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When it comes to owning a home, maintenance is a must. Keeping everything running smoothly and functioning at its best takes time and effort, and some homeowners may even choose to buy home repair insurance (also called a home warranty) to cover major systems and appliances when they break down due to normal wear and tear.

Homeowner who does their best to maintain all of their appliances and systems will likely find that they save on repair costs in the long run. Regular maintenance, like checking smoke alarms monthly and replacing furnace filters, can help reduce a major system or appliance breakdown from turning into a costly emergency.

If you don’t have the resources to pay for repairs on your own, many federal and local non-profit organizations provide discounted or free home repair services. The home loan program, for instance, offers fixed-interest rate loans and grants to low-income homeowners for eligible home repairs, such as a roof replacement.

Some repairs may be easy to do, such as cleaning out your gutters, while others are more challenging and require an experienced ladder climber or other skilled labor. Regardless of the type of repair, you should always try to do it yourself rather than hiring a professional to handle the job for you.

Foundation damage is another common problem that can be difficult to fix, and it’s often caused by water flow shifting and changing moisture levels. The shifting can cause the foundation to crack, allowing water to enter the structure and potentially damaging its wood support beams.

Doors and windows that stick together can be a sign of a faulty window frame and may need to be removed and replaced. A broken hinge, a buildup of dirt and debris inside the window casing, or a leak can all cause windows to get stuck, so check for any issues before you decide to hire a contractor.

It’s also important to keep your home clean and in good repair, as clogged gutters can lead to mold and rot problems in the home and surrounding areas. To help prevent this, be sure to clear leaves out of your gutters every spring and fall and inspect your yard for other signs of debris.

Whether you’re looking to add a new bathroom to your home or want to update the paint color, repairs can be a great way to boost the curb appeal of your house and increase its value. For example, installing hardwood floors or painting an entire room can significantly increase a home’s resale price.

One of the most common surprises that come with owning a home is how expensive it can be to fix unexpected repairs. Many of these repairs can be easily avoided by taking the right steps to maintain your property. Some of the most common maintenance tips include the square foot rule, budgeting for repairs, and adding 10% to your monthly expenses.

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