5 Home Fixes You Shouldn’t Skimp On
There’s a reason homes are often referred to as money pits—Americans, on average, spend $1,204 a month just to maintain them, including taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance. Sometimes, each home repair can lead to a brand-new set of problems, with what feels like no end in sight.
Take a deep breath. When everything is breaking all at once, remember that only some home fixes need to be addressed a.s.a.p.
Whether you’re looking to maintain your forever home or get a large ROI at the sale, these are the five crucial home repairs that you should prioritize:
- Leaky Roof
A leak is a classic case of a small problem becoming significantly worse over time. If you don’t have the roof professionally repaired, expect issues like mold, mildew, and water damage in the near future. A contractor will be able to identify the leak source, which may be a loose shingle or even a corroded vent pipe.
It costs an average of $770 to fix a roof—that’s worth it to hire a professional to take a look. Ignoring the problem will only make things costlier for you later on.
- Water heater
Don’t put a quick band-aid fix on a water heater that is rusted, making rumbling noises, or failing to actually heat water. If the device is over ten years old, it is nearing the end of its life cycle and will probably need to be replaced. Better to take care of the issue now then wait until 50 gallons of water ends up flooding your home.
- Electrical problems
If you have outlets that don’t work, a circuit breaker that continuously trips, or lights that flicker even after you change the bulb, then you need to have an electrician inspect your home’s wiring. In fact, you might want to have the electrician inspect your home annually anyway, especially when electrical malfunctions are the fourth leading cause of fires.
- Rain gutters
Homes built on top of red clay or alongside an upward sloping piece of land need rain gutters to protect the foundation. They are also useful for redirecting water away from a crawl space or basement (unless you are looking for a surprise indoor swimming pool). While cleaning leaves and birds’ nests out of gutters can be a hassle, all it takes is one big rainstorm for you to see their value.
- Peeling paint
A fresh can of paint may not cost much, but it can have a huge impact on how others see your house when it comes time to sell. Even if you are in your forever home, paint helps protect your walls from a small thing called “rot.” Whether you are repainting for maintenance or aesthetic reasons, it’s worth it to clear out the space, take out a few rollers, and update your wall color.
Keep in mind, proactive is almost always better than reactive. Take time with each new season to scope out potential problem areas in your home. Yearly maintenance is part of being a homeowner and having a clear expectation of what needs to be addressed will protect you from being surprised by most future repairs.