A Homeowner’s Repair and Maintenance Guide
If you’ve found yourself spending a lot more time at home, you’re not alone. Times are unique and people find themselves at home a lot more than they usually are. So as you’re sitting in your living room looking around, you may be paying a bit more attention to your home, to the details. The scratched hardwood floor could use some polishing, the bathroom cabinets could use a fresh coat of paint, your roof could even use some patches or new shingles. One of the best things you can do with all this new time is to repair your home. Give it the TLC it deserves and transform it into a space you truly love to spend time in. Here is your guide to home repairs that will both boost your home’s value and help you create your dream space.
Monthly Home Repairs
When you start preparing to repair your home, the monthly repairs are the best place to start. Keeping up on these simple repairs can help you from paying for largescale, expensive repairs later on in the year.
The first item on the checklist is HVAC maintenance. Check on the HVAC system filters and clean them if necessary. You may even need to replace them if they haven’t been cleaned in a while. Depending on the season and dirt levels in your home, filters need to be replaced or cleaned anywhere from 30 days to a few months. Regular cleaning also aids your HVAC system in working more effectively.
After you’ve checked the HVAC filters, you’ll want to check out the vents around your home. Vacuum out vents to clear any backed up dirt and dust that may be inhibiting airflow. You should also check out the hood vent in your kitchen. Clean or replace it when needed. If you do a lot of cooking, you may want to check it out more often to make sure it’s working effectively.
Next on the list of monthly ways to repair your home is testing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide, monitors. This is as easy as clicking the test button on most models. You should also replace the batteries every six months. One easy way to remember when to replace the batteries is planning to do it when you change your clocks for daylight savings.
After the tank has drained, go back up the steps. Turn off the drain valve, turn off the faucets, detach the hose, turn the cold water valve on, and turn the water heater back on.
Another easy way to repair your home monthly is be cleaning the garbage disposal. You can do this with cleaning tablets you buy in the store, or completely DIY. Grind ice cubes in the disposal and then flush it with hot water and baking soda.
One of the rooms in your home that needs monthly attention is the bathroom. While you should be cleaning much more often than that, there are a few monthly maintenance tasks you can’t forget about. The first way to repair your home in the bathroom is to fill the grout and caulking in the tile. This keeps water from seeping under the tile and creating water damage. You should also check around the toilet and faucets for any signs of leaks. You’ll also need to check the drains for proper drainage and unclog them if necessary. The longer you wait to address clogs, the worse they get.
Finally, you should make a habit of walking around your home and checking for anything that seems out of place. Check for cracks in the foundation, issues with the siding, drainage issues with your gutters, or any other obvious signs of issues.
Annual Home Repairs
As you repair your home each month, you’ll find that systems run much more smoothly. But don’t stop there. You need to make sure to pay attention to home repairs that should be done on an annual basis as well.
At least once a year, you should clean out your clothes dryer exhaust. Built-up lint will not only affect your dryer’s efficiency, but it also creates a huge fire hazard. In fact, each year over 15,000 house fires are caused by clothing dryers.
You should also plan to conduct roof maintenance at least once a year. This may mean simply checking for missing or loose shingles or hiring roofers to come to do repairs. Any damage to your roof can cause serious water damage in your home that means expensive fixes.
Another important annual maintenance task you can do in your home is to flush the hot water heater. Flushing the heater helps to clear out sediments improve the efficiency and lifespan of the system. It will also help you save money on your bills as your water can heat faster. Flushing your hot water heater may seem intimidating but it’s something all homeowners can do:
- Turn your water heater off.
- Turn the cold water valve off to stop water from entering the tank.
- Wait 1-2 hours for the tank to cool.
- Attach a hose to the drain valve on the side of the tank and place the end of it in a drain.
- Turn hot water on in a few faucets around the home to stop a vacuum from forming.
- Turn the drain valve to drain the tank.
You should also have a plumber come out at least once a year to perform drain services and clear out your system. If you’ve got a septic tank it needs to be inspected and emptied on average every two to three years but maybe sooner if you have more people staying in your home.
Big Ways To Repair Your Home
When it comes to big ways to repair your home, bathroom remodeling is a great place to start. A renovated bathroom adds both value to your home and can add great updates that your family may need. This doesn’t have to be a huge overhaul remodel. It can simply mean updating a few key fixtures that upgrade your space without clearing out your bank account.
Start by checking out the important parts of your bathroom that are necessary for it to function properly. This means the shower or tub, toilet, and sink area. Proper plumbing is vital for a bathroom, so you may want to hire a residential plumbing expert to check out your bathroom, the pipes, and water flow, to get an idea of where to start with your repairs and renovations.
Once you’ve got the key fixtures nailed down, you can do some more aesthetic changes. You don’t have to rip up the flooring or knock down a wall to create a new space. Simply applying a new coat of paint in a different color, or changing out the hardware on the cabinets can make a big change. These are also DIY friendly changes that you can do on your own without having to pay extra for labor.
A roof repair or replacement is another big area to add value to your home. As far as ways to repair your home, this is one of the more expensive options, but if done correctly it should last years. As your roof gets older and more worn down, it’s ability to protect your home from the elements decreases. So while roof repair services are a more expensive repair, they will save you money on utilities and keep your home better protected in the long run.
Roof repairs are not something you should attempt on your own unless you have the proper training and equipment to do so. Because you are up so high, falling can cause serious injuries. Contact a local roofing company in your area to get a quote for the project. You can compare a few quotes from different companies to find the best price. You should also read reviews before making a final decision to get an idea of what the company is like to work with.
Aside from repairing damaged shingles and insulation, roofers can apply added features that increase the efficiency of your roof to protect your home from the elements. One example of this is spf roof coatings. This is a special system where liquid chemicals are used to create a foam barrier that strengthens your roof.
Similar to a bathroom remodel, a kitchen remodel will add a lot of value to your home. In fact, it’s one of the remodels you can do that has the highest return on investment. The kitchen is a high traffic area that gets a lot of wear and tear. Simple repairs like servicing appliances or having the plumbing checked can keep your kitchen in tip-top shape, working as well as it possibly can.
Again, like bathroom remodels, you don’t have to do an entire overhaul in your kitchen to add value to your home. Refinishing the floors, replacing hardware, painting the walls a nice, neutral color, even adding some open shelving are smaller changes that can have a big impact.
Another great way to repair your home and up its value at the same time is to replace old appliances with energy-efficient options. Energy-efficient appliances lower your energy consumption and in turn also lower your energy bill each month. If you’re unsure whether you can install energy-efficient appliances in your home, talk with your local electrical contractors. They will also have recommendations for the best places to get energy-efficient appliances on a deal.
Energy-efficient appliances are an expensive purchase upfront. You will likely not replace more than one appliance in a short amount of time. But even replacing your refrigerator or washing machine with an energy-efficient option will make a big impact on your utility bills. Energy-efficient appliances are more expensive than non-energy efficient appliances, but as your utility bill is lower each month, you will make back that difference over time.
As you are starting to repair your home, you aren’t limited to only big appliances like a fridge or washing machine, there are more energy-efficient options like ceiling fans, heat pumps, thermostats, and air purifiers. New energy-efficient options are being released each year, so as you find that you need to replace things in your home, keep an eye out for energy-efficient options.
HVAC maintenance was previously discussed in the monthly maintenance checklist, however, the time will come when you need to either replace your HVAC system or upgrade it. This is another more expensive repair, but like so many others, if you make the right choices, it will be a repair that shouldn’t happen less than every 15 – 25 years.
There are quite a few options for HVAC systems. There are some furnaces that use heating oil as fuel and other options that pull heat and energy from the ground to heat your home. Your HVAC system is another area where you can choose a more energy-efficient option. Solar panels are an option many people elect as they switch their homes to become more energy-efficient.
You can also make upgrades to your HVAC system rather than entirely replace it. This can be done by switching out a regular filter for a HEPA filter. You can also have the ducting cleaned or checked to make sure it’s doing all it can to help your HVAC system work efficiently. Installing a programmable thermostat will also give you more control over your system which will help you save on utility bills as well.
Learning how to repair your home, both with monthly and annual maintenance, and repairs that raise your home value is a big deal. Whether you’re planning to sell your home in the future or are just trying to create your dream space, these home repairs will surely raise your home value and make it a better place overall. Be strategic as you take on large scale renovations and don’t forget the importance of the simple but vital maintenance.