If you are a homeowner, you know how important the real estate market has become to the financial well-being and security of you and your family. Your home may well be your biggest investment and, like any other investment, it needs to be managed and protected. Unfortunately, home repairs are often put off due to costs or the inability to find a good contractor. The same goes for home improvements. The addition of, say, a covered patio may be put off when it could actually add to the value and enjoyment of your home.
Don’t fall into the trap of neglecting home repairs or home improvements just because the real estate market is down. If you are selling, prospective buyers will be extra critical and choose homes that are well-maintained and cared for. And, in downtimes, attractive extras, like sunrooms, decks, or pergolas are even more important when buyers have a wide range of homes to choose from.
Paint is an Easy Fix
Repainting a home is a great way to improve its appearance and to give it what real estate agents call “curb appeal.” Exterior painting isn’t difficult and many homeowners do it themselves, but it can be a big, messy job. A good contractor can make things a lot easier by suggesting the proper paint for your home, presenting various combinations of colors and carefully-selected accent colors, prepping the exterior, and then doing the job quickly and competently. Expert preparation includes power-washing and may include repairing wood, Masonite, or Hardie plank siding and trim. This will guard against the paint blistering, peeling, or flaking in the future.
Replace Inefficient Windows
Windows are another area that is often neglected. Most homes today have dual-pane windows for extra insulation and sound proofing. Unfortunately, the seals on older dual-pane windows are often leaky, resulting in condensation and residue between the panes of glass. Broken seals defeat the purpose of these dual-pane windows and the glass can become dull and ugly over time. Replacement windows quickly fix this problem. I held off on replacing my own because I feared that it was a big, expensive construction job. Then I learned that windows can often be replaced without having to rip out the frames and I found a good contractor to do the work. If you are thinking of replacing windows, inquire about shatterproof, tinted, tempered, and colored glass options, as well.
Inspect Covered Patios
If you have a covered patio (or any other structure that attaches to your home), be sure to have a contractor check for dry rot, leaks, cracks, or other damage. These things are usually easy to fix, but they can really add up to costly damage unless they’re properly addressed. Water leaks, especially, can lead to catastrophic damage. Cracks and holes may provide access for pests, so it’s better to tend to them quickly.
It Just Makes Cents
Taking care of one’s home is a good investment, whether it’s creating additional curb appeal with shiny new paint or an inviting covered patio. If you intend to sell your home (or are interested in simply keeping your property in good condition in order to avoid needless repair costs later on), proactive home maintenance makes sense. Many homeowners shy away from these tasks due to financial considerations and the challenge of finding a good, reliable contractor, but don’t give up. They’re out there and you’ll be glad once you’ve found a good one.