Try as we may, we’ll never be as good as the home improvement experts we see on television. They look like they can do anything, from fixing a broken toilet or installing new pipes to patching holes on the roof or even building a new house from the ground. What we don’t see are the armies of assistants working behind the scenes to make sure everything finishes on schedule. No one expects you to be a handyman, but if you can read and understand simple instructions, you can tackle basic repairs around your home.
Before getting started, you need to make sure you have a basic toolkit at home. Some tools you need include a hand saw, hammer, locking pliers, insulating tape, a selection of screwdrivers, a drill, and some drill bits. If that’s too complicated to remember, look for a general tool set at hardware or home improvement stores. You also might want to have some baking soda, silicone lubricant spray, and expanding foam.
Whether you need to fix a leaky faucet or are looking for garage door repair, it pays to know the basics of home maintenance. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Use paint for a touch-up
It pays to have a spare container or two of paint in your garage for quick touch-ups. Paint jobs don’t last forever, and it’s perfectly normal to see scuffs or peeling on your wall after a year or two. To keep your home looking like new, do a quick room scan twice a year and paint over the bare areas to prevent them from getting bigger.
If you do decide to sell your home, you won’t have to spend hours repainting the walls. Just make sure you’re using the same color swatch so it won’t stick out. The last thing you need is a potential buyer pointing out a spot that’s too light or dark.
2. Get a fire extinguisher
Many jurisdictions require homes to a functioning fire extinguisher in hand for emergencies. Make sure your extinguisher is kept in a clean and secure location away from sources of heat. You also need to keep it clean and do regular checks for pressure and damage. If your fire extinguisher is too old or has started to rust, you need to buy a replacement unit immediately.
3. Hire an HVAC professional
Savvy buyers can always tell if a home’s HVAC is in good condition. Getting it cleaned once before a walkthrough isn’t enough. If the maintenance card has a lot of blank spaces next to the dates, it’s a sign that the HVAC systems weren’t maintained regularly. But even if you don’t have plans to sell your home, regular maintenance is still a must.
Partner with a local HVAC technician in your area and have them come to your home every six months. This will ensure that your furnace and air condition will work when you need it, and it shows potential buyers that home maintenance is a top priority. Regular inspections also prevent small issues from getting bigger, saving your more money down the line.
4. Check for signs of pest infestations
One of the most important things you need to do is to check around your home for signs of an infestation. Cracks and holes are the most common entry points for pests, but you also need to secure pet doors. Check the exterior for signs of forced entry. If there are signs of damage in the attic, it could be a sign that the roof or a window has been compromised.
Even if you haven’t found evidence of a pest infestation, it’s best to have your home inspected by a professional to be on the safe side. They’ll be able to detect hidden pockets of rodents, cockroaches, and even wasps. When it comes to pest eradication, it’s best if you start early to prevent widespread damage in the future.
5. Clean the gutters
You need to clean the gutters every time the seasons change, especially if you live in an area with lots of trees. If your gutters are clogged with debris, the water could leak elsewhere and damage your home’s interior and exterior. For starters, you need to inspect the gutters every spring and fall and perform any necessary maintenance work such as clearing debris and patching holes.
Home maintenance might seem like a daunting list of tasks, but keep in mind that it’s something that you can break into smaller chunks. You don’t have to do everything in one go. Create a maintenance calendar and assign your to-dos into daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly columns.