Project 4: Settle In

This is really something that happened way back at the start of the journey, but I guess I’ve been so caught up in all the fun things (:|) that I forgot to mention the basics. Settling in involved heaps of cleaning. As mentioned previously, the elusive bro-law JS was a cleaning fiend, whrilwinding through our bathrooms and kitchen before moving in.

Other fun tasks included changing all the locks (garage, doors, windows). Our ever-so-helpful real estate agent (see: eyeroll) didn’t manage to pass along all the keys to our place. Nor could she pass on information from the previous owners about the strata, but that’s a story for another day. I digress (and vent too much). Our locksmith was fabulous – nothing was a problem. Got a quote to us quicksmart and had everything in tip-top condition in no time.

While we were on a roll, we got the central heating checked out (and learned it is not also central cooling – sad face). Appears to all be in order – check. Getting the heating folk out gave us some useful information about how old our system was, when it will need to be upgraded (and how much that will cost) and also the most efficient way to run the system. As a result, we’ve blocked up one vent that was too high (i.e., the heater was sucking in warm air at ceiling height, and thus the cold air at people-height was staying chilly). This has made a big difference to how efficient our home is heated and keeps us warmer and wealthier!

Fixed a few small dings around the joint. We replaced a cracked toilet seat cover and now have a fancy schmancy soft-closing, slam-as-much-as-you-like toilet seat. Also replaced bung lights, filled-in holes in tiles, grouting, etc.

A big job was simply finding manuals for all the appliances in the house. This was a really useful process for reading up on our newest friends – appliances (it seriously feels so luxurious to have a dishwasher, dryer in the house and instant hot water!). When searching for our Whirlpool dishwasher I found a lot of people listing a few potential issues with it if it doesn’t get the lines cleared regularly (flooding!). Also found reviews for the company that installed our heating system (needless to say, we won’t be using them in the future).

Overall, this process was time-consuming. Finding recommended tradesmen to come out; taking time out from work to be at home (I can totally see the benefits of some of these futuristic tools!); searching for no-longer-available appliance manuals, and waiting on hold to a heap of businesses. But on the whole, I feel it was definitely worth it. We now have a HOUSE folder that contains all our manuals, business cards for helpful tradies , and the overall satisfaction of know that things just work.

Total Cost: new locks: $450, heating service: $170

Next Project: The Garage.