Ten Home Repairs That Can Save You Money
These home repairs and improvements can save you money in the long run, even if you have to invest some money in them upfront.
Some people enjoy fixing up their homes out of a passion for the DIY spirit. Others are less handy or simply aren't so inclined. Regardless where you are on this spectrum, many home repairs and improvements can save you money in the long run, even if you have to invest some money in them upfront. Here are 10 of them:
1. Install insulation
One of the things you can do to make a big difference in energy costs is to install insulation in your house. Areas that should be insulated include the attic, basement, walls, floors, and any crawlspaces. The more of these areas you insulate, the greater the cost, but the better your home is insulated, and the more money you're likely to save on heating and cooling bills. It's not uncommon for the temperature to reach into the 100s in southern Nevada during the summer, and northern Nevada gets snowy and cold in the winter. Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature is a must, and insulating it will help ensure it doesn't cost you a fortune.
2. Replace exterior caulking
Nevada may not be the rainiest area of the country, but that doesn't mean water can't still get into your home and cause rot. A simple replacement of exterior caulking can make a huge difference, and better yet, it will only cost you a few dollars.
"Exterior caulking loses its integrity over time," notes BobVila.com.1 "When it begins to crumble and pull away, it can allow rain to seep through windows, where it can potentially cause the wood to rot. To prevent the problem, remove old caulking and replace it with a new paint-grade formula around windows and doors to seal out moisture."
3. Update your sprinklers
Do you use sprinklers on your lawn? If you make some changes to your setup, you can potentially save money on your monthly water bill. Try using a system that utilizes timers to keep from over-using water. Ask your local water agency for tips on water conservation.
4. Fix the faucet
Another good way to save money on your water bill is to fix any leaky faucets you have. Even if you're not a skilled plumber, you may be able to do this yourself. There are plenty of instructive articles and videos online that can walk you through the process. If all else fails, call a plumber. The cost is still likely to be less than the leak will cost you in the long run if you let it go.
5. Change HVAC filters
This one isn't so much a repair as it is general maintenance. Still, it's an easy fix and can save you money on your utility bills. It can also help ensure that you and your family are breathing in cleaner air. Depending on the type of filter you get, you'll need to change them every few months or every month, though they are generally inexpensive.
6. Add solar panels
Adding solar panels is a much larger endeavor and can be costly, but the money you save on energy bills in the long run may be worth the investment. Panels have gotten cheaper over the years and they have become more efficient at the same time. According to ComputerWorld, they'll pay the homeowner back within seven and a half years, so if you're in it for the long haul, this may be worth looking into.2
7. Use weather stripping
Similar to insulation, weather stripping can help keep the hot or cold air from entering your home and the comfortable air from within from escaping. Check your doors to see if there is any kind of gap that can be filled with weather stripping to keep your home more energy-efficient. This is very inexpensive and takes only a few minutes to install.
8. Keep those drains unclogged
A slow-moving drain may not seem to be a major problem now, but it could indicate a growing problem. It's a good idea to use drain cleaners regularly to keep any buildup from becoming a more serious and expensive problem.
9. Add a drain pan to your water heater
Few issues homeowners face are more damaging than flooding, and that's exactly what can happen if you encounter water heater problems. Luckily, an inexpensive item called a drain pan can be installed to help prevent such a disaster. It's generally recommended, and required, to install a drain pan beneath your water heater to contain water in case you have a leak. You might also consider a drain pipe to move water out of the area, in case the drain pan overflows.
10. Use better light bulbs
Perhaps the easiest thing on this entire list to implement is to simply change the light bulbs in your home to more energy-efficient ones, cutting down your energy bill. Even if you don't do this with every bulb, change the lights you have on most frequently.
If you find that you need to make some more costly home improvements, but don't have the cash readily available to do so, ask your banker about a home equity credit line.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC