A home is the biggest single purchase most people will make. Matt Blashaw, a licensed contractor and host of the DIY network show, “Money Hunters,” offers six tips for planning and performing routine maintenance that can save dollars as well as future headaches:
- Save on tools – Unless it’s a tool you will use often, check local yard sales for good used tools at good prices. If it’s a tool you may use only once for a specific project, consider renting it.
- Save leftovers – With most home-improvement projects, there are leftover screws, bolts, and other pieces of hardware left over. Storing them in plastic organizers (as opposed to dumping them in a drawer) can save you from having to buy a bag of a certain size screw when you need only one or two.
- Save on paint – If you are flexible with color, you can save big dollars by buying ‘oops’ paint colors from the home store. That is, colors that weren’t what the customer wanted and therefore refused to accept. Also, consider that one gallon of more expensive paint may be cheaper than buying two gallons of a cheaper brand that will likely require two coats.
- Check toilets regularly – Water leaking from your toilet tank will raise your utility bills and cause premature wear of the toilet’s internal workings. One a year, add some red food coloring to the water in the tank. Come back in about an hour and see if the water in the bowl is pink. If it is, you have a leak.
- Protect plumbing – Accumulated fats, oils and hair are the most common causes of clogged pipes. Buy a hair strainer for the shower drain. Do not dispose of fats down the kitchen sink – and if a pipe is plugged, skip the Drano, which can damage the pipes. Try using a drain snake yourself before you call a plumber.
- Change air filters – Change the air filter in your central heat and air unit often, especially during peak usage months. Thirty days is the absolute longest you should leave an air filter in place.