Home maintenance is one of those things that most of us don’t think about until it is too late. There are many things you can do yourself as a homeowner. With the proper tools and a can-do attitude, you can do all your own home maintenance.
All the tasks that come to mind when you think of home maintenance can be intimidating. The list may seem long, but you can complete many of the tasks yourself in a short amount of time with little to no experience.
The following tips will give you ways to reduce your home maintenance, which, in turn, will save time and money.
Know Your Property Inside & Out
Your yard and the area surrounding it can have a major impact on your home’s maintenance needs. If you have lots of trees in your yard or in the area surrounding it, you will need to pay special attention to your roof and plumbing.
Falling trees and branches can damage your roof, and their roots can cause leaks in water and sewer lines, as well as crack your home’s foundation. So, it is important to be on top of these issues to prevent high repair costs in the future.
Create a Maintenance Schedule
Most home maintenance tasks will occur in the fall and spring while you are preparing for winter and spring cleaning. Creating a home maintenance schedule is a great way to keep track of things and get them done. It is also a great way to lay out maintenance priorities. Once priorities are set, you can determine how much each will cost and set a budget.
Create a Maintenance Fund
A maintenance fund should include both general maintenance tasks and potential unexpected repairs. By putting money into the maintenance fund, you can reduce the stress of paying for unexpected repairs, such as a water furnace. Your maintenance fund should also include money for buying the proper tools needed to get the job done or for paying a handyman if that’s the route you prefer. You can also sign up for a home warranty insurance program to help you cover the costs of some of the larger house repairs.
Schedule Services You Can’t Do Yourself
There are certain things you just shouldn’t do yourself. Servicing your heating system, pumping your septic tank, and cleaning your chimney are a few of those things that are best left to the professionals. You should plan for these and include them in your home maintenance fund.
Hire a Handyman
Some maintenance tasks just take too much time and may require a skill set you don’t necessarily have. When this is the case, it just makes sense to hire a handyman who can get the job done in half the time.
By building a long-term relationship with a local handyman, you will always have someone there in the case of an emergency. He may also be willing to walk you through some of the routine maintenance tasks so you can do them yourself. Your local handyman will also have connections he can refer to you that can help on bigger projects, like roof replacement.
There are some things that are unavoidable and must be done every year to prevent unexpected repairs. The following will lay out the priorities for both indoor and outdoor home maintenance for the fall and spring.
With colder weather setting in, fall is the best time to winterize, look at your heating equipment, and service your water heater.
- Remove summer screens, wash the windows, and replace the screens with storm windows.
- Seal all windows and doors with caulking and/or weather stripping. This will save energy and money.
- Check the roof for damaged and/or missing shingles that could cause leaks. All vents should be checked for pests.
- Check the chimney for missing bricks and mortar that is falling apart. Missing bricks and damaged mortar can cause leaks and bigger problems in the future.
- Clean out the gutters and downspouts. Investing into gutter covers can help keep debris out of the gutters, but they will still need to be checked.
- Clean up the yard by trimming trees and shrubs away from your house.
- Check outdoor faucets for leaks. Drain the faucets and turn them off to prevent freezing and potential bursting of the pipe.
- Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, replace the batteries if necessary, and check fire extinguishers.
- Check attic for leaks, pests, and proper insulation.
- Flush the water heater to remove any mineral buildup. Failure to do so could kill your water heater.
- Inspect fixtures and cabinets for leaks. Re-grout countertops and tiles, and recaulk sinks, toilets, and bathtubs if necessary.
Spring is the most popular month for home maintenance. With summer coming and the warmer weather setting in, many of us are eager for spring cleaning. This is a good time to focus on the exterior of your house, as it has just gone through winter. Many of the things you do in the fall should also be done in the spring.
- Check exterior drainages. Make sure all rainfall will flow away from the house. You do not want puddles standing around your house for more than 24 hours. You may need to clean your gutters again, depending on where you live.
- Inspect the siding of your home. Make sure there isn’t any paint chipping or damaged siding. Also, check the foundation of your house for any new or expanding cracks.
- Repair any damaged screens and put them in place of the storm windows.
- Trim all trees and shrubs away from the house if you didn’t do so in the fall.
- Inspect the roofing again for damages and leaks.
- Inspect plumbing for leaks.
There are many projects that can be done in the summer that will help reduce your home maintenance. That is, if you have the time around all those awesome summer activities. Summer is a great time to clean and repair your deck, paint the exterior and interior of your home, replace your roof, and clean out the garage.
Final Words of Advice
The best way to reduce your home maintenance is to become your own inspector. It doesn’t take much time to walk around your house to observe and take notes of what needs to be done. By doing this you can save a lot of time and money on unexpected repair bills. Even if you don’t do the maintenance yourself, you can still avoid a lot of hassle by planning for home maintenance.
Some things just happen no matter how good you are at inspecting and maintaining your home. Therefore, it is important to have a home maintenance fund. You just never know when something will need to be repaired. By doing a little research and planning and using common sense, you can have your home in top shape for years to come.