5 Tips for Reducing Your Home Maintenance Costs
Your home is the most expensive asset you have. Even with a significant investment portfolio, maintaining the value of your property over the long term should be your primary focus. For most homeowners this falls somewhere between a joy and a chore. Some people love tinkering around the house on weekends, repairing that squeaky step or slathering a fresh coat of paint on the exterior. Others don’t have a DIY bone in their body, and tend to let things go longer than they should. But as with a car, maintenance issues only get worse and more expensive the longer you let them hang around. Here are five tips for reducing your home maintenance costs.
First of all, pay close attention to the property surrounding your home. This might be the last thing you think about, but your landscaping can and will impact regular maintenance requirements of the house itself. For example, if your property is packed with trees you’re going to have to spend more time and attention on your roofing. Some areas flood easily, others are so dry that the foundation ends up exposed over time. Keeping a close eye on your grounds will help you avoid maintenance issues you might otherwise ignore.
Prevention is the best tip you can ever follow, so use the changes in season to give everything a once over. The vast majority of problems with your utilities or appliances will show up during your first use of the season, and that’s always the hardest time to schedule a repair. Everyone is trying to get their air conditioning system looked at when summer comes around. So test everything in the house a month or so before you actually need it, and you’ll be able to handle anything without catastrophic issues.
As technology changes, new ways to improve your home emerge. One of the best things you can do to cut home maintenance costs is to schedule an energy audit. This basically involves bringing a utility inspector out to the house to make sure you are using your gas and electric services at optimum levels while reducing waste. A simple crack in the frame of a window could be costing you hundreds of dollars a year in excess heating and cooling costs. This will also help you determine if anything major needs to be replaced before it completely falls apart.
It’s also a good idea to set a cleaning schedule and keep to it. Regular sweeping, dusting and wiping down of all surfaces and appliances won’t only make things look nicer, it will also cut down on unnecessary wear and tear. For example, dust clogging an air conditioning unit forces it to work harder than necessary, increasing your energy costs and cutting down on the lifespan of the unit. These regular cleanings will also help you notice small maintenance tasks before they get larger.
Finally, consider keeping the number for a quality handy man around. Not everyone has the time and know-how to maintain all of the various systems in the home. And if you try to learn, you might end up doing more harm than good. Just as you worked with a real estate agent to buy your home instead of just hunting for a Dallas flat fee MLS listing, a professional handy man will be a crucial asset for keeping your maintenance costs down. He’ll be able to handle the small tasks much more cheaply than a contractor would, and probably has relationships with folks who can tackle the larger projects at a reduced rate.