Updating knob tube wiring yourself

One of your first lines of defense when it comes to common homeowner emergencies — burst water pipes, for instance — are shut-off valves.

Turning off the water (or gas, or electricity) is like being able to slam on the brakes when you’re driving.

Likewise, there should be a gas shut-off valve near your stove or dryer if either one uses natural gas.

Find and familiarize yourself with all of these local shut-offs.

From there, we made some lists: The stuff that was fairly easy to accomplish — or simply critical — went on the short-term, right-away list.

While you’re at the hardware store, get a few extra copies of your new key made, and give one to a trusted friend, neighbor, or relative for emergencies.

In most cases they’ll just transfer your account to your new address.

You can often do the same with your cable or Internet provider, too, if you’re moving within the same service area.

Your home inspector should give you a comprehensive report indicating the condition of all the major systems and structural parts of your home.

Ours probably had like 50 items that “needed attention,” and this originally formed the basis of our long-term home improvement game plan.

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