The wait is over. They key is in your hand! It’s time to step into your brand new PNW rambler, complete with an outdoor fireplace, and the triple bay garage you can’t wait to tinker around in. The view is stunning (it is a Disney Home, after all), the finishing work is pristine, and the day has come for your family to move in. It’s finally time for this gorgeous house to be your home!
As with any precious investment, making the most of your dream home is likely a top priority. To ensure your home stays as fully functional and cosmetically beautiful as when you first turn the key, knowledge on how its features function and how to maintain your home is necessary.
Home Maintenance – Not as Daunting as it Sounds
Many homeowners (especially first-timers) feel intimidated by the seemingly endless list of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ as well as maintenance tasks to remember. These days, we all keep busier-than-ever schedules, and it is admittedly hard to set aside time and brain space for routine home maintenance.
It may seem like a headache, but trust us, maintenance is a very small headache compared to the very big headaches that result in a lack of maintenance. For example, if left unrepaired, just one leaky pipe (possibly a quick $2 hardware store DIY fix) could result in thousands of dollars in water damage repair, mold remediation, floor replacement, or worse.
Here at Disney & Associates, we do more than build your house. We set you up for success in your dream home. We want you and your family to enjoy it for decades to come. That is why we’re here with another installment in our Helpful Hints for New Homeowners Blog Series.
Our goal is to familiarize you with various features of your Disney Home and provide tips on how to properly care for and maintain them. Here are three more tips to help keep your home safe, cozy, and aesthetically pleasing. Today we’re talking ventilation, cabinetry, and thermostats.
1. How to Maximize Indoor Air Quality
With the majority of our time spent indoors, breathing quality air in our homes is essential to maintaining good health. Still, here in the damp Pacific Northwest, achieving fresh indoor air can be easier said than done.
Thankfully, your Disney home has a fresh air unit as part of your heating and air conditioning unit. This helps keep the air circulating and actively prevents mildew from forming.
Utilize Built-in Ventilation Systems
Your bathrooms and kitchen have fans installed to help control steam and resulting condensation. Be sure to use these fans when showering or cooking so the moisture can be properly directed out of the room. It is not recommended to close individual room vents on a continual or long-term basis. Keep vents clean, and replace air filters periodically, per manufacturer’s guidelines.
Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
For your safety, your home is outfitted with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s use and care guide.
While wired to electricity, smoke detectors have battery back up in the event of a power outage. It is recommended to check the battery life twice per year. (Pro tip: A good rule of thumb is checking detector batteries when daylight saving time changes. Set up a recurring alarm in your phone to remind you!)
2. Caring for Wood Cabinetry
Disney Homes feature gorgeous, natural wood cabinets, as seen in this recent build on Vista Ridge. As such, there will be variations in the color following the grain of the wood. There could be knots or other factors that are common in natural wood. This is normal and adds to their natural beauty.
Wood and the Home Environment
Cabinets, like all wood products, are affected by hot and cold temperatures and will expand and contract accordingly. Steam from appliances such as coffee makers used underneath your cabinets can cause more frequent expansion and contraction. During this process, some unstained interior parts of the wood may become visible.
If any unstained areas are revealed, this can be easily corrected by placing a small amount of stain matching your cabinet color in the seam. Stain is available at your local hardware store.
As your cabinets age, the wood can change slightly by lightening or darkening or show visible cracking around the joint area. Sunlight, smoke, moisture, household cleaners, and other environmental conditions may cause materials to vary from their original color and/or to warp, split, or crack. These variations are the nature of the material in relation to its environmental exposure and are a simply a characteristic of wood cabinetry.
Anti-Slamming Doors and Felt Bumpers
Disney Homes’ cabinetry comes with soft-close technology to keep the doors and drawers from slamming. It is still possible to damage the cabinets by pushing the doors / drawers closed forcefully, so try not to be too heavy-handed when it comes to opening and closing cabinets.
Your cabinets come with door bumpers installed (felt-like pads). These could fall off during regular use and may need to be replaced from time to time. Failure to replace these could cause the door to close more fully at the top or bottom of your cabinet, resulting in warping over extended period. Thankfully, they are an inexpensive purchase at the local hardware or even grocery store and incredibly easy to reinstall.
3. Efficient Heat Pump Usage
One of the most important keys to keeping a home cozy is the thermostat. The thermostat inside your home controls the temperature that your heat pump will maintain.
You will receive an owner’s manual and warranty information for your heating and air conditioning unit with your purchase of a Disney Home. Familiarizing yourself with the manual is recommended. If you have a warranty item, be sure to contact them directly for resolution.
For day-to-day use, learning how to program the thermostat properly is essential to both comfort and efficiency.
Keep the Thermostat Temperature Consistent
We recommend that you keep your home at a consistent temperature, as it will take a long period of time to heat the inside of your home to your desired temperature. With heat pumps, quickly dialing down the thermostat in an effort to save on heating bills is not actually the most efficient choice.
The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy explains, “When a heat pump is in its heating mode, setting back its thermostat can cause the unit to operate inefficiently, thereby canceling out any savings achieved by lowering the temperature setting. Maintaining a moderate setting is the most cost-effective practice.”
Dream Homes Built to Last a Lifetime
When Bob Disney builds your dream home, you can count on quality that will last for decades. He knows it, from dirt to doorknobs! With proper care and maintenance, you and your family will be able to enjoy your beautiful home on into the future.
Are you considering building a home here in the PNW? Why not try out our new, online Design Your Dream Home App, and watch your home come together before your eyes.
Don’t forget to stay tuned for our next article in the Helpful Hints for New Homeowners Blog Series!