For New Homeowners
Tips & Tricks
Congratulations on the purchase of your new home! We are excited for you to enjoy living in your new space, and pleased you chose a Disney Home. We take pride in selecting the building materials and products for your home that meet our high standards for quality and craftsmanship.
While all our products are chosen with an eye for durability, you should be aware that all products require care and maintenance in order to give you the longest benefit. While it is not feasible to list each potential item’s use and care, we have outlined the most common.
The thermostat inside your home controls the temperature that your air conditioning unit will maintain. It is recommended that you keep your home at a consistent temperature, as it will take a long period of time to cool the inside of your home to your desired temperature. To keep your system functioning most efficiently, it is recommended to keep curtains or blinds closed during the heat of the day, keep exterior doors and windows closed, and keep interior doors open. Condensation is a normal by product of air conditioning, and the water from the air will collect in a reserve which is then pumped outside your home. Yearly inspection of this pump is recommended to ensure that condensation is removed from the unit. You will receive an owner’s manual and warranty information for your heating and air conditioning unit. Please be familiar with this, and if you have a warranty item, contact them directly for resolution.
Your home has a fresh air unit as part of your heating and air conditioning unit, which keeps the air circulating and helps keep mildew from forming. Your bathrooms and kitchen have fans installed to help control steam and resulting condensation. It is also not recommended to close individual room vents on a continual or long-term basis.
Appliances should be maintained with regular cleaning, using a non-corrosive cleaner as recommended by the manufacturer of your appliance. This includes, where necessary or possible, moving the appliance away from the wall and removing dust from underneath and behind the unit. Take care in moving your appliances across your flooring when doing so. Damage caused by dragging heavy items across flooring is not covered by Disney and Associates warranty. Each appliance manufacturer provides a manufacturer’s warranty. Please become familiar with the terms of their warranty, and should your appliance fail, contact the manufacturer directly for correction. Please be aware that many manufacturers request that you return a registration card, it is recommended you do so to ensure that your manufacturer’s warranty is valid.
Weather and settling will cause minor cracks in your asphalt. This is an expected result of an item designed to be out doors and is not a defect in construction. As asphalt is a petroleum product, it can be dissolved with petroleum or other solvents. Take care not to spill such products on your asphalt. If this should inadvertently occur, then wash immediately with water and mild soap. During extreme heat, it is recommended that you do not leave a vehicle parked for extensive periods of time, as this can cause lumps in the surface of your asphalt. The asphalt is designed for regular use of single family vehicles. It is not designed for traffic of heavy equipment, busses, semi-trucks, or the like. Traffic from vehicles such as this can break down the asphalt and crack the edges. This damage is not covered under warranty.
It is a building requirement for Disney and Associates to provide access to the attic so that in the future you may maintain or add equipment that needs to pass through the attic space. This space is not intended for regular home owner use nor extra storage space. When and if you do need to access the attic, take special care to only stand on cross members (trusses) and not on the insulation or sheetrock. Doing so could cause you to fall through the ceiling of your home, causing injury and damage to your home that is not covered by Disney and Associates warranty.
Efflorescence is a common byproduct of brick, and this white substance can usually be removed with a scrub brush. Other than that, regular maintenance is typically limited to repairing mortar between the brick as years of wear occur. This is a common occurrence and is not warranty related. Large mortar cracks (greater than 3/8 inch) occurring within the first year will be fixed under warranty.
Our cabinets are natural wood products. 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 an expected element and adds to the beauty of your cabinets. 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. This is a homeowner maintenance issue and can be 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 not covered under this warranty. Your cabinets come 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. Warpage or damage caused by forceful acts are not covered under warranty. Your cabinets come with door bumpers installed (felt-like pads). These could fall off during regular use and it is a homeowner maintenance item to replace these as necessary. 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. This is not a warranty covered item.
The carpet will be inspected during homeowner review. There could be variations in color due to different lots during manufacturing, and this is not a covered warranty item. There could be visible lines where the carpet meets (seams) this is a normal part of installation and is not a warranty item. The carpet installed in your home should be vacuumed regularly to extend the life of your carpet. Walking on carpet bends the fibers of the carpet over, and vacuuming lifts the fibers back up. Heavy traffic areas will break down more obviously than areas closer to the walls where less foot traffic occurs. These things are common wear and tear items and are not covered under warranty. Spills, burns, pet damage and other homeowner factors are also not covered under warranty. Pushing heavy furniture across the carpet can cause the carpet or the underlying carpet pad to move and or bunch. It is recommended that you fully lift and move furniture across all flooring surfaces of your home, as these are not warranty covered items.
There is caulking in many places of your home, specifically around windows, trim in kitchens and bathrooms, bathtubs, sinks, etc. The care of caulking is the responsibility of the homeowner and can lift from the area as part of normal wear. Excessive standing water can cause caulking to lift more frequently and can also damage wood trim that is adjacent to the caulk, it is recommended that you wipe up water regularly. Caulking can be purchased at your local hardware store.
Concrete will shrink as it dries, and some of this shrinkage will cause cracks in the concrete. Temperature changes will also cause cracks as the concrete expands and contracts. Clean your concrete by sweeping debris from the surface. It is not recommended that you wash your concrete with water, especially cold hose water on a very hot day, this could cause the surface to crack. The driveway is created for residential traffic, so it is not recommended that you drive large trucks on your concrete as this can crack or damage your concrete. Chemicals on your concrete can cause surface chipping, keep free of chemicals. Chips and cracks in your concrete slabs are a homeowner maintenance issue and are not covered under warranty.
Care for your countertop by cleaning with the manufacturers recommended cleaners. Do not use abrasive cleaners or scouring pads on your countertops, use your countertop as a cutting board, or slide/drop heavy items across your countertop. There could be seams in the countertop, as well as from countertop to backsplash. These seams will be caulked. The countertops will be inspected as part of homeowner review and are not covered under warranty. The seams may from time to time need to be re-caulked, especially if water is left on the countertop. This is a homeowner maintenance issue.
It is a building requirement to provide access to the underside of your home for maintenance or to add equipment that needs to pass through the crawl space. This space is not intended for regular home owner use nor extra storage space. It is not recommended that you change the fall of the soil around your home, as water that is designed to fall away from the home could instead collect under your home. This can cause damage to the wood structure of your home, and consistently damp wood can cause mold or mildew to grow.
Doors and locks will be reviewed and accepted during the Homeowner review prior to move in. It is possible, as wood products expand and contract, for the door to need additional weather tape to close any air gaps that result from this process on exterior doors. This is a homeowner maintenance item, and weather stripping can be purchased at your local hardware store. Forceful closing of doors can damage the door or the trim surrounding the door and even the wall. This is not recommended and is not covered under warranty. Sagging doors caused by hanging and swinging on doors are not covered under warranty. Regular maintenance of hinges and door locks include lubricating with a waterproof lubricant. It may also be necessary, due to expansion or contraction of wood products, to realign the door latch by repositioning the latch plate and is a homeowner maintenance item.
Your breaker panel controls the current within your home. Breakers have three settings 1) on 2) off and 3) tripped. A tripped breaker can occur when that breaker is overloaded. If something in your home is not working, check your breaker panel first. Each breaker is labeled for ease of locating the appropriate breaker. Some of the outlets have a GFCI installed, check that this is not tripped next (push reset button). Fixture locations are selected by Disney Homes. Specific fixtures, additional plug-ins, or other customization is an option available during the construction phase at an additional cost. Should the sheetrock be applied, this is not a changeable item.
Fixtures are designated satisfactory upon homeowner review. Depending on location or material, they may tarnish over time. Use an appropriate cleaner to maintain. Fixtures, once accepted at the initial walk through, are not covered under warranty. Items such as closet shelving are placed per standard code. Should you wish to have these items placed differently, it should be discussed prior to home completion. Once placed, these items are the responsibility of the homeowner to relocate, including any subsequent damage to walls from that movement.
Foundations are built to county code and inspected by same. Small cracks may appear and are not detrimental to structural support. Cosmetic issues such as seams where two pours meet are not covered under warranty. The ground surrounding your home has been graded so that the water will run away from your home. It is not recommended that you change the fall of the soil surrounding your home, as this can cause water to build up around the foundation.
Please see the user guide for your garage door opener for care and maintenance. Your garage door is verified during customer orientation to check for any defects. Your garage door should be maintained per manufacturer recommendations. Maintenance of the garage door is a homeowner responsibility.
You should know where the shut off valve is in the event of an emergency. While natural gas has no odor, a harmless chemical called mercaptan is added that gives the gas a smell of rotten eggs. If you believe you have a gas leak, move the valve to the off position immediately and call the gas provider.
The land surrounding your home has been graded so that the water will run away from your home. This has been inspected by the County to meet code requirements. Should you change the fall of the land surrounding your home, it could cause water to run toward your home and collect under the foundation. This is not advisable. Homeowner changes to grading against the foundation will void warranty claims, as well as subsequent damaged caused by such changes.
Maintenance of gutters and downspouts are the requirement of the homeowner. Regularly cleaning of pine needles, leaves, and other debris from the gutters will keep the water runoff from your home flowing through the gutter to the downspout and not overflowing over the edge of the gutter. Water runoff over the edge of the gutter due to lack of cleaning could cause staining on your siding/exterior paint and is not covered by your warranty. Additionally, clogged downspouts caused by lack of gutter maintenance are not covered by your warranty. Water from downspouts are directed underground and away from your foundation. The level of the above ground portion of the underground piping is set to code and adding additional dirt or rocks to bring the ground level up around the piping is not recommended.
Hardware is confirmed as satisfactory upon homeowner acceptance. Any damaged hardware not deemed satisfactory during homeowner review will be replaced. This is the extent of the hardware warranty. Note that doors may expand or contract with hot and cold or shrink as they dry and may need adjustment (see doors and locks).
Hardwood flooring is made from real wood. As such, the staining of the flooring can have variations in color following the grain of the wood. There could be knots or other factors that are common in natural wood. This is an expected element and adds to the beauty of your floor. The flooring installed in your home is designed for normal wear. Homeowner overuse causing damage to your floor are not considered normal wear are not warrantied. These include, but are not limited to, things like dragging heavy furniture across your flooring, failure to put furniture caps on chairs, failure to remove sand or dirt collected on furniture caps, high heels missing caps, pets scratching or digging at flooring, and outdoor play vehicles rolling across flooring. Standing water will damage your floor, causing it to swell and separate. It is recommended that you wipe up spills immediately to keep this from occurring. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning and care of your floor. Use of furniture polish is not recommended as this will cause the flooring to become very slick and can result in falls in your home. Excessive dirt or sand on floor will scratch your floors surface if not removed regularly.
The thermostat inside your home controls the temperature that your heat pump will maintain. It is recommended 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. You will receive an owner’s manual and warranty information for your heating and air conditioning unit. Please be familiar with this, and if you have a warranty item, contact them directly for resolution.
It is recommended that you replace your filters per manufacturers guidelines.
Disney and Associates warranty’s that your home is termite free upon delivery of your home. Keeping it that way is the responsibility of the homeowner. Other insects and infestations are the responsibility of the homeowner.
Insulation is installed as per code. Should you need to access areas where there is insulation, please ensure that the insulation is replaced smoothly and evenly for best performance. This is not a warrantied item.
Disney and Associates will complete the landscaping outside of your home according to our specifications. All plants, seed, sod, etc. placed by Disney and Associates are the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain. Should your plants / sod die from over or underwatering, this is not a warranty item.
Mirrors are inspected during customer acceptance as satisfactory. Clean mirrors with a non-corrosive window cleaner. Be careful not to apply any caustic products, especially to the back of mirrors as this can remove the reflective coating and make your mirror unclear or foggy. Use only a soft rag or towel so that you do not scratch the surface of your mirror.
You will receive color codes used in of your home. The manufacturer will provide you a coupon for one free gallon of paint for touch ups. Paint will be inspected at homeowner acceptance as satisfactory from a distance of seven feet and is not a warranty item. Follow manufacture guidelines for care of your paint. Common issues with paint are cleaning with corrosive or abrasive cleaners or scouring pads. Only use soft cloths and mild soaps on your paint. Touch ups may be necessary as time passes or during correction of warranty issues. There is no guarantee that the paint color will exactly match upon touch up, as variations in formulas or ingredients.
Phone and cable jacks will be moved if an installed cabinet by the builder covers the usability of the jack. Disney and Associates will ensure that the jacks are in good working order upon your move in within the home. Outside phone and cable lines are the responsibility of the phone and/or cable company and Disney and Associates will not correct issues with outside lines. Pests damaging the wires can cause the lines to fail. Disney and Associates does not warrant against infestations.
The flooring installed in your home is designed for normal wear. Homeowner overuse or abuse are not considered normal wear are not warrantied. These include dragging heavy furniture across your flooring, failure to put furniture caps on chairs, pets scratching or digging at flooring, and outdoor play vehicles rolling across flooring. Standing water will damage your floor, causing it to swell and separate. It is recommended that you wipe up spills immediately to keep this from occurring. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning and care of your floor. Excessive dirt or sand on your floor not removed regularly will scratch your floors surface and is not covered by our warranty.
A dripping faucet usually means that a new washer is needed, and these can be found at your local hardware store. Follow manufacturer’s instructions on how to install a new washer. Freezing pipes could occur during cold weather if you leave your home unheated. Outside water faucets technology has changed; they are designed to seal with a ¼ turn and then drain any residual water in the pipe after shutting off. It is not necessary to crank the handle down to seal the water, in fact this can damage the washer internally, causing future leakage. Outside water faucets should have hoses removed and should be covered with insulation during the winter months. These faucet covers can be purchased at your local hardware store. If you experience a major plumbing leak, turn off the water so that water does not continue to spread and damage other parts of your home. Then contact a contractor for correction. Disney and Associates will correct plumbing leaks not caused by homeowner misuse (like freezing pipes) during the 1-year warranty period. Neither personal belongings or personally installed items (like drapes, wallpaper, etc.) are covered and can likely be recovered via your homeowner’s insurance. Plumbing fixtures will be accepted as satisfactory during customer walk through. Subsequent chipping or cracks in fixtures are not a warrantied item.
The roof installer will provide a warranty and maintenance agreement that you should review and understand. Should you have a roof warranty issue, contact them directly. To highlight use and care, a few important items of note follow. It is not recommended to walk on the roof excessively to prevent damage to the shingles. Also, please be mindful of the dangerous heights involved in traversing the roof top and wear appropriate fall protection or hire a professional to conduct any roof work or inspection. Due to the climate and weather in the Pacific Northwest, it is common for moss to grow on the roof. Regular removal of moss will increase the life of your roof.
Please see use and care guides for your septic tank, including recommendations from the Health Department. Septic systems are designed to accommodate each home dependent on the number of bedrooms (and therefore, number of persons using the septic system). Overuse of your septic system could cause overfilling, odor, and damage to your system. This is not covered under warranty.
Please see the homeowner maintenance guide for care of your HardiePlank siding. Siding may expand and contract with changing weather conditions and temperature.
Please read the manufacturers use and care guide for your smoke detectors. 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 (a good rule of thumb is daylight saving time changes).
The split rail fencing is made of cedar boards. Exposed to the elements, these boards will fade over time. This is an expected occurrence and not a warranty related item.
Stain follows the grain of natural wood, and as such will have variations in color and conformity. This is an expected result and adds to the beauty of the product. There is no guarantee that each piece of stained product will exactly match another, or exactly match a sample provided as you were choosing your home options.
Floor squeaks can occur when a subfloor has come loose from a joist and rubs against the nail when the weight of a person travels across it. A squeak-free floor is not guaranteed. If loud or objectionable squeaks occur, the builder will attempt to refasten loose subfloors to the extent possible without removing floor and ceiling finishes.
Tile and grout is reviewed and accepted during customer walk through. Slight cracking in grout can occur and can be corrected by the homeowner using a premixed caulk that can be purchased from your local hardware store. Grout can also yellow with age, and whitening grout can be accomplished with a brush and water or by using a purchased whitener from your local hardware store.
Drywall is nailed to the wood frame of your home. As the wood expands and contracts due to the drying process and temperature changes the drywall will stay in place. This can cause small cracks or fissures to become visible in the walls, particularly where the ceiling meets the walls. Spackling may also lift from nail heads during this process. The care of these small cracks is the responsibility of the homeowner and can be corrected by using a small amount of caulking available at your local hardware store. It is recommended that you wait for a full change of season from warm to cold so that you are not having to complete this process multiple times. Large cracks will be corrected by your 1-year limited warranty, provided they are not only visible in certain lighting conditions.
Please refer to your owner’s manual for the hot water heater supplied with your home for use and maintenance requirements. If you find that you have no hot water, first check that the breaker has not been tripped. It is possible for a heating element to go out in a hot water heater, this is a relatively common occurrence after years of use and should be replaced when this happens.
Condensation between the two panes of a double pane window indicates either a cracked window or a broken seal. Please see the manufacturer’s warranty for broken seals. During customer review at move in, windows, screens, and glass doors will be accepted. Should you break a window, contact a glass dealer for a replacement and installation. This is not a warranty item. Windows can be washed using a window cleaner. Keep tracks clear of debris as it could cause the windows and doors to not slide smoothly. Dirt in the window frame will allow condensation to pool instead of flowing out of the small holes designed to channel away this water.
The condition of the wood trim of your home will be confirmed as satisfactory during the Homeowner walk through prior to move in. All wood products can expand and contract during temperature changes, potentially adding space between the wall and the trim, or where trim pieces meet. This can be corrected by adding another finish nail to the wall or caulking to fill in the space. Damage to wood trim can occur by excessive force, such as inadvertently kicking it while walking by, hitting it forcefully with the vacuum cleaner, slamming interior and exterior doors, etc. Water left on wood trim will soak in and warp or otherwise damage the wood trim. It is recommended that you wipe up any water, particularly on trim near sinks or windows. Damage to trim is not covered under your warranty.