When it comes to home maintenance projects, does it make sense to invest in the best? Short answer: Sometimes, but not always.
For some projects, you can get away with middle-of-the-road options without much sacrifice in function. Other tasks are worth paying more for the best possible quality.
Check out these tasks to learn where you can save and where to splurge on home maintenance projects.
Splurge on …
Replacing windows: Spend more upfront for quality windows and you’ll be rewarded with lower energy bills. You need specialized tools and expertise to ensure a well-insulated and secure fit, so better to leave installation to the pros.
Repairing or replacing roof: The roof protects your entire house, so hire a reputable roofing contractor to install the best quality product you can afford. Plus, some roof materials have 50-plus year warranties, so you’ll likely only have to pay for this maintenance project once.
Cleaning and repairing gutters: Neglect this task and you risk causing costly damage due to clogged gutters and leaks, which can cause interior and exterior water damage and pest infestations.
Trimming trees: Working with sharp tools several feet off the ground presents a double danger. Additionally, if you lack tree-trimming expertise, you risk injuring passersby below and causing damage to your tree. Spend the extra money to hire a professional to complete this task.
Save on …
Smoke detectors: In most cases, standard battery-powered or hardwired smoke detectors work well for their intended purpose. Wireless models with special features such as remote control silencers and voice alarms are nice if you love smart-home technology, but they’re not must-haves.
Programmable thermostats: You don’t need a top-of-the-line thermostat to save money on heating and cooling costs — basic programmable models start at around $100. While an easy enough DIY project, most HVAC companies can install them if you don’t feel comfortable.
Changing the HVAC filter: Inexpensive pleated HVAC filters work just as well as more expensive high-efficiency electrostatic ones in most cases, as long as you replace them every three months. Sometimes electrostatic filters trap so much dirt and debris that they cause HVAC systems to work overtime. However, if you have allergies or live with smokers, the extra purification electrostatic filters provide may be worth the cost.
Tile materials: Designer tile made of natural stone or glass is certainly striking, but an affordable ceramic tile can deliver an elegant look for a fraction of the cost. Plus, it’s often much easier to maintain. If there’s a particular designer tile you like, consider using it as an accent to add some impact for less.