Using home maintenance to increase the resale value, level of comfort and safety of your home
Did you know that home maintenance brings with it five major benefits to you, the home owner? They are:
- Increased home value
- Cash savings
- Improved safety
- Increased comfort
- Energy efficiency
Considering the benefits, home maintenance is definitely worth doing on a regular basis. Lack of regular home maintenance can lead to illness, injury, and even death (carbon monoxide poisoning is one example). A few of the important areas to maintain are:
- Draft windows and doors
- Floors that become spongy
- A furnace that can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide
- An air conditioning system that is likely to fail in the heat of summer
- Smoke detectors with dead batteries
Your home can be a much safer place for you and your family if you adopt a simple home maintenance plan. For example, changing the battery of a smoke detector can save your life or the life of your loved ones and takes only five minutes. So as you can see, making a few simple adjustments to some things and inspecting a few others, on a regular basis, can pay huge dividends.
Your house is a comfortable place to live because of the systems that are built into it. You may not have thought of it this way before, or you may have taken the systems in your home for granted, but either way, sooner or later, one or more of them will break down; resulting in at best much discomfort or at worst tragedy; home maintenance can prevent this damage.
For example, your home has an electrical system built into it that powers your lights, refrigerator, microwave, water heater, your washer/dryer, and many other appliances. You may not think about this system every time you turn on the light switch, get milk from the fridge, or do a load of laundry, but you’ll soon find yourself without those things and more if your electrical system breaks down. It will most likely happen when you can least afford it.
Many of these systems have moving parts such as motors, belts, and gears that make them subject to a lot of wear and tear over a period of time. Some are simply made of materials that naturally degrade over time or are subject to insect or mold attack. In any case, you can avoid the major inconvenience that can result from such a breakdown by adopting a simple maintenance schedule.
Whether your home is an investment, a place to live, or both, chances are it’s the biggest expense of your life. If you bought the home as an investment, with the hope of making some money from it when you sell it, then it makes sense and pays big dividends to keep it in great shape. This way, it will provide you with safety and comfort while you live in it and will fetch a good price if you sell.
Real estate professionals have a phrase that applies to a well-maintained home: curb appeal. A home’s value is affected by its appearance, and this is what the phrase “curb appeal” refers to. Your home’s value will be higher if the roof is well maintained, the doors and windows are tight, and the landscaping is neat because potential buyers will find it more attractive, so you’re likely to get a higher price than otherwise. .
However, you will need to maintain your home even if you don’t plan to sell, just to preserve your initial investment. Even a task as simple as changing the filter on your furnace can pay big dividends when it comes to keeping your home’s value high. It’s easy to see why this is true. When the filter is clogged, the motor has to work harder to push air through it, stressing the fan belt, bearings and other components, which shortens the life of the fan, necessitating the replacement of the entire fan assembly. There is a big difference between a $2.00 filter and a $500 repair fee.
So as you can see, in the long run it is much cheaper to maintain than to repair when something breaks. The first thing you should do is identify those parts of your home that require regular maintenance and make a list. Check each one periodically and make repairs where necessary. When buying materials, buy the best you can afford.
This will provide maximum benefit and you’ll find yourself making repairs less often, so you’ll save money in the long run and be protected from inconvenience and even disaster.
Here are just a few things you should check each year:
- Gutters and downspouts
- Window trim and door frames
- Timer batteries for sprinklers
- Air conditioner
- Chimney spark arrester
- Anode and water heater immersion tube
- Burners for boiler, tank and flue
- Fireplace and chimney
- Refrigerant Condenser Coils (Vacuum)
- Smoke alarms and CO2 detectors
- Internal gas connections
These are just a few of the many items you’ll need to check every year or, in some cases, monthly. There are many more areas to check and fix, but they are beyond the scope of this article. So, as you can see, you have a lot of work to do; and there’s no time like the present. Luck. For more information, go online and search for home support or check your local library.
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