Every homeowner could use a little more cash in their pocket. If you’re looking to trim your budget and cut expenses, it might be time to get smarter about your home maintenance. Many homeowners get caught in the cycle of both paying for monthly services and then having unexpected repairs drain their savings. In this article, we’ll review how preventative maintenance and DIY upkeep can help, and why you should start putting together a home maintenance checklist specifically tailored to your home’s needs.
Avoid expensive repairs by taking care of essential maintenance
When it comes to your home, a little bit of care and forethought goes a long way. Preventative maintenance is the key to avoiding major problems and headaches. Take your air conditioner, for instance. A seasonal spring tune-up will help it run more efficiently and effectively, and make a breakdown less likely. Professional AC maintenance can even extend the lifespan of the unit, putting off the day you eventually need air conditioner replacement. In other words, an AC tune-up brings you peace of mind and control.
Of course, the benefits of maintenance extend far beyond just your HVAC systems. You can even do some of this work yourself. Regularly walk around the perimeter of your home and take note of anything you observe. Fallen shingles might be a sign that your roof needs to be looked at in the near future. Check the foundation for termite tubes: these are the pathways subterranean termites use to get into the home. While you’re out there, make sure your sprinklers and irrigation lines are all running properly.
When putting together your home maintenance checklist, many of the items should pertain to preventative maintenance. It’s the secret to keeping your home in like-new condition.
Know when to DIY, and when to call in an expert
Everyone loves a good do-it-yourself “lifehack.” The great thing about home maintenance is that a vast majority of it can be done by you, provided you have the tools, time, and ability. If you’re looking to cut out costs from your home budget, this is a good place to start. For example, if you’re currently paying someone to care for your lawn, clean your pool, or maintain your fence, you could save hundreds of dollars by buying the equipment needed to do that work yourself. The DIY approach works well for low-risk, low-stakes home projects with limited complexity and quick turnaround times.
However, the flip-side to this are more serious issues in the home, such as a leaking pipe, a malfunctioning air conditioner, or damaged wiring. Know your limitations: if dealing with the problem could be dangerous to you or your home, take a step back and call in a professional. After all, the last thing you want to do when your home has a serious issue is make things worse.
Divide your home’s upkeep between the seasons
Your home requires year-round maintenance and care, but that doesn’t mean you have to be working on it constantly. Instead, create a home maintenance checklist that divides up annual maintenance between the four seasons, equally distributing the work that needs to get done throughout the calendar year. Not only does this make completing the list more realistic, but it also allows you to better time the completion of certain projects with the season to come. For example, it makes sense to have a chimney sweep out to clean out your home’s chimney in the fall, ahead of using it throughout the winter.
Make sure that this seasonal checklist also takes into account the conditions needed to complete the project. You probably aren’t going to get much work done on your deck in the winter when it’s covered in snow and ice, and the hottest days of summer probably aren’t a good fit for extensive work outside. Most homeowners make spring and fall the heaviest months for home maintenance: the weather is milder and there is no family travel or holidays getting in the way of completing projects.
Start putting together your checklist
A robust home maintenance checklist, paired with the willpower to get things done around your home, is all you need to get started. It’s time to take charge of your home’s upkeep and start saving money. For even more cash-saving tips and tricks, be sure to check out this infographic