Home Maintenance

Hidden Costs Of Homeownership You Should Know

Are you trying to budget out your money to know if you can afford to be a homeowner? It is something many of us do on a regular basis. While there are things that many of us already plan for and understand – including taxes, mortgages, electric bills, and trash collection, there are some hidden costs of homeownership that we don’t all know. There aren’t many classes that you can take to find this information, and it is all about things that your parents (or whomever you lived with growing up). [See Septic Tank Service ]

Here are some of the hidden costs of homeownership that you may have missed:

Septic Tank Service

If you have a septic system installed in your home, you may want to be aware of the costs related back to septic tank servicing. This is something that not everyone has, but people who do have a septic tank in their yards know that they need regular servicing. This means every few years, not once a decade. By getting regular septic tank cleaning and maintenance, you will avoid problems that can be quite disgusting. It will also ensure that your entire system works properly and functions when it needs to do so. 

Flooring Costs

Flooring is something that many people do not think about, but it really means something. No matter what type of flooring you have – carpeting, wood, tile, linoleum, or something else – you will have to get some kind of maintenance at some point. It could be as simple as carpet cleaning or it could be as intensive as repairing and replacing the entire floor and subfloor. 

Even if you don’t need to get something that will tear apart the entire floor, you will want to get some kind of maintenance to keep it looking great. This includes wooden floors, which can last up to 100 years or more if everything is taken care of properly.


If you have a deck on your property, you will need to get some repairs at some point. Most decks tend to last 20-25 years if they are taken care of properly (and aren’t subject to any strenuous conditions). If you don’t get regular maintenance here, you may run into problems and need the entire deck completely reconditioned. 

The best thing that you can do is keep the deck in good condition – if something happens, or a board pops up, you want to get it fixed as soon as possible.

Property Taxes

Property taxes are something that many people plan for, but they don’t always plan properly. The truth is that property taxes continue to change based on the area you live in, your home, or even just your property. There is information out there for you to peruse (and you can always compare to other homes in your area if you have a new home). This is one thing that is a major cost for most people, but there are options to make it easier to budget.

Yard Maintenance

If there are trees on your property, gutters on your house, or general landscaping, you probably need to consider yard maintenance. Trees will need to be taken care of, grass needs to be cut, and gutters need to be cleaned. You will want to think about what the hardscaping means for your property, power washing for your fencing, and regular gardening and weeding. This all takes time and effort, so they may not be items that you can keep up with by yourself if you work a full-time job.

Remember that some things are going to pop up when you are a homeowner – things you can prepare for and things that you cannot prepare for in advance. Owning a home is a truly great thing and the start of a great adventure – but like any adventure, there will be some missteps and stumbles.

Home Maintenance

Home Projects That Often Get Overlooked: Septic Tank Maintenance, Landscaping, & More

It could be a full-time job to keep your home maintenance and in good shape – but that doesn’t mean that you can just skip projects because you don’t have the time. Often, we are pretty good at fixing certain parts of our homes, but many other parts continually get overlooked. The only time we really care about them is when something happens and then we have to get them fixed. But often, it would be easier and cheaper to actually keep things maintained.

Want to know some areas you may be overlooking? Continue reading!

Your Septic System

There are plenty of warning signs that your septic system isn’t in great shape. Whether you smell something a little strange and it isn’t because someone just went to the bathroom or you hear a gurgling at a random time, your septic system probably needs to be maintained.

However, you can also walk around your yard and notice some signs of needing your septic tank emptied or repaired. Often, this is pools of water or, even worse, pools of waste. It is better to catch the signs before this to get it maintained, or you will have a very messy, very gross, and very big problem on your hands.

If you don’t know when your septic tank was last emptied, now is the time to conduct a septic tank service.


Your yard should be your sanctuary, but it can be extremely dangerous as well. For most of us, we know that there are parts of our landscaping that could be improved, but we simply don’t do it. We wait until it gets so bad that we have to do something, and that is when the real danger starts.

By taking on too much and trying to do it yourself, you may cause even more problems than you are solving. Make sure that you approach landscaping in an intelligent way and never, ever prune or remove your trees by yourself unless you are a tree care professional yourself.


How full are your gutters? Most of us haven’t looked in our gutters in a long time. Even if the water is still getting through, you may have problems that went unnoticed. For example, you could have blockages somewhere they simply overflow when they are filled. You may also have plants living in your gutters, which could make them expand and ruin them over time.

Take to your gutters with a ladder or hire someone to do it – you never know the difference that it will make. If you don’t, you may end up with a leaking roof.

Dryer Lint

When you do your laundry, you check the dryer vent and clean out the lint, right? Most of us know to take that basic step. However, that isn’t enough. Lint can get into the vents and down into the machine itself if left alone for too long. Of course, you need to make sure to thoroughly clean out your lint trap after every load, but you also want to get deep into the machine and even check the vent to the outside to avoid a dryer fire.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are commonly placed in the kitchen and on every level of the home, but did you know that they expire? If you are lucky enough to not have to use your fire extinguisher, you still need to replace it every few years. 

You may also want to switch out the batteries in your smoke detectors and CO2 detectors at the same time.

These are only a few of the home projects that you may want to consider if you have a weekend when you have very little to do. Most of them don’t take all that long to finish, but they can keep your home and your family safe from danger.


Different Types of Alarm Systems

As you examine the various types of home security system products, it can be difficult to tell different types of alarm systems apart and know what each one does. On this page, we’ll explore a few industry-related terms, so it’s easier for you to determine which system is right for your family.


Most people become familiar with home security products through professionally-monitored systems. In these cases, a company oversees the signals sent out by equipment and either ensures help is sent or checks in with the homeowner to see if there truly is an emergency. Most companies that offer professional monitoring do so under a contract and the individual must stay with that company for a period of time. However, there are DIY kits that homeowners can install on their own, such as LifeShield, which also come with professional monitoring and no long-term contracts.

Local/ Unmonitored/ Self-Monitored

When there is no company overseeing a system and its alerts, it’s often called local, unmonitored, or self-monitored. A local or unmonitored setup typically emits a loud sound designed to alert the homeowner and/or scare off an intruder. Most people are familiar with local fire alarms which typically emit a loud beep and may flash. In these cases, it’s up to the homeowner (or anyone else who hears the noise) to take the next step, such as calling the fire department. Some setups may also be considered self-monitored. An example of this might be a security camera which captures footage for the homeowner to view.


Wired home security products are interlinked within the walls of a home. They’re hardwired to a central control panel and then typically to the household’s electrical system (usually with a backup power source) and then usually to a land-based phone line. For many years, a wired setup was the only option. Their primary benefit is that they tend to be reliable. However, installation can be expensive and challenging.


One of the “newer” home security system products is the wireless setup. With this, individual components may be linked to power sources inside the home or may be battery-powered. The primary difference is that they can “talk” to other components without being wired in. The wireless options make it possible to secure an area that might not be easy to secure with a wired setup. For example, homes that are built with block walls or cement may be cost-prohibitive or impossible to drill into. Wireless options also tend to be the choice for homeowners who prefer DIY installations.

Which Home Security System Products are Right for You? 

Generally speaking, people can choose between monitored and unmonitored and these different types of alarm systems may be wired or wireless. That said, if your choosing home security products, you will also likely have options when it comes to types of things to monitor for.

Entry Sensors: Typically used on windows and doors, entry sensors give off an alert when the system is armed and the door or window opens. These can be set with a time delay to enable you to disarm the system, which is helpful for a garage or front door you use often, or may be set to immediately call for help if set off, which is ideal for windows and doors you don’t use to gain entry to your home, such as a back patio door.

Glass Break Sensors: The sound of breaking glass is so distinct that alarms can pick it up using specialized sensors placed next to windows and sliding glass doors.

Motion Sensors: Many homeowners appreciate motion sensors because they can identify when a person is moving within a home, but don’t generate alerts for things like fans or curtains blowing. While LifeShield’s motions sensors are pet-friendly, meaning your dogs and cats won’t trigger an alert, not all systems are, so it’s important to speak with the manufacturer or provider of home security system products before installing motion sensors if you have pets in your home.

Video Monitoring: There are many forms of video monitoring. Some capture video 24/7 and save the footage for a period of days, while others are tied to activity within the home, such as a triggered motion sensor. Some, such as what LifeShield offers, makes use of the latest tech and enables homeowners to view footage wherever they may be.

Supplementary Home Security System Products

Although fire and carbon monoxide detectors are technically not for “home security,” these different types of alarm systems are easily integrated into an installation and may create additional peace of mind.

Real Estate

Home Security Tips | Real Estate

Here’s a few tips for making your home more secure.

1) Lighting is your best and cheapest defence against burglaries. If a burglar can be seen it’s much more risky for them to target your house. Neighbours and passerbys could potentially see them and notify the police. Use an energy efficient compact fluorescent bulb in your front and rear porch light and leave them on all nite. You can automate this by connecting them to a timer or photocell.

2) Make sure your house is not hidden from view. At least make sure that your front door can be seen from the street. Clear away overgrown shrubbery from the front of your house. Don’t give potential burglars anything that they can use to conceal their activities.

3) Install motion sensors to light up the dark areas of your property.There’s nothing more startling to someone approaching your home to be suddenly bathed in light.

Motion sensors are very cheap and can be installed easily in existing or new light outlets. They can be set to stay on for a set period of time when triggered by motion.

4) When you go on vacation, connect some lamps in your home to plugin timers. Some timers allow you to set multiple on/off events every 24 hours. Do this with 2 or 3 lamps to give the impression that someone is home in the evenings.

This is especially important if someone is watching your house to determine if anybody is home. Ask your neighbor to pickup mail and newspapers every day. There’s nothing like a pile of newspapers on your front porch to tip off a burglar that you’re away.

5) Install dead bolt locks on all your doors. This is a fairly inexpensive way to secure your home. Deadbolts cannot be picked as easily as regular door locks. This is something the average homeowner can install with a minimum of tools.
Your best defense is to make sure that it appears that someone is always home, even when you’re not. For even more security consider installing a burglar alarm in your home.