Some ways to save money, and do PMs
Preventive Maintenance, after spending a couple hundred bucks, can saves you tens of thousands of dollars.
Believe it or not, but anything that says "Green" on it, saves you money. "Green Furnaces" can save you hundreds every year in gas costs and electricity. Most Utilities will even PAY YOU for buying a Green Furnace or Tankless waterheater.
In my area for instance, one of my Supervisors (of many) bought a Tankless Water-Heater, and a "Green" furnace for his new home. Got paid by the Utilities because it takes up less power and wastes less water.
Doing anything that allows more natural light into your home, saves $$$ via electricity bills, and sometimes can boost the value of your home. (discuss with a real estate appraiser who is licensed as such for your state, and ask about modifications to a home that will give you the best financial return for when you go to sell it)
Majority of "Green" products, again, can pay you more over-time than you paid to get it in the first place. Friend of mine right now has a water recycling tank installed behind his house, that fills his hot tub with re-used water. Paid $3,500 for it. In total costs of running his hot tub the year before, to this year, tallying it up, he's already saved $2,000 this year by having it. And he got an $800 check from his Utilities ($300 from the power company, 500 from the city's water) By next year, he'll break even with costs of it, and after that, it's all money that's still in his pocket.
Buying recycled materials like bricks, cabinets, etc. can also save you hundreds on your renovations.
The three highest paybacks for remodeling, are Kitchens, Bathrooms, and basements. Some of which can bring a 20% to as much as 70% return when you go to sell. Which, that is why you need to discuss with a real estate appraiser in regards to what should be done, what could be done, and how much return could be expected.
Doing things such as tearing off siding for rock panels for instance, for every $1 spent to put rock on the side/front of your house, you'll get $0.50 return, that means you're losing money.
Remember, 30 year siding will add a better return than 5 year wood shingles.
Now, on to Preventive Maintenance.
Every 6 months, flush your water heater. This link says every 1 to 3 years, GARBAGE do it every 6 months! You can prolong the life of your water heater almost 10-20 years doing so!
Every year, before winter, strip the caulking from all plumbing fixtures, and re apply a fresh bead of caulk. Around sinks, toilets, shower heads, etc. Also, caulk all (make sure it is rated to be around electricity) the edges to outdoor lighting fixtures, and electrical recepticles.
Every six months, go under your back deck, with a rubber mallet, and check the siding underneath the deck to the house, hit it with the rubber mallet to see if anything starts to crack or break up. If it does, that means its rotting. take out the rotted parts ASAP and replace ASAP. once you're sure you've gotten all the rot removed. Repair the structure as needed.
Every year, check the siding to your entire house, caulk any cracks etc. you find.
Every 3 months, take a picher, fill it with water, and pour it down ALL drains in the house. If you have a drain in your garage, pour a picher of water down that, too. Keeps your pipes wet and happy.
Once a year, shut off all power to your house, take a number 2 philips screw driver, and a number 2 flat head screw driver, and go room to room, taking off faceplate covers, unscrewing electrical fixtures, pull out your fixture, and look at the electrical wiring. Grab a wire with one hand, and the fixture with your other, and you should be able to pull with a considerable amount of force, and it should not come apart. Of it feels lose, or comes apart, connect the wire back to it, and tighten it tight. Do this for all wires for that fixture.
Doing this ^^^ will save your from electrical fire. and will allow you to find loose wiring. Once you've gone through all rooms and have done this to all light switches, plug ins, etc. etc. Take an outlet tester, you can find for like $4 at any hardware store. check all outlets in the house. turn power back on first, of course, and go outlet to outlet to test the wiring to see if its all wired correctly (incase you missed anything)
Then test your GFCIs. When you trip your GFCI, there should be no power to any outlets the GFCI is protecting, or the GFCI itself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vkd43t2y2to This is a video how to test a GFCI. Personally, I rather use a GFCI Outlet Tester (there are outlet testers for regular outlets, and testers for GFCIs, do not confuse the two) for the GFCI itself, than a regular outlet tester for the others that are connected to it, and follow the steps in the video with those two tools.
Every 6 months, (I do it every July, and every December, July 1st and then again December 1st) change the air filters in your furnace. Make sure the arrows on the air filter are pointing the correct way. Doing this, $20 exchange, will save you $2K-10k from having to buy a new furnace. or make hundreds and/or thousands of dollars in repairs.
Every year, go underneath your house in the crawl space (I'd recommend every six months, but a year is ok) and take about 10 minutes to look for puddles of water on the ground, any dripping pipes etc. and check your subfloor for water marks, or "dark spots" that are wet to the touch. Also observe any electrical wiring or conduit that is visible and look for any scorch marks etc. And look for any cracking, or broken floor joists. Also look for any rodent droppings (rats can chew through concrete, and destroy your foundation) and/or any termites, ants, etc. Because they WILL damage your home!!!
Every year, go up into your upstairs crawl space, or any crawl space sin your home, including the attic etc. and observe for the same things you did under your home.
The point of this is to discover problems before they are problems.
Every six months, check under all sinks etc. and look for wet spots in the cabinets, drip marks on any piping, etc. etc. you're checking for leaks mainly. Also, check your gas piping to your furnace every 6 months. I do this when I change air filters. take a piece of paper, tear it into strips, and lay it along the edges of any pipe fittings where pipes connect, if it gets wet, have it checked out. Also, can't remember what it's called on the top of my head, but there is a solution you can brush onto a pipe, and it will bubble if there is a leak.
Every six months, check your homes foundation for cracks, etc. get cement and an 8'' and a 16'' trowel, and fill in all surface cracks. They need to be repaired and filled while they are small, before they grow to be bigger.
Once a year, clean out your gutters, and pick one day during spring time, to take comet (or bleach) and a scrub brush and a water hose (NOT A PRESSURE WASHER!!!!) and scrub off your roof from the peak, to the gutters. and clean the gutters out when done. Flush your gutters with water until they are completely clean, and run water down the verticles of your gutters. This will prolong the life of your roof. When you are totally done with all this, go into the upstairs or cieling crawl space, and look for watermarks, sunlight, etc. and patch/repair roof as needed. You're doing this to also find damages and holes in your roof created via wear and tear.
Every Year, walk around your house, and inspect the drywall. Look for discolorations, water marks, etc. do the same on the floor. Look for scorch marks, water marks, etc. etc. etc. Repair/patch in all holes. Use plaster or jointing compound to fill in cracks, nail holes etc. that aren't being used for functional purposes.
Pick two days every year for six, and one year mark home inspections. make a checklist to make sure you haven't missed anything. Also, pressurewash, and then recaulk your siding every three years, every five years tops. and then repaint after the caulking is all dried. and recaulk all fixtures etc. etc.
Doing this stuff can save you hundreds, if not thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.
Well said----Money spent on building an efficient house pays big returns----Thank you.
Hey thanks Big Guy,
I found this thread when I typed in preventative maintenance for water heater. I was going to wait to use the hot water drain off to attend my backyard skating rink, (providing this crazy southern jet stream finally remembers its not supposed to be this far north in late Dec.) but now I may rethink that because of all the sediment that is sure to be there. The tank is approaching one year old, but our water is hard. Too bad bacause hot water makes a lovely skating surface.
Lots of other really useful info..people get busy and overlook the importance of a well maintained home
Great thread,..although I thought it was a spam/scam for a minute.
Haha, me too. I was waiting for the sales pitch.
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