The first weeks in a new home are always interesting, especially if it’s one that’s not so new! Squeaky doors, wall marks, little holes – it’s always the things you never see at the OFI that you suddenly can’t un-see when you move in.
Michael Duffy, former contestant on The Block, knows a thing or two about moving into an unrenovated home and giving it a once-over. We asked Michael, and some other first home owners, about the essentials they wished they’d had on hand during that first week.
Here are the 10 items you need – and may not consider – when you move into your first home.
Michael calls sugar soap “one of the unsung heroes of DIY” and we’re inclined to agree.
One of the first things to do before you start shoving bookshelves against the wall, is to give the walls a good scrub, and sugar soap is the powerful stuff you’ll need to get the job done.
Just grab a bucket and sponge, dilute the soap with water, or apply neat on serious stains.
There’s no need to complicate your cleaning process: sugar soap is an oldie but a real goodie. Picture: Chris Jones
Michael recommends using a flexible gap filler, such as Selleys No More Gaps Multipurpose, to seal and fill the gaps between windows, doors, floorboards and skirting boards.
This will lay the groundwork for a great paint job, which will most likely be on your agenda soon enough.
Is your home cracking at the seams? Nothing a bit of gap filler can’t fix.
A rigid filler, such as Selleys Spakfilla, is going to be your new best friend – particularly if you’ve just scored yourself the keys to an older period home that needs a bit of extra TLC.
Matthew Perkins, a recent first home owner who’s bought in the swanky Melbourne suburb Prahran, says you should never forget a rigid filler for the inevitable holes that previous owners leave behind from painting hooks in the walls.
“I’ve also used gap filler to smooth out rendered walls,” he adds.
Who hasn’t moved into a not-so-new home to discover gaps and holes in walls? Picture: Chris Jones
Sealants and fillers will often come in cartridge form and as such, in order to tackle your DIY job, you’re going to need a caulking gun.
Michael says there’s no need to be scared of these little devices, just follow his tips:
Let’s face it, moving into a new home can mean a big fat mess. Especially when there are repairs to made and cleaning to be done – so you really can’t afford to forget the biggest cleaning essential.
Yep, we’re talking about the humble dustpan and broom.
“DIY can get messy, so it really should be on everyone’s must have list,” Michael says.
It’s often the little things that niggle away at you, like squeaky door hinges or rusty taps.
Great for lubricating, door hinges, taps or tools, Selleys RP7 multipurpose lubricant allows for smooth movement and also helps to protect against rust and corrosion by repelling moisture.
Win the war against stubborn locks and old creaky doors, with some RP7. Picture: Chris Jones
With all the repairs and cleaning up you’re doing (go you!), you’ll likely have rubbish coming out of your ears.
Carissa Davis, who’s just bought her first place in Sydney suburb Paddington says: “Always make sure you have plenty of bin liners before moving day. There’s nothing worse than having plenty of rubbish after the move and nothing to put it all in.”
For any painted items of furniture or walls that could get scuffed in the move, you’ll need a pot of touch-up paint handy to dip your paintbrush in when needed.
Also, a fresh paint job is often the most satisfying part of any DIY repair. Doesn’t everything look better with a lick of paint?
Every new home owner needs a tub of paint handy during those first weeks of making repairs. Picture: Chris Jones
Whenever you’re taking on DIY repairs of any kind – big, small or somewhere in between – you need newspaper. Consider it your affordable, environmentally-friendly solution to floor covering when painting and patching up around the home.
Bonus: It also makes a great streak-free wipe to use for window cleaning.