Home maintenance guidelines from the BBB

Housing affordability continues to be one trend that remains top of mind for many homeowners and prospective buyers. With interest rates rising, some experts suggest we may see a decrease in home prices. However, housing supply remains historically low.

Because home costs continue to climb in many areas, it’s more important than ever to do your homework before hiring someone to perform work on your home. BBB recommends the following tips for finding trustworthy contractors and caring for your home.

Hire reliable contractors. No matter what kind of outside help you need, hiring a reputable contractor is key. Follow BBB’s tips at https://bit.ly/3FttAbP on hiring a contractor to make sure your project is in good hands.

Get professional help with remodeling. Unless you have a background in construction, it’s best to leave large remodeling projects to professionals. Plan your project and budget ahead of time. Then look for a construction or remodeling contractor who specializes in the remodeling you need.

Perform home maintenance regularly. The Department for Housing and Urban Development reminds homeowners that regular home maintenance reduces allergens, prevents illness, and reduces injury from accidents. Many homeowners use seasonal checklists to help them stay on top of home maintenance all year long.

Inspect your roof. A leaky roof can cause a variety of problems, so it’s wise to inspect your roof a few times each year, and especially after severe weather. If at any point you find that repairs are necessary, roofing contractors can assist with repairing or replacing your roof.

Keep your air ducts clean. As a general rule, plan on having your home’s air ducts cleaned every three to five years. However, if you notice mold, vermin or large amounts of dust clogging the air vents, you should get your air ducts cleaned by a trained HVAC technician as soon as possible. Clean air ducts will improve the efficiency of your heating and air conditioning system and extend its life. It may even reduce the cost of your energy bill.

Watch out for plumbing problems. Take a peek at your plumbing and fixtures as you perform regular home maintenance to make sure there are no leaks. Ask friends and neighbors to recommend a reputable plumber in the area and keep their number on hand, in case an emergency arises.

Consider installing an alarm system. An alarm system can make you feel more secure and protect your valuables when you are away. Choose a home security system from a credible, licensed company in your area and compare pricing before you sign up.

Add a fresh coat of paint. Quality exterior paint helps protect your home from insects and weather damage. Quality interior paint can protect your home from moisture and increase its value too. If painting isn’t your strong suit, consider hiring a professional painter who is equipped with the necessary tools, skills and safety equipment to get the job done efficiently.

Beware of home improvement scams. The Federal Trade Commission recommends getting multiple estimates, asking questions, and getting a written contract before you hire. Watch out for red flags, such as high-pressure sales tactics, cash-only deals, and contractors who don’t sign contracts. Always check references and ask for recommendations before you agree to hire a contractor.

Search BBB.org to find reputable roofers, painters, plumbers, lawn maintenance specialists, and security system companies in your area.

Roseann Freitas is a PR and communications manager for the Better Business Bureau Great West and Pacific region.