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Outsourcing Home Maintenance: Costs and Benefits

With a rise in services such as Angie’s List, Thumbtack and Zaarly, today you can outsource just about any home maintenance task. But should you? Before picking up the phone and shelling out the cash for maintenance help, consider the pros and cons of outsourcing home maintenance versus doing it yourself. You may find the cost is completely worth it. Or, you may decide to save instead. If you currently pay for a home maintenance service you’re not alone. A recent Bankrate survey found more than three in five homeowners use at least one recurring home maintenance provider. These services don’t come cheap. Homeowners pay an average of $2,000 a year for maintenance services, according to the Bankrate survey. Zillow estimates the average is closer to $3,000. This is based on its review of the six most common projects hired for on Thumbtack. These services include “carpet cleaning, yard work,…

7 Ways to Spend a Little to Save a Fortune This Spring

Congratulations. You and your home survived another winter. If you got through it without frozen pipes, a damaged roof or furnace failure, consider yourself fortunate. Don’t press your luck now that spring has arrived. Spending a few dollars or hours on low-cost or DIY maintenance this spring can stave off thousands in repairs down the road. Here are seven of the more doable and valuable home maintenance tasks on your to-do list: Get After Those Gutters Water will always flow in the path of least resistance. Ideally, it’s through wide open gutters and downspouts. But leaves, sticks and other debris can create dams that block rainwater and force it where it shouldn’t go—into your soffits or cascading down to your foundation (and eventually your basement or crawlspace). If climbing a ladder to scoop out all that tree debris isn’t safe or possible for you, find someone to do it for…