10 Tips on Home Improvement and Maintenance         

By  admin

Home improvement and maintenance can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to the whole idea of it. However, if you know what you’re doing, it’s also easy to follow and rewarding in many ways. The following article outlines ten tips that can help make your home improvement and maintenance projects run smoothly and with as little stress as possible.

Schedule routine maintenance checkups  

If you want to keep your house in good shape, you’ll need to stay on top of routine maintenance. Regular checkups—such as plumbing or roofing services—ensure that your home is always in working order. Be sure to schedule routine maintenance for every room in your house; if you don’t, something will inevitably break down.

There’s no point in hoping for a smooth ride when it comes to home ownership! A few hours spent each month scheduling repairs and inspections could save you thousands over time. In addition, hiring professionals can often be cheaper than doing it yourself (particularly if you factor in labor costs). Many contractors offer special deals to first-time customers who hire them regularly. You might even be able to get multiple jobs done at once by bundling together different services into one contract.

For example, if you plan on painting your living room soon anyway, why not ask a painter about adding new trim? It’s possible they may cut their rates for multi-room projects like these. Schedule regular checkups with specialists in all areas of your home: roofers, plumbers, painters, electricians and more.

You should also have annual preventative maintenance checks performed on your appliances and systems: refrigerator filters changed, air conditioning system checked for leaks and so forth. A professional can spot issues before they become big problems that require expensive fixes later on.

Hire professionals, don’t DIY

Improperly installed flooring, appliances, or any home improvement project can cost you time and money down the road. It’s worth your while to hire a professional rather than learning as you go. If a job seems difficult for you to complete, hire a professional—the extra money is well worth it when it comes to avoiding damage caused by your inexperience.

For example, if you are not trained in electrical work, do not attempt to install lighting fixtures or other electrical components. The same goes for gas lines and plumbing; unless you have training in these areas, don’t take them on yourself. Even seemingly simple jobs like painting should be left to professionals.

Unless you’re experienced with painting techniques, tools, and materials, leave the paintbrush behind. Even basic mistakes like leaving paint cans open can cause problems that could lead to costly repairs down the line. A botched paint job can also ruin furniture, floors, walls, ceilings, and more. When it comes to home maintenance projects of all kinds, always remember: There’s no shame in hiring a pro!

Inspect your roof, walls and foundation

If you’re new to home ownership, it can be hard to tell if your roof, walls or foundation are in need of repair. Inspect these parts of your home before doing anything else to ensure that any damage is caught early. If you notice any damage during your inspection, make a point of getting a licensed contractor in to inspect it.

You may just find that a relatively minor repair is all that’s needed. If not, at least you’ll know what needs to be done as soon as possible. It will also give you time to plan for how much money you want to spend. A leaky roof, for example, could be a sign of more extensive problems with your home’s structure—and that might mean replacing your entire roof. Depending on where you live, such an expense could run anywhere from $1,000-$30,000+. Ouch!

Seal Gaps around Windows

Make sure that you thoroughly seal any gaps in windows. These gaps can let a lot of heat out, especially in cold weather, which could make your home far less energy efficient than it could be. Check window seals before temperatures drop to make sure they are airtight. If they aren’t, fill cracks with caulk or replace weather stripping around your windows.

You should also check to see if there is water damage near windows. This will lead to more heat loss through those areas. It’s important to repair any leaks as soon as possible because they can cost you hundreds of dollars each year in heating costs alone.

Inspect Attic Insulation

You don’t want to wake up in winter with a frozen roof over your head, so inspect your attic insulation before next winter rolls around. If you find that your home isn’t as energy-efficient as it could be, consider adding more insulation or changing out your existing insulation for a better product.

If you don’t do something about it now, you could end up paying out a lot of money in heating bills when winter arrives! It’s important to remember that if you are going to replace any insulation, make sure that you only use R-13 fiberglass or higher—the lower R numbers mean less insulation.

The best choice is blown cellulose (not cotton) because it won’t become lumpy like fiberglass can. It also has no smell and is easy to install—perfect for DIYers who aren’t quite ready to take on an entire roof replacement project.

Check HVAC system filters

To be sure your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is working at peak performance, it’s a good idea to check the HVAC system filters monthly. If you have pets or allergies, or if you live in an area with heavy pollen counts, replacing filters more frequently may be necessary.

It’s also important to clean your HVAC system vents once every few months to ensure proper airflow. While doing so, take time to vacuum any dust that has accumulated. Doing so will help keep your home smelling fresh and clean. Also, remember to change furnace filters during cold weather seasons.

The majority of energy loss through a furnace occurs through its filter; when they become clogged up with dirt and debris, they reduce efficiency significantly. Changing them regularly can cut down on energy costs significantly over time.

Look for leaks around toilets and sinks

One of the easiest ways to save water is to watch for leaks. Leaks around toilets or sinks can waste hundreds of gallons of water every year, so once a month, check your fixtures for leaks. (Don’t forget to turn off all faucets when you leave your house.)

Put food coloring in your toilet tank: If color seeps into bowl within 30 minutes, there’s a leak. Reapply food coloring monthly as needed. Fix it ASAP!

Repairing a small leak now could save you thousands of gallons over time. Fix drippy faucets: Dripping taps are another common source of wasted water—and money! Fixing just one dripping tap could pay for itself with savings over time.

Install low-flow shower heads: Low-flow shower heads use less than 2 gallons per minute, compared to 3.5 gpm for older models. You may have to replace your shower head if it’s more than 10 years old. Replace old toilets: Toilets manufactured before 1994 use up to six gallons per flush; newer ones use only 1.6 gallons or less. You can also buy dual-flush models that offer two buttons—one for liquid waste and one for solids.  Check for worn-out water hoses: Hoses should be replaced every five years.  

Touch-up exterior paint  

Your home is your biggest investment. A professional paint job is an affordable way to protect that investment from weather damage. By maintaining a fresh coat of paint on your exterior walls, you can reduce fading, flaking, cracking, and peeling. With proper maintenance, a new coat of paint every two years can add many years to your exterior finish’s life-span.

And that’s just one great reason to seek professional help when applying paint in your home or business. The second reason? Paint jobs are much more cost effective when done by professionals. After all, if you were to do it yourself, it would take dozens of hours for a single coat—not including drying time—and cost hundreds of dollars in supplies.

When done by professionals with experience and expertise, however, painting projects require only about half as much time and money. Plus, they often come with warranties against future peeling and fading.

Finally, there’s peace of mind: Professional painters have access to top quality paints that often have better coverage than their DIY counterparts; they also know how to apply them properly so that your paint job lasts longer without chipping or scratching. Bottom line: Painting services offer incredible value for any homeowner who wants their property looking its best!  

Check kitchen vent/range hood filter  

Changing a kitchen vent/range hood filter regularly is an easy way to keep your home’s air clean. You may not see any dust, but over time these filters can build up and contain mold, mildew, soot, dander and other airborne particles that can make you sick.

Change your filter at least every 3 months or as needed. If it’s been more than 6 months since you changed it last, it’s probably time to replace it now! Remember to do both sides of your range hood if you have one (one side for cooking smells, one side for filtering air).

Also remember to change both sides of your bathroom exhaust fan filters when changing them out – they often get overlooked and neglected. Both are important in keeping your indoor air quality high.

Clean your ceiling fans: Once per year take down each of your ceiling fans and give them a good cleaning with some soap and water, rinsing thoroughly afterwards. Do both sides of each blade with toothbrush scrubbing in between each blade. Be sure to dry off all blades before re-installing.

This will help prevent bacteria growth and reduce allergens in your house. Check smoke detectors: Be sure all smoke detectors are working properly, replacing batteries as necessary.

Check thermostat settings: Be sure all thermostats in your house are set correctly for current weather conditions. Your thermostat should be no higher than 78 degrees during summer cooling season and no lower than 68 degrees during winter heating season.

Replace furnace filter: When was the last time you replaced your furnace filter? If it has been longer than three months, then today would be a great day to do so! A dirty furnace filter can cause excess wear on your HVAC system which could lead to costly repairs later.

Keep your showerhead free of calcium buildup: Calcium buildup on showerheads can restrict water flow and decrease water pressure, costing you money by using more hot water than necessary. The best method for removing calcium buildup is to use vinegar followed by boiling hot tap water; once completed, rinse with cold tap water and allow to dry completely before reinstalling back onto your shower arm. Don’t forget to remove calcium buildup from your faucet handles too!

Get rid of bugs naturally: Take some lemon slices and put them around windowsills or along baseboards where bugs like to hide. Bugs don’t like citrus smell and will leave your home for greener pastures elsewhere. Wash your dishwasher filter: Did you know your dishwasher needs to be cleaned just like your washing machine does?

Over time the food particles collected in the bottom of the dishwasher will clog up the drain line causing water to back up into your sink. To prevent this, be sure to check your dishwasher filter monthly and wash it with warm soapy water. Make sure to let it air dry for 24 hours before putting it back into the dishwasher.

Repair dripping faucets: Dripping faucets can waste up to 10 gallons of water a day! If you hear dripping in your home, check the sink or tub for drips and repair them as soon as possible. If you are uncomfortable doing the repairs yourself, contact a plumber to come fix it for you.

Check your toilet flapper: If your toilet is running constantly, it’s likely due to a faulty flapper. Flappers are inexpensive and easy to install. Be sure to lift up the top of your tank and inspect the flapper before calling a plumber. Adjust water heater temperature: Are you using more hot water than usual? If so, it might be time to adjust your water heater temperature setting!

Check your refrigerator seals: If you notice an unpleasant odor coming from your refrigerator, it may be time for a quick inspection. Be sure to check the seals of your refrigerator to make sure they are in good condition. If they are worn or broken, you can replace them at any hardware store. Most replacement parts will only cost a few dollars.

Have your chimney inspected: If you haven’t had your chimney inspected in the last year, it is time to schedule an appointment with a professional! A chimney fire can be deadly and expensive so it is important that you keep yours clean and safe for all of your family members. If you need to replace any parts, it is recommendation that you hire a chimney sweep. A chimney sweep will be able to tell you what parts need to be replaced and how much they will cost.

Check your air filter: Be sure to check your air filter at least once a month! If it is dirty, clean or replace it as needed. Dirty filters can affect the efficiency of your furnace and make your home feel colder than it actually is.

Don’t just wait for something to go wrong. If you follow these simple steps, you can save yourself a lot of time, money, and energy. Your home will be in tip-top shape as long as you stay vigilant.

Keep gutters clean  

The main reason a lot of us don’t clean our gutters is because they can be a bit messy, but regular gutter cleaning is essential. Your gutters are responsible for controlling how water flows off your home.

Cleaning them out will prevent debris from clogging them up and causing water to pool around your foundation. It can also cause structural problems if you get heavy snowfall or have large trees near your home.

To avoid this, it’s best to sweep the gutters at least twice a year and make sure that there isn’t any standing water sitting in the gutters. One way to check this is by using a garden hose with an attachment that shoots out jets of water. Just put the nozzle against the top of the gutter and see if any water comes out. If not, it’s time to clean!

You can do this by attaching a tube-like device called a gutter wand to the end of your garden hose. You’ll insert the wand down into the gutter and push it back and forth as far as possible before pulling it back out again. Repeat until all the leaves, dirt, silt, pollen etc. has been cleared away.

Timely Repairs save Money in the Long Run

Making timely repairs will save you money in the long run, since you won’t have to replace a broken item as soon. If it doesn’t work, fix it. Make small repairs a habit before they become more expensive ones. Fixing things as soon as something breaks can also prevent bigger problems down the road. For example, repairing your home’s roof before a major storm can protect against leaks and mold damage. By making small repairs a habit, you’ll be able to spot potential issues early and keep them from becoming costly fixes later on.    


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