Home Projects That Save Money

Many have heard the old adage “penny wise and pound foolish” but do many follow the advice it provides?

While it’s commendable to fight the temptation on a small purchase, don’t lose sight of the big picture. Large unexpected purchases, like a new roof or plumping work, can come with any home and can quickly change your financial situation and may even affect your credit.

Here are 7 DIY home maintenance projects that can help you keep your home safe, comfortable, and in good shape.

1.    Keep rain gutters clean. Water is the enemy of home construction and rain gutters are a vital weapon in the battle against water incursion. Clean rain gutters of debris such as leaves and twigs at least twice a year – in fall and spring to avoid a leaky roof or other problems.

2.    Keep shrubs and trees trimmed. Vegetation pressing against the side of your home can lead to damage, allowing moisture to build up and even provide a home for unpleasant pests. Overgrown shrubs beside a house are also good cover for intruders, so keep them trimmed away from windows, too.

3.    Regularly check your smoke alarms. According to the International Fire Chiefs Association (IFCA), smoke alarms in your home cut your risk of dying in a home fire by nearly half. The IFCA also notes that most homes still have smoke alarms that are only powered by batteries. Be sure to change the batteries at least twice a year. A good way to remember is to change your batteries when you set the clock forward in spring and back in the fall.

4.    Deep clean the Carpets. Professionally clean your carpets at least once a year – especially if you own pets. Not only does cleaning carpets extend their life and keep them looking good, proper cleaning can help remove irritants that trigger allergies and asthma.

5.    Seal and Insulate. A drafty house is an energy inefficient house. Sealing and insulating (such as around windows and doors or in the attic) can help save you up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs, according to EnergyStar.gov.

6.    Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat is great for homeowners that have routine work schedules or are away from home regularly. If you have a programmable thermostat but never use it, program it right away. By lowering adjusting the temperature when your home is unoccupied, you can save money on energy costs. In fact, EnergyStar says a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year.

7.    Put lights on timers. Just as programming your thermostat can improve energy efficiency; putting lamps on timers can be a money saver too. Timed lights help ensure your home is lit only when you need it. Another bonus: when traveling, timed lights can help make your home look occupied and deter criminals.

When it comes to taking care of your home, a proactive approach may cost you a little bit of money up front, but can save you a bundle by preventing big problems. Fortunately, many preventive steps are ones you can do yourself – saving even more money by avoiding professionals’ fees.