Buying a house is just the beginning of a long journey. You’ve finally earned the title of master of your own dominion. However, that title comes with a number of responsibilities. Among these recurring duties are paying the annual real property taxes and performing regular home maintenance tasks.
Like any other investment, taking care of your house is a must if you want it to last a lifetime. The more you ignore certain home maintenance tasks, the bigger the damage they can inflict on the house. Consequently, that would mean more problems and bigger expenses down the road.
The 1% Rule for Home Maintenance Tasks
With house repairs inevitable, it’s a good idea to create a fund for annual home maintenance tasks. Metrobank advises putting aside an amount equivalent to one and three percent of your house’s total cost. This amount can be your annual benchmark maintenance budget. An additional rule applies: the older the property, the higher the percentage.
Simply put, this means allocating a yearly amount equal to 1% of the total cost of your house. For homes between ten to twenty years, bump the budget to 2%. Meanwhile, homes that are 30 years or older could use a 3% fund. As homes get older, some of the sturdier parts will need either treatment or replacement. We’re talking about pipes, wirings, and even plumbing. It’s always better to be ready for those contingencies. Besides, a 30-year house won’t mind getting a fresh coat of paint or some renovation work.
Must-Do Home Maintenance Tasks
For your annual inspection list, here are some of the things that you should always check for when performing your annual house inspection. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is never more applicable than when performing home maintenance tasks.
Climb Up The Roof
You should do this inspection every year, and preferably, do it during the summer months. Along with your contractor, make the effort to climb the roof and check for rust, holes, or any other obvious damage that can cause leaks during rains. New homes will probably just need a quick session involving roof cement, but be on the lookout for signs of rusting. If everything goes according to plan, metal, rust-proof roofs should last a lifetime and would only need replacement at the 50-year mark. Of course, the heavy rains and typhoons typical in our country can make roofs much less durable than advertised.
Check on your Windows, Plus your Gates and Doors too
Whether due to security, weather, or the damp, typical house windows are often shut instead of open. In many urban settings, windows are far more closed than open, so these things tend to get stuck due to non-use. Your annual home maintenance tasks should always include checking the hinges on your doors, windows, and gates to see if they can still move freely. For stuck joints, a coating of lubricant or WD-40 should do the trick to loosen them up. Ignoring stuck windows might mean more than repairs. In case of emergencies, you don’t want to end up trapped in your house due to stuck doors, windows, and gates.
How Often Should You Paint Your House?
Paint is a great way to add color to your house, which can make it more distinguishable from your neighbors’ homes. Depending on the type of paint, they can also help protect the house and its dwellers from pollution, insects, and even the damp.
Of course, fading, uneven paint can diminish a house’s appearance. An annual painting project might be too expensive, as well as inconvenient. Repainting the house means making it uninhabitable for a couple of days at the least. For your annual task, it might be more of a good idea to apply some touchups or recoats to certain sections instead of undertaking an entire paint job. Reserve that project every five or ten years, which coincides with the time when you might want a new look anyway.
Termites and Other Pests
Taking care of pests often and early can mean saving your house from their destructive effects. Termites are notorious for eating up all your wood structures, so it pays to check for termite damage regularly and get help soon as you detect signs. The same goes for mice, cockroaches, and other vermin.
For your annual project, make sure to identify any areas where pests might congregate. You can address your pest problem short-term through regular pest control procedures. More importantly, you might want to change your eating and disposal habits so as to minimize opportunities for pests to stay.
Plumbing is one maintenance task that you don’t need to wait every year. Soon as a leak springs up, you’ll need to address the matter immediately. The same goes for electric wiring. Problems usually show up in dramatic fashion, and you’ll need to fix them. The only time you’ll need to rewire your electricity layout or repipe your plumbing is when you’re undertaking a major remodeling project. Meanwhile, appliance and major equipment cleaning and maintenance should happen more regularly than just once a year. It’s better to conduct general cleaning and maintenance services on cooking equipment such as ovens and toasters at least once a month.
Your Castle Deserves Your Protection
Owning a house requires assuming responsibility for its upkeep and maintenance. Condominiums have associations that allocate funds for general maintenance and repair. Homeowners like yourself, however, are on their own. In this case, it’s best to view this responsibility as a challenge to take care of your property.
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