Are you looking to save money on taking care of your house? Now that spring is finally here, there are tons of home maintenance tasks to be done. The good news: You can do many of these jobs yourself and save money, focusing on the ones that don’t require expensive single-purpose tools and equipment, specialized knowledge, or years of experience. The better news: Regular maintenance tends to head off potential problems before they mushroom into major trouble. Best news of all: You’ll be getting your house ready for sunny days and balmy weather. Find out how.
Want to take care of an easy task that can make a huge difference to your home? Here you go – simply stroll around the house, keeping your eyes open. (You may need a little backup in the form of your nose … and perhaps a good pair of binoculars.) Look outside for damaged or missing components, including roof shingles (here’s where those binoculars will come in handy), siding, and mortar between the bricks on your facade or chimney. Check the foundation for cracks, too. Inside, inspect your attic for water stains coming from holes in the roof, your plumbing for leakage, and your entire house, especially the basement, for signs or smells of mold and mildew.
House exterior spring cleaning
Declutter all your outdoor areas – the backyard, porch, patio, garden shed, and so on. (Do you really need that broken BBQ grill you somehow never got around to fixing?) Next, rent a power washer to spring clean your home’s exterior and your deck. When it is thoroughly dry, reseal the wood on your deck so you’ll be all set for summer entertaining al fresco. Finally, wash your windows to let the sweet sun shine in.
Interior painting has a well-deserved reputation as one of the quickest and cheapest forms of DIY home improvement on the planet, freshening your rooms up nicely for the new season ahead. Why not go ahead and lavish the same affordable form of TLC on your home’s exterior, as well? But don’t stop there; your fence could probably use a new coat of paint, while you’re at it.
Do your grass a big favor: get rid of all those lingering heaps of dirty snow and any leftover leaf piles from last fall so it can breathe. Now get to work on your own do-it-yourself lawn care program – reseed or resod and fertilize in preparation for new shoots a-sprouting. If you have a long, sad history of less-than-lovely lawns in the past, consider having your soil tested to learn what you can do to improve it.
Speaking of leftover leaves, now is the right time to clear out your gutters, too. Fallen leaves, twigs, and other debris should be removed to allow melting snow and April showers to drain efficiently off your roof. WORD TO THE WISE: If you find a large amount of granules mixed in with the organic matter in your gutters, you might want to have your roof inspected. These granules act to weatherproof your roofing, and a substantial loss could forecast a roof repair in store for you this summer.
Give the trees and bushes in your yard a nice neat trim. Besides tidying up the appearance of your property and adding mucho curb appeal, you will be removing a potential safety hazard (loose branches might otherwise be blown off by spring storms, landing on your house, your car, or people passing by) and stimulating healthy new growth.
Air conditioner prep
Get your A/C system in shape for those sultry days of summer (yes, they will be here eventually). Shut off the power and head outdoors to tackle the condenser coil; then come back inside to clean or replace your system’s filter. Vacuum the ductwork vents, while you’re at it, if they are dusty and dirty.
Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.