27

After you have closed change all the locks. You don't know who else the previous owner has given keys to over the years.


25

Play "what went off" — turn all of the lights on, plug radios, lamps, etc., into as many outlets as possible, then turn circuits off one at a time; make a list of which breaker controls what, and post it near the panel. Make sure you know where the main water shutoff is, and test it to see if it works. If you have a water filter, check it or replace it. ...


19

Check/change batteries in smoke detectors. We bought our house a year ago and realized today that none of the smoke detectors had batteries in them.


13

Any home improvement centre sells two essential things for this: painter's tape and plastic sheeting. Buy a thin plastic for the walls, and thicker one for the floor (or, better yet, use drop cloth for the floor). Buy wide painter's tape, it's much easier to use it to attach plastic sheets to walls, shower doors, etc. Tape and cover everything. There will ...


10

If you want a really nice job, get a drywall pole sander and give the wall a quick going over with 200-250 grit paper before priming, and before your final colour coat. Remember to wipe with a damp rag (use the pole sander if you like) before applying any paint/primer.


9

First of all, they should be done BEFORE you buy the home - ie before you close. Secondly, you want to have a fully qualified, thorough home inspector go over that property with a fine tooth comb. He/she should test all the appliances, verify the working heat and cooling, test outlets and light fixtures, and the like. They can't open walls but the GOOD ...


9

Two things I wish I'd done when I bought my house: Plumbing inspection using a scope: My home inspector didn't do this service and suggested that I could, maybe, if I really wanted to, get a plumber in to stick a camera in the drains. I really regret not doing this as there was about $4000 in repairs waiting to be done that I discovered when the drains ...


7

I'm late to this question, but I wanted to share some hard-learned advice. In addition to checking batteries in smoke alarms and testing them (twice a year), do your family a favor and make sure you have a few fire extinguishers for the house. We had a small fire in our utility room, and the fact that we happened to have a fire extinguisher nearby (which ...


6

To answer your question: it depends. The larger the screw, the more likely you'll need to pre-drill. If you're installing the screw near the edge, or if the screw is larger than maybe 1/8" wide on the solid part, then I'd pre-drill. To pre-drill, make the hole almost as large as the solid part of the screw (not the threads themselves, they need to have ...


6

There's one tip that was completely missed, and should have been at the start: When painting over a surface that has had to be repaired or was very dirty (scrub it clean first), get both the paint and the primer tinted to the same color. As long as you buy the paint/primer in the same brand and they are both the same base, you will have exact match. This ...


5

About a year ago, I prepared my concrete floors to be covered first with an overlay and then stained. My situation was a bit different, but I bet the prep needs to be about the same. You can read my blog post about the preparation we did on lauramakes.com. For your situation, you will want to use a floor scraper to remove anything loose on the floor, like ...


5

Lots of good advice so far from the others. Most important thing of all is to hire your own qualified home inspector, follow him/her around on the inspection and ask questions about systems you do not understand. I good inspector will be happy to explain problems or how items work or should be maintained. Under no circumstances take an inspection report from ...


5

It makes me die a little inside when people paint over raw red brick.... That said, you tape and paper the walls where they meet the brick. Then you plastic from the paper as far out as you think you might overspray. You may even want to form a "curtain" out of the plastic to keep the brick in a make-shift paint booth. It is just as you would mask any ...


5

EDIT: Comments above say that you have 1-2" of water. There is no solution for this other than fixing the drain. (Or going to marine style doors with a raised threshold.) What I've describe below can mitigate minor flooding, but won't help with the serious issue you seem to be having. ORIGINAL ANSWER: The proper long term answer is to fix the the drain....


5

First you need to remove the masking tape and the label prior to painting, or they will show through on the finished surface. Use Goo Gone or Goof Off as BMitch and Tester suggest. (I've never used Goof Off, so I can't vouch for how well it works, but I have firsthand experience on how well Goo Gone works.) Next you need to clean the surface, at least with a ...


4

For the tape and stickers, try a cleaner like Goof Off. Just be sure to test on the bottom to be sure it won't damage the faux-leather.


4

I am not sure how the process is in Canada but generally speaking before even thinking of buying the house you want to do an intermediate survey which checks the integrity of the house. The surveyor will know the type of construction used and will know what problems to look for, cracking in foundations, degrading cavity walls, subsided foundations, water ...


4

You didnt have to use a mop, for next time all you have to do is take a broom to it and sweep the dust off, put some primer on, wait for it to dry and then take a pole sander to it, and dust clumps left on the wall is forever gone.


3

I'd suggest a quality primer (Killz would be a good brand) and then a high-gloss latex, perhaps with an anti-mildew additive (most paint departments will have anti-mildew bases designed for high moisture areas).


3

Overspray can be managed with masking on the sides with kraft paper made explicitly for this purpose. For floors and / or large wall areas you can also use poly plastic that comes on large rolls with the plastic up to 12 feet wide


3

HVAC Open cold air returns Prep humidifier: Open intake, turn on water, set thermostat Change furnace filter Test furnace Electrical Shut off A/C circuit breaker If you have baseboard heaters, turn on any circuit breakers, test heaters Do you have a generator? Does it start? Do you have a plan to connect it if needed? Outside Clean out my garage so I ...


3

TSP and a sponge mop. Wash the walls once with a TSP solution, then again with clean water to remove any soapy residue. This stuff really works, so that means if you've sensitive skin, wear those big rubber cleaning gloves.


3

One paint company defines the various finishes as follows: Satin: A finish with a low luster appearance. Washable surface, reflects some light. Semi-Gloss: A finish that has noticable gloss and sheen. Washable, sometimes scrubbable surface, but shows surface imperfections. Reflects light noticeably Eggshell / Low Gloss: A finish ½ way between ...


3

This is a subjective question, but ideally any paint that's not well-bonded should be removed. Eventually it'll flake off as well. That said, there's always a balancing act to be done. You'll have to assess the situation and proceed accordingly. It may not be economically practical to strip the paint entirely, depending on intended lifetime of the siding, ...


3

Based on what I've seen in the pictures I'd say you have two option: 1) get a sander and sand the entire deck or 2) get two gallons of stain remover and spray in on the entire deck and scrape it all off. Deck stains are most durable when applied to wood and coating new stain over bare wood and then wood with old stain won't give you the results you want. ...


2

You can mix some of your paint with the primer to tint it to the final color hue. This has always worked for me. This is a good method if the paint change is a drastic one.


2

As BMitch has said, it depends on the size of the screw, how near you are to the edge, etc. It also depends on how hard/soft the wood is. The harder the wood, the more you should make a pilot hole near to the diameter of the inner threads. I'd say in hard wood, you should consider using a pilot hole when the inner threads of the screw are 1/8th of an inch,...


2

Ok. What I've found when transitioning from one wall color to another is not tinting the primer to the top coat but rather tinting the primer to neutral gray. I've done it both ways and, for some reason, (probably what parts of the spectrum gets reflected, what gets absorbed) the neutral gray (photographers among us, think 18% gray card...) allows fewer ...


2

You could take a proactive approach and sand it in any case. This will lead to better paint adhesion which is a good thing. It is also a great idea to wash previously painted surfaces with a strong solution of TSP (tri sodium phosphate). Make sure to use good rubber gloves and hot water - for your protection and best results. The TSP wash does a fantastic ...


2

I picked up a mop with a wringable, rectangular sponge head from the drug store. What I did was get it wet and wring it out to dampness. After taking it from the ceiling to the floor and stepping to the side a bit to repeat, I'd be able to get about three sweeps of the wall before the head looked like it needed to be wrung out again. I did all walls and ...


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