Keep Emergency Home Repairs from Wrecking Your Finances
Ever notice how issues with your home seem to spring up at the worst moments, such as busted pipe before out-of-town guests arrive or an A/C outage right in the middle of the hottest week of the year? These sudden home repairs can cause you a lot of headaches, and if you are not prepared, they can cause you some financial grief too. If you want to keep emergency repairs from catching you off guard, following these tips is a must.
Spend Some Time on Regular Home Maintenance
Perhaps the easiest way to head off expensive home repairs before they happen is to always stay on top of any maintenance around your house. You can spend a few minutes each month checking for common maintenance issues like ensuring gutters are clear and keeping trees limbs from growing too close to your home.
Another maintenance task many people overlook is changing HVAC system filters. As a general rule of thumb, filters should be swapped for new ones about every three months, but you may need to change yours more often depending on your system and household. In fact, you can even sign up for a subscription service that will deliver filters to your home so you’ll always have one on hand when it’s time to swap them out. Keeping your filters up to date can prevent your heat from going out in the winter or your AC to stop working when you need it most. If you do find yourself without AC, try these tips to keep your cool and then follow the next steps for home repairs. Be sure to put together a toolbox with basic tools, such as a screwdriver and wrench, but also keep it stocked with some must-have products, like ever-useful duct tape, to make home maintenance and emergency repairs a bit less stressful.
Get Quality Repairs Done When Problems Arise
Most homeowners will be glad to know that they can do many repairs in their home themselves. For instance, if a drain is clogged and overflowing, a plunger will usually do the trick, and it’s usually pretty simple to repair small leaks around your home.
However, for bigger issues, however, you will definitely want to hire a pro. In fact, some repairs are actually illegal to carry out on your own. Any major work involving gas cooktops or appliances, as well as septic tank issues, can result in voided warranties, serious injury and even legal repercussions if you attempt to tackle them alone. So, if you have a major repair and need a contractor, follow some simple advice to hire someone trustworthy. You can find experienced help by checking online resources and websites for local recommendations, but be sure to always research whether your contractor is licensed — and always use a written contract. Following these last few steps will ensure that the work on your home is covered by any insurance and help protect you from financial losses.
Set Aside Some Savings to Cover Potential Repairs
Even with regular maintenance, it’s impossible to predict when emergency issues will arise. That’s why it is wise to have an emergency fund set aside for unforeseen repairs. It’s one of the easiest ways to cover home repair costs. If you can spare it, try to set aside at least $2,000 as a sort of “rainy day repair fund” so you will be less likely to resort to expensive loans and credit card charges in your time of need. When calculating your emergency savings, think about the repairs your home insurance will not cover. Water damage from sewage, leaks, or mold is often excluded, but the extra costs of water issues do not stop there. You also need to consider any added expenses, like higher utility bills, that may come as a result of emergency home issues.
There are so many joys of being a homeowner, though dealing with unexpected emergency repairs is definitely not one of them. However, you can be better prepared to handle these home emergencies by knowing how to prevent them, being able to find reliable help, and setting up your own emergency savings fund. These are the simple steps that can save you a lot of stress and financial heartache.
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