With the COVID-19 pandemic driving down mortgage rates there has been an influx of new first-time home buyers. With low inventory and high home prices, many of those buyers are having to buy houses that require repairs or updates.
If you recently bought an older home, you might be thinking about tackling that kitchen renovation first. It’s easy to get stuck on aesthetics, wanting to transform your home into the perfect, cozy retreat. While it is much more fun to update the old bathroom than repair the aging chimney, it is important to make sure to maintain the home. A well-maintained home not only has the opportunity to lower heating and cooling bills, but can save you money in the long run.
5 improvement projects to tackle first:
With our climate, it is important to check that your gutters and downspouts are in good condition. If rain water is not successfully carried away from the home, it can cause problems with standing water or interior leaks.
Make sure your gutters are pitched away from the house and wide enough to carry water without getting clogged with leaves. Downspouts should extend 5 feet from the home’s foundation so water won’t collect and leak inside. If you are having trouble with standing water near your home, your downspouts can be directed into a French drain in order to carry the water farther away from your foundation.
Tighten the Envelope
If your home is not well insulated it can allow warm or cool air to enter your home. This can raise your energy bill as you try to regulate the temperature. It also makes it easier for bugs and rodents to make their way inside. Hire an expert to perform an assessment. They will be able tell you how leaky your home is, and direct you on how to undertake changes.
Maintain a Stable Foundation
Cracks in a foundation can lead to severe problems if not dealt with promptly. If you notice cracks, hire a structural engineer to do an assessment. They can help you come up with a solution, such as waterproofing the foundation down to the footings.
Make Needed Roof & Chimney Repairs
Roof repair can become expensive if it is old or badly damaged. If issues with the shingles, flashing, plumbing stack, chimney, or skylights were highlighted in your home inspection report, they need to be taken care. When left alone, rain, animals, and debris can find their way into openings. If the chimney is significantly deteriorated, you will need to decide whether to take it down to roof level or have it repaired.
If you have wood siding, flooring, railings, or deck, they will require regular maintenance. Wood boards, even new ones, can rot due to weather and insects. Seasonal pressure washing can help remove mold and sealing wood well with quality paint can help it last longer.
Being a new homeowner can be daunting, but if you keep a schedule of regular maintenance you will save yourself money and hassle. Regardless of the improvements you are making, make sure to find the right specialist. Take your time and get three bids for the work. This will ensure you aren’t paying too much and that you are hiring someone who will do the job well. Don’t know where to start? Call us to get names of excellent specialists we’ve worked with over the years!