15 Tips for DIY and Professional Home Maintenance
Owning a home is one of the best investments you can make today. The sooner a person invests in a home, the more years their equity can build up, and the more money they will have made in the long run as opposed to someone who rents. With the perks of owning a home, it’s a mystery why so many people choose to not own a home and instead rent out condos or apartments. What is it about owning a home that makes it so scary for regular, everyday people? Is there an added responsibility to owning a home as opposed to renting? Is it more expensive?
The Importance of Maintenance
The short answer for those questions above is yes. For starters, owning a home takes cash upfront, even if you decide to use the help of mortgage loans. Taking out a mortgage can help you own a home quicker, and putting a sizable down payment can help reduce your monthly mortgage payments to remain similar to renting prices. However, as a new homeowner, it’s important to remember to not only have money saved up for a down payment, but also possible repairs and maintenance. Homes can be newly built, and therefore have less structural or other damage. However, even new homes can also end up causing problems, and like older homes must also be properly maintained and repaired. Failing to properly maintain your home can cause serious issues to arise, which can later turn costly and even depreciate the value of your home. Such issues include plumbing, insulation, roof repair issues, landscaping issues, and insect infestations just to name a few.
Putting in the Effort
Unlike renting, when something goes wrong in your home, you can’t simply call a landlord to fix it. Though it might seem daunting to have to fix all issues yourself as a new homeowner, there’s no need to panic. If you have enough money saved, you can always opt to get a professional to help you address issues before they get out of hand. However, you can also choose to do a repair job yourself, also known as DIY, instead of hiring a pro. This allows you to learn more about your home, save money, and know that the job was done by someone who has their home at stake! When choosing to do a job either DIY or hire a pro, you need to examine your skill set and level of commitment. Every project needs you to have a full commitment, willingness to learn, and put forth the effort to do it well. If you’re like the 75% of college-educated homeowners, this might not be such a complex task at all. Follow the 15 tips down below to see what maintenance repairs as essential for your home, and how to determine whether to DIY or hire a pro.
1. Roof Repairs
Perhaps the most expensive repair, and most tedious, that you can do to your home is a roof repair. Roofing has many issues that can arise, such as leaks, cracked tiles, inadequate flashing to protect from heavy rain and winds, and other damage that can occur over time. When considering whether to DIY or hire a pro to fix your roof, look at how physically capable you are of fixing your roof. If you can’t stand at steep angles, haul architectural singles up and down, work on underlayment, flashing, and all other projects, then it’s probably best to hire a pro. However, small issues such as leaks can and should be done as soon as possible.
Insulation is cheap depending on what time you get, such as spray in or fiber-glass insulation. It is also relatively simple to install into your home, with some proper ventilation precautions in place. If you’re wondering whether to DIY or hire a pro for insulation, consider the time it takes to install it, as well as the R-Value you must use. Insulation contractors can help you figure out exactly how much insulation you need, what kind is best for your environment, and in general can answer any questions you might continue to have.
Painting a home seems relatively simple, and it can be if you’re working on small projects within your home. Paint goes a long way in changing the look and feel of a home, and can even help in the resale value of your home. However, whether to DIY or hire a pro can be tricky. If you have hard-to-reach areas or areas high up in your home, it’s best to seek professional help in order to help avoid accidents.
4. Pest Control
Getting rid of pests can be easy if you start early. When choosing whether to DIY or hire a pro for getting rid of pests, keep in mind how bad the situation is, and if you have the time and energy it takes to get full pest control treatment. Setting up traps for rodents, roaches, and flies can all be beneficial in helping you to stop a pest problem before it gets out of hand. However, once termites and other insects infiltrate your home, it can be difficult to get them to stop before they do damage. Hire a professional to help you as soon as you notice an insect issue getting out of hand.
5. HVAC System Maintenance
Your HVAC system can last you for years if well maintained. Your heating, ventilation, and circulation system, also known as your HVAC systems, are essential in keeping your house comfortable during the winter and summer months. It’s easy to determine whether to DIY or hire a pro by looking at how complicated the job is. Replacing filters is usually easy, but replacing a duct system requires the help of a professional HVAC technician. Don’t wait until the last minute to do repairs, and maintain your system so that it lasts you for decades.
You can landscape your home on your own, and it can be a fun job for the whole family to do. Planting a small garden, updating the look of your lawn to be modern and attractive to home buyers are all good tips to make your home more valuable. However, sometimes you need the help of a professional tree trimming service, professional landscapers to do installed architecture, or other architectural services to work on big projects. It’s easy to DIY or hire a pro when it comes to landscaping. Just look at the size and difficulty of your project to determine what help you need.
7. Sprinkler Systems
Your sprinkler systems can wreak havoc on your wallet and your home come winter time. Unfortunately, many people don’t know that they need to winterize their systems before the winter comes. Failing to do so in preparation for the cold seasons leads to frozen pipes, burst plumbing, and having to re-calibrate your sprinkler systems. It can be easy to work on your plumbing, and you can choose to DIY or hire a pro based on whether or not you have the proper tools. Conduct tool repair before you shut off the irrigation water supply and open all the manual drain valves to winterize your system.
Paving your driveway and keeping up the look of your driveway is a great way to make sure your home is safe for your cars to drive over. Driveways are prone to beatings from the weather, excessive heat, snow, hail, and continual use from your car. Pavers and professional masonry workers can help seal and cracks, pour new concrete, and make your driveway like new again. When decided to DIY or hire a pro, it’s best to look at how much time you have to properly seal all cracks, and how long you can go without having a driveway.
Your garage might be forgotten about if you only use it to store your vehicle. However, your garage is a big selling point for your home, and having a garage that is poorly maintained and falling apart will only hurt your chances of selling your home. Garage doors must be properly fixed to work efficiently, and your garage should also have its own heating and ventilation system. This is especially important if you do work in your garage such as carpentry projects. Maintain your garage, upgrade to fit your lifestyle needs, and make the most of this valuable home asset.
10. Chimney Cleaning
Cleaning your chimney might be low on your list of to-do’s, especially during the summer and spring times. However, without cleaning your chimney properly, you risk creating a flammable material in your chimney called creosote. Creosote is built-up debris that is extremely dangerous, and can cause house and chimney fires. Even if you have a small fire, you should take this very seriously. Clean your chimney yourself, or hire professional chimney cleaners. In addition, if you do experience a fire, getting the help of fire damage restoration services can go a long way in making your home safe and aesthetically appealing again.
11. Windows and Doors
Windows and doors are some of the most beautiful parts of a home, and can last for up to 20 years if they are properly maintained. Over time, however, your windows and doors can end up losing their ability to seal properly, have a hard time closing, and overall cost you money in high energy bills. It’s easy to repair your windows and doors. Either DIY or hire a pro, but don’t leave your windows and doors ill-attended. Without making sure they are sealed properly, are letting in the right amount of warmth and keeping out the cold, your windows and doors could be damaging your home without you knowing.
12. Flooring Upgrades
Choosing wood flooring is an amazing and simple way to add value to your home. By simply choosing a beautiful hardwood flooring, ethical materials such as bamboo, and flooring that is easy to clean, you can not only add value to your home, but also make your life easier. Keep in mind, if you are adding floors to your home or any other upgrade, make sure to get it re-evaluated and let your estate planning attorney know so they can calculate this new value into your will for your family.
13. Bathroom Maintenance
Your bathroom is easily your haven when you are home. However, the bathroom is also a place where mold, bacteria, and dust can gather and negatively impact you. Black mold grows in the grout in natural tiles in the bathroom, and mildew and mold can build up on your shower too. Clean your bathroom at least once a week, as tedious as it might be, to ensure that you aren’t getting sick from harmful substances in your bathroom.
14. Repairs after a Natural Disaster
Repairs are sometimes easy to do, but this might not be the case if you live in an area prone to natural disasters. Hail, snow storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and even tsunamis and flooding are some of the natural disasters that can affect your home. Don’t go it alone, and hire a professional to get your foundation repaired, and to work on other major issues such as electrical wiring that can be damaged after a natural disaster.
15. Clean Gutters
Deciding whether to DIY or hire a pro is sometimes easy. Cleaning your gutters is one of those jobs that is so easy, yet so difficult to remember to do because we think it’s not necessary. On the contrary, gutters that are clogged lead to icicles that can damage your shielding, and also drainage that leaks into your foundation. This causes an extreme amount of damage in the long run, so cleaning out your gutters should be on your list at least twice a month. Take out leaves during the autumn, and practice safety by using a ladder and a buddy system.