Since early 2020, over half of US homeowners have touched up their homes at least once. The backyard, closely followed by the kitchen and home office, is where people spend the most money and time.
But wouldn’t you rather spend your spare time at home on other things? Unless you’re a DIY buff, you likely want to keep home maintenance to a minimum. Plus, doing it yourself can even backfire, literally, if you don’t do a good job.
If you want to free up your time, read on to learn our top 10 upgrades for creating low-maintenance homes.
1. Side With Vinyl
The wood siding looks quaint, but it’s far from practice. It needs continual upkeep: cleaning it, scraping off lichen and debris, and painting it every three to seven years, depending on the climate you live in.
Instead of spending a fortune on care, why not opt for the low-maintenance house solution of vinyl or plastic siding? It’s durable, won’t fade, and still has that traditional look you’re after. And the real kicker is that adequately installed vinyl siding can last up to sixty years, looking as good as the day you installed it.
2. Ditch the Carpet
The carpet was the only choice for most rooms in a home right up to the 1990s. In decades past, no one would dream of covering their bedroom or even lounge floor with what was deemed “cold” flooring. Today, trends have shifted, and wood, ceramic tile, vinyl, and even natural stone floors are taking over our homes.
Of all these materials, hardwood reigns supreme as the premiere floor adornment. But how do you choose when it comes to engineered wood flooring vs hardwood? If low maintenance is your change driver, then go with the engineered option. It has all the good looks of traditional hardwood while being more durable, cheaper, and easier to install.
3. Cladded Windows Last
We bet sanding and painting your window frames every year is far from your favorite chore. In your quest for a maintenance-free home, why not replace those rotting wood frames with cladded windows?
These timber frames are covered with aluminum or vinyl on the exterior-facing side. Inside, you get to admire the natural wood finish, while outside, all you’ll have to do is give the frames an occasional wipe down. And even that’s if you choose to go with tilt-in sashes or casement windows.
4. Install a Metal Roof
When you think of a metal roof, remove the image of a tin shack from your head. Today’s sheet metal roofing is far from the rusty corrugated toppings of the past.
The coated roofing panels are far closer to maintenance-free than wood, tile, stone, asphalt, or fiber cement. Sheets come in various styles and colors, never fade or rust, and withstand stormy weather or heavy dumps of snow.
Best of all, this roofing material comes with some of the building industry’s most extended warranties.
5. Replace Your Lawn With Native Grasses
Native grass lawns have so many benefits it’s surprising everyone doesn’t have one.
- Are a safe harbor for local insects
- Don’t need to be mowed, sometimes ever
- Are naturally pest-resistant
- Don’t need any fertilizer
- Add color and texture to a garden design
- Are drought-tolerant–you can save up to 80 percent on your water use
And best of all, by planting a lawn of native grasses, you’ll be directly increasing the biodiversity in your area, something much needed in today’s climate-challenged world.
All of these features of native lawns make them one of the most low-maintenance house features you can find.
6. Use Composite Lumber Decking
Like wooden siding or windows, traditional timber decking needs regular sealing, either with paint, stain, or sealant. This prevents warping, splintering, and weather-related wear and tear. But most of all, this regular maintenance is a total drain of your money and time.
Consider replacing your decking with composite lumber. Manufacturers compress plastic and wood chips to create planks that look surprisingly similar to natural wood. However, this decking material resists stains, rot, insects, and mildew. It also comes pre-colored so that it won’t fade with time.
7. Get a Central Vacuum System
When it comes to low-maintenance home decor, what could be more convenient than a central vacuum system? Install one of these nifty centralized sucking machines, and there’ll be no more lugging a heavy vacuum from one end of the house to the other.
You might think that installing a central vacuum system means major home renovations like smashing down walls. In actual fact, the process is simple: the pipes are fed from the attic or basement to a small inlet hole in the wall of each room.
This is not a cheap up-front fix, but on the flip side, you’ll never have to go shopping for a new vacuum ever again.
8. Go For Gutter Guards
If your goal is an easy-to-clean home, there’s one job you’ll want to slash off your list: gutter cleaning. If you don’t clean your gutters out regularly, you risk overflows, which can damage your roofing systems, leak inside your house, or even fuel a fire.
Installing gutter guards or gutter mesh stops those roof troughs from filling up with leaves in the first place. They’re easy to install and don’t cost the earth. You may still have to check on them occasionally, but with far less frequency.
Why Low-Maintenance Homes Make Sense
As you can see, there are many products on the market today to help people create low-maintenance homes.
A lot of these products are made of durable vinyl or plastic. If you’re worried about replacing natural materials with plastic, consider that the artificial alternatives last a lot longer. Many manufactured options can be picked up second-hand or even recycled rather than discarded, so look out for those when considering a renovation.
If you’re looking for more tips and tricks on home improvement and DIY, be sure to head back to our website.