Things to Consider When Your Home Needs Major Repairs

Things to Consider When Your Home Needs Major RepairsThings to Consider When Your Home Needs Major Repairs

There is rarely an older home that’s not in need of repair. Things fall apart eventually, and maintenance is needed to keep the house in prime condition. The longer you wait to repair the damage, the worse it gets. Take action when the problem is first diagnosed rather than waiting until it’s beyond repair or too expensive to fix.

 Foundation Damage

The foundation keeps your house upright and gives you shelter from the elements. If the foundation cracks, you could be looking at major costly repairs. Houses built on expanding soil are more prone to uneven house settlements that can cause foundation problems. Know how to recognize the difference between normal settlement cracks and concerning cracks. Normal cracks are vertical and small. Horizontal or large cracks (wider than one-eighth of an inch) should undergo immediate inspection by a foundation repair company or structural engineer.

 Water Damage

 Water damage is a major cause of structural damage. The damage could come from burst pipes, overflowing drains, water leaks, or floods. Regular homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flood damage, nor will it cover water damage from poor maintenance. If you live in a flood-prone area, it’s best to purchase flood insurance to help pay for damage repairs after a storm. Unchecked water damage can lead to mold growth, which is dangerous to inhale in an enclosed area. Whenever there’s water damage or leaks, make sure it’s completely sucked out and dried. Polluted water can be dangerous if it contains bacteria or contamination from sewage or storms.

HVAC

Since indoor toxins can contribute to health issues, it’s even more pressing to fix the problems in your home. Objects inside your home, including the air flowing through the pipes, could pollute the air you breathe. Prevention and maintenance are the keys to protecting your home from expensive major repair. The more you know and do now, the less stress you’ll have to deal with later. Educate yourself on your home’s systems to ensure they’re all running smoothly. Use online guides to educate yourself; your home’s HVAC system could be the culprit that’s creating poor air quality.

 Paying for Home Repairs

Homeowners insurance doesn’t pay for everything. Insurance is usually reserved for incidents that are out of your control, such as disasters and theft, but not wear and tear or uneven house settlements. Check your policy to see which types of repairs are covered. For other problems, your savings account will need to suffice. Start saving now before the damage begins. Set aside a little bit each month for a rainy-day home repair fund, and commit to only using that fund for home repairs. Check with your contractor about payment plans if you can’t pay it all at once.

Finding Qualified Contractors

When shopping for a contractor, make sure you’re looking for the right person. A consultation from a structural engineer could help determine what needs to be done so you can come up with a plan and select a specialist in your area of need. Have your plan in place first, and start asking for referrals from friends and building associations.

Choose three contractors to interview. After talking to them individually, check their references, licenses, insurance, and warranties. Visit their job sites so you know how they work, and then let them submit bids. Don’t go with the cheapest one, or you might end up with a contractor that cuts corners. Once you’ve selected your contractor, set up a payment schedule and sign a contract that details the costs and expectations.

 DIY Repairs

Major repairs usually can’t be tackled on your own unless you have contracting and building experience. The average layman wouldn’t know what to do with a roof or wall that needs to be repaired, but some minor repairs can be done affordably with online research and a trip to Home Depot. Check this list to see if your home repair can be completed safely without hiring a professional.

Knowledge, early detection, and preventative maintenance can make or break your home repair budget. Don’t let the damage get out of control; the earlier you make the repairs, the less you’ll spend on fixing it.

 

Photo Credit: Pexels
Article by Julian Lane thefixitchamp.com