PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Being a homeowner means you have never-ending projects on your hands and surprises come with the territory. So whether you have an old home, or you're buying a new one, Consumer Reports' home editors are recommending some not-so-obvious products that could end up saving you thousands down the road.
When Consumer Reports' Paul Hope's basement flooded last fall, he was shocked since as one of CR's home and garden experts he already had a sump pump installed and ready to go.
"We knew our basement was prone to flooding and we thought we had done what we needed to do by having a sump pump in the first place. Unfortunately, it failed while we were away."
But having it installed was key he said.
"The good news is that because we had a sump pump in our basement we actually had a policy that covered the damage to our basement."
Look for a sump pump with a battery backup for when the electricity goes out but the rain doesn't.
Even without a flood, you want to keep your home free from any water damage. That's where newer technology can give you a critical heads-up.
"A leak detector system will alert you to any leaks in your home and that could save you thousands on potential repairs."
To monitor a handful of trouble spots in your home, consider the X-Sense Wi-Fi Water Leak Detector, which offers a hub with a siren and three wireless sensors you can place throughout your home.
Even if there's not a leak, excess humidity can often creep into your home, and you'll want a way to reduce it.
"Dehumidifiers are a great idea anywhere you have excess humidity, particularly damp basements."
The Midea MAD50C1ZWS for $260 is a large-capacity dehumidifier and earns top scores from CR for water removal and very good energy efficiency.
Another CR tip an inexpensive humidistat can help you keep tabs on your home's humidity levels.
And don't forget those must-have toolbox essentials like a hammer, a screwdriver and drill, and of course flashlights with fresh batteries
"Some of the most important tools to have around the house are obviously regular essentials like a hammer and screwdriver but you also want to have a drill, flashlights pretty much everywhere and batteries to power anything you might need."
And finally, now that you've got that new home, you'll want to keep it secure. The SimpliSafe The Essentials SS3-01 System for $220 earned top scores in CR's tests and offers self or professional monitoring plans.
When it comes to home safety, don't forget about fire extinguishers and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.