New House Know-How, p1 | Episode 006

New House Know-How podcast show notes image

Last Updated on April 7, 2020 by Tim Harman

Being a homeowner comes with tons of responsibility. It can also include hefty bills paid to service contractors if you don’t take matters into your own hands and tackle doing things yourself. On this week’s show, New House Know-How, Part 1, we discussed five basic things to know when you become a homeowner. You may be a longtime homeowner and think our list is almost too basic, but run it by your non-homeowner friends. You may be surprised that they don’t know what they don’t know. We want to encourage new and longtime homeowners alike to get to know their house and the systems that keep it running.

  • Water and gas shut-off locations.
    • These two are huge for obvious reasons. If you ever have a major water leak, you’re gonna need to get to the main shut-off valve with a quickness. The location will vary from house to house, but most likely it’ll be coming in underground from the street side of your home. If you’re on a crawlspace, you may have to actually crawl to get to it. Such is the case with Dave’s house.
PRO-TIP: Turn your main water valve off when you go out of town. It’ll give you some serious peace of mind knowing that a river isn’t flowing through your living room when/if a water pipes gives way. Hey, it could happen. The off position for a ball valve as seen here would be perpendicular to the pipe. This is showing the valve open.
  • Electrical panel location.
    • If you ever trip a breaker or do any electrical work, you’ll need access to your electrical panel to turn a breaker off or reset it.
Be the hero and know how to reset that breaker when the wife’s hairdryer trips it.
  • Attic and/or crawlspace location.
    • Many times HVAC systems are located in the attic or your crawlspace. You should familiarize yourself with how to access these locations and explore them. Don’t hire someone to come change your air filter just because you’ve never been in your attic and/or are uncomfortable with crawling around up there! You can, man!
Be super-pro like Tim and install one of these hefty drop down ladders for your attic access.
  • HVAC system location(s).
    • Get to know your HVAC system. Changing your filter can be super easy and something you should be doing yourself.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
    • This one can’t be stressed enough. If you’re unsure of the status of your current detectors, stop what you’re doing and figure it out. Your family’s life may depend upon it. We discussed linked systems and units with a built-in 10 year battery life.
Ever witnessed a dried out Christmas tree go up in flames? How about 30+ of them at once? Yeah, you don’t want that happening in your house. Here’s Josh in front of our most recent annual Christmas tree burning. Honestly, this last year’s burning wasn’t the best. Our record breaking year was 76 trees.


Dave brought the heat this week in his segment, Is This a Problem? He listed several common house issues and got our thoughts on if it’s a big deal or not. Things like:

  • drywall cracks
  • electrical panel buzzing
  • driveway cracks
  • cloudy or brown water
  • sticking/stuck doors
  • sticky exterior door lock

You’ll have to take a listen to find out if these things are a problem or not!