Homeowner tips to keep your house in good repair

There were a record number of home purchases in 2021 and homebuyers are still on the hunt! For those who have recently purchased a new home and have found all the extra space requires upkeep and maintenance, the BBB has recommendations to help keep your home in good condition, hire contractors, and avoid getting scammed in the process.

It’s important to get professional help with remodeling. Plan the project and budget ahead of time. Then look for a construction or remodeling contractor who specializes in the kind of remodeling that’s needed. Always hire reliable contractors. No matter what kind of outside help is needed, hiring a reputable contractor is key.

Searching BBB.org can point homebuyers in the right direction when looking for reputable HVAC professionals, cleaning services, lawncare professionals and more.

Use BBB’s tips for homeowners:

• Perform home maintenance regularly. Regular home maintenance reduces allergens, prevents illness, and reduces injury from accidents. In addition, it can help you identify needed repairs before they become too serious, saving you time and money in the long run. Many homeowners use seasonal checklists to help them stay on top of home maintenance all year long. Another aspect of home maintenance is cleaning your home.

• Keep your lawn tidy. Not only will a well-kept lawn improve your home’s curb appeal, but it will also make for an enjoyable place to spend time outside with your family. Lawn care also keeps harmful pests, such as snakes and mice, from making their home too close to yours.

• Inspect your roof. A leaky roof can cause a plethora of problems, so it’s wise to inspect your roof a few times each year, and especially after severe weather. Make sure there are no missing shingles, leaks, or other kinds of damage. You can prevent damage by clearing dead or low hanging branches away from your roof and removing debris.

• Keep your air ducts clean. As a general rule, plan on having your home’s air ducts cleaned every three to five years. However, if you notice mold, vermin, or large amounts of dust clogging the air vents, you should get your air ducts cleaned by a trained HVAC technician as soon as possible.

• Watch out for plumbing problems. Take a peek at your plumbing and fixtures as you perform regular home maintenance to make sure there are no leaks. Ask friends and neighbors to recommend a reputable plumber in the area and keep their number on hand, in case an emergency arises.

• Consider installing an alarm system. An alarm system can make you feel more secure and protect your valuables when you are away. Choose a home security system from a credible, licensed company in your area and compare pricing before you sign up.

For more tips from BBB, visit BBB.org. And if you spot a scam, whether you have lost money or not, report it to BBB’s Scam Tracker at BBB.org/ScamTracker and the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Your story can help other consumers avoid similar scams.

Rick Walz is the President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Northern Indiana, which serves 23 counties. Contact the BBB at 800-552-4631 or visit www.bbb.org.