Homeowner Manual Smart Living-1_2022 (1) Flipbook PDF
Homeowner Manual Smart Living-1_2022 (1)
FLIP PDF 1.64MB
Welcome to HHHunt Homes Congratulations on your decision to purchase a new home from HHHunt Homes. We hope that you will enjoy living here for many years to come and share the excitement of your new residence while we venture through the building process together. HHHunt Homes designed this Homeowner Manual to assist you during and after the purchase of your home. The information presented herein will answer many homeowner questions and prepare you for each step of the new home experience, thereby diminishing any overwhelming aspects of this event. In addition to guiding you through the process of purchasing and building your home, this Homeowner Manual provides you with maintenance guidelines and a description of our limited warranty program and customer service procedures. We encourage our homeowners to take time to review this material thoroughly and take note of the amount of detail provided. Rest assured, your new home will receive the same attention to detail during and after the building process. If you need clarification or additional details about any topic in the manual, please contact our office. We are delighted to welcome you to the HHHunt Homes family and look forward to fostering a relationship with you as your homebuilder.
Table of Contents 1
Introduction HHHunt Homes What Happens Next?
1.1 1.2 1.3
Purchasing Your Home Purchaser Checklist Purchase Agreement Addendums
2.1 2.2 2.2 2.2
Arranging Your Loan Loan Application Checklist Loan Application Paperwork Loan Underwriting Loan Approval Loan Lock Loan Closing
3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.4 3.5 3.5
New Home Personalization Home Under Construction Community Included Specifications Design Choices Option Selections Addendums
4.1 4.2 4.2 4.2 4.3
Construction of Your Home Start of Construction Pre-Construction Orientation Construction Sequence Review of Plans and Specifications Safety Single Source Trade Partners Pre-Drywall Orientation Schedule Locks and Keys Quality Private Home Inspectors Pre-Settlement Orientation Scheduling Last-Minute Activity
5.1 5.2 5.2 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.8 5.10 5.10 5.11 6.1 6.2 6.2
Preparation Final Sign-Off Pre-Settlement Orientation Forms
6.2 6.4 6.5
Closing on Your Home Location Documents "The Final Number" Preparation Homeowner Keys Garage Door Remote First Mortgage Payment Storing Documents Utility and Community Services Moving Hints
7.1 7.2 7.2 7.3 7.3 7.4 7.4 7.4 7.4 7.5 7.6
Caring for Your Home Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines HHHunt Homes Builders Limited Warranty Guidelines Warranty Service Program Warranting Item Processing Procedures Help Us to Serve You Fire Prevention Extended Absences Energy and Water Conservation
8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.6 8.6 . 8.9 8.10 8.11
Maintenance & Warranty Air Conditioning Alarm System Appliances Asphalt Attic Access Brick Cabinets Carpet Caulking Ceramic Tile Concrete Flatwork Condensation Countertops Crawl Space Decks Doors and Locks Drywall Easements Electrical System Expansion and Contraction Fencing
9.1 9.2 9.4 9.4 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.6 9.9 9.9 9.10 9.12 9.12 9.13 9.14 9.15 9.16 9.17 9.18 9.20 9.21 3
Fireplace 9.22 Foundation 9.22 Garage Overhead Door 9.23 Gas Shut-Offs 9.24 Ghosting 9.24 Grading and Drainage 9.25 Gutters and Downspouts 9.26 Hardware 9.27 Hardwood Floors 9.27 Heating Systems 9.29 Insulation 9.33 Irrigation……………………………………………………………………………... 9.33 Landscaping 9.34 Lighting Fixtures 9.37 Mirrors 9.38 Paint and Stain 9.38 Pests and Wildlife 9.40 Phone Jacks 9.40 Plumbing 9.40 Plumbing Fixtures 9.45 Property Boundaries 9.45 Railings 9.45 Resilient (Vinyl) Flooring 9.45 Roof 9.47 Rough Carpentry 9.48 Shower Doors or Tub Enclosures 9.48 Siding 9.48 Smoke Detectors 9.49 Stairs 9.49 Termites 9.49 Ventilation 9.50 Water Heater 9.51 Waterproofing 9.52 Windows, Screens and Sliding Glass Doors 9.52 Wood Trim 9.54
Homeowner Manual Chapter 1 Section 1: Introduction
Section 1: Introduction ●
HHHunt Homes —some background on our company
What Happens Next? —an overview of the major steps in the home buying process
Introduction HHHunt Homes, a division of HHHunt Corporation, was formed in 1992 in response to our prospective homeowners’ requests. Since then, the Homes division has evolved into a major force in the Virginia & North Carolina marketplace, ranking as one of the fastest growing and largest homebuilders in the area. Continued growth includes expansion throughout the East Coast. It all started in 1966 when Harry H. Hunt III, the founder of HHHunt, saw the need for faculty and student housing at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Now, after over five decades of building on our successes, HHHunt is a leader in diversified real estate development throughout the Southeast with a team of dedicated professionals over 1,700 strong. In Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and South Carolina, HHHunt is one of the most trusted and recognized names in home building, senior living, apartment homes and master planned communities, improving the lives of thousands of people by becoming a trusted partner in every phase of their lives. Throughout our company's rich history, one thing has remained constant: a commitment to our people, who are HHHunt's greatest asset. We are also committed to our valued customers who place their trust in HHHunt to not just meet expectations of quality and service, but to exceed them. This is our competitive advantage. HHHunt’s diversiﬁed approach to real estate is the result of sound leadership. Harry H. Hunt III attributes the company’s strong and consistent growth to its core management philosophy. From its inception, 90% of all proﬁts have been reinvested back into the company’s future growth. HHHunt is privately-owned and makes responsible long-term plans and is held accountable to our customers and our team members. At HHHunt Homes, we strive to provide you quality, value and selection – and it shows. We are focused on current market trends and blend these new ideas into the design of our homes. Your Builder Team recognizes the importance of good communication, design, quality, and, especially, your satisfaction with your new home. Like the communities where we build, our homes are focused on lifestyle. Our goal is to enrich and increase the property values of those communities. HHHunt Homes builds in master-planned communities developed by HHHunt Communities, private enclave neighborhoods and in age-qualified communities. We believe in an HHHunt lifestyle that is epitomized by "How You Live." It’s how we create places and experiences that are distinctive and meaningful. With the positioning of family, education, and recreation at the very core of HHHunt Communities, HHHunt Homes builds in quality places where people want to live, work, and play. We invite you to learn more about our vision, mission, brand promises and values as they are the very foundation of how we interact with each other, our customers, residents and business partners, and what sets us apart from our competition.
Vision Our vision is to improve the world and how people live by creating meaningful experiences and places of great distinction. Mission To embrace a culture of respect and trust, inspiring and empowering each team member to fully live our brand promises. We strive to build value and enrich the lives of our employees, customers and community partners. Our Brand Promises We promise to be Employee Centered, Customer Focused, Provider of Quality Products and Services and an Engaged Community Partner Our Values We value Trust, Competence, Passion, Forward Thinking and Collaboration
What Happens Next? An Overview of Your New Home Experience Purchasing a new home is an exciting experience. The process is also complex, with many details to be decided and arranged. While HHHunt Homes is building your new home, you participate by taking care of several important aspects of your purchase. Building a new home is an investment of your money, your emotions and your time. Many of the tasks will require your attention during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, usually between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The chronological list below outlines the events requiring your time and attention that typically take place during the purchase of a new home. Please observe specified time frames in order for us to deliver your home on schedule. Section 2: Purchasing Your Home The Purchase Agreement and various addendums constitute the legal understanding regarding the purchase of your new home. Please read the New Home Purchase Agreement and all attachments carefully. As with any legal agreement, you may wish to have your attorney review them. Section 3: Arranging Your Loan Once you have signed the New Home Purchase Agreement, finalizing the details for financing is next. To assist you, we may suggest lenders appropriate for your specific financial situation. This section also contains hints and information on the loan process.
ection 4: New Home Selections S This section of the manual will assist you in the exciting process of personalizing your new home with your selections. ection 5: Construction of Your Home S Several tasks must be completed prior to the start of construction. Some of these are our responsibilities; some are yours. -
Pre-Construction Orientation: Near the beginning of construction we will schedule this meeting to review plans and specifications one final time.
Pre-Drywall Orientation: We will meet again when your home reaches the completion of the mechanical stage, just before drywall is installed.
We welcome your visits to the site outside of these meetings; however, please read and follow our guidelines on safety, security, and our protocol for the visit.”
Section 6: Pre-Settlement Orientation The Pre-Settlement Orientation has a few purposes. The first is to demonstrate the features of your home, to discuss maintenance, and to present our limited warranty program. Equally important, we want to confirm that we have delivered your new home, with all selections correctly installed, at the quality level described in our documents and exhibited in our model homes. Section 7: Closing on Your Home This describes the documents you will sign and other important details about the closing process. This section also includes guidelines to assist you in preparing for closing and move-in. Section 8: Caring for Your Home Your responsibilities as a homeowner and HHHunt Homes’ responsibilities under the terms of our limited warranty are outlined here. Begin now to become familiar with the home maintenance you should provide and our warranty service commitment to you. HHHunt Homes plans two standard contacts with you during the warranty period. These visits and procedures for service outside these standard contacts are also described in this section of the manual. In addition, there are multiple useful resources available to you on the HHHunt Homes Customer Portal. Section 9: Maintenance & Warranty This section provides an alphabetical list from air conditioning through wood trim in your home, including maintenance hints, warranty criteria, and troubleshooting tips. The second part of this section specifies a detailed introduction to conditions, exclusions, and limitations of the limited warranty Your Feedback and Suggestions 4
Our desire to maintain open communication with you extends through the buying process and after your move-in. In an effort to improve the product and customer service we provide; we welcome your comments on how we have performed. Over the course of the next year you will receive several questionnaires from our Customer Satisfaction partner, Eliant. We would very much appreciate it if you took some time from settling into your new home to evaluate your experience.
Our goal is to build the best home and the best customer relationship possible. Your feedback helps us reach that goal. We also appreciate your referrals! We are looking forward to you joining the HHHunt family and having an excellent experience. And as life continues to change, we hope you will look to HHHunt throughout all of these life stages. We are always happy to provide you with information about where we are currently building and the various residential opportunities we offer or you can visit our website at HHHunt.com
Homeowner Manual Chapter 2 Section 2: Purchasing Your Home
Section 2: Purchasing Your Home ●
Purchaser Checklist—a copy of the form you have already signed confirming that we have communicated clearly and have delivered all necessary documents
Purchase Agreement—a brief description of each legal document you will receive
Addendum—exhibits typically attached to Purchase Agreement
Purchasing Your Home We will use several standard forms in the purchasing process of your new home. These include the Purchase Agreement and several addendums. The Purchase Agreement becomes binding only when all parties have signed all forms and attachments. Purchaser Checklist This confirms that we have delivered all necessary documents and discussed key topics in order to prevent surprises. Our experience shows that the new home process progresses more smoothly with good communication. To be certain that we have been clear in explaining our Purchase Agreement and that we have called your attention to clauses or topics that have caused confusion in the past, we will ask you to sign this confirmation at the end of your contract appointment. Purchase Agreement The Purchase Agreement is the legal document that represents your decision to purchase a new home. It describes your home (both a legal description and the street address), financing information, homeowner association information (if applicable) and additional legal provisions. We recommend that you read these documents carefully. In particular, please note the topics listed on the Purchaser’s Checklist, which we will discuss with you prior to you signing the Purchase Agreement. Addendums Several exhibits are typically attached to the Purchase Agreement. community determine the specific items, but the list below is typical. Exhibits ● Homesite & Community Maps ● Community Specifications
The features of the
Section 3: Arranging your Loan ●
Loan Application Checklist—lists the documents and information typically needed to complete the loan application form
Loan Application Paperwork—an overview of the forms involved in processing your application
Loan Underwriting—key points to be aware of regarding the loan approval process; take special note of contingencies that may apply
Loan Lock—lock your loan only after HHHunt Homes has provided you with a written Closing Date Addendum
Loan Closing—avoid changes to your financial circumstances to protect your loan approval Chapter 3
Arranging Your Loan The first item you will need to take care of is selecting a lender and completing a mortgage application. Plan to accomplish this within 10 business days of signing your Purchase Agreement. Take the completed Purchase Agreement with you when you first visit your lender. Your lender's job is to completely understand your particular financial circumstances. You will review all information on the application at your meeting with the loan officer. A situation rarely arises that your loan officer has not encountered in the past. Do not hesitate to ask any questions regarding your assets, income or credit. By providing complete information, you prevent delays or extra trips to deliver documents. Loan Application Checklist The amount of information and documentation required for a mortgage can seem overwhelming. You can facilitate the application process by collecting as much of the needed information as possible before your appointment. The checklist that follows is a general guide to assist you with the loan application. Some of the items listed may not apply to you, and your lender will probably request some items that we have not mentioned, but this list will get you off to an excellent start.
Loan Application Checklist Property Information __ The Purchase Agreement will include the legal description of the property and the price Personal Information __ Social Security card and driver's license for each borrower __ Home address(es) for the last two years __ Divorce decree and separation agreements, if applicable __ Trust agreement, if applicable Income __ Most recent pay stubs __ Documentation of any supplemental income, such as bonuses or commissions __ Names, addresses and phone numbers of all employers for last two years __ W-2s for last two years __ If you are self-employed or earn income from commissioned sales, copies of last two years of tax returns with all schedules and year-to-date profit and loss for current year, signed by an accountant __ Documentation of alimony or child support, if this income is considered for the loan Real Estate Owned __ Names, addresses, phone numbers and account numbers of all mortgage lenders for the last seven years __ Copies of leases and two years of tax returns for any rental property __ Market value estimate
Liquid Assets __ Complete names, addresses, phone numbers and account numbers for all bank, credit union, 401K and investment account __ Copies of the last three months’ statements for all bank accounts __ Copies of any notes receivable __ Value of other assets such as auto, household’s goods and collectibles __ Cash value of life insurance policies __ Vested interest in retirement funds or IRAs Liabilities __ Names, account numbers, balances and current monthly payment amounts for all revolving charge cards __ Names, addresses, phone numbers and account numbers for all installment debt and approximate balances and monthly payments for such items as mortgages, home equity loans and auto loans __ Alimony or child support payments __ Names, addresses, phone numbers and account numbers of accounts recently paid off, if used to establish credit.
Loan Application Paperwork Once you have given all preliminary information to your loan officer, your lender sends verification forms to your employers, banks and current mortgage company or landlord, and also orders the credit report and appraisal. You sign a release to authorize these steps. Your lender will provide you with a Good Faith Estimate and a Truth-in-Lending Disclosure. Good Faith Estimate The Good Faith Estimate lists the estimated costs you will incur at closing. Some of the numbers listed on this form are prorations and subject to change based on the actual date of the closing. Others are set fees that should remain the same. Truth-in-Lending Disclosure The Truth-in-Lending Disclosure shows the total cost to you, over the term of the loan, for your specific financing. The calculation is based on the assumption that you own the home and make regular payments throughout the term of the loan. Verification of Employment The lender sends Verification of Employment (VOE) forms to all employers for the last two years. The employers complete, sign and return the forms to the lender. The forms show the dates of employment, the amount of money you earned last year and how much you have earned so far this year. The VOE documents bonuses and overtime you earned. Verification of Deposit Verification of Deposit (VOD) forms go to each banking institution listed on your application. The institutions indicate the date you opened each account, average balances for the last three months, and the amount of money you have in each account on the day they complete the form. Any loans or overdraft accounts you have with the bank will also be shown.
Verification of Mortgage Mortgage companies and landlords complete Verification of Mortgage (VOM) forms. These show the lender how much you owe, the amount of your monthly payment and whether you make your payments by the due date. Credit Report and Appraisal Your credit report shows the amounts of money you owe to each of your creditors, minimum monthly payments and your payment history. The appraisal confirms the value of the home you are purchasing for you and your lender. Please note that you may be asked to pay for a credit report and an appraisal upon signing the application. Loan Underwriting Typically, several weeks pass as these reports and forms are returned to the lender. If any delays are encountered, the loan officer may contact you for assistance. The credit reporting agency may call you to verify that the information they have gathered is correct. Once the loan processor has collected this standard documentation, you may be asked to write letters describing your assets, income or credit. Few loans are finalized without requests for additional information just before the package is submitted to the underwriter for final approval. At this point, you may become frustrated with the loan process, but please remember that your lender requests these letters to assist you in obtaining your financing. Do not hesitate to discuss your concerns with your loan officer. Perhaps he or she can provide some additional insight on what may seem to be redundant requests. Loan Amount Requested Before the processor submits your file to the underwriters for final approval, he or she will verify the final sales price. Make sure that copies of all addendums, such as interior design choices and change orders signed after the original Purchase Agreement was completed, have been sent to the lender. This assists the lender in determining the exact loan amount. If change orders affect the total price after this point, you may have to resubmit your loan application for the higher amount or the lender may ask you to pay for the additional items in cash. Loan Approval During your first meeting, you and your lender determine the timing to obtain prequalification. This allows us to start the home even though final approval is still pending. You will discuss additional items that you may need to obtain final loan approval. Several weeks after your first meeting with the lender, you should receive loan approval. If any of the documents requested have not been returned to the lender in a timely manner, approval may take longer. Contingencies Loan approvals often carry conditions of approval. The sale of a previous home or proof of funds are two examples. Discuss any concerns you may have about such conditions with your loan officer and obtain any requested documentation as soon as possible. Once all contingencies are met, the final loan can be approved. 4
Loan Amount Approved If you qualify for an amount that is less than you requested, ask your loan officer what changes might qualify you for a larger loan. Or, if within the stages of construction consider omitting some items now (a) and adding them to your home after you close. Another possibility is to talk to another lender with different programs and different requirements. Loan Declined If, after your best efforts, you are not approved for a loan within 30 days of signing your Purchase Agreement, in accordance with your Purchase Agreement, HHHunt Homes will refund your initial deposit upon your signing a release letter and returning this Homeowner Manual to the sales office. Loan Lock The only thing anyone knows for certain about interest rates is that they will change. Do not rely on anyone's predictions regarding rates. Locking your rate prematurely can result in extra expense if your new home is not complete in time to close within the lock period. We are happy to update you throughout the process of construction on the estimated completion date. Until we reach a point in construction where factors outside our control can no longer affect the delivery date, the decision to lock your loan is a gamble, at best. Because of this, a CLOSE DATE will not be given until sheetrock is completed. Any dates given prior to this should be understood to be an ESTIMATED DATE of completion for closing. *Please allow for the potential of this date moving by as much as two weeks when locking your interest rate and making your moving arrangements. At this point there may still be items beyond our control that will impact scheduling the completion of your home. Your sales and construction team will keep you updated should there be any risk of delay from the date established on our closing addendum. At HHHunt Homes, it is our commitment to have your home 100% complete prior to closing. Our customers are most satisfied in the long run if they can fully enjoy their home from the day they move in and have fewer warranty items for us to address at return visits. Loan Closing Between the time your loan is approved and the date of your closing, remember that any significant changes in your financial circumstances could impact your loan approval. If your closing occurs more than 30 days after the lender issues your loan approval, the lender may order an additional credit report just prior to the closing date. Changes in your financial circumstances, for example purchasing a new car or increases in your charge card, will appear as a new liability on your updated credit report. Such changes may cause your lender to reconsider your approval. It is best to hold off on such purchases until after closing.
Homeowner Manual Chapter 4 Section 4: New Home Personalization
Section 4: Home Personalization ● Selections Process - During the Selections Process, the following categories will be selected with the assistance of your New Home Advisor: cabinets, countertops, appliances, flooring, hardware, lighting and electrical options. ● Homes Under Construction - If you have purchased a home under construction (“Spec” or Inventory Home) the selections(s) process does not apply. ● Community Included Specifications - Each community has included feature specifications within your Purchaser Agreement given to you. ● Design Choices - Based on feedback from our customers, HHHunt Homes has developed offerings of the most popular design selections which are available for the home plans in your new community ● Option Selections Addendum – When you have completed selections for your new home, you will be required to authorize and finalize the Option Selections Addendum via DocuSign.
New Home Personalization As a leading builder, HHHunt Homes continually performs trend and product research to offer you a variety of outstanding design choices from which to personalize your brand new home. We are excited to offer you a wide array of high-performing products to meet your lifestyle needs and help you express your design preferences. You really have the best of both worlds here at HHHunt Homes. You get the benefit of the value of our Included Features and the opportunity to create your dream home, within your total investment budget. Homes Under Construction: If you have purchased a home under construction (“Spec” or Inventory Home) the selections(s) process does not apply. Community Included Specifications Each community has included feature specifications which are noted within your Purchaser Agreement. Please review this information carefully to prevent any misunderstandings about which features are included in the base price of your new home. If you have any questions, your sales team member(s) will be able to assist you. Design Choices Based on feedback from our customers, HHHunt Homes has developed offerings of the most popular design selections which are available for the home plans in your new community. These selections and the current pricing of these offerings will be reviewed during your selections appointment with your sales team member. These options are updated regularly based on trends, feedback from our customers and fluctuations in costs. Informed Choices We recommend that you review the maintenance tasks and warranty guidelines in Section 8, Caring for Your Home, prior to making your selection decisions. Colors You are welcome to bring cushions or swatches to your selections appointment to coordinate colors. View color samples in both natural and artificial light to get an accurate impression of the color. Variations between samples and actual material installed can occur. This is because of the manufacturer's coloring process (dye lots) and the fact that, over time, sunlight and other environmental factors affect the samples. Some colors will appear different when seen in a large area as opposed to the sample. Exterior Color Schemes Your homeowner association and the selections your future neighbors have made may limit your choices for exterior finish materials or color schemes. Viewing existing homes is one way to select exterior colors. Selections often look different on a full-size home. Availability If a selection you make turns out to be unavailable, we will contact you and request that you make a different selection within 5 business days. HHHunt Homes is unable to predict when a particular manufacturer or supplier cannot provide a particular item. We regret any inconvenience this may cause. 2
Option Selections Addendum When you have completed selections for your new home, you will be required to authorize and finalize the Option Selections Addendum via DocuSign. Then, we can finalize the orders for your home and schedule the start of construction. Depending on permitting and trade contractor workload, construction of your new home will begin within the next few weeks after we receive your approved signed options addendum. Once you sign the addendum, HHHunt Homes orders materials and schedules labor to build your home. After this point, no changes will be permitted. Record of Selections Please retain your addendums for future reference.
Homeowner Manual Chapter 5 Section 5: Construction of Your Home
Section 5: Construction of Your Home ●
Start of Construction—After all contract paperwork is finalized, HHHunt Homes prepares to begin construction
Pre-Construction Orientation—A meeting to review your plans, selections and the protocols of the construction process
Construction Sequence—An overview of the building process
Review Plans and Specifications
Safety—Please review our site visitation policies
Single Source—HHHunt Homes selects all trade partners and orders all materials that go into your home
Trade Partners—Our Trade Partners do not have permission to make changes without an authorized change order. Any questions should be communicated through your sales and design teams
Pre-Drywall Orientation—Your second orientation with a member of our construction team provides an opportunity to see the quality inside the walls of your new home and confirm that selections are correct
Schedule—Delivery dates are a target until we issue a Closing Date Addendum (CDA)
Locks and Keys—After closing you will receive the keys to your home. Once the key is used it will trip the lock and our builder key will no longer provide access to your home
Quality—In addition to our internal quality assurances, HHHunt Homes hires a thirdparty quality inspection company to ensure that every home meets the same level of quality and expectation set forth, as outlined in the homeowner manual.
Private Home Inspection—Please refer to your contract regarding HHHunt Homes policies and procedures upon scheduling private home inspectors 1
Construction of Your Home Start of Construction Before construction of your home, HHHunt Homes has several important milestones to accomplish which also involve organizations outside of our company. For example: ● If you purchased in a new community, certain counties will prevent us from applying for a building permit until certain land development requirements have been met. Some of these requirements are streets being paved and/or utilities being completed. ● Residential construction requires that we obtain a building permit. The process varies and can take a few days to many weeks, depending on the volume of applications being processed by the municipality. This volume varies from month to month. ● The time of year may also affect your start date due to weather conditions. Pre-Construction Orientation You will have four main orientation meetings with a member of our construction team. The first of these orientations, is a pre-construction orientation. Our sales and construction team will schedule this appointment prior to framing being started on your new home. This meeting will take approximately an hour to an hour and a half. The purpose of the pre-construction orientation is to conduct a comprehensive review of your final plans and specifications as well as the building process itself. We will discuss site visits, trade partner communication, change orders, target delivery date, and any questions you may have. A copy of our agenda is included on the next page.
Construction Sequence Although the specific sequence of construction steps varies and overlap, we generally build homes in the following order: ●
Foundation o Footing o Masonry o Backfilling o Pour Slab Framing o First Floor o Second Floor o Roof System o Doors, Windows & Stairs Rough-In of Mechanical Systems o Plumbing o HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning) o Electrical o Insulation Exterior Finishes o Roofing o Brick & Siding Facades o Deck (if applicable) Interior Finishes o Drywall o Garage Door o Trim o Painting o Cabinets o Tile and/or Vinyl o Countertops o Plumbing Fixtures o HVAC Trims o Electrical Fixtures o Shelving, Mirrors & Bath Accessories o Hardwood o Appliances o Carpet Installation Exterior Finishes o Concrete Flatwork o Irrigation o Fine Grade
o Landscaping o Sod ● Wrap Up o Drywall Point Up o Construction Cleaning o Painting Touch Up 4
o Builder Punch Out Plans and Specifications The municipality where your home is located must review and approve the plans and specifications for your home. We construct each home to comply with the plans and specifications approved by the applicable municipality. Your specifications are a part of our agreements with trade partners and suppliers. Please be advised that any change to your contract must be documented by a signed addendum. Regulatory Changes Occasionally, residential code and or county agencies adopt new codes or regulations that can affect your home. Such changes are usually adopted in the interest of safety and are legal requirements with which HHHunt Homes must comply. Therefore, Builders may construct the same floor plan slightly differently in two different jurisdictions or at two different times within the same jurisdiction. Individual Foundation Designs Another area where variations can appear are in the foundation system. The foundation design is specific to each lot. Based on the results of a soil test, an engineer determines which foundation system to use. Because of variations in soil conditions among homesites, your foundation may differ from your neighbors' foundation or that of the same home in another community. Topography and Homesite Conditions Because each homesite is shaped differently, the position of your home on the site may vary from others in the community. You will receive a copy of a plot plan, which is a drawing that shows you your home's position on your homesite. A preliminary plot plan will be included in your homes start pack and will be reviewed at your Pre-Construction Orientation with a member of our construction team. A final plot will be given to you as part of your closing documents. In addition, the exterior elevation of each home is affected by the topography, or surface contours, of your homesite. For instance, slope on the site may affect the configuration of the driveway, walks, steps and handrails. Exterior finish varies in accordance with the slope on the home site and retaining walls are sometimes needed for extreme conditions. HHHunt Homes identifies existing trees on your homesite that must be removed to create room for your home and driveway. Our construction practices include steps intended to preserve trees in a healthy condition. However, because the reaction of trees related to construction activities of your new home, we cannot guarantee the health or survival of any existing trees. Utilities and Mailboxes The location of utility meters, power boxes, electrical pedestals, phone and cable structures, water meter boxes, and mailboxes are examples of items outside the control of HHHunt Homes. The authority of the utility companies and the U.S. Postal Service to designate the placement of these items is well established. Changes in Materials, Products, and Methods In the new-home industry, building trades and product manufacturers are continually working to improve installation methods and quality products. In addition, occasionally manufacturers will 5
make model changes that can impact the final product. For instance, appliance manufacturers often make design changes yearly. Our model homes will show the appliances that were current when the models were built; however, your home may have a more recent version. In all instances, as required by your Purchase Agreement, any substitution of product will have equal or better quality than what is shown in our models. Since such substitutions or changes may become necessary, we reserve the right to make them without notification. Models Model homes display many decorator items, window coverings and furnishings. Mature landscaping, extra walks, fences, lighting, signs and flags are some examples of items specific to only our model homes. To avoid misunderstandings, please carefully review your home's included features as well as information HHHunt Homes provides about optional items displayed in our models. Please contact your sales team with any questions. Because finish sizes can vary, we suggest you should measure for window coverings in your home rather than in any other similar model. New Home Variations Dozens of trade partners have assembled your home. The same individuals rarely work on every home; therefore, each home will be somewhat unique due to design locations. The exact placement of switches, outlets, HVAC registers, etc, will vary slightly from the model and other homes of the same floor plan. Safety We understand that you will want to visit your new home between construction orientations. A new home construction site is exciting but can also be dangerous. Your safety is of the utmost importance to us. Therefore, we must require that you contact HHHunt Homes before visiting your homesite. Please refer to our site visitation policy in your Purchase Agreement. We reserve the right to require that you wear a hard hat and that a member of our staff accompany you during your visit. Due to various stages of construction, our site representative may decline a visit to your home if conditions are unsafe or if unsupervised. Please observe reasonable safety procedures at all times when visiting: ● Do not walk backwards, even one step. Look in the direction you are moving at all times. ● Watch for boards, cords, tools, nails or construction materials that might cause tripping, puncture wounds or other injuries. ● Do not enter any level of a home that is not equipped with stairs and safety rails. ● Stay a minimum of six feet from all excavations. ● Give large, noisy grading equipment or delivery vehicles plenty of room. Assume that the driver can neither see nor hear you. In addition to safety considerations, be aware of the possibility that mud, paint, drywall compound and other construction materials can stain your clothing. 6
Single Source HHHunt Homes is a single source company. That means that we select all personnel and trade partners who will contribute to your home. With that being said, we will not allow or permit customers and/or outside trade partners to do work to the home before taking possession. Trade Partners Your home is built through the combined efforts of specialists in many different trades from footing and foundation, framing, mechanicals and insulation, to drywall, trim and finish work. In order to ensure the HHHunt Homes standard of construction, only authorized suppliers, trade partners and HHHunt Homes employees are permitted to perform work in your home. Each trade partner works on a limited portion of the home; they may not be aware of all the details that affect the home and are not in a position to offer judgments. All questions or requests for changes should go through HHHunt Homes, and we will obtain input from trade partners when appropriate. The terms of our trade partner agreements, prohibit alterations without written authorization from HHHunt Homes. Their failure to comply with this policy can result in the termination of their contract. Pre-Drywall Orientation Many customers appreciate the opportunity to tour their home just after the rough mechanical stages, but prior to sheetrock. Insulation may or may not be installed pending timeframes and inspections. The rooms have begun to take shape but, the inner workings are still visible. This is an opportunity for you to see the quality that goes inside the walls of your home. Although the opportunity to make changes has passed, this orientation allows everyone the opportunity to ensure that all selections are installed according to the contract. We will also update you on the target delivery date during this orientation. Unlike your pre-construction orientation, the pre-drywall orientation is scheduled by a member of our construction team. This meeting will take place at your new home and usually takes an hour to an hour and a half. Please understand that if for any reason you are unable to attend this meeting, we must continue with the construction of your new home. A copy of our agenda is included on the next page.
Schedule The delivery date for your new home begins as an estimate. Until the roof is on and the structure is enclosed, weather can dramatically affect the delivery date. Even after the home itself is past the potential for weather-related delays, weather can severely impact installation of utility services, final grading, and concrete flatwork. Extended periods of wet weather or freezing temperatures can bring work to a stop in the entire region. When favorable conditions return, the trade partners go back to work, picking up where they left off. Please understand that they are as eager as you are to get caught up and to see progress on your new home. Delivery Date Updates HHHunt Homes recognizes that timing is critical to planning your move. Although a guaranteed date is unrealistic in the early stages of construction, our construction team can provide regular updates as part of our bi-weekly homeowner calls. As the home nears completion, our sales and construction teams will provide a firm delivery date. Meanwhile, please be flexible and avoid making arrangements that might cause you worry if the move-in date changes. We are happy to update you throughout the process of construction on the estimated completion date. You are also, welcome to check with us for the most current target date. Until we reach a point in construction where factors outside our control can no longer affect the delivery date, the decision to lock in your close date is a gamble, at best. Because of this, a close date will not be given until sheetrock is completed and utilities are present. Any dates given prior to this should be understood to be an estimated date of completion for closing. We suggest that until you receive the Closing Date Addendum, you avoid finalizing arrangements for your move. Until then, flexibility is the key to comfort, sanity and convenience. We want you to enjoy this process and avoid unnecessary stress caused by uncertainty that cannot be avoided. Review the Loan Lock heading in Section 3, Applying for Your Loan, for additional suggestions on this topic. Please keep in mind that your belongings may be brought into the home only after the closing because of insurance issues and the regulations of the applicable municipality. "Nothing's Happening" Expect several days during construction of your home when it appears that nothing is happening. This can occur for a number of reasons. Each trade is scheduled days or weeks in advance of the actual work. This period is referred to as "lead time." Time is allotted for completing each trade's work on your home. Sometimes, one trade completes its work a bit ahead of schedule. The next trade already has an assigned time slot, which usually cannot be changed on short notice. You will notice that progress pauses while the home awaits municipality inspections. This is part of the normal sequence of the construction schedule and occurs at several points in every home. These inspections ensure your home is being built properly, and to building code standards. During certain stages of construction, the work will seem to progress rapidly while other stages may seem to progress more slowly. If you have questions about the pace of work, please contact your sales and construction team for an update. 9
Locks and Keys Once exterior doors and locks are installed, we will access your home with a construction master key. Company policy prohibits staff members from loaning these keys to customers. Once you close, using your permanent key in the locks for the first time will reposition the lock tumblers and the construction master keys will no longer open your home, only your key will. Quality Our company will build your new home to the quality standards described in our documents and demonstrated in our model homes. Each new home is a handcrafted product combining art, science, and raw labor. The efforts of many people with varying degrees of knowledge, experience and skill come together to construct your new home. Errors and Omissions From time to time during a lengthy process that involves dozens of people, an error or omission may and will most likely occur. We have systems and procedures for inspecting our homes to ensure that the level of quality meets our requirements. We inspect every step of construction and are responsible for quality control. In addition, the county, city, or an engineer conduct a number of inspections at different stages of construction. Your home must pass each inspection before construction continues. Your Questions We also respect your interest and appreciate your concern for your new home. Therefore, your input into our system is welcome. However, to avoid duplication of efforts, confusion, misunderstandings or compounding errors, we ask that you first check your purchase documents to review what you ordered and the specifications for construction of your home. If you still believe we are in error, do one of two things: 1. 2.
Bring your concern up during the Bi-Weekly Homeowner phone calls. Contact HHHunt Homes, in writing, with your question. We will reply to your concern before or by the next Bi-Weekly Homeowner Call. Also, keep the following points in mind once you have notified your sales and construction teams of a concern: ● Your concern may involve a detail HHHunt Homes has already noticed; however, correction may not occur immediately. Trade partners and suppliers often impose trip charges for extra visits to the homesite, so, to be efficient, we may schedule the correction for the next routine visit. Also, a particular trade may be unavailable on short notice. ● Work may simply be incomplete; an early stage can look wrong to you but be exactly right when finished.
Methods and materials vary from region to region and change over time. When you are familiar with one method, you naturally question a different one. That does not make the new method wrong. Ask questions until you are comfortable.
Ugly Duckling Stages During the construction process, every home being built experiences some days when it is not at its best. Homes under construction endure wind, rain, snow, foot traffic and activities that generate noise, dust, and trash. Material scraps are a byproduct of the process. Although your new home is cleaned by each trade upon completion of their portion of work, during your visits you will encounter some messy moments. Keep in mind that the completed homes you toured also once endured these "ugly duckling" stages. Private Home Inspectors Please be aware of HHHunt Home’s policy regarding private home inspectors. You, as the Purchaser, shall have the right to have the property inspected by a reputable home inspector selected by the Purchaser at Purchaser’s expense. Purchaser and HHHunt Homes agree that the purpose of the home inspection is only for the benefit of the Purchaser. If Purchaser elects to have a Home Inspection performed, the home inspector selected by the Purchaser MUST provide proof of licensure and insurance to our sales team prior to entering the home. If no proof is provided, access will be denied. In the State of Virginia, the home inspector MUST have the New Residential Structures (NRS) specialty designation. If Purchaser desires a private Home Inspection, this inspection must be completed 3-days PRIOR to the Pre-Settlement Orientation. If the Purchaser wants to present the recommendations from the inspection to HHHunt Homes, it MUST be done prior to, or during the Pre-Settlement Orientation in order to have any of the items considered. While Purchaser may provide copies of any inspection report to HHHunt Homes, HHHunt Homes is under no obligation to perform any repairs recommended in the report unless items in the report represent a violation of any building codes or a material defect in the construction of the home. The New Home Purchase Agreement is not contingent on or subject to the results of any such home inspection. If you wish to retain the services of a private home inspector, the following guidelines MUST be met: ● Inspector MUST provide proof of licensure and insurance to our sales team prior to entering the home ● Inspections must be completed 3-days prior to the Pre-Settlement Orientation date ● The inspector must be familiar with codes applicable to your jurisdiction ● The inspector must be experienced in new home construction and inspecting new homes. In Virginia, the inspector must have the New Residential Structures (NRS) specialty designation. ● The Purchaser is responsible for staying informed as to the stage of construction the home has reached (thus preventing unauthorized or premature access) ● Must avoid marking or damaging home in any respect ● Must ensure that any report generated is available to the Construction Manager PRIOR to or during the Pre-Settlement Orientation date (so that it may be reviewed at Pre-Settlement Orientation)
Homeowner Manual Chapter 6 Section 6: Pre-Settlement Orientation
Section 6: Pre-Settlement Orientation ●
Scheduling – Your Community Team will schedule the pre-settlement orientation with you, typically one week prior to closing, and the orientation will take approximately an hour and a half to two hours
The orientation will take place at your new home
Last-Minute Activity - many items are fine-tuned and completed in the last few days before delivery
Preparation - hints on how to get the most from your pre-settlement orientation
Final Sign-Off - most items listed at the pre-settlement orientation will be completed prior to your move-in. If there are remaining items, a member of our construction team will schedule an appointment to complete the items.
Pre-Settlement Orientation Forms - copies of the meeting forms will be provided to you after the orientation has been completed. Please pay particular attention to the note regarding cosmetic surfaces on the first page.
Pre-Settlement Orientation Your pre-settlement orientation is an introduction to your new home and its many features. We follow a preplanned agenda and a set route through the home to assure that we cover all facets of your home. Our pre-settlement orientation provides you with a: ● Demonstration of your new home. ● Review of key points about maintenance and limited warranty coverage. ● Confirmation that HHHunt Homes installed all selections and options you purchased. Scheduling As your home nears completion, please be prepared to attend the final meetings in the homebuilding process. Typically, one week prior to closing, you will have your pre-settlement orientation. This meeting will be held at your new home and will take approximately an hour and half to two hours. Last-Minute Activity If you visit your home a day or two prior to the pre-settlement orientation, you may notice dozens of details that need attention. During the last few days, prior to your orientation appointment, many trade partners and HHHunt Homes employees will be working in your home. They are completing last-minute adjustments and fine-tuning your new home. These finishing touches cannot be performed until all the parts have been installed. What seems like a rush of activity is a normal part of the construction process. Preparation Following these suggestions will assure you get the maximum benefit from your pre-settlement orientation. Allow Enough Time Arrange your schedule so you can use the full amount of time allotted. Attend Alone Our experience shows the pre-settlement orientation is most beneficial when the new home buyer focuses all their attention on their new home and the information we present. This orientation is specifically for you alone and we suggest, if possible, children and pets not accompany you to this meeting. If you are working with a Realtor, he or she is welcome to attend, but it is not mandatory. Review Pre-Settlement Orientation Forms We have included copies of our pre-settlement orientation forms at the end of this section. As we walk and demonstrate your new home to you, if applicable, we note details that need further attention on these orientation forms.
Cosmetic Surfaces Cosmetic surface damage caused during construction is readily noticeable during the pre-settlement orientation. Such damage can also occur during the move-in process or through daily activities. Therefore, during your pre-settlement orientation, we will confirm that all surfaces are in good and acceptable condition. Any details that need attention will be listed on your orientation forms. After we correct any items noted during the orientation, repair of cosmetic surface damage is your responsibility. Bring Questions If you have not already done so, please read the maintenance information, limited warranty, and warranty guidelines in Section 8 of this manual. If you have questions, please make note of them to discuss at the orientation. Attire When attending the pre-settlement orientation please wear shoes that are convenient to get off and on. We will tour both the exterior and interior of your home. Anticipate that dust, bending, kneeling, and reaching may be encountered. Get Involved Plan to listen carefully and take a hands-on approach. Push buttons, lock locks, and flip breakers. This helps you remember the dozens of details we cover. Quality The overall quality of your home should equal that shown in our models and described in your purchase documents. At the pre-settlement orientation we list all the items that are agreed upon to be corrected or adjusted. Orientation items fall into several categories: ● Incomplete or missing (Cabinet knob not installed.) ● Incorrect (Porch light should be polished brass, not antique.) ● Dysfunctional (Bath fan does not come on.) ● Below company standard (Mitered corner rough, top right of den door, hallway side.) ● Damaged (Scrape on wall from carpet installation.) ● Unclean (Mud on the garage floor.) At some point, quality ceases to be objective and becomes subjective and a matter of personal taste. In a few areas, your personal standards may be even higher than ours. Our commitment to you is we will deliver what we promised.
Final Sign-Off Prior to closing, a member of our construction team will meet with you one final time to ensure all items from your pre-settlement orientation list have been addressed. This meeting should take no longer than 30 minutes. Our goal is to have your home 100% complete prior to closing. Should there be any remaining items that cannot be completed prior to closing, e.g. an ordering issue, we commit to having these items addressed and/or completed within 30 days after you have closed. Please understand that for documentation purposes we are unable to accept verbal requests of any kind, only those items on the written list will be addressed. Once this meeting has ended, you can then close on your new home from HHHunt Homes. At the time of sign-off, customers sometimes wish to add new requests to their pre-settlement orientation list. Unless the items are of an urgent nature, we ask that you put these items on a post-close service request form. For detailed information, please review Section 8, Caring for Your New Home. If work needs to be performed in your new home after your move-in, our services are available by appointment, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. HHHunt Homes asks the contract holder(s) be present for all appointments that take place in the home. We make every effort to minimize inconvenience to you, our goal is to repair all items in your home as soon as possible. We appreciate your cooperation and flexibility in helping us accomplish this collective effort.
Homeowner Manual Chapter 7 Section 7: Closing on Your Home
Section 7: Closing on Your Home ●
Location—the Settlement Agency and location is confirmed in your Purchase Agreement
Documents—an overview of the materials that you will sign at closing
“The Final Number”—due to prorations that are based on your closing date, the final amount you will need to bring can be determined only after your closing documents have been delivered to the Settlement Agency from your Mortgage Company
Preparation—reminders to ensure you have addressed all necessary tasks prior to closing
Homeowner Keys, Garage Door Remote(s) (if applicable) and WiFi Adapters (if applicable) – will be ready for you upon recordation at the office of the Seller’s Settlement Agency per your Purchase Agreement
First Mortgage Payment—your Mortgage Company will inform you where to send your house payments and when the first payment will be due
Storing Documents—your closing documents are valuable papers; store them safely
Utility and Community Services—names and numbers for your convenience
Moving Hints—some reminders and checklists to make moving easier
Closing on Your Home At closing, the ultimate purpose of your Purchase Agreement is achieved: Ownership of your new home is transferred from HHHunt Homes to you. The funds are disbursed to the appropriate people and companies, the title is transferred to your name(s) and the loan is recorded against your new property. This process involves many documents–some of which are duplicates. Although these documents are not negotiable and thousands of home customers have signed them, you should read them. Location The closing on your new home typically takes place at a Settlement Agency. The Settlement Agency and location is confirmed in your Purchase Agreement. A closing time is established by the Settlement Agency. Documents At closing, the documents necessary to convey your new home to you and to close the loan from the Mortgage Company will be signed by you and other necessary parties and delivered by the Settlement Agency to all required parties. In addition to these standard items, the Mortgage Company, the Settlement Agency and HHHunt Homes may require other documents to be signed. The principal documents typically include the following: Title Commitment At closing, the Settlement Agency will obtain a standard form for an American Land Title Association (ALTA) owner's title insurance commitment to ensure salable title of your home to you in the amount of the purchase price, subject to the permitted title exceptions that may be described in your Purchase Agreement. The title insurance company will mail or email you the actual policy in the weeks following the closing. When you receive this, keep it in a safe place with your other important papers. What you will see on the day of closing is a document that promises to issue the policy. Mortgage Companies require title insurance in the amount of the mortgage. This insurance protects the Mortgage Company in the event the title search missed anything. An owner’s policy to protect your interest in the property is strongly recommended, but you can elect to decline to purchase. Review the title commitment carefully. Discuss any questions with your title company. Within 60 days after the closing, the title company mails a standard ALTA owner's title insurance policy, ensuring you the title to your home in accordance with the commitment you received at closing (if one was purchased). Keep the title insurance policy with your other valuable papers. Promissory Note The promissory note is from you, payable to the Mortgage Company in the principal amount of the loan, plus interest. If requested, one-twelfth of your annual taxes and homeowner's insurance will be added to the principal and interest payment to determine your total monthly payment. Deed of Trust This encumbers your home as security for repayment of the promissory note. 2
"The Final Number" Certain customary items in connection with the property will be prorated to the date of closing, such as prepaid expenses or reserves required by your Mortgage Company and homeowners association, if applicable. Prorations of general property taxes and assessments will be based on the current year's taxes and assessments or, if they are unavailable, on the taxes and assessments for the prior year. The final cost figure is available nearer the actual closing. Although a reasonably close estimate may be determined before the date of closing, the proration of several items included is affected by the closing date and cannot be calculated until that date is known. The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) provides you with many protections. Under this law, you can review the settlement page that lists costs you are paying at closing three days before the closing appointment. Supplemental Taxes In many instances the exact tax assessment on your new home is not established by the county until after closing. Your Mortgage Company will estimate your future tax obligations and a small reconciliation will be done by your Mortgage Company after the new assessment is completed. Preparation The key to a smooth closing is preparation. Several details require your attention. You can handle most of these by phone. Address these details during the weeks before closing to prevent last-minute delays. Form of Payment Your Settlement Agency will give you instructions as to how funds may be paid. These funds may be in the form of; certified funds or wired funds with instructions from your Settlement Agency. In your planning, be sure to allow time to arrange for and obtain these funds. Keep in mind that some banks place a hold on monies moved from another account and there may be restrictions on the time for wiring funds. Homeowner’s Insurance You need to provide proof of a homeowner's policy from your insurance company. Your insurance agent should know exactly what is needed. We suggest you arrange for this at least 30 days prior to the expected closing date. HHHunt Homes or Mortgage Company Issues The Settlement Agency is not authorized to negotiate or make representations on behalf of any of the parties involved in the closing. Therefore, please discuss any questions, agreements, or other details directly with HHHunt Homes or your Mortgage Company in advance of the closing. Utilities It is your responsibility to notify ALL applicable utility companies of your move so that service is transferred into your name effective day of closing. We suggest that you contact these companies two to three (2-3) weeks before your scheduled closing date to avoid any interruption 3
in service. If you ordered a security system for your home, you can arrange to activate that system by contacting the monitoring service for a connection appointment after closing. For your convenience, we have included a list of your utility companies and contact information on the following page. Reminder…….Upon closing HHHunt Homes will have all utility service(s) removed from its name. Homeowner Keys When the closing process is complete, and the Deed has been recorded, your keys will be available at the Seller’s Settlement Agency. When you insert your new key for the first time in each lock, the tumblers are altered and our construction master key will no longer unlock your door. The same key will operate both the knob and the deadbolt locks. We recommend that you try all of the keys in all of your locks to confirm smooth operations. Depending on the number of family members living in the home, you may want to get extra copies of your house keys made. Garage Door Remote(s)…(if applicable) If your selections include a garage door opener, you will receive the remote(s) at closing along with your homeowner keys. If you wish to change the code, review the manufacturer instructions. Batteries typically need to be replaced about once a year. If you wish to purchase additional remotes, contact the garage door opener company using the customer service number shown in the manufacturer's literature that came with the remote(s). First Mortgage Payment Your Mortgage Company will provide you with information on where to send your mortgage payments and when the first payment will be due. Storing Documents We suggest that you store the legal documents from your closing with other valuable papers in a safe place. You will need them for tax purposes and when you refinance or sell your home.
Utility and Community Services Utility Services It is your responsibility to notify ALL applicable utility companies listed below of your move so that service is transferred into your name effective day of closing. We suggest that you contact these companies two to three (2-3) weeks before your scheduled closing date to avoid any interruption in service. Reminder…Upon closing HHHunt Homes will have all utility service(s) removed from its name. Electricity (for all counties) Chesterfield County Goochland County Hanover County Henrico County Newport News James City County King William County Suffolk County
City of Williamsburg
Columbia Gas of Virginia Chesterfield County Public Utilities Department of Public Utilities Columbia Gas of Virginia Virginia Natural Gas Hanover County Public Utilities Richmond Gas Works Henrico County Public Utilities Virginia Natural Gas (if applicable) Newport News Waterworks Virginia Natural Gas (if applicable) James City County Service Authority King William County Public Works Dept Holtzman Propane (if applicable) Suffolk Electric Cooperative Columbia Gas of Virginia (if applicable) City of Suffolk Public Utilities Griffin Oil & Propane Virginia Natural Gas (if applicable) City of Williamsburg Public Utilities
800-543-8911 804-748-1291 804-556-5835 804-543-8911 866-229-3578 804-365-6024 804-646-4646 804-501-4275 866-229-3578 757-926-1000 866-229-3578 757-253-6800 804-769-4962 804-557-5350 757-242-6181 800-543-8911 757-514-7000 757-539-4761 866-229-3578 757-220-6140
Community Services Many communities provide garbage removal as part of the fee-based services covered by the homeowner’s association. If this service is provided in your community, you must contact the homeowner’s association to schedule set-up of this service. Please review your homeowner’s association documents for details.
Moving Hints Take precautions to protect vulnerable surfaces such as hardwood or resilient floors. Cover rails with moving pads or blankets. Remove doors where furniture might be a tight fit. You can protect carpet with plastic runners. Professional movers should have insurance for any damage they might accidentally cause. If you are moving yourself, organize the schedule to avoid rushing and include rest breaks. People who are tired or in a hurry are more likely to hurt themselves or your belongings. Moving Preparation Checklist o Compare proposals of professional movers: – Costs for services such as packing and unpacking – Costs of packing materials and boxes – Distance and weight charges – Insurance – Availability and notice needed o Plan a self-move well in advance: – Make truck reservation early (6–8 weeks, or more) – Include a reservation for a dolly and moving pads – Reconfirm one week prior o If you have children, involve them in planning and preparing for the move o Create a file for storing documents about your home and manufacturer literature o Retain receipts for tax purposes (moving costs may be deductible) o Send change-of-address cards to magazines and book clubs six weeks prior to your move o Give the forwarding order to your old post office one month prior to assure uninterrupted service o Register children in their new schools o Transfer medical and dental records, if necessary o Arrange for homeowner insurance and obtain the certificate you need for closing o Order checks with your new address; update financial records o Update your driver's license and voter registration card o Properly dispose of flammable or hazardous materials that should not be moved Packing Materials o Boxes of various sizes; cartons for mattresses o Packing tape and heavy string o Packing paper, newspaper and bubble wrap o Labels to identify boxes (include a number, room/name); "fragile" labels for special items o Markers o Master packing list (list each box by number with name/room and brief description of contents) o Scissors o Furniture pads, blankets and rugs
Moving Day Necessities o Children's toys and games o Toilet paper o Beverages and snacks o Paper towels o Soap and hand towels o Trashbags o First aid kit o Prescription medication o Medical supplies for special needs o Pad and pen o Shelf liners o Small tools: tape measure, scissors, screwdrivers and hammer o Ice maker hook-up kit o Dryer vent flex hose o New hoses for washing machine o Picture hangers o Plant hooks o Scratch cover o Cell phones and chargers
Homeowner Manual Chapter 8 Section 8: Caring for Your Home
Section 8: Caring for your Home ●
Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines - Introduction to the maintenance information in this manual.
HHHunt Homes Builders Limited Warranty Guidelines - Introduction to the criteria HHHunt Homes uses to screen warranty items.
Warranty Service Program – An outline of the Warranty Program
Emergency Service – An outline of what is considered an emergency and how to report.
Warranty Item Processing Procedures - A simple description of the process.
Help Us to Serve You - Things you need to know so we can provide effective warranty service.
Fire Prevention - Reminders to prevent fire in your home.
Extended Absences - Tips for preparing and reminders for the day you leave.
Energy and Water Conservation - Suggestions about consuming energy and water wisely.
Caring for Your Home HHHunt Homes has constructed your home with carefully selected materials, using experienced craftsmen and laborers, supervised by an HHHunt Homes construction team member, with the administrative support of our office personnel. Although this group works from detailed plans and specifications, no two homes are exactly alike. Each one is unique; a home is one of the last hand-built products left in the world. Over time, each behaves differently. Although quality materials and workmanship have been used in creating your home, like an automobile, it requires care from the first day. Regular homeowner maintenance is essential to providing a quality home for a lifetime. This section of our manual was assembled to assist you in that effort.
Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines HHHunt Homes is proud of the homes we build and the neighborhoods in which we build them. We strive to create lasting value. This is best achieved when you, as the homeowner, know and perform appropriate maintenance tasks. Periodic maintenance is necessary because of normal wear and tear, the inherent characteristics of the materials used in your home, and normal service required by the mechanical systems. Natural fluctuations in temperature and humidity also affect your home, resulting in maintenance items. The natural and manufactured materials will inevitably interact with each other and the environment. We recognize that it is impossible to anticipate and describe every attention needed for good home care. We have focused on items that homeowners commonly ask about. The subjects are listed in alphabetical order to make finding answers to your questions convenient. Because we offer customers a variety of floor plans and optional features, this manual may discuss components that are not present in your home. Checklists You will find several checklists included in this manual. These cover fire prevention reminders, energy and water conservation tips, and suggestions for extended absences. Again, we make no claim that we have included every detail. We do believe we have provided you with a good start. Prompt Attention In addition to routine care, providing minor maintenance can save you time-consuming and sometimes costly repairs later. Note: Neglecting routine maintenance can void applicable limited warranty coverage on all or part of your home. By caring for your new home attentively, you ensure uninterrupted warranty coverage as well as your enjoyment of it for years. The attention provided by each homeowner contributes significantly to the overall desirability of the community.
Manufacturer Literature – Typically found in a kitchen drawer Please take time to read the literature (warranties and use and care guides) provided by the manufacturers of consumer products and other items in your home. The information contained in this material is not repeated here. Although much of the information may be familiar to you, some points may differ significantly from homes you have owned in the past. We make every effort to keep the information in this manual current. However, if any detail in our discussion conflicts with the manufacturer's recommendations, you should follow the manufacturer's recommendations. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to activate specific manufacturer's warranties by completing and mailing any registration cards included with their materials. In some cases, manufacturer's warranties may extend beyond the first year, it is in your best interests to know about such coverage’s.
HHHunt Homes Builders Limited Warranty Guidelines While we strive to build a defect-free home, we know that, with repeated use, any item in a home may fail to perform as it should. When this occurs, we will make necessary corrections, so the item meets our warranty guidelines. In support of this commitment, HHHunt Homes provides you with a limited warranty. Corrective Actions In addition to the information contained in the limited warranty itself, this manual includes details about the criteria we will use to evaluate concerns you report. These criteria are a set of parameters for our warranty commitment for the typical concerns that can come up in a new home. The manual describes the corrective action we will take in many common situations. Exceeding Guidelines Our criteria for qualifying warranty repairs are based on typical industry practices in our region. We reserve the right to exceed these guidelines if circumstances make that appropriate. This does not obligate us to exceed all guidelines to a similar degree, or for other homeowners under different circumstances. We Sometimes Say No With a product as complex as a home, there are different viewpoints regarding which tasks are homeowner maintenance responsibilities and which are HHHunt Homes warranty responsibilities, thus the reason we have guidelines to follow. If you request warranty service on a maintenance item, or an item that does not meet the guidelines set forth in the Builders Limited Warranty, we will explain to you the steps you can take to care for the item. We are available to answer your home-care questions during and after your warranty period. Providing normal maintenance for your home is the homeowner’s responsibility. Please refer to "Section 9: Maintenance & Warranty" of each individual category to review these hints; you will find them at the end of each section. Often the appropriate action taken by you, as the homeowner, can resolve a problem immediately or mitigate the situation until a technician arrives. 3
Warranty Service Program HHHunt Homes Customer Service offers two opportunities to submit non-emergency warranty service requests: 60 days after closing, and again at 11 months after closing. 60 Day Post-Closing Service Review For non-emergency items of concern during the first 60 days of occupancy: 1) On a personal notepad, please make a comprehensive running list of requests; 2) 60 days after closing, submit your final comprehensive list online using the HHHunt Homes Customer Portal. The “Service” tab will automatically appear on your portal dashboard 55 days after your closing date, enabling you to submit your comprehensive list. We will contact you approximately 10 business days after your list has been received and processed. Drywall, caulk, and paint issues will only be evaluated at the 11-Month Service Review. Only emergency items will be addressed prior to the 60 Day Post-Closing Service Review. (See emergencies listed below.) 11-Month Service Review For non-emergency items of concern that arise in between the 60 Day Post-Closing Service Review and the 11 Month Service Review: o On a personal notepad, please make a comprehensive running list of requests o 11 months after closing, submit your final comprehensive list online using the HHHunt Homes Customer Portal as described above. We will contact you approximately 10 business days after your list has been received and processed. Only emergency items will be addressed between the 60 Day Post-Closing Service Review and 11-Month Service Review. (See emergencies listed below.) Please take special note: ● Only enter warrantable issues as outlined in the Builder’s Limited Warranty (PWSC) Manual and/or Chapter 9 of your HHHunt Homes Homeowner Manual. ● Enter each concern as a SEPARATE ITEM in your work order for all requests EXCEPT drywall, caulking, or paint concerns. o Ex. – If you have a dripping faucet in the Owners Bath and in the Powder Room, enter them as separate items on your work order. ● Warrantable Drywall – Caulking – Paint Service Requests (Only evaluated as a 1-time service at the 11 Month Review) o Drywall – If you have service requests for warrantable drywall repair in multiple locations, please enter 1 service request stating: “Inspect all homeowner concerns regarding drywall.” ▪
You are responsible for custom paint colors or wall coverings applied after closing.
o Caulking – If you have service requests for warrantable caulking in multiple locations, please enter 1 service request stating: “Inspect all homeowner concerns regarding caulking.” o Paint – If you have service requests for warrantable paint repairs in multiple locations, please enter 1 service request stating: “Inspect all homeowner concerns regarding Paint.” o You are responsible for custom paint colors or wall coverings applied after closing. ● Be as detailed as possible. If you have a dripping faucet, please advise that you have a “dripping faucet in the powder room” rather than “bathroom has dripping faucet. Emergency Service Procedure If an emergency occurs, please take the appropriate safety precautions or corrective measures to try and reduce damages first, and then contact the appropriate trade partner listed on the Emergency Service Sticker in your panel box. Once you have scheduled with the appropriate trade partner, submit the emergency issue using our website customer portal. If you do not have access to the “Service” tab in the Customer Portal yet, please submit the emergency request by emailing it to our Customer Service Department. Emergencies defined by the warranty are as follows: ● Total Loss of Electricity – Contact local power company first, and if necessary, the electrician listed on your panel box. ● Total Loss of Heat – Verify power switch to your HVAC unit(s) are in the “on” position & utilities are up to date first. ● Water Leak that cannot be stopped without shutting off all water in the house – Check to see if the leak can be stopped by closing individual shutoff valve(s) first. If not, close the main water shutoff valve and follow the above Emergency Service Procedure. ● Natural Gas Leak – Open windows, exit home, and call the local gas company. Next, follow the above Emergency Service Procedure. ● Roof Leak – Try to control/catch leaking water first. Then follow the above Emergency Service Procedure. ● Total Sewage Stoppage – Do not use plumbing fixtures. Control/cleanup any backup or spillage, then follow the above Emergency Service Procedure Air Conditioning - Understandably, if your air conditioner is not working, you want it fixed promptly. In a typical scenario, many other homeowners across our region will discover they too need service on their air conditioners on the same hot day that you do. The trades who address these needs generally respond to calls on a first-come, first-served basis. If your call for service comes during this time period, you may wait several days for a technician to arrive. For this reason, we recommend that you operate your air conditioner as soon as warm temperatures begin. In this way, if service is needed, you can avoid the rush and get a more satisfactory response. 5
Roof Leak - While we agree with homeowners that a roof leak is indeed an emergency, the reality is that repairs cannot safely or effectively be performed while it is raining, and the roof is wet. During business hours, contact our Customer Service Department with the information, take appropriate steps to mitigate damage, and we will try and get someone out as soon as possible to try and track the leak and then we will follow up for repair when conditions are favorable. Other Emergencies - In addition to emergency situations covered by our limited warranty, be prepared for other kinds of emergencies. Post phone numbers for the fire department, police, paramedics, and poison control near phones in your home. Have companies in mind in the event you need a locksmith, water extraction, glass breakage repair, or sewer router service. If you are new to the area, neighbors may be able to recommend good service providers. Introduce your children to neighbors who might be available to help in an emergency if you are not home. Kitchen Appliance Warranties The manufacturers of kitchen appliances have asked to work directly with homeowners if any repairs are needed for their products. Customer Service phone numbers are listed in the use and care materials for each appliance. Be prepared to provide the model and serial number of the item and the closing date on your home. Most appliances have a one-year limited warranty; refer to the literature provided by the manufacturer for complete information. We recommend that you register your appliances online or mail in any registration cards you receive with manufacturer materials. Being in the manufacturer's system assures that in the event of a recall, the company can contact you and arrange any needed correction.
Warranty Item Processing Procedures When we receive a warranty service request, we will contact you for an inspection appointment. Warranty inspection appointments are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. We inspect and evaluate the items listed in your written warranty service request to confirm warranty coverage and determine the appropriate action to take if warranted. Generally, reported items fall into one of three categories: ● Trade Partner Item ● In-House Item ● Home Maintenance Item If a trade partner or our in-house Customer Service representative is required to perform repairs, a warranty work order will be issued describing the situation to be addressed and they will contact you to schedule an inspection. If the item is home maintenance, we will review the maintenance steps with you and offer whatever informational assistance we can. Occasionally an inspection is unnecessary. In that case, we will issue the needed work orders and will schedule an appointment with you.
Help Us to Serve You 6
We can provide faster, more accurate service if we have all the necessary information up front. Please include the following information when submitting your warranty service request: ● Best contact info updated as necessary.
● Make sure to identify the room and deficiency for each item requested. ● Write a brief description for each item requested. For example, "guest bath—cold water line leaks under sink," rather than "plumbing problem.” Access to Your Home HHHunt Homes conducts inspections of interior warranty items only when an adult is available to accompany our representative to point out the items you have listed. Both our in-house Customer Service representatives and those of our trade partners will likewise perform repairs only when an adult is available to permit them into your home. Only person(s) listed on the contract are authorized to admit service personnel and sign completed work orders. We do not accept keys, nor will we permit our trade partners to accept your key and work in your home without an adult present. Although this means warranty service items may take longer, we believe your peace of mind and security should be our first concern. Inspection and Work Hours Many homeowners ask whether evening and weekend appointment times are available. HHHunt Homes understands the desire for appointments outside normal business hours. However, after investigating how such appointments could be arranged, we discovered many factors that make extended service hours impractical. ● A significant portion of repairs require daylight for proper execution. This applies to drywall, paint and exterior work of almost any type. ● We also found that most of the 35 to 50 independent trade partners who helped us build your home, many of whom operate as small companies, are unable to work all week and also be available for extended hours. Therefore, the few repairs that could be performed in off-hours failed to eliminate the need for repair appointments during normal hours. ● Administrative staff and supervisors would need to be available to answer questions. Having some personnel work extended hours meant being short-staffed during normal business hours. ● When we calculated the impact on wages and salaries for adding more personnel or compensating existing personnel for working non-traditional hours, we found that this affected overhead and, consequently, the prices for our homes. Our warranty hours are as follows: ● Administrative staff: ● Inspection appointments:
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. 7
● Work appointments:
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Evening and weekend appointments are reserved for emergency situations. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with these policies. Exterior items can usually be inspected and repaired without an adult present, provided access is available. However, we will contact you prior to obtain your permission to access your property. If you prefer to meet with us and discuss the item(s) in question, we are happy to arrange an appointment. Repair Appointments Once we have determined the work needed, you will be contacted for scheduling. Our goal is to complete this work within 30 business days after inspection. We try and schedule all work on one day to inconvenience you the least possible, but on occasion work must occur in sequence and more than one work date might be needed. Once work date appointments are set, you will be contacted before and after repairs to ensure completion. Pets To prevent injury or loss of household pets, we ask that you restrict all animals to a comfortable location during any warranty visit, whether for inspection or warranty work. This policy is also for the protection of our employees and trade partners. We have instructed HHHunt Homes personnel and trade partners to reschedule the appointment if pets have access to the work area. Your Belongings In all work that we perform for our homeowners, we are cognizant of their personal belongings. When warranty work is needed in your home, we ask that you remove vulnerable items or items that might make performing the repair difficult. HHHunt Homes and trade personnel will reschedule the repair appointment rather than risk damaging your belongings. Surfaces All personnel who work in your home will arrive with appropriate materials to cover the work area, protecting it from damage and dust. Similarly, all personnel will clean up the work area, removing any excess materials they brought in. Some residual dust may exist. Trade partners will routinely check the work area for any existing damage to surfaces. They will document any scratches, chips, or other cosmetic damage prior to beginning repairs to avoid any later disagreement about how and when such damage occurred. Signatures on Work Orders HHHunt requests all 60 Day Post Close and 11-month work orders to be signed. Completion Time Regular review of outstanding work orders is part of our office routine. Checking with trades and homeowners alike, we strive to complete all warranty work within a reasonable amount of time. 8
We intend to complete warranty work orders within 30 business days of the inspection, unless you are unavailable for access. If a back-ordered part or similar circumstance causes a delay, we will
let you know. Likewise, when weather conditions prevent the timely completion of exterior items, we track those items and follow up to ensure that they are addressed when conditions permit. Missed Appointments Good communication is vital to successful completion of warranty items. We strive to keep homeowners informed and to protect them from inconvenience. One of our challenges is when unexpected events sometimes result in missed appointments. If a homeowner reschedules an appointment, their work order typically falls to the back of the work order list our Customer Service representative is working from, as work orders are handled in the order received. Rescheduled appointments from homeowners can take an additional 10-15 business days to be scheduled. If an HHHunt Homes employee or trade partner will be late to an appointment, he or she will contact you as soon as possible and offer you the next available appointment. Should you need to reschedule an appointment, please notify us prior to your scheduled time. Once a service request is submitted to us, we will contact you within 10 business days to schedule an appointment to review the items with you in your home. If we are unable to reach you after 3 attempts to schedule this appointment, we will then put your work order “on hold” for up to 30 days. You are required to contact us to reactivate the work order.
Fire Prevention Fire safety should be practiced by all family members. Awareness of potential dangers and preventive actions are preferable to even the fastest response. Train Family Members ● Ensure that all family members know what escape routes exist in your home. ● Conduct a fire drill with family members. ● Test the smoke detectors to assure that they function and that everyone recognizes the sound. Follow the manufacturer's directions for cleaning and servicing all smoke detectors. ● As soon as possible, teach young children how to dial 911 and the necessary information to give to the dispatcher. ● Have a general use fire extinguisher and instruct all family members of its location and how to use. 9
● Teach children the safe use of appliances such as irons and toasters. Practice Prevention ● Store matches away from children and heat sources. ● Avoid smoking in bed.
● Avoid leaving small children home alone, even for a short time. ● Maintain appliances in clean and safe-working condition. ● Avoid overloading electrical outlets. ● Ensure that all electrical cords are in good repair. ● Use correctly sized circuit breakers. ● Avoid having any flammable objects or materials near the stove. ● Keep the range hood filter clean to prevent a buildup of grease. ● Allow space for cooling around electrical equipment. ● Unplug the iron when it is not in use. Never leave a hot iron unattended. ● Use electric blankets with care, following manufacturer directions. ● Store volatile materials (paint, gasoline for the lawn mower, and so on) in appropriate containers, away from flames (such as pilot’s lights) or heat sources. Many trash collection services offer hazardous waste disposal. Check with your service provider for details. ● Keep the barbeque grill clear of flammable objects and materials. ● If your home includes a gas fireplace, follow all directions and do not leave the fireplace unattended when it is on. ● During holidays, ensure that all cords and connections are in good condition and of appropriate capacity for electrical decorations. ● If you decide to remodel, finish the basement, or add onto your home, obtain a building permit and work with trained professionals. Ensure that all municipality inspections are completed and that the work complies with all applicable codes. This also applies to installing a gas line for an outdoor barbeque grill, a gas fireplace, clothes dryer, etc.
Extended Absences Whether for a vacation, business travel, or other reasons, nearly all of us occasionally leave our homes for days or weeks at a time. With some preparation, such absences can be managed 10
uneventfully. Keep these tips in mind and add additional reminders that are appropriate to your situation. Plan in Advance ● Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on the property. If possible, provide them with a way to reach you while you are away. ● If you will be away for more than two weeks, arrange for a house sitter.
● Arrange for someone to mow the lawn or shovel snow. ● Notify local security personnel or police of the dates you will be away. ● Stop mail, newspapers, and other deliveries. ● Use lighting timers (available at local hardware stores). ● Confirm that all insurance policies that cover your property and belongings are current and provide sufficient coverage. ● Mark valuable items with identifying information. Store irreplaceable items in a bank vault or security box. As You Leave ● Forward phone calls to a relative or close friend. ● Unplug computers, televisions, stereos and other electronic devices that might be harmed during an electrical storm. ● Leave window coverings in their most typical positions. ● Confirm that all doors and windows are locked, and the deadbolts are engaged. ● Shut off the main water supply. Set the thermostat on the water heater to "vacation" to save energy. This does not apply to tankless water heaters. ● Store items such as your lawn mower, bicycles, or ladders in the garage. ● Disengage the garage door opener (pull on the rope that hangs from the mechanism). Use the manufacturer's lock to bolt the overhead door. Caution: Attempting to operate the garage door opener when the manufacturer's lock is bolted will burn out the motor of your opener. Upon your return, unlock the garage door first, then re-engage the motor (simply push the button to operate the opener and it will reconnect) to restore normal operation. ● Leave a second car in the driveway. ● In the summer, turn your air conditioner fan to on and set the thermostat to 75 degrees.
● In the winter, set the thermostat to a minimum of 55 degrees. Leave doors on cabinets that contain plumbing lines open. Leave room doors open as well. This allows heat to circulate. ● Arm your security system, if applicable.
Energy and Water Conservation Good planning and thoughtful everyday habits can save significant amounts of energy and water. In the process of conserving, you also save money. Keep these hints in mind as you select and use your home's features: Heating and Cooling ● Maintain all your home's systems in clean and good working order to maximize efficiency. ● Arrange for a professional to service heat and air conditioning systems a minimum of once every year. ● Keep filters clean or replace them monthly. ● If you have a zoned system (more than one furnace and/or separate controls), think through operating schedules and temperature settings to maximize comfort and minimize energy consumption. ● During cold days, open window coverings to allow the sun to warm your home. Close them when the sun begins to set. ● Ceiling fans cost little to operate, and the moving air allows you to feel comfortable at temperatures several degrees higher or lower. ● On hot days, close all windows and window coverings that face the sun to minimize solar heating and reduce demands on your air conditioner. ● Plan landscaping elements that support efficient energy use: - Deciduous trees provide shade during the summer and permit solar warming in winter. - Evergreen trees and shrubs can create a windbreak and reduce heating costs. - Position trees to shade the roof and still allow good air flow around the home. - Plant shrubs and trees to shade the air conditioner without obstructing air flow around the unit. ● Keep the garage overhead doors closed. Water and Water Heater ● Water heaters should be set to manufacturer’s guidelines. ● Follow the steps outlined in the manufacturer's directions for draining water from your water heater in order to remove accumulated hard-water scale that builds up inside the tank. Timing will depend on the nature of your water supply. ● Correct plumbing leaks, running toilets or dripping faucets ASAP. 12
● Keep aerators clean. Appliances ● In selecting your home's appliances, compare the information on the (yellow and black) Energy Guide sticker. Sometimes spending a bit more up front can reduce operating costs over the life of the appliance, while conserving energy all the while. ● Use cold water when operating your disposal. This not only saves on hot water but also preserves the disposal motor.
● When baking, preheat your oven just five minutes before you use it. When possible, bake several items at the same time or at least consecutively. Turn the oven off a few minutes before baking time is done. ● Microwave rather than using the range when possible, especially during hot weather. ● Run the dishwasher when it has a full load and use the air-dry cycle. Avoid regular use of the rinse and hold cycle. ● Turn electric burners off a few minutes before cooking is complete. ● Refrigerators with the freezer on top generally use significantly less energy than side-by-side models. Select an appropriate size for your needs; two small refrigerators use more energy than one large one. Electrical ● Use compact fluorescent bulbs, fluorescent tubes, or LED bulbs where possible. Incandescent bulbs are the least efficient source of light and are being phased out of the marketplace. ● Turn lights and other electrical items off when you finish using them or you leave the room. Maintenance o Caulk in dry weather when temperatures are moderate. Check all locations, such as: - Foundation penetrations (electrical, phone, water, cable TV, and gas line entrances) - Around fans and vents - Joints between door or window frames and siding o Check weather stripping on all exterior doors and adjust as needed. Ensure that door thresholds are a good fit, as most are adjustable. o Should you enter the attic, be sure to check that the insulation is evenly distributed upon exiting.
Homeowner Manual Chapter 9 Section 9: Maintenance & Warranty
Section 9: Maintenance & Warranty ●
An alphabetical list of the items in your home, including maintenance hints, warranty criteria, and troubleshooting tips. (Air Conditioning - Wood Trim)
HHHunt Homes Limited Warranty - a specific, detailed introduction to conditions, exclusions, and limitations of the Builders Limited Warranty.
Air Conditioning Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines The following guidelines and suggestions will help you ensure efficient cooling of your home. Your air conditioning system is a whole-house system that produces cooler air. The air conditioning system involves everything inside your home, including walls, windows, furniture, window coverings, etc., and is considered a closed system. This means that the interior air is continually recycled and cooled until the desired air temperature is reached. Warm outside air disrupts the system and makes cooling very difficult, if not impossible. Therefore, please ensure that all exterior doors and windows are kept closed. Sun that shines through uncovered windows will also reduce the efficiency of the air conditioning system. For best results close blinds and/or curtains when the system is running. Unlike turning on a light bulb and receiving immediate light, it takes time for your air conditioning system to work. When you turn on the air conditioning for your home, it takes time to cool the walls, flooring, ceilings, furniture, etc.…, thus you must allow hours for the system to work. As such, do not turn the system off in the morning and on when you get home in the evening. This is very inefficient for the system. For example, if you turn your system off in the morning and come home at 6:00 p.m. when the temperature has reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit and you set your thermostat to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to start cooling off the house, the air conditioning unit will begin cooling but will take much longer to reach the desired temperature. During the day, the sun has been heating the air in the house, the walls, the carpet, the furniture, etc. At 6:00 p.m. the air conditioning unit starts cooling the air, but the walls, carpet and furniture release heat and nullify this cooling. By the time the air conditioning unit has cooled the walls, carpet and furniture, you may well have lost patience. If evening cooling is your primary goal, set the thermostat at a moderate temperature in the morning while the house is cooler, allowing the system to maintain the cooler temperature. The temperature setting may then be lowered slightly when you arrive home, with better results. Once the system is operating, setting the thermostat at 60 degrees Fahrenheit will not cool the home any faster and can result in the unit freezing up and not performing at all. Extended use under these conditions can damage the unit. Adjust Vents Maximize air flow to occupied parts of your home by adjusting the vents. Likewise, when the seasons change, readjust them for comfortable heating. Compressor Level Maintain the air conditioning compressor in a level position to prevent inefficient operation and damage to the equipment. 2
See also Grading and Drainage on Page 9.25.
Coolant The outside temperature must be 70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for the contractor to add coolant to the system. If your home was completed during winter months, this charging of the system is unlikely to be complete and will need to be performed in the spring. Please Note: If you closed on your home between the months of November and March, there is a possibility that the cooling system may not be fully charged due to low temperatures. This is common with any new home that closes during cold weather. Please contact your Comfort Specialist in early April to schedule a one-time free inspection and charging before your cooling system is needed. The contact number can be found on a sticker in your electrical panel box. Manufacturer's Instructions The manufacturer's manual specifies maintenance for the condenser. Please review and follow all maintenance guidelines carefully. Since the air conditioning system is combined with the heating system, follow the maintenance instructions for your furnace as part of maintaining your air conditioning system. Temperature Variations Temperatures may vary from room to room by +/- 3° - 4° Fahrenheit. This is due to such variables as floor plan, orientation of the home on the lot, type and use of window coverings and traffic through the home. Troubleshooting Tips: No Air Conditioning Before calling for service, check to confirm that the: Thermostat is set to "cool" and the temperature is set below the room temperature. Blower panel cover is installed correctly for the furnace blower (fan) to operate. Similar to the way a clothes dryer door operates, this panel pushes in a button that lets the fan motor know it is safe to come on. If that button is not pushed in, the system will not operate. Air conditioner and furnace breakers on the main electrical panel are on. (Remember: If a breaker trips, you must turn it from the tripped position to the off position before you can turn it back on.) 220 switch on the outside wall near the air conditioner is on. Switch on the side of the furnace is on. Fuse in furnace is good (see manufacturer literature for size and location). Filter is clean to allow air flow. Vents in individual rooms are open. Air returns are unobstructed. Air conditioner has not frozen from overuse. Even if the troubleshooting tips do not identify a solution, the information you gather will be useful to the service provider you call. Nonemergency
Lack of air conditioning service is not classified as an emergency. Air conditioning contractors in our region respond to air conditioning service requests during normal business hours and in the order received: M – F 9:00am – 5:00pm.
Alarm System Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines If your home selections included prewire for an alarm system, you will arrange for the final connection and activation after you move in. The alarm company will demonstrate the system, instruct you in its use, and provide identification codes for your family. We recommend that you test the system each month. HHHunt Homes makes no representation that the alarm system will provide the protection for which it is installed or intended.
Appliances Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines We confirm that all appliance surfaces are in acceptable condition during your Pre-Settlement Orientation. We assign all appliance warranties to you, effective the date of closing. The appliance manufacturers warrant their products directly to you according to the terms and conditions of these written warranties.
Asphalt (If Applicable) Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines Asphalt is a flexible and specialized surface. Like any other surface in your home, it requires protection from things that can damage it. Over time, the effects of weather and earth movement will cause minor settling and cracking of asphalt. These are normal reactions to the elements and do not constitute improperly installed asphalt or defective material. Avoid using your driveway for one week after it is installed. Keep people, bicycles, lawn mowers and other traffic off of it. Alligator Cracking If cracking that resembles the skin of an alligator develops due to improper use, such as heavy truck traffic, repairs will be your responsibility. Chemical Spills Asphalt is a petroleum product. Gasoline, oil, turpentine and other solvents or petroleum products can dissolve or damage the surface. Wash such spills with soap and water immediately, and then rinse them thoroughly with plain water. Hot Weather Avoid any concentrated or prolonged loads on your asphalt, particularly in hot weather. High-heeled shoes, motorcycle or bicycle kickstands, trailers, or even cars left in the same spot for long periods can create depressions or punctures in asphalt. Nonresidential Traffic
Prohibit commercial or other extremely heavy vehicles such as moving vans or other large delivery trucks from pulling onto your driveway. We design and install asphalt drives for conventional residential vehicle use only: family cars, vans, light trucks, bicycles and so on.
Repairs We perform any asphalt repairs by overlay patching. HHHunt Homes is not responsible for the inevitable differences in color between the patch and the original surface. Sealcoating can eliminate this cosmetic condition and is your responsibility. Sealcoating Exposure to sunlight and other weather conditions will fade your driveway, allowing the surface gravel material to be more visible. This is a normal condition and not a material or structural problem. To protect your asphalt driveway, please sealcoat it every 1-3 years as instructed by the product used, but do not sealcoat until after 12 months after installation. Hairline cracks will usually be filled by the sealing process. Larger cracks can be filled or patched with a sand and sealer mixture prior to resealing. Settling Settling up to 1.5 inches next to your garage floor across the width of the driveway is considered normal. Settling or depressions elsewhere in the driveway of up to 1 inch in any 8-foot radius are considered normal as well. Thermal Cracking Your driveway will exhibit thermal cracking, usually during the first 12 months. These cracks help your driveway adapt to heating and freezing cycles.
Attic Access Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines The attic space is neither designed nor intended for storage of heavy furniture, appliances, etc…. We provide access to this area for maintenance of mechanical equipment that may traverse the attic space. When you perform needed tasks in the attic, use caution and avoid stepping off wood members onto the drywall. This can result in personal injury or damage to the ceiling below. Your limited warranty does not cover such injury or damage.
Brick Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines Brick is one of the most durable and lowest maintenance finishes for a home's exterior. A record of your brick color is included in your Work Order. Efflorescence 5
The white, powdery substance that sometimes accumulates on brick surfaces is called efflorescence. This is a natural phenomenon and cannot be prevented. In some cases, you can remove it by scrubbing with a stiff brush and vinegar. Consult your home center or hardware store for commercial products to remove efflorescence. We check the brickwork during the Pre-Settlement Orientation to confirm correct installation of the designed materials.
Tuck-Pointing After several years, face brick may require tuck-pointing (repairing the mortar between the bricks). Otherwise, no regular maintenance is required. Weep Holes (Brick Fronts Only) You may notice small holes in the mortar along the brick veneer. These holes allow moisture that has accumulated behind the brick to escape. Do not fill these weep holes or permit landscaping materials to cover them.
Cabinets Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines During the Pre-Settlement Orientation, we will confirm that all cabinet parts are installed and that their surfaces are in acceptable condition. Your Work Order is your record of the brand, style and color of cabinets in your home. If you selected wood or wood veneer cabinets, you should expect differences in grain and color between and within the cabinet components due to natural variations in wood and the way it accepts stain or paint. Cleaning Please refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning instructions. Hinges If hinges catch or drawer glides become sluggish, a small amount of silicone lubricant will improve their performance. Moisture Damage to cabinet surfaces and warping can result from operating appliances that generate large amounts of moisture (such as a crockpot) too near the cabinet. When operating such appliances, place them in a location that is not directly under a cabinet. Wood Grain Readily noticeable variations in wood grain and color are normal in all wood or wood veneer selections. Replacements are not made due to such variations.
Carpet Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines
During your pre-settlement orientation, we will confirm that your carpet is in acceptable condition. Your Work Order provides a record of the brand, style and color of floor coverings in your home. Please retain this information for future reference. Refer to the various manufacturers’ recommendations for additional information on the care of your floor coverings. Burns Take care of any kind of burn immediately. First snip off the darkened fibers. Next, clean using a soapless cleaner and sponge with water. If the burn is extensive, talk with a professional about replacing the damaged area. Cleaning You can add years to the life of your carpet with regular care. Carpet wears out because of foot traffic and dirt particles that get trampled deep into the pile beyond the suction of the vacuum. The dirt particles wear down the fibers like sandpaper and dull the carpet. The most important thing you can do to protect your carpet is to vacuum it frequently. Vacuum twice each week lightly and once a week thoroughly. Heavy traffic areas may require more frequent cleaning. A light vacuuming is three passes; a thorough job may need seven passes. A vacuum cleaner with a beater-bar agitates the pile and is more effective in bringing dirt to the surface for easy removal. Vacuuming high-traffic areas daily helps keep the carpet clean and maintains the upright position of the nap. Wipe spills and clean stains immediately. For best results, blot or dab any spill or stain; avoid rubbing. Test stain removers on an out-of-the-way area of the carpet, such as in a closet, to check for any undesirable effects. Have your carpet professionally cleaned regularly, usually after 18 months in your home and then once a year after that. Crushing Furniture and traffic may crush a carpet's pile fibers. Frequent vacuuming in high-traffic areas and glides or cups under heavy pieces of furniture can help prevent this. Rotating your furniture to change the traffic pattern in a room promotes more even wear. Some carpets resist matting and crushing because of their level of fiber, but this does not imply or guarantee that no matting or crushing will occur. Heavy traffic areas such as halls and stairways are more susceptible to wear and crushing. This is considered normal wear. Fading Science has yet to develop a color that will not fade over time. All carpets will slowly lose some color due to natural and artificial forces in the environment. You can delay this process by frequently removing soil with vacuuming, regularly changing air filters in heating and air conditioning systems, keeping humidity and room temperature from getting too high, and reducing sunlight exposure with window coverings. Filtration If interior doors are kept closed while the air conditioning is operating, air circulation from the closed room flows through the small space at the bottom of the door. This forces the air over the 7
carpet fibers, which in turn act as a filter, catching particulate pollution. Over time, a noticeable stain develops at the threshold. See also Ghosting on Page 9.24. Fuzzing In loop carpets, fibers may break. professional.
Simply clip the excess fibers. If it continues, call a
Pilling Pilling or small balls of fiber can appear on your carpet, depending on the type of carpet fiber and the type of traffic. If this occurs, clip off the pills. If they cover a large area, seek professional advice. Rippling With wall-to-wall carpeting, high humidity may cause rippling. If the carpet remains rippled after the humidity has left, have a professional restretch the carpeting. Be sure he/she uses a power stretcher, rather than a knee-kicker. Seams Carpet usually comes in 12’ widths, making seams necessary in most rooms. Visible seams are not a defect, unless the carpets have been improperly attached or the material has a defect making the seam appear more pronounced than normal. The denser and uniform the carpet texture, the more visible the seams will be. Carpet styles with low, tight naps result in the most visible seams. Seams are never more visible than when the carpet is first installed. Usually with time, use, and vacuuming, the seams become less visible. Shading Shading is an inherent quality of fine-cut pile carpets. Household traffic causes pile fibers to assume different angles; as a result, the carpet appears darker or lighter in these areas. A good vacuuming, which makes the pile all go in the same direction, provides a temporary remedy. Shedding New carpeting, especially pile, sheds bits of fiber for a period of time. Eventually these loose fibers are removed by vacuuming. Shedding usually occurs more with wool carpeting than with nylon or other synthetics. Snags Sharp-edged objects can grab or snag the carpet fiber. When this occurs, cut off the snag. If the snag is especially large, call a professional. Sprouting 8
Occasionally you may find small tufts of fiber sprouting above carpet surface. Simply use scissors to cut off the sprout. Do not attempt to pull it, because other fibers will come out in the process. Stains No carpet is stain-proof. Although your carpet manufacturer designates your carpet as stain-resistant, some substances may still cause permanent staining. These include hair dyes, shoe polish, paints and ink. Some substances destroy or change the color of carpets, including bleaches, acne medications, drain cleaners, plant food, insecticides and food or beverages with strongly colored natural dyes as found in some brands of mustard and herbal tea. Refer to your care and maintenance brochures for recommended cleaning procedures for your fiber. Pretest any spot-removal solution in an inconspicuous area before using it in a large area. Apply several drops of the solution, hold a white tissue on the area, and count to ten. Examine both tissue and carpet for dye transfer and check for carpet damage. Static Cooler temperatures outside often contribute to static electricity inside. To avoid the problem, look for carpets made with anti-static. You can also install a humidifier to help control static build-up.
Caulking Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines During the pre-settlement orientation, we confirm that appropriate areas are adequately caulked. Time and weather will shrink and dry caulking so that it no longer provides a good seal. As routine maintenance check the caulking and make needed repairs. Caulking compounds and dispenser guns are available at hardware stores. Read the manufacturer's instructions carefully to be certain that you select an appropriate caulk for the intended purpose. Colored Caulk Colored caulking is available, but keep in mind that, as with any colored material, dye lots can vary and could change with time. Latex Caulk Latex caulking is appropriate for an area that requires painting, such as along the stair stringer or where wood trim meets the wall. Silicone Caulk Caulking that contains silicone will not accept paint; it works best where water is present. Example - where a tub meets tile or a sink meets a countertop. One Time Repairs We will touch up caulking one time during your material and workmanship period. Hairline cracks are considered homeowner maintenance and are not covered under warranty. Cracks that meet or exceed the Limited Warranty Guidelines will be addressed at the 11-month review. Please refer to your Builder’s Limited Warranty Agreement.
See also Countertops on Page 9.12, Expansion and Contraction on Page 9.20, Stairs on Page 9.49 and Wood Trim on Page 9.54.
Ceramic Tile Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines During the Pre-Settlement Orientation, we confirm that tile and grout areas are in acceptable condition. Your Work Order includes the brand and color of your ceramic tile. Cleaning Ceramic tile is one of the easiest Occasionally, a wet mopping with the water. If you feel a cleaning dishwasher crystals (they will not Rinse thoroughly.
floor coverings to maintain -simply vacuum when needed. warm water may be appropriate. Avoid adding detergent to agent is required, use a mild solution of warm water and result in a heavy, difficult-to-remove lather on the grout).
The ceramic tile installed on walls or countertops in your home may be washed with any nonabrasive soap, detergent, or tile cleaner. Abrasive cleaners will dull the finish. Grout Discoloration Clean grout that becomes yellowed or stained with a fiber brush, cleanser and water. Grout cleansers and whiteners are available at most hardware stores. Sealing Grout Grout used in your home is pre-sealed. Ongoing maintenance of that seal is necessary and is the homeowner’s responsibility. Separations Expect slight separations to occur in the grout between tiles. This grout is for decorative purposes only; it does not hold the tile in place. Cracks in the grout can be filled using premixed grout purchased from flooring or hardware stores. Follow package directions. Tile around bathtubs or countertops may appear to be pulling up after a time. This is caused by normal shrinkage of grout or caulk and shrinkage of wood members as they dry out. If this occurs, the best remedy is to purchase tub caulk or premixed grout from a hardware store. Follow directions on the container. This maintenance is important to protect the underlying surface from water damage. One-Time Repair Cracks appearing in grouting of ceramic tiles at joints or junctions with other materials are commonly due to shrinkage. HHHunt Homes will repair grouting, if necessary, one time during the first year. We are not responsible for color variations in grout or discontinued colored grout. Any grouting or caulking that is needed after that time is your responsibility.
Concrete Flatwork 10
Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines By maintaining good drainage, you protect your home's foundation and the concrete flatwork: the basement floor, porch, patio, driveway, garage floor and sidewalks. Concrete slabs are floating - they are not attached to the home's foundation walls. Because these slabs are not a structural (loadbearing) element of the home, they are excluded from coverage under the structural warranty. The limited warranty coverage is for one year. We install a flexible collar around the top of the furnace plenum. Gas and water lines include flexible connections and drain lines have slip joints. The basement stairs do not rest on the floor and the support posts under the I-beam are separated from the floor slab. HHHunt Homes incorporates all of these details in the construction of the basement floor because we know the floor will move in response to the soils. Movement of the basement slab or any concrete slab results in cracking. Minimize this movement by following HHHunt Homes landscaping recommendations, the objective of which is to prevent moisture from reaching soils around and under the home.
Cleaning Avoid washing exterior concrete slabs with cold water from an outside faucet when temperatures are high, and the sun has been shining on the concrete. The abrupt change in temperature can damage the surface bond of the concrete. We recommend sweeping for keeping exterior concrete clean. If washing is necessary, do this when temperatures are moderate. Repeated cleaning of the garage floor by hosing can increase soil movement by allowing water to penetrate any existing cracks. We recommend sweeping to clean the garage floor. Color Concrete slabs vary in color. HHHunt Homes provides no correction for this condition. Cracks A concrete slab 10 feet across shrinks approximately 5/8 inch as it cures. Some of this shrinkage shows up as cracks. Cracking of concrete flatwork also results from temperature changes that cause expansion and contraction. Cracks are commonly found in concrete. Refer to the Builders Limited Warranty for tolerances. During the Summer, moisture finds its way under the concrete along the edges or through cracks in the surface. In Winter, this moisture forms frost that can lift the concrete, increasing the cracking. Maintaining drainage away from all concrete slabs will minimize cracking from this cause. As cracks occur, seal them with a waterproof concrete caulk (available at hardware or home improvement stores) to prevent moisture from penetrating to the soil beneath. Expansion Joints We install expansion joints to help control expansion. However, as the concrete shrinks during the curing process, moisture can penetrate under the concrete and lift the expansion joint. When this occurs, fill the resulting gap with a gray silicone sealant, which you can purchase at most hardware stores. Ice, Snow, and Chemicals 11
Remove ice and snow from concrete slabs as promptly as possible after snowstorms. Protect all concrete surfaces from abuse by chemical agents such as pet urine, fertilizers, radiator overflow, repeated hosing, or de-icing agents, such as road salt that can drip from vehicles. All of these items can cause spalling (chipping of the surface) of concrete and are not covered under warranty. The Builders limited warranty does not cover spalling. Sealcoating concrete driveways 30 days after installation is recommended. Sealcoating can be performed every 1-3 years depending on the sealer used. Nonresidential Traffic Prohibit commercial or other extremely heavy vehicles such as moving vans and other large delivery trucks from pulling onto your driveway. We design and install concrete drives for conventional residential vehicle use only: family cars, vans, light trucks, bicycles and so on. Sealer We recommend sealcoating concrete driveways and walkways every 1-3 years depending on the sealer used. Do not sealcoat concrete before 30 days of cure time.
Condensation Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines When warm, moist air meets cooler air/surfaces, the moisture condenses into a liquid. Outside we see this as dew; inside you may see it as a layer of moisture on glass windows and doors. Condensation comes from high humidity, temperature variation between surfaces, and/or inadequate ventilation. Family lifestyle significantly influences two out of three of these conditions. HHHunt Homes has no control over these factors. Because of this, the Builders limited warranty coverage excludes condensation. New Construction Some experts have estimated that a typical new home contains 50 gallons of water. Water is part of lumber, concrete, drywall compound, paint, caulk and other materials used in building. Wet weather during construction adds more. This moisture evaporates into the air as you live in your home–adding to the moisture generated by normal living activities. Over time, this source of moisture will diminish. Normal Activities As you live in your home, your daily lifestyle also contributes to the moisture in the air. Cooking, laundry, baths and showers, aquariums, plants and so on all add water to the air in your home. Likewise, your daily routine can mitigate the amount of moisture in your home and reduce condensation on interior surfaces. Temperature Avoid setting your thermostat at extreme temperatures. Heating your home will cause the materials to dry out faster, generating more moisture into the air; drying the materials out too fast also increases shrinkage cracks and separations. Ventilation 12
Develop the habit of using exhaust fans in bathrooms and over the stove. When weather conditions permit, open windows so fresh air can circulate through your home. Keep the dryer exhaust hose clean and securely connected. See also Ventilation on Page 9.50.
Countertops Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines During your Pre-Settlement Orientation we, confirm that all countertops are in acceptable condition. Repair of surface damage noted subsequent to this is one of your home maintenance responsibilities. Use a cutting board to protect your counters when you cut or chop. Protect the counter from heat, including extremely hot pans. If you cannot put your hand on it, do not put it on the counter. Do not use countertops as ironing boards and do not set lit cigarettes on the edge of the counter.
Caulking The caulking between the countertop and the wall, along the joint at the backsplash (the section of counter that extends a few inches up the wall along the counter area) and around the sink may shrink, leaving a slight gap. Maintaining a good seal in these locations is important to keep moisture from reaching the wood under the laminates and to prevent warping. Shrinkage cracks are normal, and are a homeowner responsibility to repair. Cleaning Avoid abrasive cleaners and limit the use of any product with acidic ingredients to prevent discoloration or damage to the finished surface. Refer to manufacturer’s recommendations. Sealers Sealing of natural granite countertops is recommended every 1 to 3 years, depending on how much you use them and what sealer you used. Refer to manufacturer’s recommendations. Quartz countertops are a manufactured product that does not require additional sealing. Mats Rubber drain mats can trap moisture beneath them, causing the laminated plastic to warp and blister. Dry the surface as needed.
Crawl Space Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines The crawl space is not intended as a storage area for items that could be damaged by moisture. Wood stored in a crawl space can attract termites. You may notice slight dampness in the crawl space. Landscaping that is correctly installed helps prevent excessive amounts of water from entering crawl spaces. 13
Mold or mildew that may grow in a crawlspace is not covered under warranty. Ensuring that the plastic vapor barrier installed in the crawlspace remains in place after anyone accesses the crawlspace is important, as well as opening and closing the foundation vents as recommended. Dri-Space Crawlspace If you selected the Dri-Space Crawlspace option, please follow all directions provided by the installer. If your crawlspace monitor reads above 65% humidity, please inspect for the following. ● Verify crawlspace access panel is closed and secured properly ● Verify dehumidifier electrical power circuit breaker is in the “On” position in the electrical panel box ● Verify foundation vent covers are in place ● Verify condensate drain line exterior opening is not obstructed See also Ventilation on Page 9.50.
Decks Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines During the pre-settlement orientation, we will confirm that the decks are in satisfactory condition. Decks add to the style and function of your home. Wood decks are a high maintenance part of your home's exterior. Even though composite decks are lower maintenance than wood decks, they do require some care. Effects of Exposure Wood decks are subject to shrinkage, cracking, splitting, cupping, and twisting. Nails or screws may work lose and will need routine maintenance. Plan to inspect your decks regularly, a minimum of once each year, and provide needed attention promptly to maintain an attractive appearance and to forestall costly repairs. HHHunt Homes recommends that you treat or stain your decks annually to protect and keep them looking their best. Foot Traffic As you use your decks, abrasives and grit on shoes can scratch or dent the wood surface. Regular sweeping and mats can mitigate this but will not completely prevent scratches. Outdoor Furniture The surface of the decking can be damaged by moving grills, furniture, or other items. Use caution when moving such items to prevent scratches, gouges, and so on. Replacement Boards or Rails Shrinkage, cracking, splitting, cupping and twisting are natural occurrences in wood decks and are excluded from limited warranty coverage. In extreme situations where personal safety is involved, if HHHunt Homes provides replacement of boards or rails, the new material will not 14
match existing pieces that have been exposed to elements and use. HHHunt Homes does not provide corrections when problems occur due to lack of normal maintenance. Sealing or Water Repellent To prolong the life and beauty of your wood deck, treat it periodically with a water repellent or wood preservative. Local home centers or hardware stores offer several products to consider for this purpose. Always follow manufacturer directions carefully. To maintain the beauty of your composite deck, a little care and cleaning goes a long way. Soap and water cleaning or a gentle pressure washing will do the trick. Use warm, soapy water and a soft bristle brush to remove dirt and debris from the embossing pattern. Do not use pressure washing greater than 3100 PSI as it will cause damage to your composite decking. Never use acetone or other solvents on a composite deck. Snow and Ice Heavy snow or ice that remains on the deck over long periods increases wear and tear on the deck. Prompt removal can reduce adverse effects. Use caution in shoveling to avoid needless scratching of the deck boards. Stain/Sealing Exposed wood decks have been constructed with pressure treated wood to help combat exposure to weather. Each board takes the same treatment differently and variations in color will occur. Color variations are a natural result of the way in which wood accepts manufacturer applied treatment and are excluded from limited warranty coverage. Over time, with exposure to weather and use, further variations in color will occur. It is good practice to sealcoat/stain wood decking components approximately 3-6 months after installation to further protect against exposure to weather and the sun. Future sealcoat/stain applications will be required to maintain the decking.
Doors and Locks Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines During the Pre-Settlement Orientation we, confirm that all doors are in acceptable condition and correctly adjusted. HHHunt Homes will repair construction damage to doors noted on the orientation list. The doors installed in your home are wood products subject to such natural characteristics of wood as shrinkage and warpage. Because of natural fluctuations caused by humidity and the use of forced air furnaces, showers and dishwashers, interior doors may occasionally require minor adjustments. Bifold Doors Interior bifold doors sometimes stick or warp because of weather conditions. Apply a silicone lubricant to the tracks to minimize this inconvenience. Exterior Finish To ensure longer life for your exterior doors, plan to refinish them at least once a year. Failure to Latch 15
If a door will not latch because of minor settling, you can correct this by making a new opening in the jamb for the latch plate (remortising) and raising or lowering the plate accordingly. Hinges You can remedy a squeaky door hinge by removing the hinge pin and applying a silicone lubricant to it. Avoid using oil, as it can gum up or attract dirt. Graphite works well as a lubricant but can create a gray smudge on the door or floor covering beneath the hinge if too much is applied. Keys Keep a duplicate privacy lock key where children cannot reach it in the event someone locks him or herself in a room. The top edge of the door casing is often used as a place to keep the key. A small screwdriver or similarly shaped device can open some types of privacy locks. Locks Lubricate door locks with graphite or other waterproof lubricant. Avoid oil, as it will cause moving parts to seize up.
Slamming Slamming doors can damage both doors and jambs and can even cause cracking in walls. Please do not allow anyone to hang on the doorknob and swing back and forth; this works loose the hardware and causes the door to sag. Sticking The most common cause of a sticking door is the natural expansion of lumber caused by changes in humidity. When sticking is caused by swelling during a damp season, do not plane the door unless it continues to stick after the weather changes. Before planing a door because of sticking, first try two other steps: apply either a paste wax, light coat of paraffin, or candle wax to the sticking surface or tighten the screws that hold the door jamb or door frame. If planing is necessary even after these measures, use sandpaper to smooth the door and paint the sanded area to seal against moisture. Warping If a door warps slightly, keeping it closed as much as possible often returns it to normal. Weather Stripping Weather stripping and exterior door thresholds occasionally require adjustment or replacement.
Drywall Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines During the Pre-Settlement Orientation, we confirm that drywall surfaces are in acceptable condition. Slight cracking, nail pops, or seams may become visible in walls and ceilings, and are 16
to be expected. These are caused by the shrinkage of the wood and normal deflection of rafters to which the drywall is attached. Ceilings The ceilings in your home are easy to maintain - periodically remove dust or cobwebs as part of your normal cleaning and repaint as needed. Lighting Conditions HHHunt Homes does not repair drywall flaws that are only visible under particular lighting conditions. Repairs With the exception of the one-time repair service provided by HHHunt Homes, referenced in your Limited Warranty Agreement, care of drywall is your maintenance responsibility. Most drywall repairs can be easily made. Repair hairline cracks with a coat of paint. You can repair slightly larger cracks with spackle or drywall compound. To correct a nail pop, reset the nail with a hammer and punch. Cover it with spackle, which is available at paint and hardware stores. Apply two or three thin coats. When dry, sand the surface with fine-grain sandpaper and then paint. You can fill indentations caused by sharp objects in the same manner.
One Time Repairs One-time drywall repairs will be made at the 11-Month Review. Repair will be made only to those imperfections that meet the criteria specified in the Builder’s Limited Warranty Agreement. HHHunt Homes spot paints drywall repairs made at the 11-Month Review. Repainting the entire wall or the entire room is your choice and responsibility should you so choose. You are also responsible for custom paint colors or wallpaper that has been applied post-closing. Due to the affects of time on paint and wallpaper, as well as possible dye lot variations, touch-ups are unlikely to perfectly match the surrounding area. HHHunt Homes does not paint drywall repairs with custom paint, yet applies the original paint color used when the home closed, or leaves the repair unpainted. Related Warranty Repairs If a drywall repair is needed as a result of poor workmanship (such as blisters in tape) or other warranty-based repair (such as a plumbing leak), HHHunt Homes completes the repair by touching up the repaired area with the same paint that was on the surface when the home was delivered. If more than one-third of the wall is involved, we will repaint the wall corner to corner. You are responsible for custom paint colors or wallpaper that has been applied post-closing. The effects of time on paint and wallpaper, as well as possible dye lot variations, mean touch-ups may not match the surrounding area.
Easements Homeowner Use and Care Guidelines Easements are areas where things such as utility supply lines can pass through your property. They permit service to your lot and adjacent lots, now and in the future. Your lot will also 17
include drainage easements, meaning the runoff from adjacent lots passes across your property. Likewise, water from your property may run across a neighboring lot. Easements are recorded and are permanent. Trees, shrubs, gardens, play equipment, storage sheds, fences, or other items which you install in or across these easements may be disturbed if service entities–such as the gas, electric, or phone companies–need access to lines for repairs or to connect service to nearby homesites. Utility companies, the United States Postal Service, and others have the right to install equipment in easements. These might include streetlights, mailboxes, or junction boxes to name a few. Neither HHHunt Homes nor you as the homeowner have the authority to prevent, interfere with, or alter these installations. Plans for the location of such items are subject to change by the various entities involved. Because they have no obligation to keep HHHunt Homes informed of such changes, we are unable to predict specific sites that will include such equipment. See also Property Boundaries on Page 9.45.
Electrical System Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines During the Pre-Settlement Orientation, we confirm that light fixtures are in acceptable condition and that all bulbs are working. The HHHunt Homes limited warranty excludes any fixture you install after closing. Know the location of the breaker panel; it includes a main shut-off that controls all the electrical power to the home. Individual breakers control the separate circuits. Each breaker is marked to help you identify which breaker is connected to which major appliance, outlet, or other service. Should a failure occur in any part of your home, always check the breakers in the main panel box. Breakers Circuit breakers have three positions: on, off and tripped. When a circuit breaker trips, it must first be turned off before it can be turned on. Switching the breaker directly from tripped to on will not restore service. Breakers Tripping Breakers trip because of overloads caused by plugging too many appliances into the circuit, a worn cord or defective appliance, or operating an appliance with too high a voltage requirement for the circuit. The starting of an electric motor can also trip a breaker. If any circuit trips repeatedly, unplug all items connected to it and reset. If it trips when nothing is connected to it, you need an electrician. If the circuit remains on, one of the items you unplugged is defective and will require repair or replacement. External power surges associated 18
with power utility work may also cause breakers to trip. This is especially true for arc fault breakers. See also Power Surges on Page 9.20. Buzzing Fluorescent fixtures use transformer action to operate. This action sometimes causes a buzzing sound. Do not use fluorescent fixtures if one or more light bulbs are burned out. This may cause the ballast to burn out, causing a louder buzzing sound. Fixture Location We install light fixtures in the locations indicated on the plans or per code. After move-in, determining the location of light fixtures to accommodate furniture arrangements or room use is your responsibility. GFCI (Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters) GFCI receptacles have a built-in element that senses fluctuations in power. Quite simply, the GFCI is a circuit breaker. Building codes require installation of these receptacles in bathrooms, the kitchens, home exterior and garages (areas where an individual can come into contact with water while holding an electric appliance or tool). This includes the installation of a dedicated outlet in garage for the intent of a refrigerator or freezer. Heavy appliances such as freezers or power tools may trip the GFCI breaker.
Caution: Plugging a refrigerator or freezer into a GFCI-controlled outlet increases the likelihood of food spoilage due to a breaker tripping. HHHunt Homes is not responsible for food spoilage that results from refrigerators or freezers plugged into a GFCI outlet. (Some municipalities may require GFCI-controlled outlets for refrigerators). Each GFCI circuit has a test and reset button. Once each month, press the test button. This will trip the circuit. To return service, press the reset button. If a GFCI breaker trips during normal use, it may indicate a faulty appliance and you will need to investigate the problem. One GFCI breaker can control up to three or four outlets. Arc fault circuit breakers look like GFCI/circuit breakers in that they both have a test button, although it is important to distinguish the difference between the two. GFCI’s are designed to protect people against electrical shock, while arc fault circuit breakers are primarily designed to protect against fire. Grounded System Your electrical system is a three-wire grounded system. Never remove the bare wire that connects to the box or device. Light Bulbs You are responsible for replacing burned-out bulbs other than those noted during your Pre-Settlement Orientation. 19
Fluorescent Light Covers Translucent panels covering ceiling lights are made of polystyrene plastic. To clean, gently push up, tilting the panel slightly and remove it from the fixture frame. Wash with a diluted (1 to 2 percent) solution of mild detergent and warm water. Do not rinse; the soap film that remains reduces static electricity that attracts dust. Over time, the plastic panel may yellow and will become brittle and may need to be replaced if it cracks or breaks. Replacement material can be found at home centers and hardware stores. Most suppliers will cut the panel to fit, so if you need to purchase a replacement, be sure to note the size you need. Bulbs for these fixtures can be purchased at home centers or hardware stores. Avoid exceeding the wattage indicated inside the fixture. Modifications If you wish to make any modifications, contact a licensed electrician after closing. Take not that having another electrician modify your electrical system during the warranty period can void that portion of your limited warranty.
Outlets If an outlet is not working, check first to see if it is controlled by a wall switch or GFCI. Next, check the breaker. If there are small children in the home, install safety plugs to cover unused outlets. Teach children to never touch electrical outlets, sockets, or fixtures. Tamper proof outlets are now required by code and are more difficult initially when plugging in a device. Tamper proof outlets prevent one side of the outlet from being accessed without the other. Power Surges Power surges are the result of local conditions beyond the control of HHHunt Homes and are excluded from limited warranty coverage. These can result in burned-out bulbs or damage to sensitive electronic equipment such as TVs, alarm systems, and computers. Damage resulting from lightning strikes or power surges are excluded from limited warranty coverage. Underground Cables Before digging, check the location of buried service leads by calling the local utility locating service. In most cases, wires run in a straight line from the service panel to the nearest public utility pad. Maintain positive drainage around the foundation to protect electrical service connections. Under- or Over-Cabinet Lights We suggest you note the size and type of bulbs in these fixtures and keep replacements on hand. TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS FOR NO ELECTRICAL SERVICE No Electrical Service Anywhere in the Home Before calling for service, check to confirm that the: 20
Service is not out in the entire area. If so, contact the utility company. Main breaker and individual breakers are all in the “On” position.
No Electrical Power to One or More Outlets Before calling for service, check to confirm that the:
Main breaker and individual breakers are all in the “On” position. Applicable wall switch is on. GFCI is set (see details on GFCIs, earlier in this section). Item you want to use is plugged in. Item you want to use works in other outlets. Bulb in the lamp is good.
Even if the troubleshooting tips do not identify a solution, the information you gather will be useful to the service provider you call.
Expansion and Contraction Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines Changes in temperature and humidity cause all building materials to expand and contract. Dissimilar materials expand or contract at different rates. This movement results in separation between materials, particularly dissimilar ones. You will see the effects in small cracks in drywall and in paint, especially where moldings meet drywall, at mitered corners and where tile grout meets a tub or sink. While this can alarm an uninformed homeowner, it is normal. HHHunt Homes provides a one-time repair at the 11-Month Review to some of the effects of expansion and contraction. See individual categories such as Caulk and Drywall for details and specifications on coverage. Shrinkage of the wood members of your home is inevitable and occurs in every new home. Although this is most noticeable during the first year, it may continue beyond that time. In most cases, caulk and paint are all that you need to conceal this minor evidence of a natural phenomenon. Even though properly installed, caulking shrinks and cracks. Maintenance of caulking is your responsibility.
Fencing Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines If fencing is part of your home purchase, we will confirm the acceptable condition of the fence during your Pre-Settlement Orientation. All types of fencing require some routine attention. All Fencing As with all fencing, prevent sprinklers from spraying the fence or rails. Check monthly to confirm that water does not stand around the fence posts. Make corrections to drainage as needed to prevent this. 21
Drainage In planning, installing, and maintaining fencing, allow existing drainage patterns to function unimpeded. When installing a fence, use caution in distributing soil removed to set posts to avoid blocking drainage swales. Plan enough space under the bottom of a wood fence for water to pass through. Homeowner Association Design Review If you choose to add fencing after moving into your new home, keep in mind the need to obtain approval from the Design Review Committee of your homeowners association. Specific requirements about style, height and position on the lot are described in the current design review guidelines, which you can obtain from a committee member. Special requirements apply to homes on corner lots where drivers must have adequate visibility. Additionally, in some communities, zoning laws may impact private fencing. Your responsibilities include checking on such details. HHHunt Homes recommends that you engage the services of professionals to install your fence. Be certain to inform a fence installer of all Design Review requirements. See also Property Boundaries on Page 9.45. Variation Height and location of HHHunt Homes installed fences will vary with lot size, topography and shape. HHHunt Homes must meet the requirements of the Design Review process just as any homeowner would. Wood Fences The lumber used to construct wood fences is pressure treated. Over time it will crack, warp and split. It is recommended to seal/stain fences every 1-3 years depending on the materials used. Choosing a colored stain will require approval from the homeowner’s association. As the wood ages and shrinks, nails may come loose and require attention. Also, check the posts and any gates twice a year and tighten hardware or make needed adjustments.
Fireplace Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines If your home has a fireplace, consider the following points to ensure optimum efficiency of this appliance. Look upon burning a fire as a luxury that adds much to the atmosphere but only a little heat into a home. About 10 percent of the heat produced by a fire is radiated into the house. In many older homes, the air used by the fireplace for combustion is replaced with cold outside air drawn in through cracks around doors and windows. However, your home is constructed so tightly that this does not happen. We install a fresh air vent to supply the fireplace with combustion air and reduce the amount of heated air the fire draws from your house. It is not uncommon for condensation to build up on the glass front of a vented fireplace. The temperature inside the fireplace may vary enough from the inside of the house to create condensation. Sometimes condensation forms when you first turn on the fireplace. This will fade as the glass warms. Gas Fireplace 22
HHHunt Homes offers direct-vent and non-vented gas fireplaces. If you have optioned for this type of fireplace, it is demonstrated during the Pre-Settlement Orientation. Read and follow all manufacturer's directions. A slight delay between turning the switch on and flame ignition is normal. The flames should ignite gently and silently. If you notice any deviation from this, or any gas smell, immediately shut off the switch and report it to the gas company. Caution: The exterior vent cover for a direct-vent gas fireplace becomes extremely hot when the fireplace is operating. See also Fire Prevention on Page 8.9.
Foundation Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines We install the foundation of your home according to the recommendations of our consulting engineer. The walls of the foundation n are poured concrete with steel reinforcing rods (basement foundations only). To protect your home's foundation, follow guidelines for installation and maintenance of landscaping and drainage in this manual.
Cracks Even though an engineer designed the foundation and we constructed it according to engineering requirements, surface cracks can still develop in the wall. Surface cracks are not detrimental to the structural integrity of your home. Dampness Due to the amount of water in concrete, basements and crawlspaces may be damp. Condensation can form on water lines and drip onto the floor. For this we recommend using a dehumidifier in any unfinished or finished basement home. Your foundation masonry is a porous material. It is not uncommon to see moisture on your cinderblock. During extreme weather conditions, condensation can form around your HVAC duct system. In the event you notice this, the use of a dehumidifier is recommended. Future Construction in Basement If you decide to perform additional construction in the basement, obtain guidelines from a licensed engineer, a building permit and be sure to comply with all codes and safety requirements. HHHunt Homes does not warrant that you will be able to obtain such a permit because of the possibility that building codes may change.
Garage Overhead Door Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines 23
Since the garage door is a large, moving object, periodic maintenance is necessary. Please use a licensed professional for maintenance as the coil spring can be very dangerous. Garage Door Opener To prevent damage to a garage door opener, be sure the door is completely unlocked, and the rope-pull has been removed before using the operator. If you have an opener installed after closing on your home, we suggest that you order it from the company that provided and installed the garage door to assure uninterrupted warranty coverage. Be familiar with the steps for manual operation of the door in the event of a power failure. If HHHunt Homes installed a garage door opener with your home, we will demonstrate the electric eye that provides a safety stop if someone crosses through the opening while the overhead door is in motion during your Pre-Settlement Orientation. Use care not to place tools or other stored items where they interfere with the function of the electric eye. Expect to replace the battery in the garage opener remote controls about once a year. The battery is usually a 9 volt. Light Visible Garage overhead doors cannot be airtight. Some light will be visible around the edges and across the top of the door. Weather conditions may result in some precipitation entering around the door as well as some dust, especially until most homes in the community have landscaping installed.
Lock If the lock becomes stiff, apply a silicone or graphite lubricant. Do not use oil on a lock, as it will stiffen in winter and make the lock difficult to operate. Lubrication Every 6 months apply a lubricant such as silicone spray to all moving parts: track, rollers, hinges, pulleys and springs. Avoid over lubricating to prevent drips on vehicles or the concrete floor. At the same time, check to see that all hardware is tight and operating as intended without binding or scraping. Painting Repaint the garage door when you repaint your home, or more often if needed to maintain a satisfactory appearance. Safety Follow the manufacturer's instructions for safe and reliable operation. Do not allow anyone except the operator near the door when it is in motion. Keep hands and fingers away from all parts of the door except the handle. Do not allow children to play with or around the door. For your safety, after the expiration of the one-year warranty, have any needed adjustments made by a qualified specialist. The door springs are under a considerable amount of tension and 24
require special tools and knowledge for accurate and safe servicing. Have the door inspected by a professional garage door technician after any significant impact to the door.
Gas Shut-Offs Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines You will find shutoffs on gas lines near their connection to each item that operates on gas. In addition, there is a main shut-off at the meter. We point these out during the Pre-Settlement orientation. Gas Leak If you suspect a gas leak, leave the home and call the gas company immediately for emergency service.
Ghosting Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines Recent feedback from homeowners (in both old and new homes) regarding black sooty stains which develop on surfaces in homes (carpet, walls, ceilings, appliances, mirrors and around area rugs’ as examples) have caused much investigation and research. The conclusion of the research and laboratory tests has been that the majority of this staining or "ghosting" results from pollution of the air in the home caused by burning scented candles. Incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons as these candles burn contributes a considerable amount of soot to the air. This sooty substance then settles or accumulates on surfaces of the home. The sooty deposits are extremely difficult to remove; on some surfaces (light-colored carpet, for instance), they are impossible to clean completely away.
The popularity of scented candles has increased many-fold in recent years. If this is an activity that is part of your lifestyle, we caution you about the potential damage to your home. When this condition results from homeowners burning candles or other lifestyle choices, the resulting damage is excluded from our limited warranty coverage. See also Carpet/Filtration on Page 9.7.
Grading and Drainage Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines The final grades around your home have been inspected and approved for proper drainage of your lot. Our surveyor may complete a drainage certification and then the local building authorities as well as HHHunt Homes inspect the site. Yards drain from one to another. You and your neighbors share an overall drainage plan for the community. Use caution when installing landscaping, fencing, or additions to your home to prevent causing water problems on adjacent lots. Drainage 25
Typically, the grade around your home should slope 6 inches in the first 10 feet, tapering to a 2 to 3 percent slope. In most cases, drainage swales do not follow property boundaries. Maintain the slopes around your home to permit the water to drain away from the home as rapidly as possible. This is essential to protect your foundation. Failure to do so can result in major structural damage and will void your warranty. Erosion HHHunt Homes is not responsible for weather-caused damage to unlandscaped yards after the final grade has been established or after the closing date, whichever occurs last. Erosion Control If you did not select to have sod installed, it will be the sole responsibility of the Homeowner to remove any/all erosion control measures installed to prevent silt runoff once the yard has reached 90% germination. (Silt Fence, Super Silt Fence, etc.) Exterior Finish Materials Maintain soil levels 6 inches below siding, stucco, brick, or other exterior finish materials. Contact with the soil can cause deterioration of the exterior finish material and encourages pest infestations. New Sod New sod installation and the extra watering that accompanies it can cause temporary drainage problems, as can unusually severe weather conditions. Roof Water Do not remove the splash blocks or downspout extensions from under the downspouts. Always keep these in place, sloped so the water drains away from your home quickly.
Rototilling Rototilling can significantly change drainage swales. You can minimize this by rototilling parallel to the swales rather than across them. Settling The area we excavated for your home's foundation was larger than the home to allow room to work. In addition, some trenching is necessary for installation of utility lines. Although we replaced and compacted the soil, it does not return to its original density. Some settling will occur, especially after prolonged or heavy rainfall or melting of large amounts of snow. Settling can continue for several years. Inspect the perimeter of your home regularly for signs of settling and fill settled areas as needed to maintain positive drainage. Subsurface Drains Occasionally HHHunt Homes installs a subsurface drain to ensure that surface water drains from a yard adequately. Keep this area and especially the drain cover clear of debris so that the drain can function as intended. 26
Swales HHHunt Homes does not alter drainage patterns to suit individual landscape plans. Typically, a lot receives water from and passes water on to other lots, so changes in grade often affect adjacent or nearby lots. HHHunt Homes advises against making such changes. After heavy rain or snow, water may stand in swales up to 48 hours, longer in the winter months. See also Landscaping on Page 9.34.
Gutters and Downspouts Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines Check gutters periodically and remove leaves or other debris. Materials that accumulate in gutters can slow water drainage from the roof, cause overflows and clog the downspouts. Extensions and/or Splashblocks Extensions should discharge outside of rock or bark beds so that water is not dammed behind the edging materials that might be used. Ladders Use caution when leaning ladders against gutters, as this may cause dents. Leaks If a joint between sections of gutter drips, caulk the inside joint using a commercial gutter caulking compound available at hardware stores. Overflow Gutters may overflow during periods of excessively heavy rain. This is expected and requires no repair. Snow and Ice Clear excess snow from downspouts as soon as possible to allow the gutter to drain and to prevent damage. Severe ice or snow build-up can damage gutters and such damage is not covered by the limited warranty. Leaks caused by ice-damming are not covered by the Builders Limited Warranty. Standing Water Small amounts of water (up to one inch) will stand for short periods of time in gutters immediately after rain. See also Roof/Ice Damming on Page 9.47.
Hardware Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines We confirm that all hardware is in acceptable condition during pre-settlement orientation. The limited warranty excludes repairs for cosmetic damage subsequent to closing. Doorknobs and locks should operate correctly with little attention. Over time, they may need slight adjustments 27
due to normal shrinkage of the framing. Occasionally, you may need to tighten screws or lubrication.
Hardwood Floors Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines During the pre-settlement orientation, we will confirm that hardwood floors are in acceptable condition. We will correct any readily noticeable cosmetic defects listed during the pre-settlement orientation. You are responsible for routine maintenance of hardwood floors after that. In daily care of a hardwood floor, preventive maintenance is the primary goal. Cleaning Sweep daily or as needed. Never wet mop a hardwood floor. Excessive water causes wood to expand and can possibly damage the floor. When polyurethane finishes become soiled, damp-mop with a mixture of 1 cup vinegar to one gallon of warm water. When damp-mopping, remove all excess water from the mop. Never use steamers on hardwood or laminate flooring Dimples Placing heavy furniture or dropping heavy or sharp objects on hardwood floors can result in dimples. Filmy Appearance A white, filmy appearance can result from moisture, often from wet shoes or boots. Furniture Legs Install proper floor protectors on furniture placed on hardwood floors. Protectors will allow chairs to move easily over the floor without scuffing. Regularly clean the protectors to remove any grit that may have accumulated.
Humidity Hardwood floors respond noticeably to changes in humidity in your home. Especially during winter months, the individual planks or pieces expand and contract as water content changes. A humidifier helps but does not eliminate this reaction. Mats and Area Rugs Use protective mats at the exterior doors to help prevent sand and grit from getting on the floor. Gritty sand is hardwood flooring's worst enemy. However, be aware that rubber backing on area rugs or mats can cause yellowing and warping of the floor surface. Separation Expect some shrinkage around heat vents or any heat-producing appliances, or during seasonal weather changes. See also Hardwood Floors/Warping on Page 9.28.
Shoes Keep high heels in good repair. Heels that have lost their protective cap (thus exposing the fastening nail) will exert over 8,000 pounds of pressure per square inch on the floor. That's enough to damage hardened concrete; it will mark your hardwood floors. Spills Clean up food/liquid spills immediately with a dry cloth. solution for tough food spills.
Use a vinegar-and-warm-water
Splinters When floors are new, small splinters of wood can appear. Sun Exposure Exposure to direct sunlight can cause irreparable damage to hardwood floors. To preserve the beauty of your hardwood floors, install and use window coverings in these areas. Traffic Paths A dulling of the finish in heavy traffic areas is likely. Warping Warping will occur if the floor repeatedly becomes wet or is thoroughly soaked even once. Slight warping in the area of heat vents or heat-producing appliances is also typical. Wax Waxing and the use of products like oil soap are neither necessary nor recommended. Once you wax a polyurethane finish floor, recoating is difficult because the new finish will not bond to the wax. The preferred maintenance is preventive cleaning as needed to maintain the desired luster.
Heating Systems Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines We have installed heating systems according to local building codes and to engineering designs of the particular model home. Good maintenance of your furnace can save energy dollars and prolong the life of the furnace. Carefully read and follow the manufacturer's literature on use and maintenance. If your home contains a heat pump system, you should be aware of the performance characteristics unique to these systems. The guidelines here include general information only and we recommend that you provide professional service for your system at least once a year. If air conditioning is not used in the summer months when the temperatures and/or humidity is high, damage can occur to hardwood flooring, drywall, and other components of your home. This type of damage is not covered under the Builders Limited Warranty. Adjust Vents 29
Experiment with the adjustable registers in your home to establish the best heat flow for your lifestyle. Generally, you can reduce the heat in seldom used or interior rooms. This is an individual matter and you will need to balance the system for your own family's needs. Air Circulation Across Coils (Heat Pump Only) Keep the outside unit clear of any materials that would interfere with air circulation. Snow, ice, landscaping materials, trash, leaves and other accumulating items can cause inefficiency or damage the unit. Air Conditioning and Heating (Heat Pump Only) A heat pump system operates differently from a gas forced-air furnace. The same system provides both heat and air conditioning. This is possible because refrigerant flows back and forth in the coils of the heat pump, controlled by a reversing valve. In the heating mode, the heat pump removes heat from the outside air and transfers it to the inside air. In the cooling mode, it does just the opposite, removing heat from the inside air and discharging it outside of the home. The thermostat inside your home controls this heating or cooling activity. Air Temperature at Vents (Heat Pump Only) Do not expect dramatic temperature differences in the air coming from the vents as is common with other kinds of systems. The coils used in a heat pump system operate at lower temperatures than those common in a gas forced-air system. As a result, for example, in the heat mode, air from the supply vents will typically range from 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The vents will not feel hot, though the air discharged is warmer than the air in the room by as much as 20 degrees. Auxiliary Heat System (Heat Pump Only) At lower outside temperatures, less heat is available for the heat pump to draw from the exterior air; therefore, from time to time the auxiliary heat system will come on to maintain the temperature you set at the thermostat. The auxiliary system will also come on whenever the temperature at the thermostat is moved 1.5 degrees or more at one time.
Avoid Overheating Do not overheat your new home. Overheating can cause excessive shrinkage of framing lumber and may materially damage the home. In the beginning, use as little heat as possible and increase it gradually. Blower Panel (Gas Forced Air Only) You need to position the blower panel cover correctly for the furnace blower (fan) to operate. This panel compresses a button that tells the blower it is safe to operate. Like the way a clothes dryer door operates, this panel pushes in a button that lets the fan motor know it is safe to come on. If that button is not pushed in, the furnace will not operate. Combustion Air (Gas Forced Air Only) Furnaces we install in basements or in utility closets over crawl spaces include a combustion air duct. The outside end of this duct is covered with a screen to minimize insects or animals entering the duct. Cold air coming in through this duct means it is functioning as it should. 30
Caution: Never cover or block the combustion air vent in any way. Outside air is needed to supply the furnace with enough oxygen. Blocking the combustion air vent will cause the furnace to draw air down the vent pipe and pull poisonous gases back into your home. Defrost Cycle (Heat Pump Only) When the heat pump is operating in the heat mode, the coils outside may reach below freezing temperatures. Moisture in the air will condense into frost and accumulate on the coils under these circumstances. From time to time, the system will go into defrost mode to clear accumulated frost from the coils. This is a normal part of the operation of the system and will occur automatically. During the defrost cycle, the outside fan will stop temporarily. The temperature of airflow into the home will be a bit lower during the defrost cycle. The defrost cycle can only occur once every 90 minutes and lasts no longer than 10 minutes. It is not unusual for steam to come off the outdoor unit during the defrost cycle. Duct Cleaning Exercise caution before spending money on professional ductwork cleaning services. A study by the EPA found no proof that ductwork cleaning improves indoor air quality, nor was evidence found that it prevents health problems. For more information contact the EPA and request document EPA-402-K-97-002, or you can view this information on their Website: www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/. Duct Placement The exact placement of heat ducts may vary from those positions shown in similar floor plans or at the model home. Ductwork Noise Some popping or pinging sounds are the natural result of ductwork heating and cooling in response to airflow as the system operates.
Filter A clean filter will help to keep your home clean and reduce dusting chores. Remember to change or clean the filter monthly during the heating season (year-round if you also have air conditioning). A clogged filter can slow airflow and cause cold spots in your home. Although it takes less than one minute to change the filter, this is one of the most frequently overlooked details of normal furnace care. Buy filters in large quantity for the sake of convenience. You will find the size and type printed along the edge of the filter. If you have a permanent, washable, removable filter, you need to clean this monthly. Use water only to clean the filter, tap to dry or air dry and leave unit off for a brief period. Do not use soaps or detergents on the filter. Furnished Home
The heating system was designed with a furnished home in mind. If you move in during the cooler part of the year and have not yet acquired all your draperies and furnishings, the home may seem cooler than you would expect. Gas Odor (Gas Forced Air Only) If you smell gas, exit the home and call the gas company immediately. Manual Dampers- Not all homes have manual dampers, some have electronic. If you have a 2-story home with one (1) thermostat controlling both levels, there may be a manual damper control located near the indoor unit in the attic. The manual damper can be used to adjust air flow inside your duct system. Because hot air rises, it may be necessary to adjust the damper to the “Winter” setting to force more air to the lower level of your home. Since cold air sinks, the opposite adjustment can be made in the Summer to force more air to the upper floors. The manual damper will be labeled “Summer” and “Winter” but can be adjusted anywhere in between so that individual comfort levels can be met. Odor A new heating system may emit an odor for a few moments when you first turn it on. An established system may emit an odor after being unused for an extended time (such as after the summer months if you do not use air conditioning). This is caused by dust that has settled in the ducts and should pass quickly. On-Off Switch (Gas Forced Air Only) The furnace has an on-off blower switch. This switch looks like a regular light switch and is in a metal box outside the furnace. When turned off, this switch overrides all furnace commands and shuts down the blower. This is usually done only when maintenance service is being performed, although young children have been known to turn the furnace off using this switch. (If your furnace is a high-efficiency model, it does not have a pilot or an on-off switch.) Register Adjustment Registers will require adjustment from time to time to maximize your family's comfort. Do not completely close off more than one supply register at a time. This can restrict the airflow too much and reduce the efficiency of the system. A good technique is to completely open all the vents and then gradually move the temperature setting up until the coolest room is comfortable. Once the coolest room is comfortable, gradually close the vents in the warmer rooms until all rooms are comfortable as well. Reverse the process for air conditioning. Return Air Vents As with any heating system, return air vents must be clear so the air flows through the ducts unimpeded. For maximum comfort and efficient energy use, arrange furniture and draperies to allow unobstructed airflow from registers and to cold air returns. Temperature Depending on the style of home, temperatures can normally vary from floor to floor as much as 10 degrees or more on extremely cold days. The furnace blower will typically cycle on and off more frequently and for shorter periods during severe cold spells. If you have large temperature swings from room to room during excessive hot/cold spells, turn the fan to the “on” position so it constantly cycles the air in the home. Thermostat 32
The furnace will come on automatically when the temperature on the thermostat registers below the setting you have selected. Once the furnace is on, setting the thermostat to a higher temperature will not heat the home faster. Thermostats are calibrated to within plus or minus 5 degrees. Unless you have a night setback thermostat designed to work with a heat pump system, do not turn the thermostat down in the evenings. Adjust the temperature a fraction of a degree at a time until a comfortable permanent setting is found. Trial Run Have a trial run early in the fall to test the furnace. (The same applies to air conditioning in the spring.) If service is needed, it is much better to discover that before the heating season. TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS: NO HEAT (Gas Forced Air Only) Before calling for service, check to confirm that the: Thermostat is set to "heat" and the temperature is set above the room temperature. Blower panel cover is installed correctly for the furnace blower (fan) to operate. This panel compresses a button that tells the blower it is safe to operate. Like the way a clothes dryer door operates, this panel pushes in a button that lets the fan motor know it is safe to come on. If that button is not pushed in, the furnace will not operate. Breaker on the main electrical panel is on. (Remember, if a breaker trips you must turn it from the tripped position to the off position before you can turn it back on.) Switch on the side of the furnace is on. Fuse in furnace is good. (See manufacturer literature for size and location.) Gas line is open at the main meter and at the side of the furnace. Filter is clean to allow airflow. Vents in individual rooms are open. Air returns are unobstructed. Even if the troubleshooting tips do not identify a solution, the information you gather will be useful to the service provider you call.
TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS: NO HEAT OR AUXILIARY HEAT STAYS ON WHEN OUTSIDE TEMPERATURE IS 30 DEGREES OR ABOVE (Heat Pump Only) Before calling for service, check to confirm that the: Thermostat is set to "heat" and the temperature is set above the room temperature. Breaker on the main electrical panel is on. (Remember: If a breaker trips you must turn it from the tripped position to the off position before you can turn it back on.) Filter is clean to allow airflow. Vents in individual rooms are open. Air returns are unobstructed. Outside unit is not blocked by snow or other materials. 33
Outside coil does not have excessive ice build-up.
Even if the troubleshooting tips do not identify a solution, the information you gather will be useful to the service provider you call.
Insulation Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines HHHunt Homes has installed insulation to meet or exceed the building codes applicable at the time of construction and outlined as part of your Purchase Agreement. The effectiveness of blown insulation is diminished if it is uneven. As the last step in any work done in your attic (for example, the installation of speaker wire), you should confirm that the insulation lays smooth and even. Do not step on drywall ceilings in the attic, this can result in personal injury or damage to the drywall. Electrical outlets normally emit noticeable amounts of cold air when outside temperatures are low.
Irrigation Whether HHHunt Homes installed your irrigation system, or you install it yourself, keep these points in mind. You are responsible for routine cleaning and adjusting of sprinkler heads as well as shutting the system down in the fall. Failure to drain the system before freezing temperatures occur can result in broken lines, which is not covered under warranty and is your responsibility to repair. Conduct weekly operational checks to ensure proper performance of the system. irrigation sprinkler heads away from the home.
Automatic timers permit you to water at optimum times whether you are at home, away, awake, or asleep. The amount of water provided to each zone can be accurately and consistently controlled and easily adjusted with a timed system. Check the system after a power outage and keep a battery in place if your system offers that as a backup.
It is your responsibility to adjust irrigation run times according to lawn needs and weather conditions. Running the irrigation system uses household water unless the irrigation system is on a separate meter. In either case, water usage costs are the sole responsibility of the homeowner.
Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines Providing complete details on landscape design is beyond the scope of this manual. Many excellent books, videos and computer software programs are available that offer this information. Local nurseries and landscape professionals can also assist you. We will confirm the healthy condition of all plant materials during the pre-settlement orientation. Maintaining landscaping is your responsibility and is excluded from HHHunt Homes Limited warranty. In planning your landscaping, think of proportion, texture, color, mature size, maintenance needs, lighting, fencing, edging and water requirements. A beautiful yard requires considerable planning and regular attention. Most homeowners take years to achieve the yard they want. Planning to install items in stages can spread the cost and work over several seasons. Whatever the source of your design, plan to install the basic components of your landscaping as soon after closing as weather permits. In addition to meeting your homeowner association requirements to landscape in a timely manner, well-designed landscaping prevents erosion and protects the foundation of your home. Additions Before installing patio additions or other permanent improvements, consider soil conditions in the design and engineering of your addition, and remember to obtain permission from the homeowner’s association. Backfill We construct the foundation of your home beginning with an excavation into the earth. When the foundation walls are complete, the area surrounding them is backfilled. Soil in this area is not as compact as undisturbed ground. Water can penetrate through the backfill area to the lower areas of your foundation. This may cause severe problems such as wet basements, cracks in foundation walls and floor slab movement. Avoid this through proper installation of landscaping and good maintenance of drainage. Backfill areas will settle and require prompt attention to avoid damage to your home and voiding of the structural warranty. Keep downspout extensions in the down position to channel roof runoff away from the foundation area of your home. Routine inspection of downspouts, backfill areas, and other drainage components is an excellent maintenance habit. See also Grading and Drainage on Page 9.25. Erosion Until your yard is established and stable, erosion will be a potential concern. Heavy rains or roof runoff can erode soil. The sooner you restore the grade to its original condition, the less damage will occur. Erosion from heavy rains or roof runoff is not covered by the Builders Limited Warranty. Erosion is of special concern in drainage swales. If swales become filled with soil runoff, they may not drain the rest of the yard, causing further problems. Correcting erosion is your responsibility. You may need to protect newly planted seed with erosion matting or reseed to 35
establish grass in swales. challenging areas.
It can take several years to fully establish your lawn in such
If you did not select to have sod installed, it will be the sole responsibility of the Homeowner to remove any/all erosion control measures installed to prevent silt runoff once your yard has reached 90% germination. (Silt Fence, Super Silt Fence, etc.) Hired Contractors You are responsible for changes to the drainage pattern made by any landscape, concrete, deck, or pool contractor. Discuss drainage with any company you hire to do an installation in your yard. Do not permit them to tie into existing drainage pipes without approval from HHHunt Homes. Mulching Do not allow edging around mulch beds to dam the free flow of water away from the home. You can use a nonwoven landscape fabric between the soil and rock or bark to restrict weed growth while still permitting normal evaporation of ground moisture. Should you choose to change the type of mulch, it is recommended that you research and choose the best choice for your home taking into consideration any environmental conditions. Remember to check with your homeowner’s association first. Natural Areas During construction, we remove construction debris from natural areas. Removing dead wood, tree limbs, fallen trees, or other natural items is your responsibility. Planning Locate plants and irrigation heads out of the way of pedestrian or bicycle traffic and car bumpers. Space groves of trees or single trees to allow for efficient mowing and growth. Group plants with similar water, sun and space requirements together. Plant Selection Plant with regard to your local climate. Favor native over exotic species. Consider ultimate size, shape and growth of the species. See also Property Boundaries on Page 9.45. Requirements Check with your local municipality and homeowner’s association before designing, installing, or changing landscaping for any regulations that they require you to follow. Seeded Lawns If lawn seeding is part of your home purchase, consider this just the first step in establishing your yard. Remember that the forces of nature are far stronger than grass seed. You will need to overseed at some point, perhaps more than once. Heavy storms can cause washouts and erosion that you will need to correct. It generally takes at least three growing seasons to establish a good lawn, longer if weather conditions are difficult or if you do not have the time to devote to lawn care. 36
Before over-seeding, remember to fill any slight depressions with a light layer of topsoil. Minimize traffic of all kinds on newly seeded areas and avoid weed killer for at least 120 days. Keep the seed moist, not wet. Sod Newly placed sod requires extra water for several weeks. Water in the cool part of the day (ideally just before sunrise) at regular intervals for the first three weeks. Be aware that new sod and the extra watering it requires can sometimes create drainage concerns (in your yard or your neighbor's) that will disappear when the yard is established and requires normal watering. Sod is inspected at the Pre-settlement Orientation and is not covered under the Builders Limited Warranty. Irrigation System Whether we install your irrigation system, or you install it yourself, keep these points in mind. You are responsible for routine cleaning and adjusting of sprinkler heads as well as shutting the system down in the fall. Failure to drain the system before freezing temperatures occur can result in broken lines, which is not covered under warranty and is your responsibility to repair. Conduct weekly operational checks to ensure proper performance of the system. irrigation sprinkler heads away from the home.
Automatic timers permit you to water at optimum times whether you are at home, away, awake, or asleep. The amount of water provided to each zone can be accurately and consistently controlled and easily adjusted with a timed system. Check the system after a power outage and keep a battery in place if your system offers that as a backup. It is your responsibility to adjust irrigation run times according to lawn needs and weather conditions. Running the irrigation system uses household water unless the irrigation system is on a separate meter. In either case, water usage costs are the sole responsibility of the homeowner. Stones The soil in your area may have stones and rocks in it. Removing these naturally occurring elements is a maintenance activity for homeowners and is not covered under warranty. If HHHunt Homes installs seed or sod, large rocks will be picked up and surface raking performed. You will need to provide continued attention to this condition as you care for your yard.
Trees HHHunt Homes values trees as one of the features that make up an attractive community and add value to the homes we build. We take steps to protect and preserve existing trees in the area of your home. Despite our efforts, existing trees located on construction sites can suffer damage from construction activities, which manifest months after the completion of construction.
Damage to existing trees can be caused by such things as compaction of soil in the root zone, changing patterns of water flow on the lot, disturbing the root system and removing other trees to make room for the home. The newly exposed tree may react to conditions it is unaccustomed to. Caring for existing trees, including pruning dead branches or removing these trees altogether, are not covered under the Builders Limited Warranty, and are your responsibility. Remember to water trees during the summer or during warm dry periods in the winter. Mulch around trees and avoid tilling or planting flower beds around trees. This is especially important while trees are recovering from the construction process. Trees and other plant materials that exist on the lot when construction begins and are not part of any landscaping installed by HHHunt Homes and are excluded from warranty coverage. Utility Lines A slight depression may develop in the front lawn along the line of the utility trench. To correct this, roll back the sod, spread topsoil underneath to level the area and then relay the sod. Before any significant digging, check the location of buried service leads. In most cases, wires and pipes run in a straight line from the main service to the pubic supply. See also Easements on Page 9.17. Waiting to Landscape If you leave ground un-landscaped, it erodes. Correcting erosion that occurs after closing is your responsibility. Weeds Weed swill appear in your new lawn whether seed or sod is used. Left unmanaged, your yard will quickly begin to show weeds. When soil is disturbed, dormant seeds come to the surface and germinate. The best control is a healthy lawn, achieved through regular care and attention.
Lighting Fixtures Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines During the pre-settlement orientation we will confirm that the lighting fixtures are in acceptable condition. The manufacturer treats fixtures with a clear protective coating to provide beauty and durability. This coating is not impervious to wear and tear. Atmospheric conditions, sunlight, cleaning agents that contain ammonia or vinegar, caustic agents such as paints and scratches from sharp objects can cause the protective coating to crack or peel, resulting in spotting and discoloration, this is not covered under the Builders Limited Warranty. Cleaning Initial care of these products requires only periodic cleaning with a mild, nonabrasive soap and buffing with a soft cloth. Refer to manufacturer’s recommendations.
Mirrors Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines We will confirm that all mirrors are in acceptable condition during the pre-settlement orientation. HHHunt Homes will correct scratches, chips, or other damage to mirrors noted during the pre-settlement orientation. To clean your mirrors, use any reliable liquid glass cleaner or polisher available at most hardware or grocery stores. Avoid acidic cleaners and splashing water under the mirror; either can cause the silvering to deteriorate. Acidic cleaners are usually those that contain ammonia or vinegar. Avoid getting glass cleaners on plumbing fixtures as some formulas can deteriorate the finish.
Paint and Stain Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines During your pre-settlement orientation we will confirm that all painted or stained surfaces are in acceptable condition. HHHunt Homes will touch up paint as indicated on the pre-settlement orientation list. You are responsible for all subsequent touch-up, except painting we perform as part of another warranty repair. Because of changes in the formula for paint (such as the elimination of lead to make paints safer), painted surfaces must be washed gently using mild soap and as little water as possible. Avoid abrasive cleaners, scouring pads, or scrub brushes. Flat paints show washing marks more easily than gloss paints do. Often better results come from touching up rather than washing the paint. Cracking As it ages, exterior wood trim will develop minor cracks and raised grain. Much of this will occur during the first year. Raised grain permits moisture to get under the paint and can result in peeling. This is not a defect in materials or workmanship and is not covered under the Builders Limited Warranty. Paint maintenance of wood trim is your responsibility. Exterior Regular attention will preserve the beauty and value of your home. Check the painted and stained surfaces of your home's exterior annually. Repaint before much chipping or wearing away of the original finish occurs; this will save the cost of extensive surface preparation. Plan on refinishing the exterior surface of your home approximately every two to three years or as often as your paint manufacturer suggests for your area and climate. Climatic conditions control the chemical structure of the paint used on the exterior. Over time, this finish will fade and dull a bit. Depending on the exposure to weather of each surface, the paint on some parts of your home may begin to show signs of deterioration sooner than others.
When you repaint the exterior of your home, begin by resetting popped nails and removing blistered or peeling portions of paint with a wire brush or putty knife. Sand, spot with primer 39
and then paint the entire area. conditions.
Use a quality exterior paint formulated for local climate
Avoid having sprinklers spray water on the exterior walls of your home. This may cause blistering, peeling, splintering and other damage to the home. Fading Expect fading of exterior paint or stain caused by the effects of sun and weather. HHHunt Homes limited warranty excludes this occurrence. Severe Weather Hail and wind can cause a great deal of damage in a severe storm, so inspect the house after such weather. Promptly report damage caused by severe weather to your insurance company. Stain For minor interior stain touch-ups, a furniture-polish-and-stain treatment is inexpensive, easy to use, and should be complimentary to the wood color or grain. Touch-Up When doing paint touch-ups, use a small brush, applying paint only to the damaged spot. Touch-up may not match the surrounding area exactly, even if the same paint mix is used. Paint touch-up can also be visible under certain lighting conditions. When it is time to repaint a room, prepare the wall surfaces first by cleaning with a mild soap and water mixture or a reliable cleaning product. We provide a touchup kit with the wall and trim paint used on your home. Store these with the lids tightly in place and in a location where they are not subject to extreme temperatures. Wall Cracks We suggest that you wait until after the first heating season to repair drywall cracks or other separations due to shrinkage. See also Drywall on Page 9.16. Stain and Wood Grain Because of wood characteristics, color variations will result when stain is applied to wood. This is natural and requires no repair. Handrail stain will be complimentary in color to hardwood flooring and stairs. Today's water-based paints often make wood grain visible on painted trim. HHHunt Homes does not provide corrections for this condition.
Pests and Wildlife Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines 40
Insects such as ants, spiders, wasps and bees and animal life such as woodpeckers, squirrels, mice and snakes may fail to recognize that your home belongs to you. Addressing concerns involving
these pests and wildlife goes with being a homeowner. Informational resources include, among others, the state wildlife service, animal control authorities, the county extension service, pest control professionals, the Internet and the public library. HHHunt Homes cannot guarantee that your home will be impenetrable to pests or wildlife.
Phone Jacks Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines Your home is equipped with telephone jacks as shown on the electrical diagram. Initiating phone service, additions to phone service, and moving phone outlets for decorating purposes or convenience are your responsibility. From the service box outward, care of the wiring is the responsibility of the local telephone service company.
Plumbing Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines During the pre-settlement orientation, we will confirm that all plumbing fixtures are in acceptable condition, are functioning properly, and that all faucets and drains operate freely. Repairing chips, scratches, or other surface damage noted after the pre-settlement orientation list is your responsibility. Your plumbing system has many parts, most of which require little maintenance. Proper cleaning, occasional minor attention, and preventive care will assure many years of good service from this system. Aerators Even though your plumbing lines have been flushed to remove dirt and foreign matter, small amounts of minerals may enter the line. Aerators on the faucets strain much of this from your water. Minerals caught in these aerators may cause the faucets to drip because washers wear more rapidly when they meet foreign matter. See also Plumbing/Dripping Faucet on Page 9.41. Basement Construction If you perform any construction in your basement, ensure that the plumbing lines in the basement or crawl space are not isolated from the heating source without insulation being added. Clogs The main causes of toilet clogs are domestic items such as disposable diapers, excessive amounts of toilet paper, sanitary supplies, Q-tips, dental floss and children's toys. Improper garbage disposal use also causes many plumbing clogs. Always use plenty of cold water when running the disposal. Do not dump grease into any drain or the garbage disposal. Run the water to run 10 to 15 seconds after shutting off the disposal. 41
You can usually clear clogged traps with a plumber's helper (plunger). If you use chemical agents, follow directions carefully to avoid personal injury or damage to the fixtures.
Clean a plunger drain stopper, usually found in bathroom sinks, by loosening the nut under the sink at the back of the drainpipe, pulling out the rod attached to the plunger and lifting the stopper. Clean and return the mechanism to its original position and re-install the nut and check for leaks. Dripping Faucet You can repair a dripping faucet by shutting off the water at the valve directly under the sink, then removing the faucet stem, changing the washer and reinstalling the faucet stem. A dripping shower head is repaired the same way, replace the washer with another of the same type and size. You can minimize the frequency of this repair by remembering not to turn faucets off with excessive force. (Please note that some manufacturers do not use rubber washers.) Extended Absence If you plan to be away for an extended period, you should drain your water supply lines. To do this, shut off the main supply line and open the faucets to relieve pressure in the lines. You may also wish to shut off the water heater. Do this by turning off the cold-water supply valve on top and the gas control at the bottom. Drain the tank by running a hose from the spigot on the bottom to the drain or exterior. If you leave the tank full, keep the pilot on and set the temperature to its lowest or "vacation" setting. Check manufacturer's directions for additional hints and instructions. See also Extended Absences on Page 8.10. Fiberglass Fixtures For normal cleaning use a nonabrasive bathroom cleanser and sponge or nylon cleaning pad. Avoid steel wool, scrapers and scouring pads. Auto wax can provide a shine and restore an attractive appearance. Freezing Pipes Provided the home is heated at a normal level, pipes should not freeze at temperatures above 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the heat at a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit if you are away during winter months. Keep garage doors closed to protect plumbing lines running through this area from freezing temperatures. In unusually frigid weather or if you will be gone for more than a day or two, open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around pipes and to allow each faucet to drip. Use an ordinary hair dryer to thaw pipes that are frozen. Never use an open flame. Jetted Tubs If your home includes a jetted tub, follow manufacturer directions for its use and care. Never operate the jets unless the water level is at least one inch above the jets. Be cautious about using the tub if you are pregnant or have heart disease or high blood pressure; discuss the use of the tub with your doctor. Tie or pin long hair to keep it from away from the jets where it might become tangled, a potentially dangerous event. 42
Clean and disinfect the system every one to two months, depending on usage. To do this, fill the tub with lukewarm water and add one cup of liquid chlorine bleach. Run the jets for 10 to 15 minutes, drain and fill again. Run for 10 minutes with plain water and drain. Auto wax will help seal and preserve your tub's surface. Avoid abrasive cleansers.
Laundry Tub If you have a laundry tub, the faucet does not have an aerator. This is to allow the laundry tub faucet to accept a hose connection. Leaks If a major plumbing leak occurs, the first step is to turn off the supply of water to the area involved. This may mean shutting off the water to the entire home. Then contact the appropriate contractor. Please note, the Builders Limited Warranty does not cover secondary damages. Example - damage to wallpaper, drapes, personal belongings, etc…, insurance should cover these items. Low Flush Toilets We want to draw your attention to a water-saving regulation that went into effect in 1993, which prohibits the manufacture of toilets that use more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. In the search for a balance among comfort, convenience and sensible use of natural resources, the government conducted several studies, the 1.6-gallon toilet turned out to be the size that consistently saves water. As a result of implementing this standard, flushing twice is occasionally necessary to completely empty the toilet bowl. Even though you flush twice on occasion, you are saving water and we have complied with the law. Similarly, flow restrictors are manufactured into most faucets and all shower heads and cannot be removed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Never use “Clorox” type cleaning tablets in the tank of your toilet, they cause excessive corrosion to gaskets and toilet components. This will lead to a leaking toilet and is not covered under the Builders Limited Warranty. Low Pressure Occasional cleaning of the aerators on your faucets (normally every three to four months) will allow proper flow of water. The water department controls the overall water pressure. Main Shut-Off The water supply to your home can be shut-off entirely in two locations. The first is inside the home, the second is at the meter. We will point both out during your pre-settlement orientation, please make sure you familiarize yourself with these locations. Marble or Manufactured Marble Marble and manufactured marble will not chip as readily as porcelain enamel but can be damaged by a sharp blow. Avoid abrasive cleansers or razor blades on manufactured marble; 43
both damage the surface. Always mix hot and cold water at manufactured marble sinks; running only hot water can damage the sink. Noise Changes in flow of the water itself will cause some noise in the pipes. This is normal and requires no repair. Expect temperatures to vary if water is used in more than one location in the home at the exact same time.
Outside Hose Bibs Outside hose bibs are not freeze-proof. During the winter months, you will need to shut the water off to these locations. The hose bib shut-off location will be pointed out during your pre-settlement orientation. For this to be effective, you must remove hoses during cold weather, even if the faucet is located in your garage. If a hose is left attached, the water that remains in the hose can freeze and expand back into the pipe, causing a break in the line. After you turn off the hose bib shut off, you will also then need to open the hose bib valve to allow any remaining water to flow out. Allow the valve to stay open during the winter months and close prior to opening the hose bib shut off come spring. Repair of a broken line that feeds an exterior faucet is a maintenance item. Note that HHHunt Homes does not warrant hose bibs against freezing, nor warrants frozen pipes. Running Toilet To stop running water, check the shut-off float in the tank. You will most likely find it has lifted too high in the tank, preventing the valve from shutting off completely. In this case, gently bend/adjust the float rod down until it stops the water at the correct level. The float should be free and not rub the side of the tank or any other parts. Also check the chain on the flush handle. If it is too tight, it will prevent the rubber stopper at the bottom of the tank from sealing, resulting in running water. Shut-Offs Your main water shut-off is located near your meter. You use this shut-off for major water emergencies, such as a water line break, when you install an irrigation system, or build an addition to your home. Each toilet has a shut-off on the water line located under the tank. Hot and cold shut-offs for each sink are located on the water lines under the sink. Sprinklers You should routinely inspect sprinkler heads and provide seasonal service to maintain proper functioning. See also Landscaping/Irrigation System on Page 9.36. Stainless Steel Clean stainless-steel sinks with soap and water to preserve their luster. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or steel wool pads; these will damage the finish. Prevent bleach from coming into prolonged contact with the sink as it can pit the surface. An occasional cleaning with a good stainless-steel cleaner will enhance the finish. Rub in the direction of the polish or grain lines and dry the sink to prevent water spots. Avoid leaving produce on a stainless-steel surface, since 44
prolonged contact with produce can stain the finish. Also avoid using the sink as a cutting board; sharp knives will gouge the finish. Local water conditions affect the appearance of stainless steel. A white film can develop on the sink if you have over-softened water or water with a high concentration of minerals. In hard water areas, a brown surface stain can form, appearing like rust. Tank Care Avoid exposing the toilet to blows from sharp or heavy objects, which can cause chipping or cracking. Avoid abnormal pressures against the sides of the tank. It is possible to crack the tank at the points where it is attached to the bowl. TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS: PLUMBING Back Up at One Toilet Shut off the water supply to the toilet involved. Use a plunger to clear the blockage. Use a snake to clear the blockage. If you've been in your home fewer than 30 days, contact HHHunt Homes or the plumber listed on your Emergency Phone Numbers Sticker, located in your panel box. If you've been in your home over 30 days, contact a router service. No Water Anywhere in the Home Before calling for service, check to confirm that the: Main shut off on the meter inside your home is open. Main shut off at the street is open. Individual shut-offs for each water-using item are open. No Hot Water See Water Heater on Page 9.51. Leak Involving One Sink, Tub, or Toilet Check caulking and grout. Confirm shower door or tub enclosure was properly closed. Turn water supply off to that item. Use other facilities in your home and report problem on next business day. Leak Involving a Main Line Turn water off at the meter in your home. Call emergency number for service. Sewer Back Up Affecting Entire Home If you've been in your home fewer than 30 days, contact HHHunt Homes or the plumber listed on your Emergency Phone Numbers Sticker in your electrical panel box. If you've been in your home over 30 days, contact a router service. Remove personal belongings to a safe location. If items are soiled, contact your homeowner insurance company. 45
Even if the troubleshooting tips do not identify a solution, the information you gather will be useful to the service provider you call.
Plumbing Fixtures Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines During the pre-settlement orientation we, will confirm that the plumbing fixtures are in acceptable condition. The manufacturer treats fixtures with a clear protective coating to provide beauty and durability. This coating is not impervious to wear and tear. Atmospheric conditions, sunlight, caustic agents such as paints and scratches from sharp objects can cause the protective coating to crack or peel, resulting in spotting and discoloration. Cleaning Initial care of these products requires only periodic cleaning with a mild, nonabrasive soap and buffing with a soft cloth. Refer to manufacturer’s recommendations.
Property Boundaries Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines At closing, you will receive a copy of a survey that shows your lot and the location of your home on the lot. To construct the home, HHHunt Homes established the property boundaries and corners. During construction, some of the monuments that mark the lot corners may be affected or covered up by grading, excavation, installation of utility lines and other typical construction activities. If you wish to install a fence, a swimming pool, a deck or patio, or otherwise establish a permanent structure, we advise that you have professional surveyors locate and mark property boundaries to be certain they are accurate and that you have found all corners. Remember to contact your homeowner’s association to obtain approval. See also Easements on Page 9.17.
Railings Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines During the pre-settlement orientation, we will confirm that all railings are in good condition. HHHunt Homes installs railings in positions and locations to comply with applicable building codes. Railings should remain securely attached with normal use. Stained or metal railings in your home require little maintenance beyond occasional dusting or polishing. Protect railings from sharp objects or moisture. Cover them during move-in so large pieces of furniture do not cause dents or scratches. Stained railings will show variation in the way the wood grain took the stain. Some designs show seams where pieces of wood came together to form the railing.
Resilient (Vinyl) Flooring Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines 46
We will confirm that resilient floor covering is in acceptable condition during your pre-settlement orientation. HHHunt Homes limited warranty does not cover damage to resilient floors caused by moving furniture or appliances into the home. We can assist you in contacting professionals who can repair such damage if it occurs in your home. HHHunt Homes is not responsible for discontinued selections. Although resilient floors are designed for minimum care, they do have maintenance needs. Follow any manufacturer's specific recommendations for care and cleaning. Some resilient floors require regular application of a good floor finish. This assures you will retain a high gloss. Color and Pattern Your color Work Order provides a record of the style and color of floor coverings in your home. Please retain this information for future reference. Limit Water Wipe up spills and vacuum crumbs instead of washing resilient floors frequently with water. Limit mopping or washing with water; excessive amounts of water on resilient floors can penetrate seams and get under edges, causing the material to lift and curl. Moving Furniture Moving appliances across resilient floor covering can result in tears and wrinkles. Install coasters on furniture legs to prevent permanent damage. If you damage the resilient floor, you can have it successfully patched by professionals. If any scraps remain when installation of your floor covering is complete, we leave them in the hope that having the matching dye lot will make such repairs less apparent. No-Wax Flooring The resilient flooring installed in your home is the no-wax type. No-wax means a clear, tough coating that provides both a shiny appearance and a durable surface. However, even this surface will scuff or mark. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for maintaining the finish. Raised Nail Heads Raised nail heads are the result of movements of the floor joist caused by natural shrinkage and deflection. We have used special nails and glued the underlayment to help minimize this movement. If a nail head becomes visible through resilient flooring, place a block of wood over it and hit the block with a hammer to reset the nail. Ridges HHHunt Homes has sanded and filled the joints of underlayment to minimize the possibility of ridges showing through resilient floor coverings, but it is not uncommon to see joints. Scrubbing and Buffing Frequent scrubbing or electric buffing is harder on floors than regular foot traffic. Use acrylic finishes if you scrub or buff. Seams 47
Any brand or type of resilient flooring may separate slightly due to shrinkage. Seams can lift or curl if excessive moisture is allowed to penetrate them. You can use a special caulking at tub or floor joints to seal seams at those locations. Avoid getting large amounts of water on the floor from baths and showers.
Roof Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines The shingles on your roof do not require any treatment or sealer. The less activity your roof experiences, the less likely it is that problems will occur. Clean Gutters Maintain the gutters and downspouts so that they are free of debris and able to quickly drain precipitation from the roof. Ice Damming On occasion, depending on conditions and exposure, as rising heat from inside your home melts snow on the roof, the water runs down and when it reaches the cold eaves, it may freeze. An accumulation of this type of ice dams the subsequent runoff and the water begins to back up, sometimes working its way up and under shingles, ultimately leading into you home through windows or ceilings. Ice damming is not covered under the Builders Limited Warranty. Your homeowner insurance may cover this damage. Inclement Weather Storm damage is excluded from warranty coverage. Notify your homeowner insurance company if storm damage is discovered. Leaks If a leak occurs, try to detect the exact location. This will greatly simplify finding the area that requires repair when the roof is dry. Limit Walking Limit walking on your roof. Your weight and movement can loosen the roofing material and in turn, result in leaks. Never walk on the roof of your home when the shingles are wet. Severe Weather After severe storms, do a visual inspection of the roof for damages. Notify your insurance company if you find pieces of shingle in the yard or shingle edges lifted on the roof. TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS: ROOF LEAK The Builders Limited Warranty covers roof leaks for 1 year. Please keep in mind that roof leaks cannot be repaired while the roof is wet. However, you can get on the schedule to be in line when conditions dry out, so do call in your roof leak.
Confirm the source of the water is the roof rather than from a: __ Plumbing leak __ Open window on a higher floor __ Ice damming __ Clogged gutter or downspout 48
__ Blowing rain or snow coming in through code required roof vents __ Gap in caulking
Where practical, place a container under dripping water. If a ceiling is involved, use a screwdriver to poke a small hole in the drywall to release the water. Even if the troubleshooting tips do not identify a solution, the information you gather will be useful to the service provider you call. Remove personal belongings to prevent damage to them. If damage occurs, contact your homeowner insurance company to submit a claim. If within the 1st year of warranty coverage, please report the leak to HHHunt Homes during first available business hours.
Rough Carpentry Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines Some floor and stair squeaks are unavoidable and HHHunt does not guarantee squeak proof flooring. Although HHHunt Homes does not warrant against floor squeaks, a reasonable effort will be made to correct them. Floor Deflection Floors will deflect (bend) when walked on. This will be more noticeable next to hutches, bookcases, pianos, chairs and other heavy furniture. This is not a structural deficiency and HHHunt Homes will take no action for this occurrence.
Shower Doors or Tub Enclosures Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines During your pre-settlement orientation we will confirm the good condition of all shower doors and tub enclosures. Shower doors and tub enclosures require minimal care. Using a squeegee to remove water after a bath or shower will keep mineral residue and soap film to a minimum. A coating of wax can also help prevent build up of minerals and soap. Use cleaning products suggested by the manufacturer to avoid any damage to the trim and hardware. Avoid hanging wet towels on corners of doors; the weight can pull the door out of alignment and cause it to leak. Check and touch-up caulking on an as needed basis.
Siding Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines We will confirm the good condition of the siding during your pre-settlement orientation. Subsequent damage to the siding will by your responsibility to repair. Siding expands and contracts in response to changes in humidity and temperature. Slight waves are visible in siding under moist weather conditions; shrinkage and separations will be more noticeable under dry 49
conditions. These behaviors cannot be entirely eliminated and are not covered under the Builders Limited Warranty. Vinyl Vinyl siding will occasionally require cleaning. Start at the top to avoid streaking and use a cleaning product recommended by your siding manufacturer. Follow directions carefully. Wood-Like Trim Wood-like trim will require routine refinishing. The timing will vary with climatic conditions. Maintain caulking to minimize moisture entry into the siding. Some paint colors will require more maintenance than others and some sides of the home may show signs of wear sooner based on their exposure to the elements.
Smoke Detectors Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines HHHunt Homes does not represent that the smoke detectors will provide the protection for which they are installed or intended. We will test smoke detectors during the pre-settlement orientation to confirm that they are working and to familiarize you with them. All smoke detectors are hard-wired into your electrical system and have a battery backup. You are responsible for obtaining fire insurance. Read the manufacturer's manual for detailed information on the care of your smoke detectors. Battery If a smoke detector makes a chirping sound, that is a sign that the battery needs to be replaced. Follow manufacturer instructions for installing a new battery. Most smoke detectors use a 9-volt battery. Cleaning For your safety, clean each smoke detector monthly to prevent a false alarm or lack of response in a fire. After cleaning, push the test button to confirm the alarm is working. Locations Smoke detectors are installed in accordance with building codes, which dictate locations. HHHunt Homes cannot omit any smoke detector and you should not remove or disable any smoke detector.
Stairs Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines Although HHHunt Homes does not warrant against stair vibration and squeaks, a reasonable effort will be made to correct them. No known method of installation prevents all vibration or squeaks in a staircase. A shrinkage crack will develop where the stairs meet the wall. When this occurs, apply a thin bead of latex caulk, when dry touch up with paint.
Termites Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines We certify treatment of your foundation or framing depending on the treatment type at closing. This is our final action for termites. HHHunt Homes warranty excludes treatment for any other 50
insect (such as ants) or animal (such as mice) infestation. Plan to renew this treatment annually or as directed by the literature that accompanies the certificate. Treatment for other types of insect or animal infestation is your responsibility. Regular Inspections Regularly inspect your home for signs of termites or conditions that would allow their attack. ● Check for wrinkles or waves in wood trim. ● Tap wood to see if it sounds or feels hollow. ● Inspect under the carpet tack strip by lifting the edge of carpet in the corner of a room. The tack strip is untreated and provides a convenient path for termites through your home. ● Watch for tubes of dirt, called mud tubes, which extend from the soil up to your home. ● Keep soil away from any wood parts of your home. ● Be certain all roof water and precipitation move quickly away from your home’s foundation. ● Avoid storing wood on the ground and against your home. ● Before installing stepping-stones, river rock or concrete against the home, chemically treat the area that will be underneath the new material. ● If you add onto or change the exterior of your home, be sure to have the areas treated first. If you believe you see signs of termites or if you have any questions, contact your termite treatment company for guidance.
Ventilation Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines Homes today are built more tightly than ever. This saves energy dollars but creates a potential concern. Condensation, cooking odors, indoor pollutants, radon and carbon monoxide may all accumulate. We provide mechanical and passive methods for ventilating homes. Your attention to ventilation is important to health and safety. Building codes require attic and crawl space vents to minimize accumulation of moisture. Attic Vents Attic ventilation occurs through vents in the soffit (the underside of the overhangs), ridge and/or gable ends. Driving rain or snow sometimes enters the attic through these vents. Do not cover them to prevent this. Instead, cover the insulation in front of the vent. When you do this, precipitation that blows in safely evaporates and ventilation can still occur. Crawl Space Vents Homes with crawl spaces usually have foundation vents. Open crawl space vents for summer months and close them for winter months. Failure to close these vents may result in plumbing lines freezing in the crawl space. This occurrence is not covered by your warranty. Dri-Space Crawlspace If you selected the Dri-Space Crawlspace option, please follow all directions provided by the installer. If your crawlspace monitor reads above 65% humidity, please inspect for the following. ● Verify crawlspace access panel is closed and secured properly
● Verify dehumidifier electrical power circuit breaker is in the “on” position in the electrical panel box ● Verify foundation vent covers are in place ● Verify condensate drain line exterior opening is not obstructed Daily Habits Your daily habits can help keep your home well ventilated: ● ● ● ●
Do not cover or interfere in any way with the fresh air supply to your furnace. Develop the habit of running the hood fan when you are cooking. Use the bath fans when bathrooms are in use. Air your house by opening windows for a time when weather permits.
Proper ventilation will prevent excessive moisture from forming on the inside of the windows. This helps reduce cleaning chores considerably.
Water Heater Homeowner Care and Maintenance (Tank and Tankless Water Heaters) Carefully read the manufacturer's literature, maintenance guide, and warranty for your specific model of water heater. (All water heaters, tank and tankless require maintenance) Drain Tank Review and follow the manufacturer's timetable and instructions for draining several gallons of water from the bottom of the water heater. This reduces build-up of chemical deposits from the water, thereby prolonging the life of the tank as well as saving energy dollars. Also, drain the tank if it is being shut down during periods of freezing temperatures. Carefully follow the instructions in the manufacturer's literature. Element Cleaning or Replacement (Electric Water Heater Only) The heating elements in the water heater will require periodic cleaning. The frequency is determined in part by the quality of the water in your area. Again, refer to the manufacturer’s literature for step-by-step instructions and drawings, or contact an authorized service company. Pressure Relief Valve At least once each year, manually operate the pressure relief valve. Stay clear of the discharge line to avoid injury. See manufacturer's literature for diagrams and detailed instructions. Safety Keep the area around a water heater clear of stored household items. Never use the top of the water heater as a storage shelf. Temperature Higher settings can result in wasted energy dollars and increase the danger of injury from scalding. An increase in hot water temperatures will take longer to arrive at sinks, tubs and showers that are farther from the water heater. Tankless water heaters are not instant hot water and may take longer than expected to deliver hot water to the furthest away fixture. Please read 52
your manufacturers instruction manual in regard to usage demands, flow rate, winter and summer groundwater temperatures, as well as maintenance. TROUBLE SHOOTING TIPS: NO HOT WATER Before calling for service, check to confirm that the: ● Water heater breaker on your main electric panel is in the on position. (Remember if a breaker trips you must turn it from the tripped position to the off position before you can turn it back on.) ● Water supply valve is open. Refer to the manufacturer's literature for specific error codes (Tankless Only) and possibly other troubleshooting tips. Even if the trouble shooting tips do not identify a solution, the information you gather will be useful to the service provider you call. See also Plumbing on Page 9.40.
Waterproofing Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines We spray your foundation walls with an asphalt waterproofing material. Although we make every effort to assure a dry basement/crawlspace, during times of excessive moisture you may notice some dampness. Over time, natural compaction of soils in the backfill areas will usually eliminate this condition. Careful maintenance of positive drainage will also protect your basement from this condition.
Windows, Screens, and Sliding Glass Doors Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines We will confirm that all windows, screens, and sliding glass doors are in acceptable condition during the pre-settlement orientation. HHHunt Homes will repair or replace broken windows or damaged screens noted on the pre-settlement orientation list. Windows should operate with reasonable ease and locks should perform as designed. Contact a glass company for reglazing of any windows that break. Glass is difficult to install without special tools. Cleaning Clean during moderate temperatures with only a mild soap and warm water using a sponge or soft cloth and dry with a towel. Avoid abrasive cleaners, commercial glass cleaner, razors, brushes, or scrubbing devices of any kind. Minor scratches can often be minimized by using a mild automotive polish. Condensation Condensation on interior surfaces of the window and frame is the result of high humidity within the home and low outside temperatures, or vice-versa. Your family’s lifestyle controls the humidity level within your home. HHHunt Homes provides no corrective measure for this condition. 53
Infiltration Some air and dust will infiltrate around windows, especially before the installation of landscaping in the general area. HHHunt Homes warranty excludes this occurrence. Scratches HHHunt Homes confirms that all window glass is in acceptable condition at the pre-settlement orientation. Minor scratches on windows can result from delivery, handling and other construction activities and is not covered under the Builders Limited Warranty. Screen Storage and Maintenance Many homeowners remove and store screens for the winter to allow more light into the home. To make re-installation more convenient, label each screen as you remove it. Use caution, screens perforate easily, and the frames bend if they are not handled with care. Prior to re-installing the screen, clean them with a gentle spray of water. Sills Window sills in your home are made of wood and wood products. The most common maintenance activity is dusting. Twice a year, check caulking and touch-up as needed. Protect wood and wood product sills from moisture. If you arrange plants on a sill, include a plastic tray under them. Sliding Glass Doors Sliding glass doors are made with tempered glass, which is more difficult to break than ordinary glass. If broken, tempered glass breaks into small circular pieces rather than large splinters, which can easily cause injury. Keep sliding door tracks clean for smooth operation and to prevent damage to the door frame. Silicone lubricants work well for these tracks. Acquaint yourself with the operation of sliding door hardware for maximum security. Under certain lighting conditions, door glass may be hard to see. If you keep the screen fully closed when the glass door is open, your family will be accustomed to opening something before going through. You may want to apply a decal to the glass door to make it readily visible. Sticking Windows Most sliding windows (both vertical and horizontal) are designed for a 10-pound pull. If sticking occurs or excessive pressure is required to open or close a window, apply a silicone lubricant. This is available at hardware stores. Avoid petroleum-based products. Tinting Applying tinting of foil lining to dual pane windows can result in broken windows or condensation due to excessive heat build-up. Some manufacturers void their warranty on the windows if you apply tinting or foil lining. Refer to the manufacturer's limited warranty for complete information regarding warranty coverage before you apply such coatings. Weep Holes
In heavy rains, water may collect in the bottom channel of window frames. Weep holes are provided to allow excess water to escape to the outside. Keep the bottom window channels and weep holes free of dirt and debris for proper operation. See also Ventilation on Page 9.50.
Wood Trim Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines During the pre-settlement orientation, we will confirm that wood trim is in acceptable condition. Minor imperfections in wood materials will be visible and will require no action. HHHunt Homes will correct readily noticeable construction damage such as chips and gouges listed during the pre-settlement orientation. Shrinkage of wood trim occurs during the first two years or longer, depending on temperature and humidity. All lumber is more vulnerable to shrinkage during the heating season. Maintaining a moderate and stable temperature helps to minimize the effects of shrinkage. Wood will shrink less lengthwise than across the grain. Wood shrinkage can result in separation at joints of trim pieces, this is not covered under the Builders Limited Warranty. You can usually correct this with caulking and touch-up painting. Shrinkage may also cause a piece of trim to pull away from the wall. If this occurs, drive in another nail close to, but not exactly in, the existing nail hole. Fill the old nail hole with putty and touch up with paint as needed. If the base shoe (small trim between base molding and the floor) appears to be lifting from the floor, this is probably due to slight shrinkage of the floor joists below. Again, you can correct this condition by removing the old nails and re-nailing. You may prefer to wait until after the first heating season to make any needed repairs at one time when redecorating. Raised Grain Because of the effects of weather on natural wood, you should expect raised grain to develop. This is normal and not a defect in the wood or paint. Warranty coverage excludes this condition. See also Expansion and Contraction on Page 9.20.