Most of us know when our vehicles need maintenance thanks to warnings and indicators that light up on our dashboards. Unfortunately, the same is not true when it comes to our homes, and the home is a much larger investment for most families. We experience comfortable surroundings inside our home and sometimes can forget that just outside the walls is a constant onslaught of powerful natural forces.
Image credit: Raymond Shobe
Taking care of maintenance and inspection items on a regular basis can yield huge dividends. The result is that we are more comfortable in our homes, major repair bills are eliminated or at least postponed, and the value of our homes is protected and enhanced.
Whether you live in the warm regions of Arlington, Texas or the frigid snowy zones of Anchorage, Alaska, you’ll find that preventative maintenance really pays off. With our Complete Home Maintenance Checklist, you’ll have all the reminders you need. (It should suffice until home builders start putting dashboards with warning lights into our homes like the automakers do!)
As you review the checklist, you’ll see that there are various tasks you should perform either each month, annually, every six months or seasonally. There’s a good deal of overlap in the timing, so it’s really not as much work as it might seem at first.
While the home maintenance checklist is fairly self-explanatory, we’d like to highlight and emphasize a few points here.
There are some appliances in our homes that use virtually every day. Heating, cooling and HVAC systems fall into that category, and they are rather expensive items. Performing regular inspections and tune-ups will greatly add to your comfort and convenience.
Image credit: Wendy
When homeowners put off inspections and tune-ups — in real estate it’s called “deferred maintenance” — they often find themselves in trouble during the first very hot or very cold days of the year when the need for air conditioning or heating soars. HVAC professionals get swamped with calls during those periods, and it’s impossible for them to get to everyone at once.
Most homeowners have a few improvement projects on their lists that they simply can’t complete on their own. For this reason, it’s a good idea to develop relationships with reliable professionals. For example, recharging a fire extinguisher requires a professional. Talk to friends and relatives to receive trusted referrals. Trust is very important when we’re hiring people who are to help you improve your home.
Image credit: Terry Johnston
The same is true for pest inspections. While you can keep an eye out for pests and watch for water damage yourself, it’s a good idea to schedule a professional inspection at least every couple of years. There is nothing worse than being halfway into a home sale and then getting hit with a major pest report and required repairs.
Knowing how to organize your home is a necessary skill! Many items on our home maintenance checklist can be completed in conjunction with your routine household chores. For example, when you change filters in your heating and cooling system, vacuum the grate louvers at the same time.
Every once in a while when you raid the refrigerator for a midnight snack, check the gaskets that seal the doors. You can see most of them easily, but you’ll have to do a little bending to check out the lower seals. Consider it a form exercise, helping to burn off a few of the calories you’re about to consume.
With these few tips and insights out of the way, it’s now time for you to download or bookmark our Complete Home Maintenance Checklist. Save it on your computer and start assigning specific items to members of your household.
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