With New Year’s a few days away many of us are starting to think ‘resolutions’. Losing weight, eating healthy and getting your home in order are often at the top of the list. But many of us drop our resolutions within weeks. Why? Sometimes it’s simply because we don’t have a plan that makes sense. If fixing up your home is a goal for 2012, but you have a long to-do list and a short budget, how do you know which projects should get done first? You make a plan and prioritize.
There may be plenty of noticeable repair needs, such as a scratched countertop or squeaky floors, but it’s the ones that aren’t so noticeable that most often require more immediate attention.
Safety Issues. Keeping everyone safe is the highest priority. Make sure you have:
- Working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
- Secure door and window locks
- Appropriate childproofing
Things to repair or replace immediately:
- Damaged electrical outlets
- Damaged stairs
- Broken boards in porches and decks
- Broken windows
- Asbestos or lead
Water Damage. Look for cracks in the foundation and brown spots on the ceiling and water stains around windows, doors, floors and cabinets. Call a professional to survey your home right away.
System-Wide Problems. Electrical, plumbing and heating/cooling systems are vital to keeping your home functioning and comfortable. Leaky pipes, faulty circuit breakers, ineffective air conditioners or heaters should be repaired by professionals as soon as possible.
Cosmetic repairs such as patching small holes or replacing molding are aesthetic projects that do make your home nicer. But when money is an issue and you have to prioritize, make sure you do the most important repairs first.