Homeowners can save money when taking care of their home; and keep it in good repair in case they ever decide to sell. COListings has 8 tips to avoid common pitfalls and save you time and money.
Call 811 to avoid a 911
When you move into a house home improvement projects often include upgrades to the yard with new landscaping and decking. Make sure you call 811, the National Dig-safely Hotline. They will reach out to all the local utilities that will come to your property and mark the location of underground wires, pipes and cables. There is no cost to you, it keeps you safe, and you avoid costly repairs.
Locate the main water shutoff valve
Within a matter of minutes, several gallons of water can pour into your home from broken plumping. Since it destroys walls, floors and valuables, it’s no wonder that it is one of the most common household insurance claims. Making sure you know where the main shutoff is can save you money, time and irreplaceable valuables.
Check attic insulation
The recommended insulation for most attics is R-38 or 10-14 inches deep. Make sure to look in your attic and if you can see the tops of the joists you don’t have enough. It is a good idea to insulate the hatch as well. You can glue 4-inch thick foam board to the top. Sufficient insulation in your attic helps reduce your energy costs by lowering the amount of energy needed to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
Before you drill into walls to hang pictures or shelving, consider what is behind the drywall. Puncturing plumbing, electrical wiring or ductwork will cost you money and time. Typically household wiring runs horizontally from outlet to outlet about 8 inches to 2 feet from the floor and wiring runs along studs to reach switches. A stud sensor will only cost you about $20 and could help locate areas to avoid. They aren’t failsafe so make sure to drill shallow to make sure you are clear.
Maintain the slope and grade
The ground surrounding your home should slope away at least 6 inches over 10 feet. This ensures that any moisture doesn’t soak the soil around the foundation of your home. Damage is done over time and can cause leaks and cracks that are costly to repair. Make sure downspouts extend at least 5 feet away from the house and plan any updates to your yard with this in mind.
Change furnace filters
Dirty furnace filters can raise your energy bill from 5%-15%. If you change it at least every 90 days you not only save money on energy bills, but it will extend the life of the furnace and improve indoor air quality.
Cutting down trees
If you purchase a home with trees that you need or want to be removed, you might want to rethink doing it yourself. Even smaller trees can cause big problems. Limbs can fall awkwardly onto your property or your neighbors. Roots can often make tree removal impossible unless you are a professional. The cost is often worth it to hire a professional tree service.
It is a huge risk if you don’t winterize your plumbing in Colorado. The repair costs for burst pipes can run you thousands of dollars. Make sure to properly blow out sprinkler systems and wrap any pipes in unheated spaces with insulation or heat tape.