30 June 2017

Home Ownership: Two Areas to Watch out for

Home ownership is an integral part of the American dream. However, despite the rewards of home ownership, there are undoubtedly costs — physical, monetary and time — of being a home owner. Anyone who has spent a brisk fall afternoon cleaning out gutters stuffed with soggy leafs can tell you that it is not a fun task, and neither is nailing down loose shingles or patching cracks in an old foundation.

Given how daunting home ownership can be — particularly for first time owners or those who have an older house — many people do not have the slightest idea about where to start. What are the projects that people should focus on first? There is no one clear cut answer to this challenging question. For some homes, the answer is easy — if your roof leaks every time it sprinkles, clearly a new roof should be your first priority. On the other hand, if sparks shoot out of your outlets every time you plug in a lamp, then getting a qualified electrician out to assess your electrical system should be priority number one.

Not all necessary home repairs, however, are big ticket items, such as a new roof, upgraded electrical, or all new plumbing. Some projects are much less costly and less time intensive. But, this does not mean that these smaller projects can be overlooked. In fact, overlooking these everyday chores can lead to long-term problems and even bigger costs.

Source: Pixabay

Two important everyday chores that a homeowner should definitely place on their to do lists are cleaning their carpets and pumping out their septic tank (even the mere mention of a septic tank is enough to get a nose wrinkle or a loud EWWWWW out of even the least squeamish homeowners).

Even though vacuuming is on most people’s weekly list of things they have to do, vacuuming alone is often not enough to get dirt, germs, and grime out of a person’s house — particularly if people regularly wear shoes into the home. A recent newspaper article explained that carpeting is often the single dirtiest item in a home — far surpassing the toilet seat as a petri dish of bacteria, dust, and millions of other creepy crawly things. If vacuuming alone is not enough to get your carpets clean, then what should you do. The answer is relatively straightforward. You should arrange for professional carpet cleaning, ideally steam cleaning, at least once per year. The cost of this cleaning will vary, depending on the location where you live and the size of your house. The bigger the house, the higher the bill. But, even for a large home, the costs are relatively reasonable.

Once you have tackled your carpeting, the next step on your to do list should be pumping out your septic tank. Many homeowners forget that their properties have septic tanks, and even more overlook the necessity of regularly pumping one’s tank. In general, a septic tank will need to be pumped once every one to three years — but the frequency will depend on factors, such as the size of the tank and the size of your family.

Forgetting to pump your tank can cause expensive and smelly failures. But, regularly pumping your tank need not break the bank. Most septic tank pumping can be done for less than $300. And with some basic skills and YouTube tutorials to help you, many homeowners can figure out how to pump their own tank.

Being a homeowner can be one of the greatest joys in your life—but these joys also come with costs and responsibilities. Don’t forget to regularly repair and maintain your home, from major tasks (such as replacing your roof) to the more mundane (like having your carpet professionally cleaned and your septic tank regularly pumped).




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