Owning a home is a big responsibility. Not only do you need to stay on top of the home’s maintenance and repairs, but you also need to front the financial burden of these home repair projects. Many homeowners, especially first-time homeowners, find this to be the most overwhelming part of owning a home. Despite dreams of improving their homes through big projects like adding a room or remodeling the kitchen and bathroom, many homeowners never make these improvements because of the amount of money that has to go into them.
What if there was a way to simultaneously complete the essential maintenance tasks you need to do and save up enough money to tackle those dream projects? Luckily, there are many ways. By keeping up with various maintenance tasks and home repair projects, you can avoid having to pay for big expensive fixes. With all of the money that you save on these fixes and on your regular home repair projects, you may eventually have enough to start your big kitchen renovation or to finally refinish your basement. Let’s take a look at the easy home repair projects that will help you save money and eventually afford the luxuries you crave.
Fix Leaky Faucets
You may be able to ignore the relentless drip of water coming from your bathroom sink, but your water bill doesn’t have such an easy time doing so. According to a drip calculator from the U.S. Geological Survey, a faucet that drips once a minute will waste 34 gallons of water a year. That’s a ton of water that you’re paying for and not using.
Save on your water bill and help the planet by stopping the leak as soon as you can. If you’re handy with some tools, you may be able to fix the leak yourself. If not, call a plumber to help you out. Even though you’ll need to spend money paying the plumber, you’ll save money in the long run as your water bill decreases significantly.
While you’re fixing leaky faucets in the kitchen and bathroom, take a look at the plumbing underneath the sinks as well. If there are leaks here, the water could damage your kitchen or bathroom cabinets. Over time, that water damage could cause mold to form or necessitate you installing new cabinets. By stopping the leak now, you can avoid the expenses that come with dealing with the fallout of water damage.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
This small change is one of the best that you can make in your home. This is because a programmable thermostat will allow you to set and automatically maintain a comfortable temperature while you’re home and a more conservative temperature when you’re asleep or out of the house. With this flexibility, you can save a good amount of money.
According to the Thermostat Buying Guide from Consumer Reports, programmable thermostats can save you $100 or more every year in energy costs. While you can save even more by choosing a simple device that you can install yourself, you’ll want to contact a professional if you’re not confident in your installation abilities. You could contact the company that provides your heating services to see if they can install a thermostat that will connect seamlessly to your current system. You may also want to look into the possibility of purchasing a smart thermostat. This will be a bit more costly upfront, but it will connect to your smartphone and allow you to control the temperature of your home from wherever you are.
Change HVAC Filters
While we’re on the topic of your home’s heating and cooling system, we should discuss the important maintenance tasks associated with your home’s HVAC system. For many of the major tasks, like a yearly inspection, you should call professional HVAC companies so that they can provide their expertise. However, you can do more minor tasks yourself, such as changing the filters.
The purpose of the filters on your furnace and air conditioner is to trap airborne allergens and dust so that the air you breathe is cleaner. You need to regularly change these filters so that the dust and allergens don’t negatively affect your home’s indoor air quality. If you don’t change them, your HVAC system will be harming your indoor air quality rather than helping it. Regular filter changes can also help lower utility bills, as the dirty filters cause your HVAC system to run harder and thus use more energy. If you aren’t confident in your ability to change the filters, contact a company to do this HVAC service for you. You’ll still save money in the long run by lowering your energy bill and you’ll keep the air inside your home healthier.
You may not realize it, but a lot of your energy bill comes from your perfectly cooled or heated air escaping through the gaps around your exterior doors. You can easily seal these air leaks by installing weatherstripping. This is one of the simplest home repair projects and it can save you a lot of money in the end.
Weatherstripping comes in a variety of forms, such as foam and felt, so you’ll need to choose which best suits your needs. You can also consult weatherstripping guides, such as the one found on energy.gov, to see which products work best for the job and how to properly apply them. If there is already weatherstripping around your doors, inspect it for cracks and brittleness. It wears over time and needs occasional replacing.
Seal Leaky Windows and Doors
Weatherstripping isn’t the only way to prevent drafts from driving up your energy bill. Small cracks around the doors and windows of your home will also allow your heated or cooled air outside, causing your HVAC system to work harder to get your home back to the right temperature.
Inspect the interior of all of the windows and doors in your home to check for leaks. One way to do this is to use a thermometer to check for temperature differences that indicate a leak. You can also slowly move a lighted candle around the frames of your windows and doors to check for leaks. The flicker of the flame will point right to where the air leaks. You’ll also want to check for leaks where appliance vents, hoses, furnace ducts, and plumbing fixtures meet outside walls.
When it comes to home repair projects, sealing leaks tends to be easy. For smaller cracks, all you need is a tube of caulk to fill them. For larger leaks, you can use a can of spray insulating foam sealer. If your home is older and all of the windows allow for drafts that you can’t stop with caulk or foam, you may need to invest in new window installation. While this will be an initially high expense, you’ll save money on your energy bill for as long as you live in your home.
Clean Up the Siding
If you’ve ever taken a close look at your home’s siding, you’ve probably been a bit surprised at all of the grime and dirt that collects there. Not only can this debris dull the appearance of your house, but it can wear down on your home’s siding over time and cause you to need to replace it. Brighten up the siding and protect it from wear with a yearly cleaning.
All you need to do is scrub the outside of your home with a soft-bristled brush on a long handle and warm, soapy water mixed with a half-cup of trisodium phosphate per gallon of water. This close-up cleaning will also give you the opportunity to spot any home repair projects you need to tackle on your siding, such as getting rid of mildew or fixing crumbling mortar.
Check the Roof and Gutters
The other essential component of your home’s exterior is the roof. The quality of the roof affects both the aesthetics of your home as well as its function. If you neglect to take care of major problems with your roof, you may be facing high repair costs later down the road. This is why it’s a good idea to regularly inspect your roof for any issues or hire a professional roofer to do so. With regular inspections, you can spot problems like missing or broken shingles.
If you find any issues on your roof, contact local roofing services to fix them as quickly as possible. Paying for regular maintenance can help extend the life of your roof and help you avoid paying for a much costlier roof replacement. While you or your roofer inspect the roof, it would also be prudent to take a look at the gutters. You’ll want to be sure that your gutters are properly secured to the roof so that they’re not causing unnecessary structural stress. You also need to clean the gutters regularly to keep rainwater properly flowing through them.
Inspect the Garage
Your home’s garage is another area where simple home repair projects can make a big difference. One thing to check for in the garage is any water damage to the garage’s ceiling. If your garage is attached to your home and sits underneath a bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room, any leaks in plumbing there can cause water damage in your garage. If your garage isn’t positioned under other rooms in your home, water damage in the ceiling can indicate that there is an issue with the roofing on the garage. Either way, you should get to the root of the issue and fix it so that it doesn’t cause more damage in the long run.
Issues with seals around the garage’s doors and windows can also cause more problems for you down the road. While you don’t have to worry much about losing heated or cooled air through cracks or holes, you do have to worry about what can come into your garage through them. Critters love to make a cozy garage their home and will use any small opening to move in. Make sure that your garage doors and any windows in your garage are properly sealed to keep pests out. If you’re having an issue with your garage door closing, call a garage door repair service. Leaving this door open is an invitation to the local wildlife and then you’ll be stuck with the task of evicting them.
Invest in Regular Carpet Cleaning
If you have carpeted areas in your home, you know how difficult it can be to keep them clean. Any spill or mess seeps right into the carpet and gets into its underside. Even if you’re able to clean it up quickly, the smell or look of the spill can come back to haunt you. And if you have kids or pets in your home, many more spills and messes probably happen on your carpet than you’re even aware of. By investing in regular residential carpet cleaning, you can clean up all accidents that happen on your carpets, whether you see them or not. This will lengthen the life of your carpets and help you avoid having to pay to replace them.
If you are tired of having to maintain your home’s carpets, check to see if there are hardwood floors underneath. If there are, tearing out your home’s carpets to reveal existing hardwoods can be one of the simplest home repair projects. As you rip out the carpets, just be careful of sharp staples and nails that were keeping the carpet in place.
Inspect Electrical Cords and Outlets
Any electrical wiring problems in your home can pose a fire hazard. Even if these issues don’t lead to an electrical fire, repairing severe electrical issues can be costly. By catching issues early on, you can pay less in repairs while keeping your home and family safe.
Take a tour around your home to inspect light switches, outlets, and cords. Keep an eye out for common signs of danger, such as exposed wires, the use of multiple extension cords or overloaded power strips, and spliced wire that is connected with electrical tape. For any issues involving exposed or split wires, it is best to hire a licensed electrician to fix them. They can also inspect your home for hazardous wiring problems if you notice flickering lights, outlets that don’t always work, or warm fixtures and switches. If you notice issues with the set-up of extension cords and power strips in your home, take the initiative to ensure they aren’t overloaded.
Do Regular Maintenance on Air Compressors
If you have a workshop in your garage or in a shed on your property, you may have an air compressor system with pumps and hydraulics that runs through it. This system allows you to power the various tools and machines you use in your workshop. However, this system can eat up a lot of your property’s energy if it isn’t properly maintained. This can result in higher bills for you as well as a system that is working as well as it could.
To make sure your system is running efficiently and effectively, be sure to keep up with maintenance. You can do this maintenance yourself or call a professional to help. You’ll want to be sure that your hydraulic pump is working correctly and that the hydraulic pump design is appropriate for your workshop. If it isn’t that could be why it isn’t working efficiently. It’s best to get a hydraulic pump expert into your workshop to ensure that your workshop is set up well for home repair projects.
Nearly 58% of homeowners say that they plan on spending money to improve their homes this year. Luckily, they won’t have to spend much to make major improvements. As you consider what fits within your budget for home repair projects this year, carefully examine which ones will save you the most in the long-term. By strategically choosing the home repair projects you’re going to tackle, you can successfully save money while improving your home.