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Maintaining your home investment

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Updated: 1/17/2013 10:13 am

(BPT) - Home ownership is an important investment that can create both a sense of pride and a place in the world that is all your own. While the investment in purchasing or building your own home is sizeable, letting your home fall into disrepair can be even more costly. However, home maintenance doesn't have to be a daunting task. By following a few simple steps and making maintenance a regular activity, you'll not only preserve the quality of your home, but you'll likely save money over the long term.

Keep a regular maintenance schedule

Whether you've just moved in or have lived in your home for decades, it's important to establish a regular routine to maintain your home. Some tasks should be checked off the list regularly, while others are more seasonal. Start a list or put reminders on your calendar for these important to-dos:

* Regularly test fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

* Replace air filters for heating and cooling systems according to owner's manuals.

* Schedule regular furnace and water heater maintenance.

* Check electrical outlets to ensure proper function.

* Weatherproof doors and windows according to the season.

* Don't underestimate regular cleaning to keep your home in top shape.

Invest in items that protect your investments:

Regular home maintenance is worth your while and certain investments can ensure your home remains in top shape for years to come. There are many different products designed to help you maintain your home investment by making it easier to clean, protect, update and more. For example, if pets are part of your family, investing in a great vacuum can help keep your house pet hair free, while a home security system will help ensure your home and possessions are protected at all times.

If you're building a new home or remodeling, consider products designed to maintain your investments. For example, KraftMaid's CoreGuard sink base, an engineered polymer cabinet interior, is designed to protect from leaks and spills that commonly occur under the sink. Available through dealers, Lowe's or The Home Depot, CoreGuard offers a simple solution to protect cabinetry for the long term.

What's on the outside counts too.

While you may experience the benefits of interior maintenance more regularly, outdoor maintenance is just as important in taking care of your home. Tasks like making sure gutters are clear and siding is clean and damage-free help ensure that the exterior of your home stays beautiful. Strategic landscaping can help with heating or cooling costs by allowing light in or providing shade where needed. It can also help by diverting water away from the house to avoid leaks or damage. Additionally, an investment in the exterior of your house can enhance the curb appeal and make it a joy to come home to every day.

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