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How Do I Keep My House in Good Condition?

An Electrician Checks an Outlet for Maintenance.

How do I keep my house in good condition?

Whether you’re a longtime homeowner or you’re stepping into a new house for the first time, one of the chief concerns you’ll have is keeping your home in good condition. Home maintenance can seem intimidating and even overwhelming, but it’s necessary. One of the better times to check your home is in the spring, when the weather isn’t too hot or cold. Below is a checklist of areas to inspect when you are performing home maintenance. You want to check both the outside and inside of the house, including the yard.

Outside 

  • Rake up leaves and refresh mulch for flowerbeds, reseed the lawn if there are bald patches, and renew contracts if you use a lawn service. Get a professional arborist to check the your trees’ health.
  • Inspect your home’s exterior for cracks in the concrete and the roof for damage such as missing shingles or signs of wear. Have a professional come out for a foundation inspection if you notice any cracks in your foundation.
  • Also inspect the gutters for clogs or sags and have them cleaned.
  • Check exterior paint for signs of peeling or chipping and add a fresh coat if needed. This is also a good time to wash the exterior. A power washer isn’t necessary.

Interior

  • Call an HVAC professional to check your heating and cooling system for any problems. Also clean vents.
  • Check your visible plumbing pipes under sinks for leaks, your faucets for drips and the flapper in your toilet tank to see if it is still in good shape. Also check your ceilings and walls for stains and other signs of water leaks.
  • If you have a sump pump that drains rain from your property, inspect it to make sure it is working.
  • If you have a chimney, make sure it is clean. 
  • Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

While you can perform some home maintenance inspections yourself, you may want to get professionals out for thorough checks. Professionals can also perform repairs on the spot. House Anything offers a full range of maintenance services. Give us a call at (832) 725-0337 to find out more. 

What does home maintenance mean?

Keeping your home well-maintained means more than keeping it clean on the inside, the lawn mown on the outside, and adding an occasional coat of paint. It means getting your roof inspected regularly for damage and making sure your HVAC system and plumbing are in good order. It ensures that the whole home is in good shape from the roof to the foundation, and everywhere in between. Good maintenance will help you uphold warranties as well as insurance policies.

How can I maintain maintenance on my house?

Home maintenance involves many tasks, and it can be overwhelming trying to keep track of them all. You can create checklists for each season with different tasks. For instance, you can inspect your plumbing and your roof in the spring or prepare your HVAC system for winter in the fall. Keeping up these lists can also be daunting. A better way to keep up with maintenance may be to schedule your maintenance services with a team of professionals like those at House Anything. We provide a full range of maintenance services ranging from roofing to electrical and HVAC systems inspections. We offer both interior and exterior maintenance packages.

How important is home maintenance

Along with keeping your home in good shape, home maintenance is important because it will save you money. For instance, if you get a roof inspection at least once yearly, you’ll find out if you need to make repairs that will preserve your roof’s life. Preventative maintenance may alert you to roof leaks, which if they go unchecked can end up seriously damaging your roof or even parts of your home’s interior like your ceiling. You could even end up having to replace your roof earlier than normal. 

Additionally, you’ll be able to uphold warranties on appliances and systems if you keep your home well maintained. Many warranties stipulate lack of maintenance isn’t considered part of normal wear and tear. When it comes to saving money, many people want to save money on taxes, and may wonder,  “Are home maintenance expenses tax deductible?” In some cases, they may be tax deductible, in particular some home improvements, especially if you work from home. If you’ve made improvements for a home office, for instance, the improvements can be deducted. Basic home maintenance, however, is not deductible. 

Home maintenance for new homeowners

When you first buy a home, you may not think you’ll need to perform any maintenance immediately, but this may not be the case. If you had an inspection before buying, you may need to make repairs found during the inspection if the seller hasn’t made them. 

One thing you may want to do is conduct an energy audit to find out if there are areas in your home where improvements could be made to save you money in energy costs. You may also want to make changes in the heating and cooling system, adding upgrades like temperature control systems or putting in ceiling fans for better air circulation. You’ll also want to check your HVAC system’s filters to make sure they are new. Other energy-saving efforts include caulking around doors and windows to make the house airtight. You may also want to insulate your windows.

What is included in home maintenance?

Home maintenance routines will vary. An HVAC maintenance program should be taken up twice a year to prepare the system for winter and summer usage. HVAC maintenance should also include changing or cleaning filters about every 30 days. You should also normally have your roof inspected at least once per year. Other maintenance should include regular gutter cleanouts, as well as plumbing inspections, and inspecting your electrical system for wear and tear. You should also regularly test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  

What is the average cost of home maintenance?

Home maintenance costs will vary. Overall, however, homeowners generally spend about $9,400 a year on average for costs of owning and maintaining a home. Costs will vary depending on location and the type of service provided. Do-it-yourself projects will, for instance, cost much less than services provided by a professional. Some services will need to be provided by professionals. 

A Gutter Being Cleaned as Part of Home Maintenance.

Home maintenance near me

If you are looking for home maintenance in Katy, TX, count on the professionals at House Anything. We offer a full range of interior and exterior maintenance services. Find out how we can help you by calling (832) 725-0337.

How do I add more space to my house?

Room addition

Can I extend my house?

The family grew faster than your house, and now you’re running out of space. Moving isn’t an option, so how can you get more space? Home additions are a common way to answer that problem, and it may be time to consider adding to your existing home. So, where to start home addition for that expanded space you need? Here are some answers to frequently asked questions that may help you get started.

Yes! First, though, you need to determine why you want to extend your house and are they reason enough to go through the expense and mess. Five reasons that homeowners consider home additions are: 

  • Value-add: Home additions can increase your property value if done with caution.
  • Adapt to lifestyle: Home additions will give you extra valuable space, especially for a growing family.
  • Avoid buying, selling, and moving: Moving is stressful, especially when there are kids to enroll in new schools, getting acclimated to the new area.
  • Get more from your existing house: If moving isn’t an option, home additions can help make better use of your current home.
  • Bring house into current times: Your home has become comfortable, that is what makes it home. After a while though, there some aspects that you may want to add or change, such as updating the kitchen or a bathroom.

Is it cheaper to add on or build up?

You know that your home needs more space and moving isn’t possible. Home additions are one way to get that extra space, but which way is the cheaper way to go? Convert the attic, add a second floor, or add a room?  

Experts say you need to review the details of your house as it exists now and the surrounding property to determine which will be the least expensive. Some things to consider in determining the best way for you:

The Space Needed

A growing family can often use more bathrooms and bedrooms, adding a floor or expanding out are both good options. However, if you’re needing to add more space for recreation, like a playroom, then an addition may be the way to go as opposed to adding a floor when considering the resale value. Most families prefer a family room or playroom on the main floor. Traditionally, bedrooms and kitchens don’t belong upstairs.  

Property Considerations

An important role in this decision is the property shape and size. If your backyard is big or oversized, home additions won’t make a big impact as it would in an already small backyard. If you’re thinking about installing a pool, will there be room if there is an addition?

Zoning Issues

The local municipality will often have zoning laws such as how close houses can be to property lines or how tall a house can be. Homes in a historic district or planned communities will typically have restrictions. If this is your case, you can always request to meet with the zoning board to request a variance for your home addition for plans. It’s always good to run these things by your neighbors about too.

Build Up versus Build Out

Building out is usually the less expensive choice, but there are several caveats to consider. To build another floor on your existing home, the roof will need to be removed, which means you must find temporary housing. That extra expense needs to be considered in your decision making of adding upward or outward. 

If you build outward, keep in mind there will be a lot of disruption during the construction. The costs, either way, will depend on what the contractor will need to do. For example, an addition will require a foundation to be poured, or it may require excavation work. Exterior walls will need to be removed so they can join the addition to the existing house.

Building a second floor will require engineering consideration of the current foundation to make sure it can support the extra weight. It will require if retrofitting the foundation, existing walls will need to be removed, and don’t forget about the staircase. Not only is that an added expense, but you’ll lose some floor space on the first floor too.

A Sunroom Addition

A sunroom is a least-expensive addition and the most versatile. You can use it for relaxation or a playroom. If the climate is warm where you live, heating won’t need to be a concern, or if you live in a cold climate, you can choose not to heat this room during colder months to save money.

An Attic Conversion

We often consider the attic conversion when needing extra bath and bedroom spaces and can be the lesser expense of all options. The existing room may have to be replaced, which can add to that expense.  

Cost Breakdowns

Two factors that will always be a part of determining your budget will your planned home addition and remodeling contractors’ needs and requirements. To determine the best way and the least expensive way for all home additions is to meet with an architect and/or contractor. Then whatever “final” numbers they give you, add 10 to 20 percent more for incidental expenses. Other cost considerations to home additions are the final details like cabinetry and flooring. 

Increasing Home Value

A factor that you need to consider with home additions of any kind is what it will do to the property value. You won’t be able to get a 100% ROI. A master suite addition could you just over 60% ROI while an added bathroom will get your just over 50% and a sunroom addition less than 50%.

Is adding an addition worth it?   

There are several things to be considered when planning home additions. Whether it is for convenience or a growing family, you need to give yourself plenty of time to make the right decisions. Properly planned home additions will have the best results and the most enjoyment.

How can I add a cheap room to my house?

We’ve discussed the expenses of gaining more space with various scenarios of home additions, the pros, and cons of building outward or upward. However, maybe you don’t have a specific budget, but you still need more space. Can you gain that extra space on the cheap?  Yes, you can with any of the following: 

  1. Finish out the basement
  2. Convert the attic
  3. Finish out the garage

There are various reasons people consider home additions. Before you begin, you’ll need a contractor, but before you hire a contractor, you need to create a home addition checklist. This will help you interview prospective contractors and get a sense of if you want to work with them. Our suggested questions to ask are:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • How long have you been doing home additions?
  • How did you get your training?
  • What professional associations do you belong to?
  • Are you licensed, insured, and registered? (request a copy of each)
  • What is your warranty policy?
  • Will you pull the permits required?
  • In addition to the cost, what is the expected time frame to complete the job?
  • And request recent references, then call those references and chat with that customer.

With your due diligence using these questions, and any additional questions you may have, you’ll have better results that you’ll be happy with for years to come. Call (832) 725-0337 today for quality home addition from House Anything in Katy, TX.

What Falls Under Home Improvement?

The Exterior of a Two-Story Home.

The Fundamentals of Home Improvement

When discussing what falls under home improvement and the differences between renovations, maintenance, and major renovations, there can be a few misconceptions regarding these terms. Need to improve your home? Call (832) 725-0337 today. Sure, you might think they’re all the same, they’re actually not and we’ll get to this further along in this blog post. If you’ve got this itch of a doubt, it may be because you’re planning on making your own home improvements or remodeling. But if you’re really wondering what home improvement is all about, read on!

What Qualifies As a Home Improvement?

The same goes for anyone wondering what are home improvement services, right? Well basically, home improvement means anything from remodeling, altering, repairing, modernizing, updating, or adding to a residential property or structure. Any of these services qualify as home improvement services. This means that a home improvement contractor can help you do any of these things to your home’s already built structure.

What Is a Home Improvement Contractor?

When looking to improve, update or modernize any part of the home there are some things you can do yourself depending on your skills! However, once you envision big changes, you can require the help of a home improvement contractor to get the best, longlasting results.

A home improvement contractor is people specialized in anything having to do with home rehabilitation. They know about materials, are experts providing a wide array of options in materials, design, and trends to achieve the results you want. They are the professionals who are many times, engineers, architects, and designers who will offer their services to improve anything you require within your home.

A home improvement company, on the other hand, is basically a group of people dedicated to providing high-end services to any property owner looking to improve their home in any way, shape, or form. This is what we do at House Anything. !

What Is the Difference Between Remodeling and Renovation?

This question is where most of the misconceptions actually come from. Should you renovate or remodel? What are the differences between the two? Aren’t they the same? While both these terms are used interchangeably most of the time, they’re actually very different. Luckily, we’re here to break it down for you.

Remodeling consists of changing the structure, shape, form, or appearance of a certain object/space.

  • Changing a space’s functionality. Altering the structure of the space to give it a completely different use and transforming it as means of this. This has to do with reconfiguring the floor plan, for instance.
  • It improves a space’s functionality. Imagine you want to combine both the kitchen and living room area for an open kitchen concept. This is seen as remodeling.
  • Completely change the feeling of the space. You’ve added or removed walls expanded square footage. Remodeling gives spaces a whole new look and feel.

Renovating consists of restoring an object/space into a good state or making it new again.

  • It’s about renewing. In a home, you’re re-painting and re-storing cabinets, old paint, installing new light fixtures, and adding other finishes and detailing.
  • Upgrade – Update. Unlike remodeling, you’re not looking to alter but rather to update. In the case of a kitchen, you are upgrading it and adding value to the home.
  • Aesthetic Improvements. You are upgrading and updating everything to meet a new style, aesthetic, or vision rather than transforming anything.

So, What Is Considered a Major Renovation?

How do you know your home has been substantially renovated? You might want to know this in case you’re planning on making home improvements to sell your house. 

In this case, you’ll need to make sure that at least 90% of the inside of your property has been renovated to some degree. This will be a way to demonstrate to buyers how much value you’ve put into these projects.

Home Improvement vs. Maintenance

Other misconceptions are formed around these two terms. However, it’ll be important that you have a clear idea of what these two terms mean for your future home projects.

  • Home Improvement: Making something better than it was originally. It adds value.
  • Home Maintenance: Overal work that prevents your home from deteriorating. This has to do with plumbing, electrical outlets, paint, etc.

Home Improvement and Taxes

A Worker Prepares Walls for Remodeling.

What You Should Know

So now that you’re planning on improving your home, you might be asking yourself how home improvements affect taxes. There’s a simple answer to this: First, you’ll need to differentiate repairs from improvements and ask your accountant to guide you on this. After that, you cannot just add the cost of improvements and deduct from your taxes. There will be energy efficiency upgrades available for tax credits, but these are limited to change. You will be able to get tax deductions of all your home improvement, but this is only when you decide to sell your home. Hopefully, we’ve cleared the air as to home improvement misconceptions. If you have any other questions or would like some home improvement services for your Katy, TX home, call House Anything at (832) 725-0337!