Owning a home is a dream come true for many. Like a diamond, you can expect to live in your home forever, but not without proper maintenance and repair. The building materials will, at a point, require repair or replacement, and that’s when reducing the cost of home maintenance comes into play.
Likewise, your home appliances will break down. Meanwhile, keeping everything in and around the home in good condition will give you peace of mind. It is also vital if you intend to sell the house in the future. Proper maintenance and timely repair of any building structure or home appliance defect can help prevent damages that may require lots of money. These can be expensive and unaffordable, especially if you combine the cost with mortgage repayment.
How much does home maintenance cost? As a general rule of thumb, experts recommend budgeting 1% to 4% of a home’s value for its maintenance. It means if your home value is $350,000, then you will need to set aside between $3,500 and $14,000 for maintenance. An alternative is the square-footage rule. It recommends saving $1 per square foot of your home for its annual maintenance.
According to Fixd Repair – Fixd Repair, LLC, a firm specializing in HVAC and appliance maintenance, the 1% and square-footage rules may not apply to everyone as a home’s age and condition usually influence its cost of maintenance. Luckily, there are some tricks you can use to reduce the cost of your home maintenance.
Reducing the Cost of Home Maintenance – Try out DIYs
Do It Yourself (DIY) is a cost-saving skill every homeowner should possess. Many guides online today are available in text and video format for minor repairs and maintenance.
The major caveat is that not all maintenance and repairs should be DIY. HVAC and electrical systems, for instance, are best handled by professional technicians. Repairing an HVAC system requires extensive industry knowledge, safety precautions, and proper equipment. Any error might void your warranty which may be up to 10 years.
Likewise, replacing your electrical panel can be dangerous. Any mistake can cause injury or even death. It can also result in serious damage to the electrical wiring that will require spending a lot to fix.
However, there are simple and harmless home maintenance you can DIY instead of hiring a professional. They include;
- Unclogging a toilet drain.
- Fixing a leaky P-trap under the kitchen or bathroom sink.
- Giving your old furniture a facelift.
- Repairing a squeaky door hinge.
- Cleaning oil stains.
- Replacing a light switch and bulb.
- Patching noticeable holes on the wall.
Reducing the Cost of Home Maintenance – Make repairs early
It is not mandatory to make repairs immediately after you notice them. Even if you want to, time and money might hinder you. Despite this, it is recommended to fix any issues you notice in your home structure or appliances as soon as possible.
Leaving them for too long can result in serious problems. A neglected leaking pipe, for example, can cause structural damage.
The roof is another part of the house. You should not delay its repair. Its primary function is to protect you and everything inside your home from the elements. Minor roof leaks, if neglected, can damage the ceiling, which may, in turn, destroy things stored beneath. Moisture will also seep into the base structure and create mold and spores, which may cause health problems. Neglected roofs are also more prone to wind damage and other weather-related problems.
Making repairs early is good for your safety and cheaper than fixing things when they are worse.
Reducing the Cost of Home Maintenance – Home warranty
A home warranty is a service contract that covers the cost of maintaining home appliances and systems. Whenever any of the covered appliances or systems break down, you will need to submit a service request. The warranty company will dispatch a contractor to assess, repair, and possibly replace the item.
Reducing the Cost of Home Maintenance – Monitor energy usage
On average, as revealed by a Forbes figure, Americans spend $439.33 per month on utilities. This will amount to about $5,151.96 annually. Some homeowners spend more than this, but it can be reduced. Minimizing energy usage is not necessarily by switching off most electrical appliances in your home. Monitor your energy usage to identify the appliances consuming the most.
Replace old appliances with low-energy consumption brands or models.
Reducing the Cost of Home Maintenance – Read the users manual and follow the manufacturer’s instruction
A user manual can be boring to read, especially for non-technical individuals. However, reading it before using any new appliance for the first time is important.
It gives insight into the best way to use the product and the mistakes to avoid. The guide can be as simple as instructing you not to plug the appliance into an extension box but directly into a wall socket.
Reading the user manual of a home appliance and following the manufacturer’s instructions will save you the cost of repairing avoidable damage.
Reducing the Cost of Home Maintenance – Only hire professionals
When you need to hire a professional for your home repair or maintenance, ensure they are licensed and certified.
A quack who repairs based on guesswork will likely cause more damage to your home appliances and systems. Some homeowners, in a bid to cut costs, prefer hiring unlicensed contractors. Although you cannot be charged with a crime for this, you may be liable for any accident on the site.
It could also be a problem in the future if you intend to sell the house. The home value will be reduced as you cannot provide a permit for the repairs done. Permits are only issued to licensed and registered contractors. To rectify the mistake, you might need to hire a licensed contractor to do the repair again so you can get a permit.
Reducing the Cost of Home Maintenance – Decluttering
Clutters can harbor pests that can cause damage to home structures and appliances. Homeowners spend between $250 and $600 on a preventive maintenance plan to avoid pest infestation. Getting rid of unwanted things around the home makes it look nicer and can also help prevent pest infestations. Hence, saving you on maintenance costs.
Organize a garage sale if you consider the clutters too valuable to dispose of. With that, you will not be letting them go for free.