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DIY Home Upkeep

Jan 26, 2015 03:38AM, Published by Family Features, Categories: Family Features

Homeowners can avoid emergency repairs by completing a few home projects each season. A simple project such as inspecting the plumbing annually can prevent the unexpected cost of repairing water damage from a pipe that burst.

"Repairing water damage can cost 22 times the amount of annually cleaning the gutters, which can prevent water damage to the home's foundation," said Chris Terrill, CEO of HomeAdvisor. "The average cost of cleaning the gutters is $212 according to HomeAdvisor's Cost Guide."

From spring to winter, Terrill offers these maintenance tips to help homeowners save money and time in the long run:


  • Plumbing. Every spring inspect all plumbing for leaks. Small problems, like leaky faucets and clogged drains can turn into big headaches if left unchecked. The average national cost of hiring a plumber to repair pipes is $411; however, repairing water damage can cost seven times that amount.

  • Roof. Checking for damage and making general repairs in the springtime can extend the lifespan of a roof. Neglecting to make these minor fixes can lead to long-term damage. The average cost of replacing and installing a new roof is $7,744.


  • Trees and shrubs. The average cost of trimming trees and shrubs is $577, but leaving them untrimmed can lead to roof damage. The average cost of repairing a roof is $1,100.

  • Paint. In the summer, touching up the home's exterior paint not only boosts its curb appeal, but it also acts as a home's primary defense against weather, insects and other damage. If a homeowner neglects to complete this task, completely repainting the home's exterior costs an average of $3,180.


  • Gutter and downspouts. During the fall, clean the gutter and downspouts. According to HomeAdvisor's Cost Guide, the average cost of cleaning the gutter and downspout is $212. Ignoring this matter can affect the foundation of a home, which can cost an average of $4,607 to repair.

  • Windows and doors. Install weather stripping during the fall for an average cost of $458. This will prevent unwanted air from leaking into a home. On average, homeowners spend 40 percent more on heating and air conditioning due to drafty windows and doors.


  • Refrigerator. Vacuum the coils on the back of the fridge during the winter. Letting the coils build up with dirt and grime can decrease its efficiency, and can cost $317 to repair.

  • Furnace. In the winter, service the furnace to make sure it is operating properly, safely and to its fullest capability.

Tips for every season

  • Garbage disposal. Flush the garbage disposal every season. Regularly doing this will keep your disposal clean and functioning properly. The average cost of repairing a clogged drain is $381.

  • Smoke detectors. Be a responsible homeowner and test the smoke detectors seasonally. Smoke detectors are the single most important step to ensuring home safety, and having one during a fire increases the likelihood of survival by more than 50 percent.

For more information, visit

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