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5 Things That WILL Break Down in Your Home

5 Things That WILL Break Down in Your Home

Do you hear that?

…It’s the pounding and whirring and HUM of power tools across the country…

The world might remember 2020 and 2021 as the “pandemic era,” but homeowners will remember it as the “Great Remodelation.”

The home improvement that took off as a result of the pandemic were the additions or designs of home offices…at first. Yards then became the social stomping ground for families with decks and firepits installed at three times the rates of 2019…

Plus, many families looked to the yard or even their unfinished attics as places to build out playrooms for the kids, who were home all day, every day.

It’s not just homeowners needing more from their homes that lead to the ENORMOUS spike in remodels and home improvements, though…whether families changed something in their homes or not, everyone is spending MORE time at home and using certain systems and appliances more.

More use means more wear and tear…

…And then those systems and appliances will, without a doubt, break down sooner than they would have had we not been inside so much during a pandemic!


Using Our Homes…More Than Ever

Just think about how many more times you opened the cabinet doors in 2020 as you learned to bake, or looked for afternoon munchies as you worked from home.

How many MORE times did you flush the toilet?

How many MORE times did you wash the dishes?

And what was the average temperature on your thermostat?

Your water and electric bills went up, too. Some companies around the country are hashing out how they’ll reflect those incurred costs in better employee pay…and maybe they should think about the wear and tear on your home and the associated costs, too!

Without a doubt, you’ll need more home maintenance and local handyman fixes in coming months…and that’s OK. If it means you’re getting MORE out of your home, this is just another “new normal” to adjust to.

Here are the 5 things that, frankly, WILL break at some point in this era of more time spent at home…



Many homeowners were in the practice of turning their thermostats down as they headed out for work. A growing number were in the habit of adjusting their smart thermostats on their phones, too. The idea was always to conserve energy (and save money) by not unnecessarily heating or cooling the house when they weren’t there.

These days, however, pretty much everyone has someone home at all times. As a result, we’re keeping the thermostat cranked up.

There were already plenty of common problems that were bound to befall your HVAC system at some point…and now, they’ll happen sooner than later. These are the common HVAC problems to watch out for:

  • Filters get dirty far faster
  • Pilot or ignition will go out
  • Thermostat will malfunction
  • Furnace will start to make noises

The one way to ensure these problems don’t happen at the worst time (or stack up one on the other) is to get your system checked out twice a year at a MINIMUM. Regular maintenance is PARTICULARLY effective for HVAC systems…

Get your ducts cleaned regularly, too, to ensure the time you spend at home isn’t spent inhaling dust, dirt and other nasty pollutants…test your air quality on your own and schedule a duct cleaning now…


2: Plumbing

Most plumbing in our homes is out of sight and out of mind…until something goes wrong.

As your home ages—and ESPECIALLY as you use it more like we’re seeing today—it’s normal to have plumbing problems.

Some of the symptoms are easy enough to fix, like plunging that toilet that never seems to flush right…does that low water pressure in that toilet tell you about a bigger problem happening elsewhere, though?

Some of the most common problems you should expect at some point are…

  • Water heater malfunctions
  • Low water pressure
  • Clogged drains and toilets
  • Running toilets
  • Leaky faucets

When in doubt about the cause of a problem, call a plumber right away.


3: Cabinets

Are your kitchen cabinets difficult to clean?

Maybe they’re hard to reach…or maybe they have so much beautiful woodwork that it’s impossible to get every surface…or maybe they’re just SO filled with stuff that you really don’t want to pull it all out to clean them!!

Cabinets will see more wear and tear these days as we store more food, utensils and appliances inside…the new “renaissance” of home cooking will ABSOLUTELY have its lasting impact on your cabinet finishes.

Your cabinet hardware, too, will show signs of wear and tear, including noticeable wear of the wood around the handles…YES, the oil and dirt on your hands collects on the cabinet surface right around the handle, and it erodes your cabinet finishes.

The good news about cabinet hardware is that, depending on the cabinet hardware metal type, most of them have easy best practices to follow for cleaning, polishing and refinishing.

And who knows? Maybe this is an opportunity to switch things up and choose new cabinet hardware to add new “bling” to your kitchen or bathroom!!


4: Refrigerator

The fridge is one of the most important appliances in your home. This means that accelerated use will bring accelerated wear and tear because refrigerators are FAR from indestructible!

Keep an eye out for these classic symptoms that something is wrong…and know that finding parts for older models will be hard, if not impossible. Call the right home handyman and maybe there will be a miracle fix, otherwise replace this appliance FAST because it is too important not to have it working in optimal capacity.

These are the most common signs that something is WRONG with your fridge…

  • Water leaking onto the floor
  • Freezer temps don’t get cold enough
  • Refrigerator temps start to freeze your food
  • The fridge “cycles” too often (renewing cold air capacity)
  • The fresh food compartments start to feel warm…
  • Sheets of ice on the floor of your freezer
  • Frost buildup in the ice dispenser
  • Ice dispenser is overflowing


5: Dishwasher

dishwasher spills it's suds ruining the kitchen floor

Along the same lines, your dishwasher is one of the HARDEST-working appliances in your home…and with more home cooking, you’re probably using it more these days.

Most appliances today aren’t designed the way they used to be, if I can say that without sounding old or like a total curmudgeon…but it’s true! Even the top-line dishwashers today are built to last 7-12 years.

They still run into noticeable (but fixable) problems before reaching the end of their life…watch for these symptoms that something is up:

  • Dishwasher that leaks water onto the floor
  • Dishwasher doesn’t drain all the way
  • The inside of the washer smells…“off”
  • Dishes don’t completely dry
  • Wash cycle is NOISY

If you hear or see any of these signs, call someone to get a quote on a repair.

Or, if it’s time for an upgrade, here’s my final advice…


Build for Your Return on Enjoyment…

Extended time indoors does mean that your “honey-do” list will grow. It also means that home maintenance is more important than ever.

It’s NOT just about keeping your home in working condition, however…it’s also about making changes that will reward you in your day-to-day, especially of those days are spent entirely between the same four walls!!

What I mean is…”necessity” is ONE of the factors driving the “Great Remodelation.” But an equally important factor is that homeowners are FINALLY spending more money on creating the home environments they want.

I’ll say it…now is the time to SPLURGE. It’s like that China set that your grandmother bought and then kept in a hutch her whole life. You don’t want to do that. You want to spend money on the nice things that you use, even if it does mean they break at the end of their life! That’s what these things are FOR.

It’s time you gave yourself a real return on ENJOYMENT on the systems, appliances and finishes in your home. That means splurging now and then using what you buy.

As far as priorities go, here are some of the BEST home items to splurge on now that you’re spending more time at home…

Here’s a little “splurge gallery” for your viewing pleasure…want to know where to find any one of these? Just contact us!


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Three in four homeowners have done some kind of home improvement in the last 12 months, and they’re onto something…just look at the fastest home improvements with the biggest returns. They’re living happier and more comfortably, plus they’re creating more value in their homes.

Want a little more inspiration for your own home?! Download our Quarterly Design Magazine

Ultimately, the BEST home furnishings, systems or finishes to splurge on are the ones that will make you the happiest.

Contact us today to tell us what that project will be, and we’ll help you make it happen!!

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