Maintenance For Your Home

8/3/2016
Maintaining a home can be costly, and older homes are even more susceptible to maintenance costs. Experts say homeowners should be ready to spend roughly 1% of the home’s value every year on maintenance and repair.
Would you like to keep some of that money? I will be sending you some tips that will possibly help you do just that. My goal is to send out monthly, but if I have the time it may be twice a month.

Re-key all your locks

Never assume that the keys you were handed at closing are the only keys out there. Play it safe and have them all re-keyed. You can do this yourself if you are not afraid to take the locks off the door. First locate a locksmith that will re-key the lock if you bring it to them. Probably best if someone stays at home while you take the locks to locksmith. Ensure they can do it while you wait. This will save you considerable money if they do not have to make a house call. Word of warning, putting the screws back in will be the hardest part. I have done this many times myself and locating the threads that the screw has to hit is hard. Screw is long and you can’t see where it is going inside. I know you can do it!

Fix a Leaky Faucet

This particular type of water torture is likely due to a failed washer inside the handle. The faucet is just the messenger.

To replace the washer, turn off the water supply valve under the sink. Stuff a rag in the drain so you don’t lose parts, then take the handle apart. Pop the screw cover on top, remove the screw, and pull off the handle. Use a wrench to disassemble the stem, and line the parts up on the counter in the order they came off, so you know how it goes back together. Examine rubber parts or plastic cartridges for cracks, and take the offending piece to the hardware store for an exact replacement.

Sometimes you can just replace the rubber parts, but sometimes there may be an exact assembly that can be purchased. Reassemble the parts you’ve laid out, in reverse. Then revel in the ensuing peace and quiet. If you are in the least mechanically inclined you can do this.

Locate a Stud

Say you want to hang a shelf. Knuckling the wallboard can pinpoint a stud. But to better the odds when your electronic stud finder’s gone missing, use deductive reasoning. Most studs are placed at 16-inch intervals, so once you know where one is, you can usually find the rest.

Start at a corner, where there’s always a stud. Or take the cover plate off an electrical outlet and find out on which side it’s mounted to the stud. From there, measure 16, 32, 48 inches, and you should hit a stud at each go. Eliminate all guesswork by using a thin bit to drill a test hole at the top of the base molding, which you can easily repair with a dab of caulk. A thin nail and hammer will also work. There will be resistance when the nail reaches the wood, and nail will drop in all the way to the surface with no wood behind your test spot. Make sure nail is at least 1.5” – 2” long.

Deal with a Seized Lock

Try some WD-40 or something similar before you call that $100-a-visit locksmith. Some WD-40 sprayed into the keyhole will lube the mechanism quickly. If that doesn’t do it, you may have a broken spring or tumbler—and need that pro after all. If so, keep the new lock from locking up by giving it a yearly spritz of long-lasting Teflon spray.

Go energy efficient

The time has finally come that switching to more energy efficient bulbs makes sense. CFL’s (florescent bulbs) are no longer your only choice. In fact for many negative reasons I do not prefer CFL’s. LED’s have finally become cheap enough that they make the most sense to switch over to. I recently found 60w equivalent LED bulb’s for under $2 a bulb. I jumped on that real fast. LED’s now are much brighter and put off almost no heat. CFL’s will actually put off a good amount of heat. So look for those good sales and replace all the bulbs in your house. Remember though not all LED’s are dimmable so if the bulb you are replacing needs to be dimmable ensure that your LED lists as being dimmable.