Are there projects that you have been putting off on your home maintenance to-do list? Well, ignoring basic home maintenance projects could result in not-so-basic and very expensive repairs down the road.

Are there projects that you have been putting off on your home maintenance to-do list? Well, ignoring basic home maintenance projects could result in not-so-basic and very expensive repairs down the road.

Changing a filter or battery, checking a valve or inspecting the roof will only take a few minutes, and it will help to ensure that you won't be stuck with hours of work ahead of you or a costly bill. There are some small tasks you can do to help catch and prevent future problems.

Here are some of the basics:

Furnace and air conditioner

A filter costs less than $15 and should be replaced every couple of months. If you don't change the filter and need to invest in a new furnace or air conditioner, it could end up costing you $3,000 or more for each.

Water heater

The maintenance on your water heater won't cost you anything if you do it yourself.

Test the temperature-pressure relief valve once a year and drain the sediment from the bottom twice a year. This can be done by opening a drain valve and letting water flow until water runs clear.

The average cost of a new water heater is between $600 and $800, but could be more depending on your needs.

Bathroom caulking

First, check for any cracks in the grout or corner joints. If there are any, then re-caulking will be necessary.

A tube of caulking costs about three dollars, but tiling a shower cost about $2,500.

Roof shingles

It's important to look for missing or damaged shingles that have exposed the rake board of the roof.

You can replace it for between $75 and $100. If they are not repaired in a timely manner, a new roof could cost you thousands of dollars.

Roof gutters

Keeping your gutters clean doesn't have to cost you anything if you feel comfortable doing it yourself.

A pile-up of leaves and debris can cause blockage, and result in water damage to the foundation, and/or wet and moldy basement. To have this fixed could cost thousands of dollars.

If these routine maintenance checks haven't made it onto the to-do list or just haven't made it to the top of the list yet, take some time to work on them.

They will pay off in the long run. Your house will stay in tip-top shape, and you can save thousands by just taking a few minutes to check and handle the basics of home-maintenance.

Harley E. Rouda Jr. is the CEO of Real Living, one of the nation's fastest-growing real estate companies.