In the last year, American homeowners under the age of 35 increased from 36% to 36.5%, and those between 35 and 44 rose from 58% to 61.1%. Many of those were first time buyers. If you’re new to home ownership then facing the challenges of home maintenance can be difficult to navigate, especially when deciding whether to outsource the job versus choosing when to do it yourself.
The Dos and Don’t Of DIY
It’s hard not to argue that what one person can do, another can do. Why spend money on contractors when you don’t have to? Yet, depending on how complicated or tedious the job may be, or the dangers involved in tackling it on your own, that contractor may be necessary. For example, it’s important to keep your gutters clear, because not doing so can lead to wood rot on the fascia of an older home and spread to the structure and roof. Yet those tempted to carry out the job themselves, should know that more than 500,000 people are medically treated for injuries as a result of falling off ladders each year in the United States alone. So it may seem like a simple way to save money, but is it worth the risk?
Be Proactive, Be Safe, And Save Money
Have your chimney looked at and swept if it needs it. Don’t wait until the creosote builds up and starts a fire. Do a walk around your house and see if any branches are getting too close to your chimney or roof. Winter is a good time to negotiate a low bid at getting your trees trimmed as landscapers head into their slow season.
Energy Savings And Your Carbon Footprint
Your furnace and water heater work harder to keep your house warm in the colder months. Taking a closer look at your energy bill may help point to less obvious issues. Check for drafts around your windows. It’s pretty inexpensive and easy to caulk gaps or replace weather stripping, which makes a sizable impact in keeping your home warm. A dirty air filter in your AC or furnace could cost 15% more in consumption. Simple tricks like vacuuming the coils on the back of your refrigerator, cleaning lint buildup from your dryer exhaust vent, or turning your water heater temp setting down in warmer months could cut your energy costs and lower your carbon footprint.
The cost of homeownership isn’t for the fainthearted. Take pride in your home rather than taking it for granted. Make a list of all the things to inspect each season, inside and out. If you address each concern as they arise, this will help you retain your property’s value, and save you money along the way.
*This article was contributed.