HOMEFINDER: Regular upkeep maintains home value

We offer some tips to enhance the value of your home

Every homeowner knows the learning curve is never ending when you own your own home.

Along with washing the dishes and sweeping the floor come routine maintenance tasks and minor repairs that occur both seasonally and when you least expect it.

We’ve compiled a list of around-the-house chores and troubleshooting ideas that every homeowner should know.

Clean gutters: Leaves, pine needles and other debris will clog your gutters routinely and keeping them clear will help keep rain off your roof and drain it away from your house. Clean your gutters twice a year or more frequently if you have overhanging trees and after a wind storm. Use a sturdy ladder and place it on a firm, level base.

Protect your hands with work gloves and use a small trowel to help scoop debris out of the gutter working away from the drain. To keep things tidy, use a bucket to scoop the leaves into. Then use a hose to clean out each section of gutter. Finally, make sure your drainpipes are clear. Use a hose or plumber’s snake to push out any clogs.

Find a wall stud: Hanging heavy items inside means using the strongest part of your wall – the stud. The easiest way is to use an electronic stud finder, but when you don’t have one handy there are other easy ways to locate a stud. Most electrical outlets are fastened to the side of a stud, so check beside or within an inch of the outlet.

Most studs are 16 inches apart, so use a small drill bit or nail and drill in just above the baseboard to make sure you’re on target.

Change a furnace filter: On most furnaces the filter will be adjacent to the furnace. The filter box may be covered by a small door, or the filter itself will be visible inside a notch that it slides into. Pull the old filter out and discard it. Look on the new filter for airflow arrows that are printed along the sides of the filter. These arrows are always meant to point in the direction of the airflow. Slide the furnace filter into the filter air box with the arrows pointing toward the furnace.

Re-caulk a window: This is best done in mild, dry weather. Start on lower windows and you’ll be an expert before you have to climb a ladder. Prep carefully, removing old caulk, dirt and paint with a razor blade, cleaning the surface with a wire brush. Important to remember is to make sure you have the right type of caulking for the job.

Place the tube in the caulk gun and pull the notched rod back and turn it into place. Cut the tip of the tube about a 1/4 inch at an angle. Press the tip firmly against one corner of the window and apply caulk to the next corner in a continuous bead, just thick enough to fill the gap. Continue around all sides of the window, wiping excess caulk away with a rag immediately.

Repair cracks in the driveway: Heat, rain and tree roots can all take a toll on your driveway. To repair cracks in concrete, first power wash with a masonry cleaning solution to remove oil and grime. Mix your concrete to a doughy consistency.

Use a sand mix for small cracks and gravel for larger holes and deep cracks. Pour the concrete in the cracks and use a trowel to fill in the holes, to remove excess and leave a flat surface. Allow it to dry overnight. When dry, apply a coat of resurfacing concrete over the entire surface.

Q: WHAT HOME MAINTENANCE CAN INCREASE MY HOME’S VALUE?

Keep your garden green. Busy lives keep homeowners away from garden and landscaping duties, but if you can’t take care of it, don’t have it.

Brown and unkept lawns, trees, bushes, gardens or flowerbeds can bring the value of your home down, even though it doesn’t actually have much to do with your actual house.

The next time you need to replace your windows, consider energy-efficient models to replace single-pane windows. The increased up-front cost can be recouped by increased interest from potential buyers, more and more of whom keep energy efficiencies in mind.

Much like your garden, having a safe and accessible deck can be a deciding factor for some buyers. Cleaned and well kept outdoor furniture and a sturdy and safe deck can have buyers dreaming of their summer outdoor living.

It may seem silly, but keeping your bathrooms cleaned and well maintained can sway the decision in your favour.

GREATER VICTORIA MARKET UPDATE » MONTH TO DATE NOV. 10/14  COURTESY VICTORIA REAL ESTATE BOARD

» 137 / 412 — NET UNCONDITIONAL SALES / TOTAL,  NOV. 2013

» 195 / 698 — NEW LISTINGS / TOTAL,  NOV. 2013

» 3,722 / 4,017 — ACTIVE RESIDENTIAL LISTINGS / TOTAL,  OCT. 2013

Just Posted

Ambitious B.C. Aviation Museum need $10M to get iconic Lancaster back in the air

Volunteers flock to work on bomber, restoration expected to take 10 years

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority to fall fake eagle tree at Ogden Point

Last year a fake tree was installed to try to entice eagles to stay in the area, without much success

Saanich to potentially host first hydrogen fuel station on Vancouver Island

Station proposed for corner of Quadra Street and McKenzie Avenue

Langford man sentenced to 15 months for child pornography collection

Andre Mollon sentenced for posession of more than 1,000 child pornography images and 70 videos

400 drivers stopped, screened on West Shore with zero charges

Friday evening stop led to one vehicle taken off the road for being too dangerous to drive

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Inspirational Vancouver Island youngster dies after battle with brain cancer

Kaiden Finley ‘was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

Most Read