Home sweet home might just become a little less so if costly repairs crop up -- and for most homeowners, they will.
Less than 40% of homeowners regularly maintain their home to the extent that it should be maintained, according to a new survey from Esurance.
It’s important for homeowners to proactively take care of problems that may stem from a home’s maintenance systems. Additionally, homeowners should make sure their insurance policies and home improvement budgets are in tip top shape.
But when it comes to maintaining a home’s functionality and appearance, taking matters into your own hands isn’t always the solution.
Downsides of DIY
Forty-five percent of homeowners believe they’re better suited for the job of maintaining their home than a professional. However, this confidence may come back to bite them when their money-saving efforts ultimately end up costing more.
Among those who didn’t let their lack of knowledge stop them from tackling a DIY project, more than half (52%) needed to hire a professional to fix their mistakes. Knowing when to let a pro take the reigns is important, says Jeff Ill, vice president, homeowner product at Esurance.
"Whether you're a new or longtime homeowner, knowing how to properly maintain your home, and when to leave it up to a professional, could save you time and money in the long run," Ill said in a statement.
To stay one step ahead of unexpected home maintenance fiascos, it’s important to be prepared. These helpful tips can keep homeowners on top of their home maintenance game.
- Create a “just in case” fund. Expect the unexpected by preparing financially. This can be done by setting aside an annual budget of 1% of your home's value.
- Consider hiring a pro. Chances are you haven’t been professionally trained to deal with every home maintenance situation. It may be tempting to DIY, but some projects are better left to credible professionals.
- Know when to DIY. Some projects will be perfectly safe for the do-it-yourself crowd. If you’re particularly DIY-oriented, learn which projects you can do yourself.
- Stay on top of upkeep. Homeowners should regularly clean, inspect, and check home maintenance systems to ensure everything is working properly.
- Review your insurance policy. Review your insurance policy annually; be aware of what it covers and what it doesn’t.