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How to Take Care of Your Home

How to Take Care of Your Home

gloved hand removing leaves from a gutter

DIY repair, pro repair and homeowner’s insurance

Getting the keys to a first home is one of the most exciting and important days in a person’s life. However, once the initial thrill of move-in passes, a new homeowner is faced with a daunting reality: learning how to take care of your home.

Prevent problems with a proactive mindset

It’s all too easy for first-time homebuyers to fall behind on home maintenance and upkeep. Unfortunately, this reactive approach is bound to lead to trouble and greater expense.

Preventative maintenance can reduce stress and headaches. Instead of the weight of looming catastrophes your home has in store, dealing with those would-be issues proactively will ease your mind. Keep a calendar of all seasonal items that require attention and use that to help stay ahead of any problems. This includes everything from cleaning your gutters in the fall to scheduling a spring AC tune-up.

Know when to bring in a professional

One of the hardest parts of being a new homeowner is knowing your capabilities and time constraints. Some first-time homebuyers have a can-do attitude, eager to learn how to maintain and repair their new home. Many, however, are more cautious and inclined to hire professionals. The truth is, while there are a number of projects easily completable without a pro, there are some home repairs and projects where calling a professional is best. Generally speaking, this includes anything having to do with your home’s plumbing, electrical, foundation, structure or HVAC systems. A DIY approach for these isn’t just impractical, it could also be dangerous. For example, too many home fires can be traced back to a DIY rewiring project.

Water damage is also a root cause of many problems, causing structural integrity, ruining walls and floors, and leading to mold and mildew growth. When homeowners try to fix their own pipes or water heater, they open the door to potential leaks and issues that could worsen the existing situation. Depending on the scope of repairs, violating local or state building codes is also a possibility. The better bet—and the smart play—is to bring in an experienced plumbing professional, instead.

What kind of homeowners insurance do I need?

All the maintenance and upkeep in the world can’t prevent every emergency. Unfortunately, some things are just out of your control. That’s why it’s smart to pair your proactive mindset with a robust property insurance policy that provides coverage for the unexpected.

Homeowners insurance is designed to protect your home and everything inside by offering comprehensive fire, weather and theft coverage. Naturally, your first question is: What kind of homeowner’s insurance do I need? Do your research and get the right insurance policy for your home, one that covers the cost of repairs and replacement. Make sure the policy also contains liability coverage. If someone is injured on your property, this coverage will protect you and help pay for legal expenses and medical bills.

Some insurance policies offer additional coverage. For example, while most policies exclude flooding coverage, there are several that will cover the cost of repairing water damage from a burst pipe or leaking water heater. Take the time to read the fine print and ensure you are covering all aspects of your home.

Never stop learning

If there’s one word that sums up the first few months of homeownership, it might be this: overwhelming. There’s so much to learn and do. Get advice and consult with professionals when you have questions. Find ways to increasingly automate chores and maintenance. Stay on top of small problems so they don’t become large ones.

No one is born a smart homeowner, but it’s something you can work toward with every year you own your home. If you’re ready to start learning more about how to take care of your home, be sure to check out this infographic.

inforgraphic about working smarter, not harder, around your home.

“Created by Duffett Plumbing, Heating & AC