist store-bought treatment. The work of a reliable pest control company will not only eliminate the issue, but regular treatment will prevent pests from coming back.
That strange smoky smell; it's everywhere!
Tobacco smoke is pervasive and stubborn, particularly when it comes to fabrics in the home, such as carpeting and window treatments. Open all windows to air out the home as much as possible. Engage a professional cleaning service to clean carpets and drapes and wipe down all walls with white vinegar to neutralize the odor.
From stovetop coils that stay cold to washing machines that won't turn on, major appliance issues are a headache. It takes time and money to replace these items and schedule delivery and installation; test all the appliances before you move in, so you know ahead of time what to fix and what to replace.
Uneven floors, water-damaged walls, cracked concrete, missing roof tiles, and other building issues are sometimes symptoms of bigger and more expensive problems. Know before spending your first night what requires repairs now, or you may face more costly fixes later.
Major cosmetic concerns
If you hate the paint color in a room, need to refinish floors or patch walls, paint, stain, and patch before the moving company arrives with your belongings, if possible, so you're not moving furniture or living with covered furniture or chemical fumes during the process.
Check gutters and downspouts; clean them before you move in, during good weather, so you're not stuck on a ladder during a storm, scraping leaves and branches out.
Wiring and plumbing problems
Beware overflowing toilets or slow-draining sinks or showers; these may be a sign of pipes in need of cleaning or replacing. Water pooling for long periods of time in the yard may indicate a broken or leaking water pipe underground. Check every electrical outlet and every light switch for proper function. Inspect all wiring for signs of fraying and replace burned-out lightbulbs with efficient CFL or LED versions.
As a professional moving company, we have seen houses in all sorts of conditions, and we know that there are some issues, such as the ones discussed here, that are much easier to tackle before moving into your new home.
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