Julie Sagan GRI - Sagan REALTORS ®, Swampscott, MA Real Estate, Marblehead, MA Real Estate

Homeowner How To: Skills Everyone Should Have

Owning a home can seem daunting when you’re suddenly responsible for every aspect of your new house. Tricky situations pop up all the time, but with a little list of know-how, you can easily keep your home in check and stay on top of regular maintenance. If you take the time to learn how to do simple fixes at home, you can save time and money, and yourself from the hassle of unexpected problems.

One of the easiest ways to save money is to learn how to change your HVAC filters. Changing them quarterly, or as often as they need it, keeps your system running at full capacity. Dirty filters cause your systems to work harder and make your energy bills skyrocket. By changing them regularly, you keep your home’s air clean and your bills low.

No one likes the hassle of a clogged drain. Learning how to assess the issue and how to use a drain snake can save you loads of time and money

when a simple draining liquid won’t do the trick. Maybe you’ve got the opposite problem and your faucets are annoyingly leaky. Taking the time to learn a bit about how your plumbing works, and how to swap out the failed pieces cuts down on time and money wasted. While we’re talking about waterworks, let’s think about the gutters. If your gutters aren’t regularly cleaned and cleared of debris, rainwater can get trapped and seep into the house. Keeping up with the gutters prevents a build-up of water-trapping leaves and a big clean up project later.

Knowing how to cut the water and gas supplies is a big safety concern. Find out where your water supply valve is located and learn how to quickly and correctly turn it off when you need to. If you smell gas, always call for help first and leave your home. Know where your gas meter is, and ask a professional how to properly turn the shut-off valve to promptly prevent any further issues. 

Something as easy as hanging a picture can cause a hassle if you don’t know how to do it properly. Knowing how to find a wall stud is a valuable piece of information. Most studs are 16 inches apart. Start at the corner, and measure out 16-inch increments to find them.

Caulking and sealing cracks can keep out unwanted air, water, and bugs. Most cracks occur around windows, doors, pipes, and walls. Your local hardware store can guide you in finding the correct product suited to your problem.

As always, safety first. If you aren’t sure how to fix any of these problems on your own, call a professional for guidance. A little bit of research and a good teacher can add to your storehouse of home maintenance knowledge and save you time and money. Stack up your homeowner know-how and make life easier!