Joe Kapell's Blog
Owning a home is expensive. Aside from your mortgage, you also have to pay for insurance, utilities, property taxes... the list goes on.
It may seem like there are few ways to cut back on the expenses of owning a home. However, one of the most effective things you can do to save money as a homeowner is to do your own maintenance. The cost of home repairs can add up, especially if you live in an older home or in an area where services like plumbers and electricians aren’t accessible or affordable.
With a little research and some hard work, however, maintaining your home can be a source of pride and of saving yourself money.
In this article, we’ll cover the basic home maintenance and home improvement knowledge that will save you money, and point you in the direction of some resources that will help you attain those skills.
Maintenance is key
To increase the longevity of appliances like refrigerators, washers and dryers, you’ll need to perform some mundane tasks regularly. That includes cleaning filters, fans, and going online to order new ones when necessary. In the same way that failing to change your oil filter will result in a much more expensive issue, so will failing to properly maintain your appliances.
In a world where companies are making it increasingly difficult for consumers to repair their own devices, it’s more important than ever to learn the basic skills needed to make simple repairs.
What you should do before repairing anything
There are some precautions you should take before repairing or maintaining things like appliances. First, always be sure the item is turned off and unplugged before working with its components.
Next, refer to the manual first, but if that fails, search for tutorials online such as on YouTube for your particular model. Always keep in mind that sometimes warranties are void if you attempt repairs yourself, so make sure the repair you’re attempting is easy enough so that you don’t risk losing your warranty.
The right tools for the job
It might be tempting to go down to The Home Depot and fill a cart with power tools when you buy your first home. Remember, however, that certain tools are more useful than others. Find out which tools you’ll be using most often. Odds are they’re simple, inexpensive hand tools that will fit in a small toolbox. Some power tools, such as a cordless drill, will probably be worth the investment as long as you take care of the batteries.
Don’t throw out good materials
Ample storage space is a problem many homeowners face. But if you can spare the space, hold onto materials from previous projects that might come in handy. Some examples include:
Paint. You don’t want to have to go back to the store and mix a new can of paint just for a touch-up.
Nails and screws that come with your purchases. Sometimes the screws are designed specifically for whatever you’re building. Save your backups so you don’t have to buy a new bag if one is lost.
Wood. Having extra wood around can come in handy for any number of home improvement projects.