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Don't put off these 6 home repairs

You can still save money by staying on top of regular maintenance in your home and eliminate the need for costly repairs down the road. Here are six repairs you can’t afford to put off.

Repair leaky roofs. A leak in your roof doesn’t necessarily mean you need to replace it. But, if you let a small leak go, it can cost you big in the long run. Call in a reliable roofer for a repair estimate and be clear from the beginning that it’s a repair problem, not a replacement.

Repair leaky faucets and running toilets. Doing so could save hundreds of dollars per year on your water bill. And don’t neglect your sump pump. Check the batteries and update the appliance every few years. A flooded basement will cause thousands of dollars in damages, not to mention the loss of personal possessions.

Check the tub and shower. The caulking around your tub and shower prevents moisture penetration, which can lead to mold. Bath fixtures can avoid premature replacement if the tile surface is kept watertight, and the subsurface, usually drywall, remains dry.

Inspect electrical cords and outlets. Look for signs of distortion, discoloration or cracks in the insulation, and hire an electrician to replace tired outlets that no longer hold a plug. A defective receptacle, light switch or fixture replaced during a scheduled visit will save you hundreds of dollars over an emergency repair.

Weatherproof windows and doors. These are the two areas with the largest amount of air transfer in both cold and hot weather. Use a digital thermometer to check the seal quality and inspect the caulking for areas that have cracked or shrunken, which will allow water to damage siding and floors. Once sealed, use a programmable thermostat to help regulate air temperature, which could save you up to 10 percent on your monthly energy bill. 

Change your air filters. HVAC experts estimate that 60 percent of all service calls are the result of dirty filters. Changing air filters regularly (every month or so), especially if you have shedding pets or kids frequently running in and out, can save you up to $100 each year in energy costs.


Comments

Regarding MONTHLY changing of air filters: in the immortal words of John McEnroe: YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

Erie, Pa is not listed

Good tips...however, one air leak often overlooked may be in the bathroom exhaust fan. My central A/C-Heat system develops enough positive air pressure in the house, there is a good flow of air through the bathroom exhaust fan (powered OFF). I did a kleenex test. With the fan off, I turned on the A/C. I held a kleenix tissue up near the exhaust fan grill. It got sucked right up against it. I turned of the A/C and the kleenex fell to the floor. I have now covered the grill with saran wrap taped on the edges and don't use the exhaust fan any more. I'm still looking for exhaust fans that won't let air out while turned off.

Dirty dryer and chimney vents also are potential FIRE risks.

maximize efficiency of the a/c by checking the roof venting for good hot air release and if you have an electric fan ventilator check it twice a year to insure it is running properly.

My water heater is in the back of a coat closet where I never look. My cat snuck in there and when I found her, thought I'd just sweep all the way to the back. Moved the coats and discovered a very tiny leak at the sweat joint on one of the pipes! Would have been a disaster if it had gone unnoticed for long. It's a good idea to make a list and then do quarterly visual inspections. A home is a big investment...and it's in your own best interest to take care of it.

Here's a new one - addressing the last item on the list air filters. Make sure you check with your owners manual or the manufacturer of your furnace and AC. We were buying the more expensive filter thinking they would do the best job. Turns out they were limiting the air intake a caused damage to the furnance.

-leaks are #1 absolutely; that means ANYTHING that's wet and not in a sink, tub, or vessel. -chimney and dryer vent are a strong #2 -if anything electrical makes crackling sounds or smokes that's extremely urgent.

Leaks of any kind should all be bundled up and put under number one. Be it a Leaking roof, faucet, Dishwasher, sink drain, shower, the drip tray on the fridge, even a sweaty toilet tank that drips onto the floor if it is leaking get it fixed NOW! I have seen all these problems run into thousands in repairs.

it is necessary to do those repairs to be comfortable at home. planning to get good contractor. find the best offer i can have. try companies offering quality for less. such as Roofing Company including services like Windows Replacement,and Residential Painting.

It works to change your light switch cover plates and drain catches too... makes the whole thing FRESH

Tip # 5 - Proper installment is key here! Correctly installed doors and windows will 1. Eliminate the need for temporary caulking 2. Offers a guarantee against these sort of problems 3. Guarantees a long-term solution!

The 5 things listed are true top priority! A roof is usually fixed or replaced after several years, or depending on when you bought your home. That was the first thing we checked into even before we signed on dotted lines.

I agree with the leaky that a leaking roof should be in the top 5. I had a leaking pipe collar and let it go for a while and had to get the ceiling in the bathroom fixed. The dryer information is a true statement and they have this stick to clean your dryer that can help and you can get the professional to clean it once every 18 months depends on how often you use the dryer. Also, would like to see a free trial period to join for new customers.

Good list, but do agree with the roof leaks. I had a surprise on water though. Got a $100 water bill that showed me using over 100,000 gallons of water. I live by my self and no way. Had them confirm the water meter and they said it was fine. Refused to pay for 100,000 gallons of water as it would have flooded the house, or run down the street off of my property. They finally lowered the bill to $25.00. My normal bill ran between $10-$15.

I would like to see a lower price to join Angie's List!

I do believe that a leaky roof should be in the top 5 since avoidance of the problem only makes the matter worse. I'm not a plumber but then you don't need to be a doctor to know when you're sick.

First things first. Keep the outside water outside and be sure the inside water is going out. you can prioritize everything else from there.

Since it is a great benefit to providers of services, I agree that I would like to see membership for us beleaguered homeowners to be less costly

I too, agree that a leaky roof should be on your top 5. Also, how about giving new customers a free trial?

I just had my dryer vent cleaned. I was surprised to discover that it was almost completely clogged with lint! Now our clothes dry a lot more quickly. That was $50 well spent.

Failing to clean dryer vents is a significant cause of house fires. Also not inspecting your chimney or allowing soot buildup can result in a fire. Check these out regularly.

all true but it is also fact that some people re not ready to be homeowners either because they lack info and skills or funds to hire someone to handle maintenance. Condo popularity for busy people is evidence of this. I hope the stimulus plan will train workers for these necessary skills.

Rather than a leaky roof, any water leak should have top priority. I once had a leaking condensate drain pan in my attic that went unnoticed too long. Needless to say I had to replace the entire ceiling in my hallway and a portion of a bedroom. Water is a notorious foe.

I love Angie's List. You have guided me well,

I also believe with these guys!!

I was suprised a leaky roof wasn't on the list as well. In most regions all you have to worry about is some damaged or rotted structurual components. But in regions like mine (Washington) mold has proven to be extremely damaging.

I agree with Phil. Whether from leaky pipes or roof, water damage can add up to all sorts of problems fairly quickly--and quietly!

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