Do you know the best way to save money on keeping your home in good condition? Making repairs and tackling DIY can be easier than you think. Here are seven simple home maintenance tips to keep your home looking good, and to help prevent expensive repairs.
1. Don’t ignore a leak
The minute you spot water anywhere it shouldn’t be, track it back to the source and repair the leak. Someone whose name I won’t mention (ok, it was me…) ignored water coming from the back of the washing machine. It wasn’t much, but it was noticeable. Stupidly I did nothing about it until the tiles around it started cracking and lifting up. The leak was easily fixed but the floor needed re-tiling.
2. Avoid blockages
If left to their own devices my kids would treat the kitchen sink like a garbage disposal. Avoid clogs by making sure everyone scrapes dishes well before putting them in the sink or dishwasher, never putting any sort of fat or oil down drains, and cleaning them every week or so.
A cheap and natural drain cleaner is our old favourite – vinegar – mixed with baking soda. Start by pouring boiling water down the sink, followed by a good few spoonfuls of baking soda. Leave it for a few minutes before pouring down white vinegar, followed by another lot of boiling water.
3. Try DIY
I admit that I have no natural DIY ability. What I do have, however, is a strong streak of thrift that refuses to allow me to pay for someone to do something if I can do it myself. YouTube is a goldmine of useful information. It’s my first port of call for everything from a strange noise in the car, to an ailing plant. I found out how to replace the seal on my fridge, as well as how to make a superhero cake from YouTube. Bunnings’ website is also useful for DIY advice.
4. Have handy friends
Not that I cultivate friends purely for their handy skills but it sure helped to know a mechanic when my car was clunking, and a builder when my roof needed repairs. I’ve even roped in a friend to help teach me the best way to paint and wallpaper when we were redecorating. She helped me with one room and I learned enough to feel confident to do the rest on my own.
5. Get a service
If something gets a lot of use, like your car or air-conditioning system, invest in an annual service.It might feel like an unnecessary expense at the time but it will reduce the chance of something going kaput when you most need it, and help keep it running more efficiently.
6. Borrow instead of buy
Unless you’re doing a big reno you probably won’t use power tools, or items like long ladders, an awful lot. Ask family and friends for a loan or check out tool hire places before you buy. In case you were thinking of it, your old electric hand mixer is not great for mixing paint… just saying.
7. Prepare properly
My nature to rush into a new project with heaps of enthusiasm and little foresight which has led to some stupid mistakes. Spend time preparing before you start any job. Make sure you’ve got everything you need, and protect surfaces around where you’re working.