19 Home Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make
Save time, money, and frustration by avoiding these home care and repair mistakes that you won't realize you've made until it's too late.
Never changing the furnace filter
Knocking down a load-bearing wall
Forgetting to read the installation manual
Never checking the thermostat
Did you know that you can save money on your energy bills by monitoring and setting your thermostat? Simply reset your thermostat at night and when you are away from home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “you can save as much as 10 percent per year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back seven to 10° for eight hours a day from its normal setting.”
Never checking the power on the furnace
Starting up the AC without doing this
Painting glossy paint on a bad surface
Painting the ceiling without wearing a hat
Making rookie mistakes
Two common first-time painting mistakes:
1. Leaving the lid off of the paint can. The most obvious problem with this bad habit is that someone is bound to step on the lid and track paint all over. But there are other reasons to put the lid back on immediately. It’ll keep your paint clean and prevent dried-out paint crud from forming in the can or on the lid. Plus, you’re less likely to get the lids from two similar colors mixed up, which can cause hassles later.
2. Forgetting to lockout pets. Here’s what can and does happen—you step out of the room you’re painting and pretty soon your dog is in there sniffing around. He grabs the paintbrush handle in his mouth and carries it, dripping, across the house to give it back to you, leaving painted paw prints in his path. Avoid all pet-related painting problems by keeping your pets locked away from the project at all times.
Fertilizing at the wrong time of year
Never resetting your ice maker
Never cleaning your dryer lint screen
Never changing the thermostat batteries
Installing an improperly sized fan
Forgetting crucial installation steps
Cutting off the wrong end
Not measuring carefully
Not taking everything into consideration
Not calling before digging
Did you know there’s a nationwide number you can call before you dig? Call 811 to have your underground utility lines marked—for free. We recommend calling before starting any project that requires digging, even small projects like planting shrubs. Hitting an underground utility line with your shovel can knock out power to your house or neighborhood, and it can cause serious bodily harm—even death—not to mention a rather large bill from the utility company.
When you call 811 from anywhere in the country, your call is routed to affected utility companies, which send out a professional locator to mark the underground lines, usually within a few days. For more information, visit call811.com. The other one-call referral system number we’ve featured, (888) 258-0808, can still be used to have your underground utilities marked. Next, learn the things all smart homeowners do once a week.