Home Maintenance

Home Maintenance

Home maintenance, repairs and renovations are a normal part of home ownership. You will need to know about your home’s basic components, and know the actions you will need to take to adjust these systems or turn them off in case of emergency.

You’ll need to inspect your home regularly, and replace, or repair, parts and materials that wear out. And of course, since Canadian seasons can be so extreme, you’ll need to do many maintenance tasks on a seasonal basis.

Besides your mortgage, property taxes and insurance, operating a home has many other ongoing costs. Maintenance and repair costs are at the top of the list. There may be other costs as well, for example a security alarm, snow removal, or gardening.

Even when you can do repairs yourself, there are costs. When you have to pay for repairs, the costs are higher. As your home ages, it will need major repairs or replacement — this happens to every building. For example, when you bought your home, you might already know that the roof will need to be replaced in a few years because of its age. These are expected repairs and can be planned for. However, many repairs are unexpected, and can sometimes be costly.

Set aside an emergency fund to deal with unexpected problems ranging from major repairs to illness and job loss. A good guideline is to save 5% of your take-home pay, and to keep the money in a special account.

Besides doing regular maintenance and repairing your home, you might also want to consider renovating or making improvements. These changes will not only make the home more pleasant for you to live in, they may also increase its value.

When planning renovations, be careful not to go overboard unless you plan to stay in your home for many years. If you are planning to sell your house, make sure that your changes won’t make your home worth a lot more than the other homes around you. The value of your home is closely related to the other homes in your area.

Over time, some renovations can practically pay for themselves, especially if they result in savings on utility bills, a higher selling price or years of greater comfort and enjoyment in your home.

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