Owning a home is a joy in and of itself. There is an undeniable satisfaction that accompanies being the master of your own domain. Unfortunately, that also means being the master of all the maintenance in that domain. Being proactive in doing regular, preventive maintenance is the best strategy to keep your house in shape and reduce costs, but that can grow tiresome.
So, it behooves you to try to create the most durable home possible by using materials that require less maintenance. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a maintenance-free home – the term “sweat equity” exists for a reason – but here are some tips to make your home more durable:
- Carpet is very durable and, with advances in stain resistance technology, easier to keep clean than in the past.
- For homes with small children or pets, ceramic tile is a good option, as it easier to clean than carpeting and is also very durable.
- Use treated lumber for outdoor decks, and add a water seal after building. The former will deter termites; the latter will prevent rotting due to water damage.
- Choose the right shingle for where you live. Asphalt shingles come in a variety of thicknesses, each designed to withstand more wear. You might also consider shingles made of another material, such as metal or clay, where appropriate.
- For areas that get a lot of snow, consider a sheet metal roof. Usually made from aluminum or steel, metal roofs stand up better to harsh winters. Snow also slides off the metal easier, meaning less time clearing snow off the roof in the winter.
- Energy-efficient windows help keep the elements out, putting less of a strain on your heating, cooling and ventilation systems, so they will require less maintenance. They also contribute to lower energy costs.
- Select window frames made from durable aluminum or hardwood, both of which are less likely to deteriorate and need repair over time.
Sealants and insulation are other areas where you have the opportunity to choose more durable materials. You should consult a professional on these, however, as not all materials are appropriate for all applications. For example, cellulose insulation works well in walls, but should not be used to insulate ducts and pipes. Be sure to go with a solution that is not only durable, but appropriate for the task at hand. Consult a professional with these or any other questions you may have.