6 Maintenance Tips | Making Home Ownership a Breeze

Owning a home is a goal that the majority of American’s share. Making the transition to home ownership is an exciting opportunity, and, for most, a landmark point in one’s life. There are a variety of barriers that keep this transition from happening. Qualifying for a loan, affording a down payment, or timing in one’s life all prevent renters from becoming owners. However, at Dennis Miller Homes we have discovered another obstacle for prospective homeowners: the fear of maintenance.

Much like death and taxes, having to maintain a house is an unavoidable fact of life. As a renter, a tenant can simply call the landlord or property manager when aspects of the home need to be repaired, changed, or updated. However, when people their own home, that responsibility falls on their own shoulders. Many people are hesitant about owning a home because they fear that responsibility. The fear doesn’t come from having to do the work, but rather knowing how to do the work.

For this blog post we decided to help eliminate that fear and enable you to take steps to owning,  or better yet building, a new home. We’ve come up with 6 common home repairs and tips on how to conquer them.


(1) Fixing a Leaky Toilet

Not only does the constant running of the toilet water get annoying, but it can also be costly. With the water continually running, your water bill is sure to skyrocket; and plumbers these days are not exactly cheap. Follow this link for a step by step guide on how to fix the problem so that you can save time and money.

(2) Cleaning the Refrigerator Coils

Energy efficiency in homes is a dominating trend in the housing industry. A top “energy sucker” is the refrigerator. Keeping the coils clean will help your appliance run efficiently and extend the life of the product. Refrigerator coils are usually on the back or underneath the fridge. Use your vacuum or a coil brush to get your coils to a cleanly state.

(3) Unclogging a Drain

Most people try attacking a clogged drain with Draino or Liquid Plumber. However, we recommend having a plunger and/or drain snake on hand. Once you have used those tools, combine baking soda and vinegar to pour down the drain. Most people typically have those ingredients on hand and it will help you avoid the harsh chemicals of the typical de-clogging products.

(4) Accessing Breaker Panel

Breaker panels are typically located in one of three places: the garage, a utility closet, or in the basement. For larger homes, more than likely there are different panels for either side of the house. We recommend labeling the different breakers as soon as you move in.

(5) Changing HVAC filters

This topic goes back to the energy efficiency of your home mentioned earlier. The more consistent you are with changing your HVAC filters, the more efficient your system will be. This is pretty easy to do. Simply remove the grate holding the filters in place, pop the old one out, and then insert the new one.

(6) Igniting Water Heater

There is nothing worse than running out of hot water in the middle of a shower. For one reason or another, the pilot light in water heaters will go out. Knowing how to ignite the pilot light without having to call a handyman is critical. Every water heater model is different. Older model usual require you to manually ignite the pilot light whereas newer models have built in igniters. Read the instructions located on the water heater to know how yours works.


Being a homeowner is a wonderful adventure. Coming home every day to a place you get to call your own is a very satisfying feeling. Don’t let the fear of maintenance keep you from experiencing the pride of ownership. At Dennis Miller Homes we are more than willing to come back to your house long after closing and make sure your home is running smoothly and efficiently.  Don’t let the fear of maintenance keep you out of the game. Experience for yourself the pride that comes from owning your own home.


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