Planning on sprucing up your home this year?
If so, you probably already have a list of annual projects. But there are many others that fly under the radar. Paul Sullivan, founder of a full-service remodeling company and the chairman of the National Association of Home Builders Remodelers, suggests you tackle these overlooked home projects.
- Replace your water heater. It’s pricey (about $800 to $1,600), but it’s important. When water heaters run too long, they can leak or burst. The fix: Have a pro install a new one at least every 10 years.
- Clean out your drains. It’s a good idea to remove the pop-up drain stopper in your bathroom sinks and clean out trapped debris several times a year. Also, periodically run the kitchen disposal to clear out debris.
- Inspect your gutters. Clogged gutters quickly fill with water—and that can lead to a roof leak. The remedy? Have gutters inspected and cleaned by a licensed professional each year for about $200 to $300.
- Trim trees. Hire a certified arborist to trim nearby trees—especially if they pose a danger to your house. (Check with your city first to see if you need a permit.)
- Inspect your roof. Roof work is dangerous, so hire a licensed professional to inspect yours once a year. An inspector can often suggest small fixes that could prevent a pricey leak.
- Regularly change your furnace filter. Clean filters help prevent fires and allergy-inducing dust from circulating throughout your house. Follow the manufacturer’s replacement recommendations and/or regularly assess how dirty your filter looks.
- Clean out dryer lint. Trapped lint can cause a dryer fire, so make sure to thoroughly clean out your lint trap after every load.
- Buy a fire extinguisher. Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and injuries. Stash at least one easy-to-access extinguisher in your kitchen.
- Swap out old batteries. Check the batteries in your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and flashlights twice a year to ensure they’re in good working order. (Tie this to Daylight Saving Time to make it easy to remember.)
- Fix easy trip-and-fall hazards. Whether it’s a bath tub that would benefit from a rubber mat or an old rug that won’t stay in place, it’s an accident waiting to happen.
Remember to let your Insurance Agent know about any major home improvement projects. A larger-scale home improvement project could up the value of your home, so you’ll want to be sure you have enough coverage in the event something unfortunate occurs.