We all love big DIY projects that update or improve our homes (can you say “kitchen remodel”?!), but don’t forget about keeping up with regular maintenance of your home and yard as well! It may not be as fun and exciting as something like a remodel, but regular maintenance is extremely important for keeping your home in tip-top shape, which will save you money and headaches in the long run. We were a little lax in some of our home maintenance over the past year since AJ was born, but now that she is a year old, I’m starting to get my feet back under me, and with winter approaching, it is time to take a look at some of the maintenance projects that need doing!
Whether your house is brand new or 100 years old like ours, keeping up with home maintenance is super important! For most people, your home is your largest, most important investment and asset, and regular home maintenance can help you protect your home’s value. Esurance recently conducted a survey of homeowners, and of those surveyed, 30% of homeowners had no regular maintenance plan for the interior or exterior of their home! And almost half of all homeowners surveyed don’t set aside any money for home repairs or maintenance, either.
Guys, this is important!!! Make sure you have a regular maintenance plan in place for cleaning and inspecting your home, and fixing any issues you find. It may seem like you spend a lot of time and money maintaining your home, but in the long term it is saving you money; it’s much better to buy and install a new furnace filter every few months than to have your furnace die on you and have to replace it entirely.
Regular home maintenance doesn’t have to be a big to-do; you can do a lot of it yourself, even the fixes and repairs! But make sure you know when it’s time to get a professional involved so small issues don’t turn into full blown problems.
For example, now that it’s getting cold outside, I went around the house and bled all of our radiators to make sure there was no trapped air that could reduce the efficiency of their heat output. But I don’t know anything about the boiler that heats the radiators, and because it gets so cold here in the winter, it is super important that our heating system work properly. So I hired a pro to come service the boiler. And guess what?! He found a small wire that, while still functioning, was cracked and split and on its way out. He replaced it for a few bucks and saved us the trouble of having our boiler quit on us in the middle of winter!
I recently shared tutorials on how to install a toilet and how to install a kitchen faucet. Although you can install things like this yourself, if you’re unsure you can always hire a plumber. But please, if you’re tackling larger projects like replacing a toilet by yourself, make sure you start early in the day when the hardware stores are still open in case you need extra tools or supplies, and always be sure to have the number of a pro handy in case something goes wrong. According to the Esurance survey, 52% of homeowners have started a DIY home maintenance project but had to have a pro come in to finish it, so if you get stuck there’s no shame in calling a professional!
When you’re thinking about home maintenance, don’t forget about the exterior of your house as well as the interior. We recently had the landscaping in our front yard redone; it had become overgrown and weedy, and we couldn’t keep it under control. But now, it not only looks great out there, but they re-graded the soil so that it slopes away from the house, and cleared away all of the plants and bushes that were growing over the pathways and siding of the house.
Even when you have a large project being handled by a professional, it’s worth considering whether you can do some aspects of the project yourself. We hired a contractor to replace our front door and the windows in the entryway of our house to make them energy efficient, and to replace the flashing around the door and windows to make sure it’s water-tight. (We don’t want to lose heat out our windows in the winter, and we don’t want water getting into the walls when the rainy season starts!) But while we’re waiting for the door and windows to arrive, I’m working on repainting the front steps. The paint is cracked and peeling and no longer weather-proof, so I’m stripping all the old paint off, and I’m going to give it a new coat of exterior stain to protect the wood.
Whether you DIY or hire a pro, make sure you keep up with regular maintenance of your home. It will save you time, money, and headaches in the long run!
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Disclosure: I received compensation from Esurance in exchange for my participation in this campaign, and my honest opinions. But I really do believe that home maintenance is important, whether you DIY or hire a pro, and all opinions in this post are 100% my own. I would never write a post about something I didn’t think was useful or interesting for you guys, and Practically Functional will only publish sponsored posts for companies or products I love and believe in! 🙂
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