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After you purchase your first new home, things may not go as smoothly as you'd like. Even if your first home is brand new, there will be times when things don't work perfectly. When moving into your new home, learn how to avoid mistakes that can be costly, and in some cases, dangerous.
A constantly running toilet can waste hundreds of gallons of water a month, literally flushing your money down the drain.
Thanks to toilet repair kits, this is one fix even first-time do-it-yourselfers can manage. The solution may be as simple as adjusting the float ball and tightening a few screws in the lift arm. Or you may need to simply replace the rubber flapper. You can complete these tasks and others with a screwdriver, wrench and pair of rubber gloves.
Always turn off power to the circuit you'll be working on. Do this at your main electrical box and switch off the breaker or fuse labeled for that room. Then confirm that the power to the outlet, switch or fixture is off with a circuit tester, an inexpensive device that is a must-have for all new homeowners. If the contents of your electrical box aren't labeled, you'll need to check each circuit. To save time in the future, spend an hour one weekend labeling your breaker box.
After you turn off power, double check any wires you're working with by touching them with an inexpensive current tester, which signals whether there's still power flowing in the line.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 400,000 United States homes caught fire in 2008, resulting in more than $8.5 billion of damage.
A one-time investment of less than $100 can dramatically boost your home's fire safety:
Doors and windows are your home's prime spots for wasting heat in winter and cooled air in the summer.
Light a candle and slowly draw the flame along all window and door seams. If the flame wavers or sputters at any point, you've discovered an air gap and should do the following:
Water and smoke damage are two of the most common home insurance claims. But you don't need to live in a flood zone or survive a fire to experience these problems — just look in your laundry room.
Even if you're new to the home improvement scene, there are sources you can tap into. Check with friends, family, coworkers — and your associates at Lowe's — when you're unsure of what to do next.