home repairs to start first

What Home Repairs Should I Start With First?

Whether you plan on doing several repairs to get your house ready for resale or are just doing some long-overdo upgrades, you need to prioritize your projects.

Unfortunately, determining which home repairs to start with can seem quite daunting, especially for first-timers.

Luckily for you, I did the hard work for you already.

Although none of them are glamorous, here are the top 11 home repairs you should start with first.

1 – Roof Repairs

If you have a whole ton of repairs to do, the first on your list should be roof repair. As we all know, the interior of our homes are safe as long as there is a secure roof above. However, a leak can pop up seemingly out of nowhere, and failing to do something about it can lead to other issues down the road. The moment you notice a shingle missing, even if it only blew off from the wind, do not dillydally: replace that shingle immediately. If you have a more involved roof repair, this applies even more. Remember to seal even the tiniest leaks and cracks to avoid mold forming and insulation trouble.

2 – Foundation Repairs

Are you seeing a crack or two in your foundation? Do not chalk it up to the house settling. You need to take action.

If you have a suspicion that your house’s foundation might be experiencing problems, it should be among the very first home repairs you make. Why? Think about it: this is where your home literally sits. If anything goes wrong down there, the entire structural integrity of your home could be in jeopardy.

If you have a crawlspace, check it often to be sure it does not have any stagnant water that could ruin your foundation. Also, if you notice any cracks that could lead to the topsoil settling on your foundation walls, seal those immediately. Many of these basic foundation repairs – although in need of immediate attention – can be done without hiring a professional. For the more complicated issues, I personally would not go the DIY route.

3 – Plumbing Issues

There is not much worse than the sudden sight of a leaking or bursting pipe in your home. Make sure to address this problem as soon as you notice it. Failing to do so not only will result in water damage both to the house and your belongings, but also could lead to mold formation.

If your home has been depending on outdated plumbing for several years, have an expert come take a look at it. Ask him or her to give you a solid recommendation in terms of repair vs. replacement options and devise a plan of attack.

Remember, if left unattended, leaking pipes can cause a huge amount of damage not only on your walls, but also to the foundation. Whatever you do, do not get lazy about plumbing issues – no matter how small they might seem at first.

4 – Walls and Ceilings

The walls of your home quite literally hold it in place. Never underestimate just how often they might need to be repaired. Always be on the lookout for nail holes, dings, and other kinds of minor damage, and repair them immediately before they turn into something far worse. Obviously, for bigger issues (think sagging ceilings), not only do they need to be addressed the moment you see them, but you should definitely get a professional to remedy the problem.

A quick inspection around your house should help you notice all of these issues as well as any discoloration. For discoloration, a mere paint job should do the trick. Painting is cheap, easy to do yourself, and a great way to upgrade the look of your home after you finished your wall and ceiling repairs.

5 – Electrical Panels and Circuit Breakers

A blown fuse or circuit breaker issue is a bigger deal than you might think and could be a symptom of a much wider-ranging electrical problem. For this reason, make sure to take care of these repairs as soon as possible and be sure to hire a skilled electrician to do them unless you are very confident that you have what it takes to do them yourself.

If your home has been running on an older electrical system for several years, you might want to consider replacing it. If not, at least have it checked by an electrician for any needed repairs in order to avoid problems that could crop up later on. The same applies to systems that base their functionality on panels.

6 – HVAC Repair and Filter Issues

No matter how busy you are or how tight your budget is, you should always ensure that your home’s HVAC system remains in great condition throughout the year. That means it needs to be clean, leak-free, and efficient. When conducting repairs for this system, you often have two options: replace the filters or simply give them a thorough cleaning. Although it might be a pain to do, try to conduct an HVAC inspection at least every other month.

7 – Window Repairs and Replacements

Although most of your windows will serve you well for years without fail, some might break, crack, or simply stop working properly. Failing to fix a window could allow rain in, which could lead to water damage. Insects and critters could also find there way in too, so take care of window repairs as soon as they need to be made.

After many years of use, your windows will no longer work as effectively as they once did. When this happens, you will probably start seeing gaps that let air in, and they might even begin to get stuck more frequently. At this point, consider replacing them entirely – it might even increase the resale value of your home.

8 – Floor Repairs

Damaged floors can be dangerous. If you have a hardwood or tiled floor that begins to chip, crack, or break, anyone walking without shoes or socks could get hurt. If you have children running around or babies crawling, the problem becomes even more pressing.

Sometimes, all you will need to do is replace a few pieces of tile. However, for more complicated damage, you will likely need to install a brand new floor. For this sort of repair, you really need to know yourself. Installing carpet (and even tile or hardwood flooring) is not that difficult, but it is definitely not a job you want to get wrong. Depending on your DIY prowess (or lack there of when it comes to floors), you might want to hire a pro to take care of it.

9 – Water Heating System

Having a busted water heater can be an absolute disaster, especially in the winter months. If you start to notice something fishy the next time you take a shower, make sure your water heating system is functioning properly. Failing to do so could leave you without hot water when you might need it most.

10 – Bathroom Repairs

A bathroom is one of the most important rooms in every home. Most individuals start and end their day in it. Consequently, that faulty faucet, clogged toilet, missing tile, broken cabinet, or similar issue really should be rectified immediately.

11 – Kitchen Repairs

I am not talking about kitchen remodeling. I am referring to fixing things that are broken in your kitchen. For starters, if any of your appliances are on the fritz, go out and get new ones. It might be a bit expensive to get a brand new dishwasher or stove, but these items are used on an everyday basis. Similarly, if you have a broken kitchen cabinet or two, it might be time to install new ones or at least repair them.

There you have it. Now that you know some of the most pressing home repairs you might encounter, start prioritizing your list today and get to work.

If you’re serious about doing your own home repairs, check out my post: Must-Have Tools of the Trade for Home Improvement DIYers.

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