With the majority of the country finally thawing out from a tough winter, now is the ideal time to get your house in shape for the pending warm weather.
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“Spring is the perfect time after winter to see what the damage is,” says Michael Corbett, Trulia's real estate expert and author. “It’s also an ideal time to prevent having to make those repairs in the height of the summer season when some are much more costly.”
Real estate experts say the first item on homeowners’ to-do list is checking their home heating and cooling system and/or air conditioner units. Heating repair people tend to be in less demand in warmer months, which means customers might be able to catch a price break.
“You also want to test the AC now because come the middle of the summer when its 110 degrees, you’ll never be able to get an AC specialist on the phone. And when you do reach someone, it’s going to cost three times as much,” says Corbett.
Conserving energy, particularly during the hot days of summer and cold nights in winter, can go a long way in saving money on gas, oil and electricity bills, which is why now is the time to swap old thermostats for smart ones that can be programmed to coincide with the owner’s activities.
Sealing any gaps or holes around windows, doors and electrical outlets will ensure the cool air stays in the home during the summer. Spring is also the ideal time to test and replace if necessary fire and carbon monoxide detectors. According to Nan Shanahan, owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Shanahan Group, smoke detectors typically last five years and 10 years for a CO2 detector.
Shanahan says now is also the time to check and repair any loose bricks on chimneys, and to make sure all gutters and downspouts are cleaned out and in the right location.
“With spring rain, you don’t want water in the basement,” she says. “It’s a really great idea to make sure all the gutters are cleaned out and there’s no water penetration problems.”
Preventing air from leaking out is not only helpful with lowering cooling costs, it also keeps critters out of a home. According to Redfin listing agent Tonya Nelson, homeowners need to check the insulation in attics and crawl spaces to make sure no animals made their home or nest there during the winter. “People need to do a visual walk around the house,” says Nelson.
Having roof repairs done in the spring can save a lot of money. Months of heavy snow piling up and later melting can cause a lot of damage and result in leaks if problems go unfixed.
“It’s the ideal time for roof repairs because it’s a slower time for roofing people,” says Corbett. “Wait until the warmer weather, and it’s going to be harder to get someone and more expensive.”