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Lifestyle

Single Mother's Home Improvement Guide

You work hard enough already being a single mom. Don't let simple home improvement tasks keep you down. Use this guide to help you with simple home maintenance projects.

Mother holding baby

Single Mother's Home Improvement Guide

When you’re a single mother, you often find yourself doing the work of two parents, even if you share custody or get help from relatives, or both. It can be hard enough just to find time to make ends meet, put nutritious meals on the table and keep the house reasonably clean. With everything else on your plate, maintaining and improving your home can feel overwhelming.

But it’s up to you to keep things up around the house. Fortunately, these days, it’s easier than ever to be prepared for basic home maintenance.

Put Together a Basic Tool Kit

Whether you’re hoping to tackle some cool DIY projects or you’re just looking to keep things in good repair, you need a basic tool kit. Every single mother should own:

  • A screwdriver set or a ratcheting, multi-bit screwdriver
  • A hammer
  • A level
  • A cordless drill with drill bits and screw bits
  • A set of pliers, including needle nose and channel lock pliers
  • A crescent wrench
  • A socket set
  • A rubber mallet
  • A utility knife
  • A wire stripper and cutter
  • A ruler with a level
  • A hand saw
  • A set of hex keys
  • A measuring tape
  • Assorted nails, screws and picture-hanging hardware
  • Spackle
  • A putty knife
  • Super glue or epoxy

A jigsaw and a circular saw are also useful power tools to own, especially if you don’t have the upper body strength to saw through a piece of wood by hand. A stud finder can also come in handy for mounting a TV, hanging shelves or similar tasks.

YouTube Is Your Friend

About 20 or 30 years ago, you might have been hampered by a lack of information on how to perform home repairs and renovations. But these days, you can find home improvement ideas and tips galore online. A simple Google search can help you diagnose many problems with home systems and appliances, and there are thousands of helpful YouTube videos available to walk you through even the most complex repairs and improvements.

Tackle Problems Before They Escalate

When it comes to maintaining a home, prevention and early intervention are key. Don’t let home maintenance slide. Stay on top of flushing your water heater, getting your HVAC serviced, cleaning your gutters, inspecting your roof, and repairing caulk sealing around doors and windows. Keep shrubs and trees trimmed away from your home. Get your chimney inspected yearly. When problems do emerge, don’t put off taking care of them. Problems with plumbing, electrical and appliances could escalate, doing more damage to your home and ultimately costing you more money.

Get a Home Improvement Grant

Need money to repair or improve your home? Already living on a shoestring budget as it is? Many states offer grants to single mothers and low-income families to help them cover the cost of home improvements, updates and repairs. You might also qualify for a USDA, VA or FHA grant or loan aimed at helping single mothers, veterans, veterans’ widows and low- to moderate-income families update, repair and improve their homes.

Protect Your Budget — And Sanity — With a Home Warranty

Budgeting for home maintenance and repairs can be a challenge when you’re supporting kids on a single income. Plus, when you’re working full-time or longer hours and have kids to care for and regular chores to do, finding the time to research contractors is a burden you don’t need.

A home warranty can help you fit home maintenance expenses into your budget because it provides coverage for unexpected breakdowns of appliances and systems. An American Home Shield® Home Warranty provides coverage for components of up to 21 home systems and appliances. Pricing for our plans is reasonable, and we can work with you to fit the cost into your budget. You can choose your monthly cost, as well as your trade service call fee, so you know how much you can expect to pay each time you need a home system or appliance repaired or replaced.

And, because American Home Shield works with a network of licensed, bonded and qualified contractors nationwide, you won’t have to take on the burden of finding contractors, either. It couldn’t be easier — just call or go online to request service, and we’ll set up a service call at a time that works for you. Your online MyAccount profile lets you view a record of claims, see the status of open claims, renew your plan and more.

As a single mother, you already have enough on your plate. Let us share the burden of arranging and paying for home repairs. Go online today to find a home warranty plan that works for your budget and needs.

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