Ways to work smarter, not harder, in your new home
There’s nothing more exhilarating than getting the keys to your new home, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. After the excitement of closing and move-in dies down, however, many new homeowners come face-to-face with a new reality: unlike the prior place they were renting, their new home requires a lot of upkeep and care—and it’s all on them.
It’s easy for all of your home’s needs to feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we’ll review several ways you can work smarter—not harder—when it comes to caring for your home. By doing so, you’ll save time, money, and stress.
Think ahead with preventative maintenance
A homeowner who is exclusively reactive is constantly in fight-or-flight mode. You’re essentially flying blind, stumbling into home projects and repairs that you have no idea are coming. It’s not sustainable, and it can get expensive: in most areas of your home, repairing things is costlier than caring for them. It’s why we strongly recommend that homeowners get and stay on top of their home’s needs with preventative maintenance. A little bit of money and time spent on preventing problems can go a long way toward restoring your control over your home.
Consider your home’s air conditioner. If it stops working this summer, it could leave you without cooling for many long, hot hours. You’d also be on the hook for repairs to the system or—depending on its age—replacing it. This is why a professional AC tune-up is the right call. By having an HVAC technician out to inspect and tune up your air conditioner, you can ensure that it’s ready for the summer ahead. Tune-ups don’t just help prevent breakdowns: they can also make your AC more energy-efficient. That means more cooling at the thermostat for less.
Add automation to your home
Today, technology allows us to do more in our homes than ever before. It can also help you stay on top of your home’s maintenance and upkeep needs. While a wall calendar is easy to miss, a digital calendar—complete with automated reminders and push notifications—helps your home stay top of mind. It takes only a few minutes to set up and it’s immensely helpful. Know you need to clean out the gutters every other Saturday this fall? Set a recurring reminder that goes off on Friday night or Saturday morning.
Of course, the benefits of automation don’t stop there. A smart thermostat can help you keep your home a consistent temperature and account for when you’re away from home. For those of us who have a history of accidentally leaving the AC on when we head out, it’s a potential game-changer for your utility bills. Many online retailers now offer the convenience of recurring orders, so that you can automate the bulk of your home supply shopping. If you need a new bottle of dish soap every six weeks, automate it!
Start saving with DIY home upkeep
Most homeowners pick up a few home upkeep and repair tricks through the years. Everyone knows that a used toothbrush is great for cleaning grout lines in the bathroom or kitchen. But, did you know that toothpaste can help remove scratches from wood furniture? There’s a virtually endless number of home maintenance “life hacks” out there that can save you time and money.
A DIY approach does have its limits, however. Serious home issues—including plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roofing, or structural problems—should always be handled by a trained and licensed professional. The same thing goes for some of your home maintenance. Only trust an official HVAC technician to maintain your air conditioner or furnace, as opening your own system could void the manufacturer’s warranty. Similarly, never climb up on your own roof. Call a roofer who has the right tools and safety equipment to properly inspect your roof.
Get the most out of your new home
Now that you’re a homeowner, there’s more to think about and consider than ever before. But, you have help! Today’s homeowners have access to more information, including video tutorials and how-to guides, than any prior generation. Of course, when in doubt, call in a professional contractor. It’s better to spend the money on an expert than to cause damage to your home.
If you’re looking for even more ways to work smarter, not harder, in your new home, be sure to check out this new infographic. It’s full of great tips for automating your home, handling preventative maintenance like a pro, and getting into the world of DIY home repair.