6 Ways to Make Your Home (Almost) Maintenance-Free

We used to frequent brick-and-mortar shops and keep hard copies of every document; today, we buy our groceries online, stream our favorite videos, and store everything from personal photos to paperwork in the cloud. Well, when it comes to home maintenance, technology moves just as fast: It seems like every time we turn around, there’s a new development designed to reduce our workload—a very welcome trend, given the unrelenting attention a home requires. Fortunately, the building materials industry continues to improve upon durable, low-maintenance products that can reduce or eliminate the time spent on upkeep and repair. If you’re tired of sealing that wood deck, painting that picket fence, or climbing up on that ladder to clean your home’s gutters—and, let’s be honest, no one relishes those backbreaking tasks—maybe it’s time for an upgrade! Take a spin through these 6 advances in building and home improvement materials that can help you speed through your to-do list so you can spend more time doing the things you enjoy.

This content has been brought to you by LeafGuard. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.

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  1. Top It Off with Metal

    Easy metal roof

    Metal roofs have come long way from the corrugated tin of yesteryear. Available in dozens of colors and styles, from the classic standing seam to wood-look shakes, today’s metal roofs look great and are virtually maintenance-free. Coated roofing panels can withstand high winds and heavy snow loads without rust or fade. And, because it’s so durable, metal roofing carries some of the best warranties in the industry.

    istockphoto.com

  2. Side It and Forget It

    Easy vinyl siding

    If just thinking about painting your home’s siding every few years fatigues you, upgrade to low-maintenance vinyl or plastic siding. The newest options in vinyl siding are durable, with color infused throughout to prevent fading. You'll get all the charm of traditional lap or shake siding without all the weathering, so your house will look as good in 10 years it did the day the siding was installed. 

    istockphoto.com

  3. Get Your Head Out of the Gutter

    Easy leafguard gutters on country estate

    Tired of teetering on that ladder to clean your home’s gutters? LeafGuard Brand Gutters will forever change the way you look at your roof’s drainage system. The company’s patented roll-formed technology produces a maintenance-free gutter from a single piece of heavy-gauge aluminum, professionally extruded on-site to custom-fit your home’s needs. The trough is topped with a built-in hood that directs rain into the gutter but deflects leaves and debris, so you can strike “cleaning out the gutters” from your to-do list forever. Additionally, LeafGuard's one-piece design eliminates the problematic (and unattractive) seams on standard gutters that eventually weaken and lead to leaks.

    leafguard.com

  4. A Deck That Gives You Time to Relax

    Easy composite lumber deck

    Traditional wood decking must be sealed annually, and even then it can splinter and warp. Composite lumber decking, on the other hand, combines wood particles and plastic to achieve the look of wood with far less maintenance. Impervious to insects, rot, mildew, and stains, this composite lumber requires only an occasional hose-down to keep it looking good—after which you can go right back to lounging on your deck.

    istockphoto.com

  5. Not at All on the Fence About This

    Easy pvc fence

    Do you dread the prospect of replacing warped boards or painting that fence yet again? Today’s top-notch PVC fencing is available with a reinforced structural core, and its color won’t fade or yellow over time. As PVC is resistant to termites, rot, and warping, you won’t have to replace damaged panels, and—unlike wood—PVC fencing looks trim and polished on both sides of the fence. Choose your ideal privacy structure from numerous prefabricated designs and colors, many of which are DIY-friendly.

    istockphoto.com

  6. A Window of Opportunity (for Less Work)

    Easy clad windows

    Cladded windows—windows constructed from wood and then covered with vinyl or aluminum—are both high quality and low maintenance. Indoors, you’ll enjoy your windows' beautiful hardwood finish; outdoors, you’ll appreciate never having to sand or paint the vinyl or metal cladding. And, though you’ll still have to wash the panes occasionally, if you opt for casement windows or tilt-in sashes, you'll be able to tackle this chore in the comfort of the indoors.

    flickr.com via Toby Golding

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