Your home is always changing. As time goes by, the necessity for repairs is usually a given. But knowing how to prioritize them — and even which ones are most pressing — can be difficult and confusing.
Still, skimping on home maintenance can add to big problems down the line — financially and otherwise. According to Home Advisor.com, the average national yearly cost of home upgrades and renovations to a single-family home is just more than $10,000. Ignoring repairs altogether could create negative complications when it’s time to sell your home.
However, there are ways to keep up with maintenance without breaking the bank. Here’s how to get started:
Assess the Situation
Start by assessing the state of your home, and determining first which repairs must be made, and then whether you can make the fixes on your own. If you’ll be tackling the projects by yourself, know the time and cost required. If you’ll hire someone to perform the work, get details about the cost and effort up front.
It’s also important to know which areas of your home require the most immediate attention. Especially in older structures, the flooring becomes worn and faded over time. Real-wood floors and ceramic tiles are easily cracked or chipped, carpeting is prone to rips and tears, and linoleum loses its luster over the years.
The kitchen is where people spend the most time, so it’s a good idea to ensure this area is modern and visually appealing. Rather than replacing cabinets (which quickly becomes expensive), they can be repaired and painted. Inspect your countertops, sinks, and appliances. Minor upgrades to the kitchen translate to major selling potential. In fact, Remodeling Magazine experts say kitchen upgrades result in a nearly 100% return on investment.
The same is true for bathrooms. Pay close attention to the state of bathroom floors and light fixtures. In many cases, a thorough cleaning is all that’s required to instantly improve the look and value of any bathroom.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to instantly upgrade a home’s value and visual appeal is by painting the walls and ceilings. This creates a fresh new look, and at the same time protects surfaces.
Remove wallpaper using a wallpaper-removing steamer. Consider replacing or painting over wood panels. Textured ceilings (e.g., popcorn or sparkle) are out of style, and in some cases unhealthy. Studies have found that many of the ceilings in older homes contain harmful asbestos.
Don’t forget the exterior of the home. Monitor roof damage and make necessary repairs to driveway cracks, windows and doors, fences, and the like. Make sure your landscaping is up-to-date, and that the entryway to your home is free of debris and clutter.
Be Aware of Permits
Before starting any home improvement projects, it’s important to know local permitting laws. Some states have stringent rules when it comes to what and when you can upgrade your home.
Projects that could require a permit include fences, footprint changes (i.e., some room, deck, garage, and shed additions), windows and siding, plumbing and electrical upgrades, structural changes, and more.
Hiring a licensed professional provides you with peace of mind that all necessary permits have been filed. If you’re doing projects on your own, make sure to know where you stand before you begin.
Consult the Experts
A well-maintained home is both visually-appealing and a comfortable place in which to live. If you’re selling your property, updates and upgrades become even more important. We’re experts in home building and design. Contact us today for tips on home improvements, or to discuss the prospect of a new home.