The First-Time Homeowner’s Maintenance Guide


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As a renter, you never get to build up equity in your property. As a homeowner, you get the benefit of equity, but along with the responsibilities of maintenance. The good news is that you can keep your home in top condition for decades if you invest in some regular tender loving care. Here are some maintenance and upkeep considerations to keep in mind with your new home.

Go energy efficient

If you’re looking to increase the value of your home while making it easier to care for, then go for energy-efficient projects. These include adding insulation to the crawlspace, putting radiant barriers in the attic, and investing in Energy Star appliances. You may also want to strongly consider adding a covered patio to the back or a carport to the side. The extra shade makes the home cooler in the summer while making your outdoor living area more comfortable.

Protect the pipes

Keep a close eye on your drains to check for problems. Don’t wait for drains to become completely clogged before addressing the problem. Most minor problems can be fixed at home by using a plunger to manually clear the drain. If you’re unable to restore proper water flow, then consider calling in the professionals. The problem could be roots in the lines or improper ventilation through the roof stack. Either way, addressing the problem quickly will help you save on repair costs and avoid serious problems later.

Annual maintenance

There are some chores that must be done every year. While you can easily replace the battery in your smoke detector, you may find replacing the caulk around doors and windows to be a little bit trickier. In addition to replacing worn caulk, you also need to check any wood trim to see if it needs to be scraped, sanded, and painted. This is a tiresome and thankless job, but it’s one that most handymen are happy to take care of for you. You should also have the caulk checked around tubs, sinks, and counter backsplashes inside the home.

Monitor the crawlspace for water

Even if your crawlspace has remained dry for decades, that could change in any given storm. This is why it’s vital that you check this area regularly. Standing water contributes to problems with wood rot, mold, and foundation problems. In addition to looking inside the crawlspace, you should also look around the foundation for areas where the drainage is going towards the wall or other problem spots. The sooner you have problems addressed, the less damage you’ll have to deal with later.

Treat the air conditioner and furnace

Your HVAC system should get a fresh filter every month to maintain airflow and keep it in top condition. Make your system run more efficiently by investing in an annual tune-up. This will also help you avoid inconvenient breakdowns and costly emergency repairs. It’s a small investment to make, and it can pay off with big dividends through energy savings and lower repair bills.

Clean the chimney

If you have a wood-burning fireplace in the home, then you’re accustomed to roaring fires. However, you need to make sure it’s safe by having the chimney cleaned and inspected annually. This can save your family’s life, as chimney fires can flare up at any time.

Invest in maintenance to keep your home in top condition and keep your family safe. Some changes will increase the value of your home, and other improvements will help you avoid costly damage. While you may choose to do some work yourself, there will also be projects where professional help is the right choice. Make the investment today so that you can continue enjoying your home for decades.

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