Keeping up on Home Maintenance

Practical tips to avoid costly repairs down the road

For most people, their greatest asset and investment in life is their home. Experts say one of the first things we can do to be proactive about home maintenance is to assess which items in the house need immediate attention. When it comes to appliances that can become costly if they are not taken care of regularly is a water heater.

“Every water heater needs to be flushed out at least once a year and a lot of people don't do it,” said Scott Root, owner of MC Plumbing, a full-service plumbing company serving residential and commercial customers throughout the valley. Root said flushing out the water heater regularly can increase its lifespan and increase efficiency.

“Water heaters normally last about five years, but they will stay around much longer if you take care of them,” said Root. “We charge about $125 to flush out your tank. Compared to about $1500 or more that you have to shell out if your 40-gallon water heater has to be completely replaced due to extreme corrosion.”

To help encourage people to put their plumbing maintenance at the top of their list, Root is currently offering a $99 deal to flush out a water heater. He says every homeowner should be vigilant, especially because the Las Vegas Valley has some of the hardest water in the country.

“Just schedule it like you would your car,” said Root. “Most people get their oil change done on a regular basis, but they are not doing the same with things in their home, and their home is probably their biggest financial investment."

According to Allstate Insurance Agency owner Dwain Frazier, consistency in home maintenance is also the secret to saving money long-term on your homeowners insurance. Frazier has been in the insurance business for nearly four decades, almost half that time in Southern Nevada. He said one of his best pieces of advice for homeowners is to maintain their homes and do necessary repairs so they don't run into costly expenses or claims.

Being smart about how you use insurance is also another way Frazier describes as part of an overall plan to keep annual insurance costs under control.

“We focus on educating our clients on the importance of having the proper coverage they need at a competitive price,” said Frazier. “Don’t be focused solely on price. You want to make sure you have the proper coverage before you have a claim.”

When it comes to finding the right business to help protect your home and finances, the team at Bell Solar says it starts with choosing a reputable company.

“You want to do your homework in any kind of construction being done on your house. Your home is your number one prized asset, so you want to make sure people who are doing the work on your property have a good track record,” said Jeff Iverson, Chief Strategy Officer at Bell Solar.

Bell Solar is a Las Vegas-based electrical contractor focused on renewables. More than 90 percent of their business is dedicated almost entirely to installing and maintaining solar panels on rooftops.

“We are living during a time where there’s a lot of unknowns,” said Iverson. “The price of gas and electricity is on top of people’s minds. Especially for electricity, I don’t foresee that going down anytime soon because of the demands.”

Iverson said more people in the last ten years are looking to install solar panels. The estimated price tag for the solar panel system for a 2500-square-foot home is between $20,000 to $30,000, but Iverson said it all varies depending on energy consumption. Although he said in the long run, a homeowner can save about $50,000 over two decades.

“It can be substantial and ties into the financial planning portion of a homeowner's future,” said Iverson.

“Most people get their oil change done on a regular basis, but they are not doing the same with things in their home, and their home is probably their biggest financial investment."

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