Seller TipsThings to Do July 20, 2010

Keeping Up With Home Improvement

During my latest home improvement project, it crossed my mind that due to the current real estate market, many people are not selling their homes if they don’t have to. While that is a good idea especially if you live in a depressed market, you still need to perform upkeep on your home while you do continue to live there. Deferred maintenance can add up in the long run when a small problem becomes a big one, so performing a few simple tasks around the house while you sit on your home waiting for the market to rebound will save you money in the long run.

Basically, water is the biggest enemy to your home. It is a problem both inside and out, so take some preventative steps to keep it from becoming an expensive dilemma. First, make sure everything around water is sealed up. This means make sure all of the grout in your bathroom (especially around the tub and shower) is in good shape, and repair it if you need to. Also, don’t forget the grout behind your kitchen sink. If you have backsplash, there is even more area to take care of, but a lot of splashing and water damage can happen back there, and it’s not a place you pay much attention to.

With wood fences and decks, make sure they are stained or painted. In this Colorado climate where we go from freezing to sunny to rain in the same day, your fences take a huge beating. Your fence may need a staining every 2-3 years, depending on how protected it is from the elements. Decks and patios get additional wear from all of the walking on them, so make sure you keep those sealed up and in good shape as well, otherwise you’ll have your old friend H2O rotting out the wood (take it from someone who just had to rebuild his front porch steps).

Your home’s siding is another cost that can get out of control if you don’t take care of it. The bottom portion of the siding will get the most moisture due to being right near the ground, so pay extra attention to these boards (if you’ve got a vinyl sided or brick house, lucky you, less maintenance). Make sure they are painted and don’t start to rot, if they do, try and replace them as soon as possible. Stucco homes will suffer from the same issues, so make sure if any cracks do appear where water or moisture can get in, make sure to patch them ASAP. I just went to Home Depot last week and bought an 80 pound bag of stucco mix for about $5, so it’s not an expensive fix.

There are many more ways to make sure your home stays in good shape, whether you’re waiting to sell it or it’s where you’ll spend the rest of your life, and I’ll touch on some more of them in the future. While most of the stuff in this post is common sense, they are things that can fall by the wayside. So, this weekend, think about getting a few of these chores done, it could end up saving you quite a bit later on.