Small Tasks, Big Results
Like vehicles and other assets, homes can start to deteriorate as the years pass. Keeping up with regular home maintenance will help you avoid costly repair bills and maintain a higher property value. Faulty wiring can lead to fire hazards inside, and poor grading outside can leave you with a wet foundation. The good news is that keeping up with the maintenance and repairs is easy if you know what to look for and are willing to spend a little time in the spring and fall handling the little tasks. You may also want to invest in a few renovations to keep the home updated and attractive.
Get the Checklist
You don’t have to know where to start when you have a handy checklist to work from. Home maintenance checklists are readily available online, or you can even use an old home inspection report as a great starting place. You’ll want to assemble some basic supplies before you start, including:
• Checklist, pen and paperYou’ll go through the home one space at a time, starting in the attic. Throughout the building, you should be ready to move furniture so that you can peek behind it. Keep a close eye out for water stains, rotting wood, mold and other types of damage. You should plan on doing a thorough home inspection once a year so that you can catch problem areas early.
Be Watchful Throughout the Year
You may stumble onto issues by accident if you’re paying attention. When you’re doing laundry and step in a little puddle of water that doesn’t belong there, take the time to see where it’s coming from. If you go in the attic to pull out some decorations and notice that there’s sunshine streaming in through one part of the roof, then you should take a closer look to see what’s going on. The sooner you fix these issues, the more money you will ultimately save on repairs.
Nothing makes a home feel fresh and clean like a new coat of paint. Not only will you update the space, but you’ll also be forced to take a closer look at the walls and ceiling. This is the time to fix any little nail pops and cracks that have surfaced over the years. If you note a crack that keeps coming back, or you see one that’s quite large, then you may want to have a professional inspect the foundation to be sure it’s still in good condition. You’ll protect your home by tending to any problems you find, and you’ll keep the value high by updating the look.
Up to Date and Up to Code
Building codes change regularly in order to keep people safe and homes running efficiently. If you’re living in an older home, then you could have sorely outdated electrical and plumbing systems. The insulation may not provide you with nearly enough protection from the cold, and drafty windows could be driving up your utility bills. Make the investment in key upgrades so that you can save money, enjoy a more functional home, and boost the value of your property. Smart renovations include:
• New doors and windows
• Upgraded insulation in the attic, crawlspace and even the walls
• Larger fuse panels that can handle the increased loads of the 21st century
• Water saving plumbing fixtures and a water regulator
• Energy Star rated appliances
Improve the Exterior
Don’t forget about the exterior of your home. The condition of your yard can tell you something about your property’s water and sewer lines. If you’re living with a constant damp area out in the yard, then you could have a hidden leak. The ground around your foundation should slope away from the home, and the dirt should never touch your wood sill plate or siding. In addition to fixing any drainage problems, you can also improve your landscaping to make everything visually appealing.
Less Maintenance with a Fresh New Look
Carpeting becomes stained and matted down with time, but you don’t have to live with the unpleasant look. Replace worn carpeting with beautiful hardwood floors that are attractive and easy to clean. In addition to helping you avoid stains, the wood floors will also boost the value of your home. If your floor has been squeaking, then this is the ideal time to add a few screws to the subfloor and make it quieter.
Remember the Rooftop
The roof of your home is truly out of sight and out of mind, but it also needs some regular attention. This is one task that you may want to turn over to a professional company. Have the roof inspected to be sure that it’s watertight and ready for the winter storms. Even if the shingles are only a few years old, you may need to have the caulking around your flashing or headwalls replaced to avoid water leaks later.
Take pride in your home by giving it the care and attention it deserves. You don’t have to update the kitchen to make your house more welcoming and attractive. Simply keeping up with regular maintenance will allow you to maintain a higher value and keep the property safe. If you’re not comfortable doing some of the work on your own, then call in a professional. This is particularly important when it comes to key operating systems like your plumbing and electrical lines. However, you can save a good deal of money by handling the painting and other tasks on your own.
Jeff E. Brown is a freelance writer and a self-taught handy man with a knack for lifehacking and DIY projects. Based out of his home office where his two dogs keep him company while he types, Jeff loves writing about home improvement topics, teaching others all the tips and tricks he has learned since he moved out of an apartment and into a house. When he’s not writing, he loves organizing barbecue parties in his garden.