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March 24 , 2011

Homeowner's Self-Help Handbook

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This handbook has been especially prepared for you, either a new homeowner or one who recognizes that the home needs work. In this handbook are the tools necessary for its (your home) upkeep and my sincere hope to aid you with increasing its worth. Your home is like a fine bottle of wine. First, it must be bottled correctly to have value. Your home is that bottle of wine. A bottle of wine ages to perfection when the winegrower tends to his or her wine filled bottles. The winegrower watches each bottle and turns it at precise intervals. The surroundings must be just so, if it is to mature and increase its value. Your home must also be cared for on a continuing basis if it is to be enriched and increase in value. Only you and your family can act like the winegrower. You and your family are the winegrowers, bottlers and caretakers of your home. Your attention to all parts of the home on a continuing basis will assure that the quality and value of your home will increase. You can build a heritage for your family that you, the parents, can be proud of and that your children will remember all their lives. But, how can you accomplish this when you enter into your first ever, new home whether it is a newly built home or a previously owned home that you just bought or a home that you neglected to keep up the value. This handbook provides answers to most questions that you may have regarding maintenance and upkeep of your home. The information in this handbook, if applied, will also increase the value of your home.

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As with wine, its storage is important to its aging well. In Unit 1, Safe Guarding Important Papers, you will find a list of important and very important papers relating to the original purchase of your home and supporting papers, deeds, mortgage papers, catalogs, warrantees and others pertaining to your home and the things in it. You are offered several techniques for their storage as well as ideas about when to get rid of certain ones.

Wine bottles are usually kept in a climate controlled place where the temperature and humidity are good for its life. In Unit 2, Utilities, you are given facts and ideas about your concern with electric, water, gas and heating uses. The Unit has a section on each type of utility that can make a definite positive change to the costs you face with utility bills. Employing some or all of these ideas can make a difference in your living conditions.

A house neglected looses value, even if you do not intend to sell and move into a different house. This compares to a wine cellar that is neglected. A wine cellar properly maintained ensures the quality of the wine over time. If neglected the wine sours and is lost. In Unit 3, the Exterior and Property of your house and Unit 4 the Interior of your house complete the Handbook. By using the Checklists and Periodic Charts for maintenance, you not only maintain the value of the home, but in many cases increase its value. Important information is provided on each area or part of the house in three parts:

A. A layman's description tells important but not too technical data and information about the part of the house being considered. B. A checklist of items that usually go wrong with that particular part of the house is provided. It has sufficient columns to make several separate inspections over time. C. A description of the work needed to be done is provided following the completion of the checklist.

After each section an FYI list of other facts is provided pertaining to the area being considered for repair or replacement.

At the end of Unit 3 and Unit 4 there are Periodic Tables that list each item (part of house), what to look for monthly, each spring, each fall and after a severe storm.

FYI here is a list of the items Parts of the house covered:

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