7 Routine Home Maintenance Tips for Responsible Homeowners

The air is cooler, the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. Can only mean one thing. Falls upon us. As fall is falling, it’s that time of year to keep, or actually get your house in tip-top shape before the seasons really start setting in. This is something that any homeowner should do not only because it’s the right thing to do, but it’ll make you a more responsible homeowner in the process and hopefully save you on some more major bills a little later down the line. But why do you have to do it? Most of them are small things and tend to go over looked or simply underestimated, but if you don’t get them done they could cost you money later, but they could also lead to a safety hazard that could cost you a lot more than that. So before that first big storm comes rolling in, make some time to get these home maintenance tips done.

Home Maintenance Tip #1 – Get rid of the dead tree limbs
If you have tree’s around your home, as most do, take some time and inspect it for any dead or strained branches that are carrying too much of a load. Fall and winter storms can wreak havoc on these types of limbs. Most times, when they are load bearing, they can cause real damage, tearing up roofs, damaging cars, or heaven forbid falling on someone. Get them out of there before they become a problem but be careful. If the limbs are too high or maybe just too big or you just don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, hire a professional. Tree trimming is not that expensive in the overall scheme of things and you can typically get a large tree all trimmed up and looking great again for under a couple hundred bucks.

Home Maintenance Tip #2 – If your roof leaks, get it fixed
Since we mentioned tree limbs falling on your roof just above we’ll keep going along those lines. If your roof leaks, get it fixed. One of the top causes for interior ceiling and wall leaks or problems is simply missing or rotting shingles or flashing. These can be a little tricky to get done, and if you’re like me, I don’t like to be on the roof anyways, have someone do it for you. You’ll probably need this anyway so the best thing to do is just get someone to give you a roof inspection and make your judgment from there.

Home Maintenance Tip #3 – Clean your gutters and downspouts
Staying along the roof line, while your there, you might as well clean up your gutters and downspouts. Get up there and get all the debris and fallen leaves out of there to unclog those gutters. Clogged gutters can cause you more problems than you may know. Combine a clogged gutter with ice or water and you may be in for a headache facing problems like roof leaks, foundation flooding or structural damages. There not hard to get clean, just get up there on your ladder with a good pair of gloves and possibly a trowel and just start digging them out. Make sure they are clean and free flowing when your through. While you’re there, make sure that they aren’t starting to pull away from the flashing. If they are, get them tight again. While you’re at it, make sure that downspout is taking water away from the foundation and not puddling up next to it.

Home Maintenance Tip #4 – Make any other outdoor repairs that are necessary
Sticking with the outdoor theme here, while your outside give your house and surrounding area a thorough once over. If you’ve got uneven or loose steps, cracked walkways or maybe loose handrails, get them corrected. These are potentially dangerous hazards that should be corrected. You don’t want guests or even worse, yourself, to sustain an injury due to any of these situations. Yeah, all these corrections may be a little expensive to take in all at once, but do it as you can just make sure you get them all done. When it comes to someone’s safety versus a few bucks at a time, there’s really no comparison.

Now, let’s move on inside for a few home maintenance tips for the fall.

Home Maintenance Tip #5 – Clean your dryer vents
Uh-oh, how many of you can honestly say that this is something that you do regularly, like say even bi-annually? Well, don’t forget, these things are dangerous! If you get a lint buildup it could cause a couple of different problems. One, it’s going to block the airflow and not let your dryer work very efficiently and two, it can become a pretty dangerous fire hazard in your home. It’s recommended that twice a year, you disconnect everything and vacuum out the dryer duct. Fall and spring are great times for this.

Home Maintenance Tip #6 – Vacuum the refrigerator coils
As long as you’ve got the vacuum out, take it to the fridge and clean those coils. This will help your refrigerator to run quite a bit more effeciently. Take that long skinny attachment that’s pretty much standard with any vacuum cleaner these days and hook it up. Take off the coil cover on the fridge and get down there and clean it all out. Use that long attachment to get all the way to the back of the coils.

Home Maintenance Tip #7 – Get a chimney inspection
One of the last things you could do to make your home a safe and secure place this fall is to get your chimney inspected for any problems. Who knows what’s happened to it since the last time you used it way earlier in the year. You might of had some small critters build a few nests and make your chimney a home. There may be some fallen debris that’s built up in there or there may be just an overload of creosote from last seasons chimney fires. Whatever it is, these can become a safety and fire hazard that you don’t really want to be dealing with when winter really sets in and it’s time to light the fires. Chimney’s can be tricky, and a dirty, so again I’d recommend hiring a professional to do the dirty work and get it right.

There you have it, 7 routine home maintenance tips for responsible homeowners to take care of their homes this fall.

Toilet Paper Holders

Probably one of the easiest and cheapest home improvement projects you could do in your bathroom today is to replace your toilet paper holders to give the potty area a general, yet small, face lift. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but if you are sitting there, no pun intended, looking at it you probably have the standard issue holders that came with your house. You know the kind that sticks out of the wall and has that little spring thing that holds the roll of paper. How many times have you bumped into that? Probably countless. Well, today you can rip that ugly thing right out of the wall and replace it fairly easy with a much more modern type of toilet paper holder that would better fit the decor that you are trying to create in your bathroom.

Why would you change a toilet paper holder?

These days, you really have a ton of¬†choices depending on the look and feel that you are trying to accomplish in this special room.¬† Whether you are looking for a holder that sticks out from the wall, is flush within the wall or simply standing on the ground beside the toilet, we’ll kind of go over each one that you could choose from. Why change them? Because you probably have that little ugly standard one the you see in everyone’s home! Change it so that it’s different, that it’s you! After all, it’s your house so why not give it a little character with a super easy project.

Option 1: Recessed in the wall

A recessed toilet paper holder is one that actually fits flush on the wall. These are a good choice if you have a small bathroom as it kind of gives the illusion of a bigger area as the holder is not hanging off the wall. It’s in the wall and the toilet paper is not sticking out. They come in a variety of styles and finishes from brushed nickel to brass, ceramic to polished chrome and many others, but those are the most popular. Plus these make good DIY projects. You can pick them up at your local hardware stores and fortunately most of them come with fairly complete instructions for installation. Recessed toilet paper holders are not that difficult to put in as long as you have some basic carpentry skills and can follow the instructions.

Option 2: Not attached to the wall

Toilet Paper Holders

Toilet Paper Holders

If the carpentry realm tends to give you the willy’s, you might think along the lines of a standing toilet paper holder. These are fairly neat in the sense that they actually stand on the ground next to the toilet, in arms reach ofcourse. Again, finishes come in a fairly wide variety from wood, satin nickel, polished chrome, oil-rubbed bronze and antique brass.

The most common height for these holders are about twenty-five inches. You don’t want to get one that’s going to be at eye-level when you are sitting down, so look for something elegant and of proper height when getting one of these. One new elegant type that is out there is the Euro design models. These make it very easy to change the rolls as you don’t really have to take it a part to put a new roll on. The toilet paper rolls actually slide on and off from one side.

My Favorite: Oil Rubbed Bronze Standing Paper Holder

Probably my favorite one of the bunch is an oil rubbed bronze toilet paper holder. These to me show a simple, rustic elegance because of one thing. The longer you have them the more unique they become as the color of the oil bronze finish changes over time. Eventually, you’ll end up with this lovely, deep, aged color that will be a welcomed addition to any bathroom. It acts just like copper in the sense that the finish will develop a unique patina color to it with age. Also I like the standard Georgian style as well as I think it hold the paper on the stand a lot better since the holder is connected at both ends. Since these are free-standing paper holders, they’ll come in a couple of pieces, but not to worry. They are super simple to put together and you can start getting use out of it in your home the day you get it.