Angie's List: Top 7 home repairs you shouldn't miss
The new year is here and there is no time like the present to get your home in order. Home improvement projects are a great way to kick off the new year, and they'll help save you time and money in the long run.
Angie's List, the consumer review website, suggests making a list of what's important to help you get on the right track. Creator Angie Hicks says, "walk around as if you are getting ready to buy the house. Write down everything you see that's potentially wrong and that way you can prioritize it."
The website lists seven repairs you shouldn't avoid in 2012 to help save you stress, time and money.
1. The Roof: A small issue with your roof doesn't mean you need to replace the whole thing, but letting the little things go only means you're in for big bills later. If you notice loose shingles, have attic leaks, suspect chimney issues or see other signs of damage, call in a reputable roofer, gutter or chimney expert or a handyman to give you great advice about what you need done.
2. Leaks: Leaky faucets and running toilets will just get worse, so it's better to get them fixed now before major damage occurs. If you've noticed a jump in your water bill but haven't increased your usage, you likely have a hidden leak. Hidden leaks can lead to mold, wood rot and severe water damage.
3. Caulking: The caulking around your tub and shower prevents moisture penetration, which can lead to mold, tile and wall damage and warped cabinetry. Making sure your home is water tight can help save you a bundle, and it's not just the inside of your home that has caulking. All homes get cracks and voids in their outside walls over time. You should look closely at where two boards come together, because cracks often start there. Be sure to caulk any cracks you see to avoid water penetration, subsequent wood rot and to keep the critters out.
4. Lights: If your lights dim on their own, that's a clear sign you have an electrical problem. Experts say that too many homeowners tolerate this situation for too long, which puts their homes at risk for an electrical fire. If you have an issue like this or any other electrical issue, you should call in a licensed, reputable electrician.
5. Drafty doors and windows: Improperly sealed windows and doors will bring cold air inside during the winter and let cooled air out in the summer, costing you big bucks on your energy bill. An energy audit can tell you where your leaks are and how to seal them up.
6. Air Filter: Changing your air filter regularly can save you up to $100 each year on your energy bill. It will also keep you from needing emergency repair.
7. Sump Pump: Take a look at your sump pump from time to time. If it's in good shape and its batteries are good, it could save you thousands of dollars in the event of a flood. You should get an annual inspection from a plumbing expert and check the batteries at least quarterly.