Getting Started on Home Repairs

Warm weather can be an inspiration for some to start flexing your do-it-yourself muscles and begin building a list of home repairs that you know are lurking on the inside and outside of the house. But for some, knowing just where to start may be a bit confusing. On the other hand, the cost of hiring a home inspector may be a little out of your financial realm right now. Here are some things you can start working on so that your do-it-yourself muscles do not have a chance to turn to flab.

* Make sure you that your gutters are being kept clean and the sump pump in the basement is in working order. In addition, to keep the rain and snow from ending up on your window wells make sure they are covered properly. You will also need to see that your landscaping is sloping away from the house. There is a purpose to all this. Checking all the above items will help insure a dry basement. Because water in the basement not only ruins furniture and soaks the carpets, it also starts a good breeding ground for mold and other problems.

* Walk around the outside of the house to see if any of the trim and siding is in need of a touch up job for paint. Anything that does need touching up can be remedied by scraping, priming and then re-painting the affected area.

* Walk through the inside of the house and check for loose outlets, switches that are worn, cords or cables that have become frayed, open junction boxes, and breaker panels that have become weak. Also, it is necessary that you replace any missing smoke alarms or dead batteries in the alarms. If working with electricity is not something you are comfortable with, it is very important that you find someone to help you with this project. Because it really needs to be done.

* Spring is a good time to clean off the condensing coil on your air conditioner. First off, you need to shut off the electricity for a few minutes while you simply hose off the coil.

* Keeping cracks caulked in the concrete will prevent them from getting any larger as the hot and freezing weather continues to contract and expand the concrete.

* Replace any putty around the windows that has become brittle. This will help hold the window in place much better.

* If you live in an area where the carpenter ants and the termites exist, you will need to check the foundation, or have someone else check for any infestations.

* Also, make sure the furnace filter is changed every spring and fall.

If all this has thrown you into a full-blown panic, and you choose to hire a home inspector after all, make sure he or she is certified, experienced, and complies with state regulations. In addition, make sure you are present during the inspection, which should take between two to three hours. Depending on where you live and the size of your dwelling, a home inspection may cost between $250 and $350.

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