Another rule-of-thumb on how much to spend on your house:
Maintaining a home, especially an older one, can be expensive—in fact, experts say homeowners should be prepared to spend roughly 1 percent of their home’s value every year on maintenance.
The good news is, you can save on maintenance by completing simple tasks yourself. According to the experts at Underwriters, Inc. these include:
- Cleaning the Gutters – To prevent costly damage to your home’s foundation, landscaping and siding, remove debris and leaves from the gutters at least twice a year. Don’t forget gloves and eye protection!
- Open Garage Doors Manually – Don’t call a garage technician the next time your power’s out—simply locate the (usually red) cord, suspended from the ceiling-mounted operator, in your garage, and pull it to disconnect the cord from the motor.
- Removing Stripped Screws – Avoid causing more damage when screws slip from a screwdriver. Place a rubber band or piece of steel wool over the screw and then try to remove it—if that method fails, use a screw extractor.
- Repairing a Leaky Faucet – Leaks can cost hundreds in wasted water. Before you call a plumber, try DIY-ing by shutting off the main water supply, removing the faucet’s knobs, and checking the washers, stems and O-rings for signs of damage. Take these pieces to the hardware store to find exact replacements.
- Stop a Running Toilet – Another plumber job you can do yourself! Remove the lid to the tank behind the toilet, and check the flush lever, rubber flapper, lift chain, float ball, pump and overflow tube. A running toilet usually requires just a simple adjustment or replacement to fix.
If you can master these essential homeowner skills, you’ll not only save money on maintenance, but also the expense of more costly fixes in the future.