Did you know that you can save thousands of dollars just by doing a few simple home maintenance tasks around the house? It sounds good to be true, but it’s very easy. The best news is that once you do these tasks, you won’t have to worry about them for a while, and most of them won’t take more than a few minutes to do. Whether you’re a new homeowner or just looking for some handy home maintenance tips, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your home in its best shape (and save money). Like regular health check-ups, it’s important to have a home maintenance schedule to keep your house in top shape. Regular checks can help you avoid the stress of emergency repairs and keep your mind at ease. So get out your maintenance checklist and keep reading for our expert home maintenance tips.
What is home maintenance?
You might be wondering, what exactly is home maintenance, and what does it involve? To put it simply, home maintenance falls under the general category of home repairs and services. Home maintenance may include tasks such as inspections, adjustments, cleaning or replacing. It is important to keep up to date with your home maintenance tasks to ensure your house is functioning at its best and avoid costly emergencies.
How much does home maintenance cost?
We can’t predict the future, so it’s impossible to predict exactly how much maintenance will cost, but it’s helpful to put together a rough budget based on what you do know. When putting together your budget, there are a few important factors that you should consider. A home built within the past decade will require less maintenance, while an older home will likely require more. When maintaining an older home, it is more likely that you will have to maintain or replace major structural components such as roof, siding, or plumbing. Homes in climates affected by large variations in temperature and humidity are more likely to need regular maintenance than homes in a steady climate.
The square foot rule is another practical estimate where you budget $1 per square foot of space. Generally, the more square feet you’re managing, the more you’d be expecting to pay. However, this rule doesn’t consider the specific costs of labour and materials, which may vary significantly depending on the area you live in.
Can I do home maintenance myself?
There are plenty of tasks around the house that you can do yourself! Doing it yourself can be a great way to save money and not worry about finding professional home maintenance services. But before you get started, the three things you should ask yourself are, “Is it safe? “Do I have the right tools?” and “Do I know how?” If you answered no to any of the questions, you might want to consider the help of a professional. Not all of us are super handy, and that’s alright! If you don’t feel comfortable climbing a ladder or with some of the more involved tasks, think about looking into the services of a handyman or tradie. We will talk more about when you should leave it to the professionals at the end of the blog.
Home maintenance tips
Check your smoke alarm
According to Smoke Alarms Australia, nearly every second household has no working smoke alarm at all. This is troubling because your insurance claim may be void if you haven’t done a check in the past 12 months in the case of a fire. Your smoke detector should have a ‘test’ button to press and listen for the alarm to sound. If the alarm sounds, that means that the smoke detector is working, and you’re good to go. If there is no alarm sound, try changing the batteries on your smoke alarm, and if you have no luck – you can buy a new one for a low price, giving you peace of mind that your home and its contents are safe.
Clean your ranger hood and extractor fan
Cleaning the range hood and extractor fan in your oven may be a bit of a dirty job that you’d rather avoid, but a bit of hot soapy water or degreaser can work wonders.
Scrub your air conditioning filters
Did you know that clogged or dirty air filters can reduce airflow by up to 50%? 40% of our total energy used at home is for heating and cooling, so it’s in the best interests of both your house and wallet that your aircon stays in top shape! The best news is that you only have to do this monthly. Just remove the filter carefully and rinse in the sink with dishwashing liquid and a soft brush. Allow the filter to dry naturally, and then vacuum if necessary.
Clean your tumble dryer
Everyone knows to clean the lint filter of their tumble dryer to prevent a fire, but it’s also important to clean your dryer’s hose and exterior vent. Otherwise, this can be a fire hazard and can also reduce the life expectancy of your dryer. All you have to do is unplug the dryer, pull it out from the wall, remove the ventilation tube and pull out any lint or build-up. By doing this, you can save money on repairs and replacement parts.
Clear your gutters
Not only do blocked gutters look messy, but they also can mean that rainfall isn’t running off properly and can cause damage to your roof or foundations. When the gutter is dry, inspect it for any debris or vegetation and sweep it away with a gutter brush.
Protect your home against pests
Cockroaches, spiders, ants, rodents…no one wants these annoying pests in their home. Luckily, there are a few easy measures to protect your home against these pests. Clear all cupboards and larders, vacuum your pillows and mattresses to get rid of dust mites, and sweep dead leaves from the exterior of your house to prevent rodents.
Lubricate your door locks
Go around the house with a screwdriver and a dry lubricant such as graphite powder and check all locks for wear and tear, tightening and lubricating as you go.
Clean your tap’s aerator
Are you experiencing poor water pressure from your tap? There may be a problem with your tap’s aerator. Luckily, you can easily remove the tap aerator with a pair of pliers and scrub away grime with an old toothbrush. Use hot soapy water to rinse and then replace. If all else fails and your tap’s aerator is corroded, you can replace it very inexpensively from your local hardware store.
Clean your waste disposal unit
If you’re noticing a funny smell in your kitchen, it might be time to clean your waste disposal unit. It’s easy to do, all you have to do is let vinegar freeze overnight in an ice cube tray, then run the cubes through the disposal unit for a few minutes. The vinegar will break down any residual organic matter, and the ice will help sharpen the blades.
Vacuum your fridge coils
Your fridge can account for up to 15% of your home’s total power usage a year, so it pays to make sure that it’s in top condition. Turn the fridge off at the powerpoint and pull it away from the wall. Use a crevice attachment to vacuum up any dirt or dust from the coils at the back.
Monthly home improvement checklist
Some tasks should be done regularly to ensure that everything is up to standard. To help keep organised, keep a monthly home improvement checklist so you can keep track of what needs to be done and when.
- Clean the furnace filter to remove build-up of dust
- Clean showerheads to remove mineral build-ups
- Inspect electrical cords for wear and replace if necessary
- Inspect bathroom drains for debris and unclog if necessary
- Test carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers. Checking a fire extinguisher is as simple as ensuring it has easy access without being blocked by anything, checking that the gauge shows adequate pressure and that there are no signs of wear and tear.
- Vacuum heat and air conditioning vents
- Check that indoor and outdoor vents are not blocked
- Run water and flush toilets in unused spaces. If you have a spare or guest room that you don’t regularly use, regularly running some water can help prevent grime build-up
When should I leave it to the pros?
It’s tempting to give home maintenance tasks a shot even if we’re not particularly handy. After all, doing it yourself saves you money and gives you the satisfaction of a job well done. However, for more complex tasks, this is not always the best idea. If you don’t have the necessary skills or experience, it is easy for something to go wrong. However, there’s an easy solution – BorisDoes has a wide range of professional handymen to choose from if you feel like you need some extra help. Simply browse the available taskers on the Taskers list or post a task to get offers from interested tradies. Jobs that require specialist work, such as roof repairs, pest inspections, plumbing, and electrical work, should be left to the professionals.