As the snow melts, you can spot all the ways winter has taken a toll on your house. Invest a few hundred bucks in minor fixes now to preserve your biggest asset (and prevent really pricey repairs down the line).
|You know to clean out the gutters, but make sure the downspouts are clear and drain several feet from your house to prevent foundation damage. Estimated cost: up to $200. “If you can do it, fine, but don’t be a Tim Allen and hurt yourself,” says Kurt Solomon, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors.|
|Hire a pro to tune up your air conditioning system and furnace. “If you don’t,” says Bill Shaw, a contractor in Houston, TX, “you’re wasting electricity and putting more wear and tear on those units.” Estimated cost: $100-$150.|
|“Make sure there’s a positive grade away from your house so you don’t end up with water in the basement,” says Solomon, a particular threat after months of heavy snow and spring rain. Estimated cost: A few hundred dollars for a landscaper.|
|Hire a pro to seal your roof. “They’ll catch the insidious things, like the flashing on your vent stacks and the other protrusions on the roof,” says Shaw. Estimated cost: $150-$200 for minor repairs.|
Last, consider doing a short, yearly review with a contractor or home inspector who can spot looming problems. In some cases the service is free, or the fee you pay will count toward any work they do.
Catch it early. Which repairs are you going to spend money on first?
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