Whether you own a three-bedroom property or a studio-type apartment, you’re bound to incur maintenance costs along the way. Many homeowners tend to underestimate just how big of a financial burden this can be in the long run, which is why they’re not quick to act when the first signs of a problem surface. In the end, they’re forced to pay so much more than what they anticipated, and this pattern continues to plague their finances.
If you don’t want to be stuck in such a cycle, prevention truly is the best solution. There are five practical things you can commit to today for more cost-efficient and stress-free home maintenance tomorrow.
Be More Aware of Your Environment
This is especially true if you just moved to a new country, state, or neighborhood. You’ll want to know what the environment is like at different times of the year, and there’s no better person to tell you than your neighbor. Ask about storms, wildlife, vandalism, and natural calamities. Is your area prone to flooding? Do earthquakes happen frequently, and can they be disastrous? How about wildfires?
If you live in a residential building, ask about the plumbing and electrical system. It’s worth knowing as much as you can early on to have a better idea of how you’ll prepare for each problem.
Invest in Homeowners Insurance
One of the major advantages of knowing your environment well is that you’re more likely to invest in the right homeowners insurance. Different places and states have a lot of quality options you can choose from. Depending on what you purchase, you can have your entire home covered in case of total loss. You may also choose one that provides coverage for your personal belongings like appliances, furniture, and electronics.
While the goal of home maintenance is to hopefully prevent such extensive losses, it’s best to have the reassurance of financial coverage should the worst happen.
Cleaning is Key
Believe it or not, one of the best ways to reduce costs is to keep everything clean. The dust and grime that build up on the surface of your appliances can easily trigger malfunctions that are costly to repair.
A lot of your home appliances, furniture, and electronics come with a manufacturer’s manual that lists the manner and frequency of their maintenance. It sounds like a lot of work, but reading them and taking notes will spare you from costly mistakes.
Stick to a Schedule
Reading the manual also enables you to create a home maintenance schedule. You should look up tips on when to inspect and clean other parts of your house, particularly your facade and appliances.
Perhaps you need to replace the air filter of your HVAC system after a couple of months or to inspect your gutter every two weeks. There’s also the matter of inspecting your attic’s insulation and the gaps in your doors and windows.
When was the last time you checked your crawlspace and foundation? How about your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors? Having a schedule that is categorized per season will make it easier to ensure that every area of your home is in good condition. When you notice the first signs of wear, take action at once. Waiting for the damage to worsen is a sure way to inflate maintenance costs.
Work Only with Professionals
This seems counterintuitive, but you should think about it. Opting to DIY or ask an amateur for a favor puts you at risk of spending more and suffering from possible safety hazards. This is particularly true when dealing with plumbing and electrical issues. Irresponsible handling might solve the symptoms, but they won’t get to the heart of the problem.
You can get over your anxiety about working with professional contractors by canvassing early. Ask your neighbors to refer you to a trusted company. Check their prices and compare the services they offer. This will give you a good idea of which ones suit your budget, which then makes you more confident to hire their help when needed. Moreover, it spares you from the regrets most people get from impulse hiring. By being prepared, you can be sure that you’re getting the best value for your money.
It’s Simple, Really
Establishing good housekeeping habits truly pays off. The key to reducing your maintenance costs lies in the small things you do regularly to keep your entire household running smoothly. The more attuned you are to your maintenance needs, the less likely they’ll give you financial heartache.