Owning a home can be an exciting experience, but it does come with some challenges. Maintaining your home is important to ensure your property retains its value and can be sold later on down the road.
It’s always good to have someone in the house, whether you or your partner, who has a basic understanding of how to perform home maintenance. Small problems can turn into larger issues if not properly addressed. For example, a leaky water heater may seem insignificant. Still, it can cause enough damage in the long term that would require professional repair or a brand new water heater, which could cost you.
Below, we’ll cover ten handy things that you should consider if you plan on buying a home, are a new homeowner or have lived in the same house for years.
1. Basic Home Repairs
You must know what types of repairs are do-it-yourself (DIY) projects and which repairs will require professional attention. Here are some examples of basic issues that you can typically fix on your own:
- Replacing a toilet
- Repairing a garbage disposal
- Fixing a smelly dishwasher
- Fixing a wobbly showerhead
- Covering ceiling stains
- Using a circuit breaker
- Straightening a bent blind
Basic home maintenance is critical for any homeowner, whether new or experienced. Understand what basic repairs can be done yourself, and know when to call in a professional.
2. Lawn Maintenance
Fixing a patchy lawn or performing regular lawn maintenance can improve the aesthetics of your home and prevent your yard from becoming overgrown. Knowing how to use a lawnmower can save you money in the long run.
Rather than pay for a landscaping company to come monthly, you can purchase your own lawn care supplies and do it yourself. Consider prioritizing lawn maintenance and schedule lawn maintenance every couple of weeks.
3. Closing Your Garage Door Manually
Many homeowners will opt for automatic garage door openers. Still, they may fail to work properly, and you don’t want to leave your garage door open. It can present opportunities for intruders to enter your home illegally or animals to get into your space. Rather, learn how to close your garage door manually.
It only requires a few simple steps:
- Unlock the emergency release
- Unlock the garage door
- Lift the door by the handles
- Close the door
From the inside, follow these steps to unlock your garage door:
- Unplug the opener
- Disconnect the opener
- Lift the door
- Secure the door
Protect your home, family and yourself by learning how to use your garage door without an automatic garage door opener.
4. Toilet Maintenance
During a power outage, for example, it’s possible that your toilet may not work when using the automatic flushing handle. Thankfully, there are some tricks you can use to ensure you can flush your toilet regardless of if your power is on and working properly.
Consider using some of the methods listed in the link above. It’s also a good idea to learn the inner workings of your toilets and what parts may need to be replaced after a while. You should also know how to turn the water on and off, especially if the toilet is running — this will help you keep your water bills at a reasonable level.
5. Shutting Off Water While on Vacation
Speaking of shutting off the water, you may want to consider learning how to shut your water on and off, especially if you plan on vacationing or leaving your home for days on end. Additionally, if you’re having water repair work done, you may need to know how to shut off your water.
Locate your main shutoff valve, which will likely be in your basement or outside near a water meter. Save on water costs by turning off the water in your home when you go on vacation or need to turn it off for any other reason.
6. Identifying Property Lines
It’s wise to know where your home’s property lines lie. This can prevent disputes with neighbors, especially if you decide to build a fence or store items outdoors. There are a few ways to find your property lines, including:
- Using a measuring tape
- Looking at the homeowner’s deed
- Asking your insurance company or mortgage lender
- Using a smartphone app, such as LandGlide
You can also consider hiring a licensed land surveyor to help you identify where your property begins and ends.
7. Using Neutral Colors for Painting
While it may seem tempting to throw your favorite color on your home’s walls, it’s a much better idea to stick to neutral colors. Beige, white, grey or off-whites are good color choices to consider when painting or repainting your home. Neutral colors sometimes get a bad reputation for being boring, safe or just plain blah. However, there are some benefits to choosing neutral colors for your home:
- You give yourself a blank slate to work with
- You can use other decors to give a pop of color
- You can make decor changes more frequently, such as new and improved furniture
- You’ll appreciate the versatility of neutral colors
Additionally, suppose you ever sell your home. In that case, the new owners will thank you for keeping colors neutral — they may choose to keep the original color as a result.
All of these basic homeowners tips will help even the most experienced homeowners.
Being Handy Will Benefit Your Home
Owning a home is no walk in the park, but it can be a bit easier using some of the suggestions listed above. It’s always good to have someone handy so that they can make necessary repairs, learn the ins and outs of basic home maintenance and keep your home in tip-top shape.