If you own your own home, then you probably already know how costly repairs can become, even if the project was supposed to be small to begin with. Home repair budgets and upgrades can get out of hand when you can’t foresee all of your home’s problems.
As a homeowner, you’ve probably also realized that you can’t be lazy about too much around your house, because you don’t have a landlord to call on when something goes wrong.
Water leaks, broken appliances, and other problems are unavoidable and bound to happen sooner or later. Instead of being financially unprepared when they arise, try to take some preventative measures today to prevent bigger problems in the future.
Sometimes it really does make sense to spend money now in order to save it in the future, and your home repairs and some small upgrades can contribute to that.
Maintain your home now to save money in the long run by using these easy home repairs that will save you big bucks.
Get to Caulking
Adding new caulk around your windows, inside and outside, is crucial to getting a good seal to prevent energy loss and moisture problems.
Caulk does tend to wear out, so if you notice it discoloring or separating from your windows, it’s time to redo it, especially if you spot some water damage.
Luckily it’s an easy and cheap fix. All you have to do is peel off the old caulk, purchase some inexpensive caulk at a home goods store, and apply it. It’s super easy, and it will help you save money on energy costs in the future.
Install Low Flow Faucets and Shower Heads
One of the first changes we made when we bought our foreclosure was to switch all of the faucets and shower heads to low flow options. It saves future money not only on your water bill, but your electric bill as well.
Low flow options don’t necessarily mean you have to settle for showers that feel like barely a mist. If this area is where you have to spend a little more to get a quality option, then do it so you can still enjoy a good shower without wasting extra water or energy.
The shower head we chose only set us back $30, and it uses a third less water than the average shower head (and I feel no difference, I swear). It also has an option to lower the flow even more for when you want to soap up or lather up to shave your legs.
It’s a handy tool that helps us save money and greens up our house a little more as well. No one would realize it’s a low flow option if I didn’t tell them.
As for low flow faucets on your sinks? Since you probably only wash your hands and brush your teeth here, you won’t even notice a difference (except in your utility bills, that is).
Check For Water Leaks
You should continuously check your home for water leaks, from leaks in your faucets which cause unnecessary waste, to leaks in your roof, which can cause numerous problems in your attic, ceiling, and eaves.
Look for discoloring in your ceilings, soft spots, or peeling paint overhead to identify potential problems. When my husband recently noticed a soft spot above our porch, he took a hammer to it and a nest of ants tumbled down on him.
Not only had a tiny leak in our attic caused a rotting hole in our porch ceiling, but the water damage also attracted ants even that high up. It was an unwelcome surprise (especially for my husband), and it cost us over $500 to fix the leak in the roof and the new hole in our porch ceiling.
We could have saved a lot of money and much aggravation had we caught it before it became a bigger problem.
Easy and Free Fixes
It’s also a good idea to service all of the appliances in your home to keep them at their optimal efficiency.
This includes everything from cleaning the coils under your fridge, cleaning out your dryer vent on a regular basis (which can prevent a house fire as well), washing the exhaust filter over your stove, and cleaning the filters on your dishwasher and washing machine.
Doing all of these things will save you money because your appliances will work more efficiently, and all of these tasks typically just take a little (free) elbow grease.You can save #money by making these easy fixes around your house! Click To Tweet
Change Those Bulbs (If You Haven’t Already)
If you haven’t already switched to CFL bulbs, then it’s time to do so as soon as your current bulbs go out. It may not exactly be a “repair,” but considering they’re phasing out all of the energy sucking bulbs, it’s time to make the switch if you haven’t already. The upfront cost is minimal.
Sometimes You Have to Spend Money to Save Money
Spending more money now to save money in the future is exactly what happened when my husband and I purchased our new hot water heater.
After our barely two year old heater died on us, we begrudgingly ran to the nearest big box home store to compare prices for new models. It wasn’t exactly how we wanted to spend our money or our time for that weekend, but we didn’t have much of a choice (because I don’t like cold showers!).
A drawback of living in the country is we don’t have a natural gas hookup readily available to us. We had to purchase an electric water heater, an item that can really suck up some energy and inflate our electric bill.
Faced with a myriad of options, we realized we didn’t want to go the same route of our practically brand new heater that had just bitten the dust. We needed to not go the cheapest route, but instead spend a little more money on quality so we wouldn’t be doing this again in a few years. We were also saving some dough on our electric bill.
Luckily, the big box store refunded us the amount of our old heater that died (because we saved our receipt), so we were able to upgrade to a nicer one and didn’t feel that pinch in our wallet quite as much.
We ended up purchasing a hybrid water heater that’s much more energy efficient, and one that afforded us a $50 rebate from our electric company right off the bat. We had instant savings on our electric bill starting from our very first month of using it.
The extra money we spent will end up paying for itself in a matter of a couple of years, and that made the purchase easier to swallow. Here’s to hoping it lasts more than a couple of years. 😉
Reassess Your Needs
Do you really need that second refrigerator or deep freezer in your garage? If you aren’t storing food for and feeding a family the size of the Duggars, then the answer is probably no.
Do you really need to store 12 months worth of meat? Do you want to worry about it when your electricity goes out? The savings you get from purchasing bulk meat on sale is probably lost when you consider the electric costs of running that extra fridge or freezer, so that’s not a good excuse to keep one. Get rid of it if you can. You can probably sell it on Craigslist to make a few bucks.It can be worth spending more to save more when it comes to home maintenance. Click To Tweet
Don’t Forget What’s Outside – The A/C Unit
I really don’t know how people survived hundreds of years ago without air conditioning. I clearly have first world problems, but after our A/C unit died literally the very same week we bought out foreclosure (they don’t come without their issues!), we spent a few nights in oppressive heat before our home warranty company finally replaced our unit.
It was a Godsend, and one I don’t want to live without in the future. Call me spoiled, but I don’t like dripping sweat when I’m simply sitting on my couch.
We couldn’t have prevented that from happening since the home (and its problems) were brand new to us, but you can take measures to keep that from happening to you.
Make sure your outside unit is free of debris such as leaves, sticks, and dirt, and check the Freon levels to make sure there isn’t a leak. Then sit back and enjoy that cool air.
Being a homeowner, in my opinion, is absolutely worth the extra maintenance that goes along with it. I love having a place that I can call my own, but to keep it in its best shape, it’s crucial to keep up with the maintenance that goes along with it.
Most of these repairs and tips only require a small financial investment compared to what you’ll save in energy costs, an afternoon of your time, and a little elbow grease, so get to it!
What regular maintenance do you perform on your house to catch any issues before they grow? Which one of these projects will you be taking on?