There is nothing more exciting than buying a home. Becoming a homeowner is a standard part of the American dream, however, it does come with a price (besides the purchase price). Keeping your home in top condition to protect your investment is critical. Home repair tips can help you ensure that you are taking the steps necessary to protect one of the biggest investments you will ever make.
There is an adjustment period when you go from renter to homeowner. After years of having someone else worry about repairs, it can be difficult to transition to being the one in charge of any home issues. These home repair tips can help you smoothly transition from tenant to owner.
A Simple Golden Rule of Home Repair
Juggling finances to ensure that you do have the cash to get all the repairs done that you need can be tough. Of course, if you follow expert advice, you will have an emergency slush fund set up. If you do not, then you will have to make some tough decisions about which home repairs take precedent.
One of the best home repair tips for your budget is to prioritize your home repairs. Make a list of the things that are “needs” and those that are “wants.” For example, roof replacement for a leaky roof that is failing should be a priority.
Would it be nice to have the pool resurfaced? Absolutely. But on your list of priorities, pool resurfacing would have to be lower on the list than roof repair or replacement. You can live with a pool that needs some work, but a roof that needs some work can cause a great deal of damage to your home if left unattended.
Prioritizing home repairs based on need over want is a great way to effectively balance the budget. Rome was not built in one day, and neither can the perfect home. Slow and steady wins the race. Home repair tips are only effective if you can manage the cost. It is especially important for new homeowners to be able to prioritize the repairs based on need and wants.
Here is another example of need vs wants: you would love new bathroom countertops, but your tub is slow to drain and so is the sink. Before you commit to the aesthetics of the bathroom, you should be prioritizing getting the drains cleared.
Drain cleaning repairs are very affordable and they are very necessary. You do not want a bathroom with all the show and no go. Take care of the things that impede the health and welfare of your home and the people living in it before you move on to things that improve aesthetics and lifestyle.
Things like plumbing repairs, roofing repairs, electrical work, should all be at the top of your home repair list. Following your list and checking off each item is one of the most important home repair tips. You will move down the list faster than you think, and get to the repairs that are going to improve and update your home.
Are You a DIY Kind of Person?
There are plenty of home repair tips for the homeowner that is not afraid to throw some sweat equity into the mix. There is so much information out there when it comes to home repair tips for the DIY homeowner that it can be hard not to take up the hammer and do at least some of the work around the house on your own.
Of course, seasoned DIY homeowners will tell you that there is a thin line between thinking you can and actually doing. There is also a line between what you should DIY and what you should hire a professional to manage for you.
What determines a good DIY project VS hiring a professional? There are a few variables in place that will help you to determine when to do it yourself, and when to turn it over to the pros:
- Your skill level. When you first start out as a DIY’er your skill level may not be where it needs to be to take on the bigger projects. You will get better with time but you may not want to take on that addition on your own until you are ready.
- Your confidence level. How confident are you? Can you become YouTube certified and feel comfortable changing out that circuit breaker box? You should only do what you are relatively confident that you can do.
- How important is the project to the safety of your home? For example, if you decide that you want to attempt a DIY foundation repair, and your attempt fails, will it make the situation worse? If a DIY plan gone bad is going to cause more damage or cost even more to fix, you should rethink your plans.
Home repair tips for DIY repairs come in all shapes and sizes and often are offered by experts in the field that have been doing the job for years. It can be helpful to take on projects that you can accomplish with relatively a low cost but know that sometimes DIY can backfire and cost you more in the long run.
Ultimately, all the home repair tips for DIY home repairs can be really helpful. Following a video tutorial can help you to get the smaller repairs out of the way, and save some money while you are at it. Just proceed with caution initially. Nothing is ever as easy as the experts make it look, and no one does it all on their own.
Tools of the Trade
If you are going to try to manage some of the repairs around your home on your own, one of the best home repair tips to follow is to make sure you have the right tools to accomplish the task. For example, if you plan on doing a kitchen renovation, and are trying to save some money, you can do the demo part on your own. Follow some pro home repair tips and hire a dumpster service to cart away the debris so you are not running back and forth to the dump, and make sure you have the tools that make the project easier.
Professional tools of the trade are expensive, but they get the job done. If you are going to attempt the project as a DIY project, having the right tools will help pull the project together. Of course, it is also important that you consider the following when investing in specialty tools:
- Will you ever use it again? Investing in a tool that costs hundreds of dollars for a one and done project, may make the project a whole lot less affordable. Compare the cost of buying the tool, and your labor to the cost of hiring a professional, you may find that the professional is not as costly as you think.
- Is there a learning curve to learn how to use the tools? Once you have invested in the tool how long will it take you to learn how to use it?
- Do you already own a similar tool or can you borrow one from a friend? In some cases, you may have a tool that is so similar to the one that you need that you can get by using it. If you do not want to make the investment consider borrowing it from a friend. You may be able to rent the tools you need from a local rental company.
How much you want to invest in the tools that you need is a personal decision, however, in some cases, if you insist on DIY, then the best option is to bite the bullet and buy the tool. In other cases, you will just have to scrap the DIY and call on experts because the cost of all the tools will be cost-prohibitive.
A good example of when to cut your losses and call the pros because all the tools that you will need just will not make sense to invest in is whole home residential home remodeling. If you had to buy all the electrical tools, plumbing tools, flooring tools, cabinetry tools, countertop tools, for a residential home remodeling project, it would definitely cut into your budget, and in many cases, it would just be easier to let the pros manage it.
How Can You Keep Repairs Down to a Minimum?
One of the best home repair tips is not about making repairs at all. The home repair tips that really help you save money, and keep the need for repairs down is centered around maintenance. An ounce of prevention always beats a pound of cure.
Doing some pretty simple things can help you to ward off the need for major repairs. Maintenance can extend the life of all your household systems and keep you from having to dump money into repairs. Many new homeowners do not realize that certain systems in the home have to be regularly maintained to ensure proper operation.
For example, AC maintenance is a must. You should have a professional HVAC company come out at least once a year to tune up your Ac and ensure that everything is in top working condition. Of course, you have to do your part as well. If your system has filters, be sure to change them at least once a month or more often if you have a busy household with pets.
Other systems that should get some TLC on a regular schedule include:
- Your roof. Have a roof inspection once a year or every other year. A professional roofing company can inspect your roof for any wear and tear and make repairs that can save you money, and extend the life of your roof. Often, homeowners are not aware of a roofing issue when it is small and easily repaired. A roof inspection can reveal a lot about your roof and help you to keep it in great shape so you can avoid the bigger roofing problems down the line.
- Septic care. If you are not on city sewer and you have a septic system you should have it cleaned out every 3 to 5 years depending on the size of your household. You should also be using a monthly agent to encourage good bacteria growth. Of course, septic systems can be fragile so you always want to be careful about what goes down your drains.
- Plumbing maintenance. Leaky faucets, leaky outdoor piping, and more should be addressed as soon as you notice it. Replacing plumbing fixtures is not really a repair, it is more of maintenance activity.
Other things that you should check on once in a while include your water heater, foundation, and gutters. Most homeowners insurance will cover damage from a faulty water heater but you can avoid the headaches by just taking a peek at it once in a while to ensure there are no visible leaks.
Clearing your gutters of debris twice a year, usually in the fall and spring, will ensure that water is being diverted away from your foundation. Check your foundation occasionally to detect any cracks or other problems that need to be addressed.
Every system in your home will need to be maintained and cared for. A lot of the work will be up to you, but luckily most maintenance is pretty straight forward and simple to manage. Of course, it is all worthwhile activities that will help you keep costs down.
Early intervention and prevention is far more cost-effective than having to make repairs. There are many resources online for home repair tips that can talk you through some of the most important maintenance activities. Remember the goal is to keep your home in tip-top condition, and maintenance can go a long way in accomplishing that.
A well-cared-for home will grow in value. Making sure that you are the homeowner that is protecting their investment is a commitment that will pay you back handsomely.