It’s time to buy your first home! Hooray! This is a big deal and a major milestone in your life. It’s definitely not something to do on a whim. As a first-time n=home buyer, there are a gazillion things you should know before you take the plunge. We want to make sure you have all the information you need to make a smart decision, not only on which home is the best choice for you, but also on which financing option will best fit your unique situation.
Despite that, there are times I need to strap on my plaid shirt, roll up my sleeves, break out what passes for a toolbox and do a little ol’ fashioned home improvement.
We’ve lived in our current house for a little more than two years. It was built in 1949, but luckily it’s in good shape and we haven’t had to do too many home improvements since we moved in.
But, doggone it if that kitchen faucet didn’t leak constantly.
And what once was a slow, but steady, drip finally turned into a full-on dribble that could fill up a full-size Crock-Pot in less than three hours. I’m sure it had affected our water bill. Besides that, imagine what it was doing to the environment! Ugh, what a waste.
So, here are the things I learned last weekend:
Try to avoid disaster by thinking three steps ahead. First things first, I shut off the water to the kitchen and shut off the power to the garbage disposal. When the inevitable shooting of water that I knew would come when I was under the sink began (regardless of turning off the water, because THAT’S MY LUCK, Y’ALL!), I just wanted to deal with wet clothes instead of possible electrocution.
Check and see how many holes your sink faucet needs. Does your faucet support one, two, three or four holes? Does it have a sprayer? Do you want a sprayer going forward? NOBODY KNOWS. Just kidding, take a flashlight and look under your sink. It takes two seconds and will save you a trip back-and-forth to FAUCETS-R-US.
Two words: Basin wrench. Just bite the bullet and get one. I got the cheapest one I could find. You know where 6’1” guys aren’t meant to fit? UNDER THE SINK. Save your shoulders and knuckles. Get a basin wrench that will get up and underneath better than you EVER will.
Get a faucet that has copper supply tubes. It was a little more expensive to get the faucet that had copper supply tubes, but not quite as expensive as getting the faucet with plastic supply tubes and THEN having to buy the faucet with copper supply tubes BECAUSE YOU STRIPPED AND RUINED THE FAUCET WITH CHEAPO PLASTIC ONES. YAY!
Get longer supply lines than you need. Remember the reasons to get a basin wrench? This is similar. The only thing you’re sacrificing with getting longer supply lines is the aesthetics underneath your sink (might look a little cluttered). And then when people come over and look under your kitchen sink they’ll be all, “UGH. HOW TACKY!” and you’ll be all, “I’M SO ASHAMED!” and they’ll be all, “I’M NEVER COMING OVER AGAIN!” and you’ll be all, “THANKS A LOT, MOM!” and they’ll be all, “I’M NOT YOUR MOM! I’M YOUR DOG WALKER” and you’ll be all, “I DON’T OWN A DOG!” Wait. What?
Needless to say, five trips to three different hardware stores (two major chains and one locally owned), many, many curse words (don’t worry about my kids – they were out of the house for the worst of it), minimal water spillage (from the faucet and from my eyeballs), the new faucet is in!
Yes, dramatic, I know.
I think I’m ready for the entire kitchen renovation that’s just around the corner. OPEN CONCEPT KITCHEN, Y’ALL!
I hope my tips can save you some heartache and swear words, and if you’ve got any good ones I missed, please share in the comments below.