1. Keep an emergency fund for home repairs.You want to make sure you have an emergency fund set aside to pay for all the things that will go wrong in your house, as well as routine maintenance. Keep this money:
• Readily accessible
• Separate from other savings/checking accounts
• Fully funded, and if you tap into it, replace it as soon as possible
2. Know where to shop.There are plenty of great hardware stores and home-supply shops online and locally where you can buy electrical parts, tools, plumbing fixtures, and heating and cooling supplies. Some tried-and-true shops to check out include:
• Home Depot
• Equip Supply
• Ace Hardware
3. Learn how to perform repairs.If you only have a few home repair skills, you can expand your expertise in a variety of ways. The good thing about DIY skills is that they build upon each other. Once you learn how to repair a leaky toilet, replacing a garbage disposal should come much easier due to the overlap in skill-sets. You can receive home-improvement education from:
• Online video clips, although it’s important to make sure you choose reputable sources
• Home stores, which often hold “how to” workshops to teach homeowners
• Experienced friends and relatives
4. Know when repairs are out of your league.There are some household repair tasks you can easily accomplish, while others will need the oversight of a seasoned professional. Some tasks that require more advanced skills may include:
• Electrical rewiring
• Plumbing-pipe overhaul
• Mold and mildew problems
5. Don’t procrastinate.When you have a few missing shingles or signs of a termite problem, you might be tempted to ignore these red flags at first. You may be busy at work and plan to get to it when you have time, but the longer you wait, the more trouble you might find yourself in. These small problems can lead to big ones, because:
• Leaky rooftops can lead to major structural damage and/or mold.
• Insurance companies may decline claims if they discover neglected upkeep.
Home ownership can be a wonderful thing and a fulfillment of the American Dream, but there is work involved. Make sure you keep up with maintenance so you and your family can live happily ever after.
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