Around the House: Things Dad Taught Me

Buying a home, especially your first home, is exciting. But be honest, don’t you wish you knew a little more about what was expected once you own a home? These are a few things my Dad taught me about avoiding trouble around the house. Hope these suggestions help you avoid issues you haven’t even thought of. 


Around the House: Exterior

Dad says: Don’t plant big trees right next to your home.

  • Why? Bad storms with high winds topple heavy branches or entire trees onto your roof.
  • Roots can travel, cracking foundations and getting into pipes.
  • Depending on the type of tree: leaves fall and clog gutters.
Around the House blog
Grade landscaping away from the house so water drains away.

Pitch the landscaping near the foundation away from the house. 

Why? You’d be surprised how fast water can get into your basement if the grading slopes towards your foundation. And if your basement is finished, having it cleaned and repaired costs money. Sloping the ground away from your home provides drainage, keeps water away, and the basement dry. 

Keep shrubs and plantings trimmed back. 

Even the police maintain it’s a good idea to keep landscaping pruned. Keep it neat, especially around windows and doors to discourage burglars from having a place to hide. 


Around the House: Interior

Around the House blog pipe tags
Tagging pipes lets you know where they are quickly in an emergency.

Tag pipes and know where the shut off valves are located.

  • If a pipe bursts, you’ll be able to shut off that water line quick.
  • Shut off outside faucets and drain any water from them before winter arrives. 
  • Use pipe insulation to protect pipes from freezing.
Around the House blog
Insulate pipes to protect them from freezing and bursting.

Mark your electrical box.

It’s always good to know which breaker/fuse belongs to what area.

When painting a wall or furniture or whatever, do the prep work! 

Sand the surface and clean it well before applying the first coat of paint. Research what paint works best for the surface you’re painting. Flat, satin, glossy or high gloss each have a purpose in the home. 

Absolutely measure twice before cutting. 

A few extra seconds to check your measurement costs a lot less than purchasing another piece of moulding, wood, door, or whatever you were trimming.


Just a few suggestions here, but we hope they’ll come in handy. If you have a question about a building material you purchased from your nearby Builders Surplus, stop by and talk about it with one of our friendly and knowledgable team.