When buying a home it’s important to look past the price tag that the realtor puts on the sign out front. Personal finance expert Suze Orman agrees, “It’s easy to underestimate the real cost of home ownership.” That’s because very few people just turn the key and walk in, happy with the home’s existing features and color schemes.
When people buy a new home, especially if it was previously owned, they undoubtedly want to paint and switch out some features to make it their own. Adding this to the cost of yearly home maintenance can really add up. If homeowners aren’t careful, then before they know it their bungalow built for two has turned into a seemingly bottomless, money pit of debt.
Remodeling for Better Home Maintenance
Sometimes you can turn a remodeling project into a better way to maintain your home. For instance converting from a wood-burning to a gas-powered fireplace will help to heat your home more efficiently as well as add to the value of your home. Here are some other modeling projects that will help you better maintain your home both inside and out.
- Front Door – Steel front doors that are at least half glass are a better return on investment than ones made from solid wood. As long as cracks around the doorframe are sealed then you won’t have to worry as much about the door’s energy efficiency rating.
- Garage Door – Especially if your garage door faces the front of the house, you’ll want it to look good. If you can’t afford to replace it, at least give it a facelift. A good power wash job and paint job that matches the house goes a long way in regards to aesthetics.
- Porches & Decks – If the costs for installing new porches and decks aren’t in your family’s household remodeling budget, update what’s currently there with a fresh coat of paint or stain. Add landscaping elements that distract from things you don’t like about the porches and decks, and add benches and planters to make the spaces feel more welcoming.
- Walkways – Adding a walkway around your home also adds to the value of your property. As the seasons change be prepared to repair cracks as necessary and if you have a paved driveway, it should get a new coat of sealant once per year.
- Awnings – If your windows face south and west, then summer’s warmth could cause your HVAC unit to work overtime. Retractable awnings made from waterproof fabrics are an affordable way to add value to your home while cutting down on your utility bills.
- Garage – Inside the garage, organize its contents. Safely dispose of things you no longer need, and replace things that are broken or outdated. Then consider investing in one of the many garage storage systems available for keeping all your stuff organized and easier to find for future use.
- Landscaping – Installing edging around flower beds as well as adding potted plants to patios, porches, and decks lend a little something extra to the aesthetics around the outside of your home. However trimming back tree branches are a safety feature. It prevents dead boughs from crashing into your house during harsh weather months.
- Sheds – A shed is a great way to help maintain your home and add value, especially if you lack some kind of a garage, attic, or other storage space. Whether you build it yourself or buy something prefabricated, the extra storage will help keep gardening tools and other items out of the yard and in good shape for future use.
Small Tasks Now Prevent Big Problems Later
Even the small tasks add up financially, and it might be tempting to skip over a few of them. But not doing these small chores risks you having to pay huge bills to professionals to come out to your home and take care of repairs that might have been prevented. For example, caulking around the tub can prevent major interior water damage later.
Taking advantage of new technology like seamless gutters could prevent water damage from taking place outside of your home. Checking your roof for shingles that are damaged or missing can prevent water from leaking into your attic. Oiling and storing garden tools properly in the fall means they’re ready to go at the first sign of springtime weather.
As with any remodeling project, even if you do it yourself you will need to check the local building codes before beginning. Don’t be timid about hiring a professional, especially if you’re tackling a new project for the first time or unsure how to go about doing the job yourself.
Freelance writer Benjamin Baker and his wife no longer argue with their teenagers about whose turn it is to clean the gutters since the site www.raincontrolaluminuminc.com introduced them to the concept of leaf guards. Not having as much labor around the home will give them more time for activities like camping and fishing as a family. Benjamin is an avid fly fisherman and even ties his own flies.