Owning a home is an amazing opportunity and offers true freedom in how you want to live your life.  When a home is yours, you get to make it yours- from how it looks, to how you use the space inside.  With all this freedom, though, comes the responsibility of needing to maintain the home on your own. There’s no calling the landlord when a problem pops up at two in the morning! Even a repairman may be unavailable when trouble strikes. That’s why it’s so important for all homeowners to know a bit about how to protect their home before a problem occurs, and how to react should a more serious problem present itself. While some people are handier than others, here are 5 maintenance skills anyone can master.

  1. Know How to Turn off your Utilities – If you smell gas or have a water leak, taking quick action to shut off the source coming into your home can save you thousands of dollars in repairs, and potentially even lives. While repairs to these systems should always be left to the professionals, being able to turn them off is important. Talk with your utility professionals and learn how to operate the cutoffs in your home, and instruct your family how to operate them in an emergency.
  2. Understand Electricity– Electricity is an amazing convenience, but it can also be extremely dangerous. Both shock and fire concerns are always present when dealing with electricity. Learn the basics of how electricity functions and how to avoid dangerous situations. Once you know that, learn how to reset GFI outlets and popped breakers to avoid having to call the electrician.
  3. Know how to find a Wall Stud– Stud finders are available and easy to use, and can help prevent you from damaging drywall by trying to hang a heavy object from them.
  4. Change Air Filters– Keep your heating and cooling systems running smooth and help them survive long-term by changing filters regularly. Not only will you keep these systems in good shape, but you’ll also avoid potential health concerns from dirty, clogged filters.
  5. Address Simple Plumbing– From fixing a running toilet to recaulking the shower, simple plumbing related issues are often easy to fix- but costly if you have to call in a professional.

You don’t have to be a carpenter, electrician, or plumber to understand the basics of keeping your home in good shape. Thanks to the availability of quality guides online, almost any minor project is within the capabilities of a dedicated homeowner with a few hand tools. When you accept the responsibility of home ownership, you’ll be able to ensure the safety and security of your home and your family.