Home Maintenance Checklist for a Trouble-Free Home

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Keeping your home in the best shape round the year is every home owners’ dream come true. However, if we keep on procrastinating tasks and don’t make home maintenance a regular part of our lives, soon work begins to pile up. Cluttered countertops, disorganised wardrobes, dirty laundry, pest infestations, broken roof tiles, overflowing garbage disposal, leaking taps, backyard full of wild weeds and the list goes on. Hence, it’s important to understand the significance of a well maintained home and have a checklist to be on top of your game. Let’s dive into more details.

Table of Contents

Why should you do home maintenance and its importance

Your home is a major investment and your private sanctuary. However, as you continue to live there, wear and tear is bound to happen both indoors and outdoors. This calls for regular home maintenance to make sure it keeps providing you the comfort and safety that you need. 

Here are 3 reasons why you should do house maintenance on a regular basis:

Increases the value and safety of your property

Aging features like outdated equipment, old fashioned fixtures and energy consuming appliances will not just make your property an inconvenience to deal with but can also make it less attractive for the buyers. 

Additionally, a well maintained house is safe from electrical hazards, thefts, accidents, water damage, pest infestations and much more.

Saves money in costly repairs

Regularly hiring home maintenance service ensures that problems do not mount up and you don’t have to call for emergency repairs. When your property is inspected on a regular basis, it highlights issues that could pop up at a later point in time costing you much more than what it might cost you now in preventative house maintenance.

Uplifts your social profile

How well you maintain and keep your property speaks a lot about you and your personality. A well-kept house gives out positive vibes about the owner while a poorly maintained property does just the opposite.

How often should you do home maintenance

There is no hard and fast rule as to how often you should do home maintenance tasks. However, following a routine will help you keep problems at bay.

Seasonal home maintenance:

Sometimes it’s best to go with seasonal home maintenance to make sure your property is safe and sound from the outdoor weather conditions and your appliances and fixtures keep running smoothly during peak months.

Scheduled maintenance:

This kind of maintenance routine needs to be followed as directed by the equipment supplier or installer. For example, you need to check your smoke alarms every month and change batteries every 10 years.

Preventative maintenance:

This kind of maintenance needs to be done after an inspection has been carried out on your property highlighting issues that may arise sooner or later. For example, if your hot water system is nearing the end of its useful life, it’s best to replace it now rather than wait for it to break down completely.

Cosmetic maintenance:

This kind of home maintenance is usually carried out to improve the overall look of the property and is usually done when the homeowners are either remodelling the home or are preparing to sell it off.

Creating a Homeowner’s Maintenance Checklist

Every season comes with its own delights and a few common problems as well. It’s important to carry out house repairs on a regular basis and break down your home maintenance checklist over a period of four seasons so your house is well prepared to deal with whatever the weather has to bring. This will also help you to avoid being overwhelmed with too many tasks at any one point.

Summer home maintenance checklist

Summer time means fun and lots of outdoor activities. It also means more use of your plumbing and electrical appliances. So here is your summer home maintenance checklist:

  1. Service your air conditioners
  2. Change plumbing fixtures for damage and leaks
  3. Clean up the mould in and around the house
  4. Maintain your refrigerator
  5. Clean out vents
  6. Check smoke detectors and replace batteries if required
  7. Wash the exteriors
  8. Maintain the backyard and the garden

Autumn home maintenance checklist

Autumn is a beautiful time of the year but it has its own set of woes when it comes to home maintenance.

  1. Clean the gutters to remove fallen leaves
  2. Clean your garbage disposal
  3. Get your gas appliances serviced for winter
  4. Clean fireplace and chimney
  5. Remove leaves from the yard
  6. Service your hot water heater

Winter Home maintenance checklist

Cold climate is a great time to curl up in front of the fireplace with a good book and steaming cup of coffee. However, it can also wreak havoc on your home, inside out, if you have been procrastinating the maintenance for a while. 

Some winter home maintenance tasks include: 

  1. Checking on the water pipes.
  2. Inspect ceiling and walls for dampness seeping through the roof.
  3. Cleaning gutters and downspouts.
  4. Ventilating the home.
  5. Checking the home for pest infestation.
  6. Checking on your smoke alarms.

Spring home maintenance checklist

Ever heard of the term spring cleaning? Spring and home maintenance go hand in hand since it’s a great time to fix all the things that went bad during the harsh winter season.

Some spring home maintenance tasks include:

  1. Touching up on chipped paint
  2. Cleaning your drains and flushing hot water system
  3. Check for mould or dampness in the attic and basement
  4. Deep clean garbage disposal
  5. Service air conditioners
  6. Pick out wild weeds from the yard and get it ready for new plants
  7. Deep clean curtains, sofas, bedding and carpets

What are the similarities between maintenance and repairs?

While home maintenance is on top of mind of most homeowners, when carrying out the maintenance tasks it is easy to fall into the trap of some common pitfalls that cost us later. 

Here is a list of some common home maintenance tips that can get your home repairs and maintenance jobs completed to perfection, every time.

Read : How Do I Know If My Home Needs Renovation? The Ultimate Home Renovation Guide

1.Keep an eye on your indoors and outdoors:

Since we live inside the house we tend to notice more stuff inside giving little heed to what’s happening outdoors. Before we know it, the exterior starts to deteriorate and work piles up.

2. Do not procrastinate:

When you see a home maintenance task coming up, be vigilant and get it done as soon as you notice, to avoid costly repairs later on.

3. Do not try to do it yourself:

Most home maintenance tasks are best left to professionals and trying to fiddle with them yourself can cost you money as well as a run with the law.

4. Check your tradie’s credentials:

If you hire a professional to do the job, always make sure you check their licences and insurance certificates and get a written quote before they begin work.

5. Do first things first:

If you have to deep clean the interior and also need to get the home painted, make sure you follow a sequence rather than having to redo the work later on.

6. Do not climb up the roof:

A fall from the roof can be deadly. If you suspect that there is a broken tile seeping in water inside the house, get a professional roofer to fix it.

7. Use power tools very carefully:

Simple power tools if fallen in the hands of an amateur can cause great harm. Always check safety instructions first. Chopped off fingers, nails screwed into the body etc., are not too far fetched examples we have seen.

8. Check the ladder before climbing up:

Ladders are great to get up in the attic or change a light bulb, but always put safety first. First inspect the ladder carefully for stability and then use it.

9 . Be extra careful when using chemicals:

It’s easy to get your hands on chemical cleaners off the shelves, but their fumes can be dangerous. Always wear gloves and masks when using them and keep the area well ventilated.

10. Move out if it’s a big task:

While most simple home repair & maintenance work won’t require you to move out, sometimes if the maintenance involves too much noise or dust, it’s best to shift to a different place and come back once work is done.

What are the most expensive home repairs?

Regular house maintenance is the best way to avoid expensive home repairs that could snowball into jobs that can actually break the bank.

Here’s a list of some of the most expensive home repairs that can be avoided by keeping a vigil eye on your home’s interior and exterior.

1. Fixing the foundation:

Water silently seeping into the foundation through plumbing leaks can destroy the foundation and can cost you anything between $10,000 to $40,000.

2. Roof Repairs:

Roofs are also highly susceptible to leaks, damage and mould. While small repairs don’t cost much, if the roof is so damaged that a part of it needs to be replaced it could cost you between $3000 to $12000.

3. Siding Replacement:

 Not checking your home’s siding for cracks and holes could cost you as much as $10,000 for full replacement.

4. Mould Removal:

Mould could quickly multiply on warm and wet spots and once it gets out of control it could cost you anywhere between $1000 – $5000.

5. HVAC replacement:

While HVAC lasts for around 15 years, if not serviced on a regular basis it can fail and could cost you as much as $5000 – $10,000.

6. Rewiring:

Old wiring or even new one if it goes bad can be fatal. To rewire your home, it costs around between $1,000 to $12,000 depending upon its size.

7. Termite damage:

These little pests can do more damage to your home than you think. Mitigating termite damage can cost as much as $3000 so catch them early to save yourself the trouble. 

What are the most common home repairs?

In order to avoid surprises later on and not having enough budget when you need it, it’s important to know what kind of home repairs you would encounter as a homeowner.

Some of the most common home repairs include:

  1. Leaking taps
  2. External wall cracks
  3. Faulty fans
  4. Jamming doors
  5. Rot on the wood
  6. Smoke alarm replacement
  7. Malfunctioning hot water system
  8. Blown light bulbs
  9. Malfunctioning air conditioner
  10. Blocked drains and gutters
  11. Leaking roof
  12. Damaged blinds
  13. Noisy toilet
  14. Faulty blinds
  15. Broken dishwasher and washing machine

What are some tips for doing home repair on a budget?

The downside of being a homeowner is that unlike the tenant you can’t tell the landlord when a home repair needs to get done. You’ll not just have to keep an eye out for upcoming repair work but will also have to pay for it out of your own pocket. Trust me, your pocket is not going to like it much. 

When not tackled on time, home repairs could come by very costly for homeowners so here are some tips for doing it on a budget:

1. Use the 1% Rule:

As per this rule, set the budget for home repair and house maintenance at 1% of your home’s purchase price annually. So if your house costs $600,000, try not to spend more than $6000 annually in home repairs.

2. Follow a repair frequency:

Consider if you are carrying out the repairs and maintenance task before it’s actually needed. For example, if you are going for a water heater replacement after 8 years when it should last for at least 4 more years, go for maintenance instead.

3. Do it once, do it right:

Instead of buying materials to repair and doing it yourself only to find out later that it did not work, try calling in a professional to get it right the first time and save more.

4. Schedule repairs for off-season time and weekdays:

Tradies are busiest during peak seasons and hence charge more for their time. Similarly weekends and after hours may cost you more.

5. Shop around for multiple quotes:

Contact multiple tradies for quotes rather than settling on the first one you get. If a quote is unusually low, make sure this offer includes everything you are looking for and there are no hidden charges.

What are the benefits of hiring handyman services for maintenance?

While it can be immensely rewarding to DIY a house maintenance job and get it right the first time. However, for amateurs, this hardly happens. A handyman on the other hand can help tick-off items on your to-do list quickly and professionally. 

Here are some of the benefits you would get when hiring a handyman for house maintenance services:

1. One professional, multiple services:

A great thing about hiring a handyman for home maintenance service is that whether you need to get a painter, a gardener or a bricklayer, a handyman can do it all, and in a professional way.

2. Costs less than hiring different tradies:

While handyman services are not cheap, it will definitely cost you less than getting specific home repair tasks done by specialists in the field.

3. Saves you time and effort:

While there are few tasks that are easy enough to do yourself, you might not always have the luxury of time at your end. A handyman is a professional who will do the job in less time and will also save you the hard work.

4. Brings in their own tools:

Unlike a DIY job that requires you to buy or borrow tools, being a professional, a handyman will come with their own tools to get the job done right and to perfection, no matter how big or small it is. 

Read : Dear DIY Enthusiasts – From Your Tradie, With Love.

5. Deliver quality service:

Handyman services are often underrated because people do not view them as specialists in a certain area. However, that couldn’t be any further from the truth. Handymen or women are experienced in a variety of tasks and do their best to deliver a quality job since it’s their reputation that’s at stake. Hence you get great service at a great price.

How to find house cleaning services?

Spring is just around the corner and this is the best time to hire house cleaning services to get your home ready for the summer fun.

However, finding house cleaning services that are reputable and professional, is not always easy. After all, it’s your home you are entrusting them with. 

Following the steps below will help you the next time you need a good house cleaning service near you.

Step 1: Decide the kind of service you are looking for and jot down a list.

Step 2: Choose whether you would like to work with a company or prefer an individual for a more personalised experience.

Step 3: Get recommendations. Ask your friends, family, neighbours and co-workers which house cleaning services do they like the best.

Step 4: Schedule an appointment to get to know more about the services they offer, clearly layout the work scope, and spell out any expectations you may have. 

Step 5: Get a written quote with a work breakdown.

Step 6: Make sure they have general liability insurance to protect you in case the cleaner damages something during the service delivery. 

Step 7: Remember that trust takes time to build. Keep an eye on the first few cleanings but give them the space they need to do the job they are best at.

What are the best home organising and cleaning tips?

A clean and well organised home helps you relax and feel good about your surroundings. However, with our busy schedule it’s easy to procrastinate stuff and before we know it we have a long list of to-dos and our home is in an utter mess. 

Here are some of the best home organising and cleaning tips to keep your house in tip top condition all the time. 

  • Don’t forget to make your bed
  • Always put dirty clothes in the laundry basket
  • Place items back in shelves and cupboards after use
  • Dusting daily can make a huge difference
  • Keep shoes outside to prevent dirty floors
  • Get the whole family involved in the cleaning
  • Clear up the couch of unnecessary items
  • Store things in boxes to avoid cluttering
  • Empty the garbage daily
  • Put the dirty dishes in the sink rather than the counter or dining table
  • Deep clean at least twice a month·
  • Keep your toiletries in the right place after use

How to get a list of house maintenance companies?

Do you find yourself googling “home maintenance services near me” or “property maintenance near me”? You are not alone. Gathering a list of house maintenance companies is not an easy task.

After all, you want to settle for nothing but the best. 

Here are some ways you can get a list of house maintenance companies in your local area. Once you have it ready you can shortlist the best ones to further refine your search and finally settle down on the one that best matches your requirements. 

Search online directories

There are plenty of online directories that let trades companies and individual service providers to list their business and get found online. 

Get recommendations:

 There is no better place to begin your search for house maintenance companies than your social circle of family, friends, neighbours and co-workers. Ask them which companies they have tried and found to be the best. 

Find-a-tradie websites:

Look for trusted and well reputed find-a-tradie websites that help connect the consumers with trades businesses, let them see their work profile, customer reviews and business certifications. i4Tradies is one such site that makes finding a trade fun, simple and secure.

How to measure the effectiveness of maintenance?

Setting up the right key performance indicators (KPIs) is important. It helps you measure how well your home maintenance strategy is racking up against your maintenance goals.

While every homeowner may have different KPIs, the most common one revolve around: 

Efficiency: 

How well you are able to carry out your day to day tasks based on how well you have maintained your property. For example, if your goal is to have your home organised at least once a week, look at whether you are achieving that target or not. And if not, who is responsible and how is it affecting your daily routine.

Cost and spending: 

If you are overspending or under-spending on home repair and maintenance might indicate that you are not spending as effectively as you should.

 Safety and compliance: 

Ask yourself if your home’s electrical, plumbing and all other major systems are in compliance with the laws and is your home safe to live?

Asset Performance: 

Are all appliances, fixtures etc. in their best shape? If not, then you need to revisit how you are managing your home maintenance tasks.

Downtime: 

How often do you feel stuck and experience downtime due to faulty appliances, mal-functioning systems etc. 

To evaluate how closely you have reached your maintenance target, you need to first have a plan. Then you need a strategy for implementation. 

Use the above metrics to measure your performance.

Wrapping up

Home maintenance is no rocket science. With the right plan in place and a list of trusted home maintenance service providers at hand you are all set to dive in. Add your set budget into the mix and maintaining your home becomes a breeze.