A guest post from Darryl Crosby, edited by Deb Villeneuve
Darryl has generously shared his advice on the most overlooked home repairs and maintenance tips that can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Your home is your castle, but are you caring for it as well as you should? If you are like most homeowners, life is busy. Yet overlooking important home repairs is a recipe for trouble, because unfinished repairs create costly problems in the future. To take the best possible care of your home, and avoid unnecessary repair costs in the future, make sure you keep up with these commonly overlooked home repairs.
When was the last time you looked at your roof? Not just when you looked at your house as a whole, but actually checked your roof — or, better yet, had an expert perform an inspection? Roof repair problems, when left alone, create hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage. You end up saving significantly by attending to repairs when they happen, rather than waiting. Consider this: the average price for a roof repair is between $195 and $510 dollars, but if you leave the repairs alone and the entire roof has to be replaced, you are looking at thousands of dollars, depending on the size of your roof and the type of shingles you have. Should the damaged roof end up with a leak, you add even more to your costs as you replace and repair the wood and ceiling where the leak occurred. In the end, you are far better off with some regular maintenance and occasional repair than with a full roof replacement.
Your Garage Door
Is your garage door opening more slowly than it used to? Are you hearing noises that you’re not used to hearing? These are signs you need some repair or maintenance work. It’s easy to overlook this, because you only notice these signs when you are using the garage door a few times per day. Why is garage door repair so important? Regular cleaning and lubrication can add years of life to your garage door. A simple garage door maintenance checkup costs around $100, depending on where you live. If you avoid that checkup and end up replacing your garage door, you are facing a $1,100 average cost. That means you’ve increased your costs tenfold simply by ignoring regular maintenance
Your Plumbing and Sump Pump
What do you anticipate would be the cost of a flooded basement or crawlspace? The answer depends on what you store or have in this area of your home, but the cost will be high. What about a plumbing leak? Again, it would cost more than you might think. It’s crucial that you keep your sump pump and plumbing systems running efficiently, so you can avoid unwanted water in your home. The sump pump is easy to clean and inspect. Remember, the water that collects in it is full of muck and debris. You need to clean this regularly to avoid pump failure. Then, right before the rainy season, test your sump pump to ensure that it is working properly. Inspect your plumbing system regularly for leaks, and address them quickly. If you live in a cold climate, make sure all exposed plumbing is properly insulated to avoid freezing. If you have a drain that is running slowly, clean it out before it backs up and creates a problem. If you have concerns, have your plumbing professionally inspected to rule out any problems
Your HVAC System
Maintaining an HVAC system does not have to be costly or difficult, but it does need to be done. An annual service check costs less than $200 in most areas, and can help pinpoint problems before they turn serious. Changing the air filter will ensure that the system runs efficiently as well. Compare this to the cost of an HVAC replacement (which can run between $2,000 and $10,000 for the air conditioner alone) and you can see why regular maintenance does, in fact, save you money
Your Windows and Doors
Finally, consider the windows and doors in your home. These are often overlooked not because people forget about them, but rather because people fear the cost of replacement. Replacing windows costs between $189 and $700 per window, so people tend to keep working with the windows they have instead of fixing them. But consider the ongoing cost of poorly functioning, poorly insulated windows. Not only do you have the aesthetic problems associated with ugly windows and doors, you also have energy loss. In fact, Energy Star estimates that around 20 percent of your home’s energy will leak out through the windows. Spending a little money now repairing and sealing windows and doors can save you the cost of replacement and inflated energy bills. Your home was designed to last a lifetime. Make sure that it does, and save yourself money at the same time by paying attention to regular maintenance, even in these often forgotten areas. In the long run, the little you spend on maintenance now will save you substantially.
Author Bio: Darryl Crosby is the Marketing Manager of Schedule Fred. A home improvement and handyman company, based in Maryland, that helps busy homeowners take care of the small home improvement tasks on their to-do list before they become bigger problems.