Home sweet home: 8 Key tactics to save on maintenance costs

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By: Phil Bradford
on 10th Feb,2016

The fact is that keeping our house in good shape can actually save us a lot of our hard earned dollars in the long run.
Home sweet home: 8 Key tactics to save on maintenance costs

As a homeowner, it is an essential task to keep money ready to take care of your life's biggest investment - your home. Do you want to raise a home maintenance fund which will keep your home at par with other most modern homes in town? Most of us know very well that owning a house would require us to spend money on its improvement on a regular basis. The fact is that keeping our house in good shape can actually save us a lot of our hard earned dollars in the long run.

Following are some of the most basic guidelines that you can use to save money on home maintenance.

1. Don't wait for the eleventh hour

You must look after your home well, or else it'll become a huge financial liability for you. If you ignore its maintenance needs, then it'll surely hurt your financial stability in the days to come. Try to resolve all sorts of maintenance issues on time with the help of a local contractor. Find out about the suppliers who can offer construction materials at cheaper rates. Thus, you can save a handsome amount of money for the rainy days that could be much more costlier than you could've ever imagined in your wildest dreams.

2. Follow a home maintenance budget

As a homeowner, you must follow a certain budget for all your home maintenance/improvement assignments such as cleaning cost to prevent clogging, roof leakage, maintenance of pipes, electricity, etc. In that case, your budget should be ready to deal with such tasks promptly. Ilyce Glink, the author of "100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask” has said that, "Some years it will be less and some more. Keeping up with the maintenance will be easier and less costly than if you wait for a small problem to grow exponentially bigger."

Read more: Home ownership: Know all the expenses that are obvious

3. Maintain a docket

Don't ever ignore an issue related to your home, even if it appears to be trivial. If you come across any issue which requires immediate repair work, then try to write it down in a logbook as one of your most important to-dos. Make sure to resolve the matter in the most limited time possible. Maintain a record of all the home maintenance tasks that are complete and the ones that needs to be done. These records will help you to remember the tasks that command due diligence. So, you can organize all the issues into one, big list and resolve all of them with the help of a local, real estate company one by one. This approach would save you money as well as the harassments involved therein in a much shorter span of time.

4. Work with a single contractor

Assign just one contractor to deal with all your home maintenance/improvement needs. Hence, you get the job done faster and also have a fair idea of your home maintenance budget.

5. Ask before you proceed

Sometimes, being a layman you're unable to decide whether your home needs a repair work or not. However, it'll be a lot better, if you can consult a professional home contractor before starting with a home improvement project. Moreover, what you, as a homeowner, consider to be of utmost importance, might require just a patch work from an expert's perspectives. Therefore, before you spend any money on any of your home improvement projects, make sure to get an expert's opinion on the matter in order to prevent future losses.

Read more: Home decor on budget: Cost effective ways to get a modified home

6. Make deal in advance

It is always advisable to make a home improvement agreement with the contractor beforehand. The agreement should clearly state all the terms and conditions that both you and your contractor must follow for the project to be completed smoothly. This way you can save money and even keep track of your monthly budget. Usually, most of the companies nowadays quote fixed prices. So, before signing on the dotted line, you should go through a real estate contractors' portfolio, their charges, etc and strike a deal with the most suitable one accordingly.

7. Use a DIY method

Try to resolve petty home maintenance issues by yourself. Keep hammer, drill, spade, screw-drivers, and so on for minor repair works in and around your home. Here, you'd do a favor to your budget by using energy efficient appliances that in turn are eco-friendly as well as would reduce your overall utility costs.

8. Avoid credit cards whenever possible

Try to save money in a separate savings account for home maintenance purposes, instead of using a credit card to pay for them. If your home costs around $300,000, then try to save at least $3,000 for its maintenance needs every year. In addition, avoid using credit cards to pay your monthly bills or to meet other financial obligations like home equity loan repayments, or to foot the bills of remodeling your home. If possible, then either make a single large deposit or set a certain amount of your paycheck to be contributed into your savings or checking account automatically.

Tips to follow when you need to hire a real estate contractor

  • Go for a well established and licensed contractors who have a fixed price chart.
  • Ask your neighbour or relative about a home maintenance service provider and get references from them to find out a trusted, local contractor.
  • Do not sign or pay in full before the completion of your home maintenance task.
  • Give importance to the reputation of a contractor - a cornerstone for every reliable real estate professional

You can find out about the home maintenance companies in your county or state from its consumer protection office or your State Attorney General's (SAG) office, or the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

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