A proactive home maintenance strategy is one that save you time and money. It's effective when you find problems early and make necessary repairs right away. These repairs are almost always less expensive. This also saves you time because you get to make the repairs on your schedule versus dealing with emergencies.
A home maintenance checklist is a tool for remembering what needs to get done around your home. These items will take care of your home, extending the life of home features like your roof and exterior trim outdoors. The home maintenance checklist also focuses on lowering your utility bills. For example, getting an annual tune-up for your furnace and hot water heater will help them run more efficiently.
How do you know it's time to pull out your home maintenance checklist? For parents, the year starts on the first day of school and today is perfect for starting your new home maintenance strategy!
Home Maintenance Strategy & Rewards
For years I've been writing about home maintenance strategies, trying to educate homeowners on how to protect your homes and the huge financial investment they represent. I like to think I'm your home advisor. My advice is similar to how your doctor gives you advice on staying healthy, and your financial advisor helps guide you with respect to insurance and investing.
But there are never enough hours for everything we need to do.
It still feel like you're too busy, too overwhelmed and it's not happening. I understand because I have the same problem at my house and my children are grown. Maybe we're all simply tired of too many to do lists? Of continually creating and completing checklists, only to move on to the next one? Maybe we need a new way to look at home maintenance, so how about this simple set of to dos?
- Estimate your home's value by talking to a realtor or checking a few of the online websites like Redfin.com or Zillow.com. Be careful though because the estimates on these websites change frequently and the swings can be significant because the calculations are automated.
- Set your annual home maintenance budget between one and two percent of your home's value. This might seem like a lot of money but remember, houses unlike cars, appreciate in value. This makes proactive home maintenance a good strategy.
- Get started, even if you can't complete everything on your checklist. Look at your schedule. Pick a few items to do from your home maintenance checklist and put them on your calendar.
- Add a reward for yourself, something you can look forward to once you complete the maintenance chores on the calendar. One trick I use at home is to schedule some type of activity with friends. My family gets excited about the event which makes it much easier to get things done.
Now let's see if we can make this so easy, there's no reason why you can't maintain your home on a regular basis.
Making A Home Maintenance Strategy Easy
Does the idea of a reward intrigue you? Will completing your routine (okay, it can be boring or we can make it fun) home maintenance tasks be easier when you can look forward to having fun picking out a new light fixture, a new paint color for the family room or wallpaper for your powder room? There's also a long term benefit, as these small incremental updates to your home will make it easier to sell your home in the future.
I'm hoping this simple strategy (and I'm always looking for new ideas so send them to me, firstname.lastname@example.org) will help you become more knowledgeable about your home, from what it's worth, to how much it costs (time and money) to maintain your home. It would also be nice to know that the time I've invested in creating a home maintenance checklist for each season, is being used and appreciated!
- Detailed Home Maintenance Checklist for Fall (Inspect, Maintain, Update)
- Home Components: How to Plan and Budget for Replacements
- Start planning for … Replacing or Upgradinge Interior Home Features
- … and if you're wondering what home maintenance strategy you've been using, read Home Maintenance Strategies: Which One is Right for You?
- When you make investments in your home, always check for State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, Approved Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Programs and Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency.
A Simple Home Maintenance Strategy & Checklist
For fear of being redundant, I'm going to give you a really short version of this home maintenance checklist and tell you where all the other great resources are if you want more information:
- Home safety mini checklist – smoke and carbon monoxide batteries, furnace filters, humidifiers, clean dryer vent, exterior lights, walkways, stairs and handrails.
- Keep your home dry mini home maintenance checklist – roof and things that protrude like vent stacks and skylights, chimney, clean gutters and downspouts, siding, doors, windows, exterior trim, decks and porches, outside faucets, foundation and proper slope to keep water away from your house.
- Energy saving (money) mini home maintenance checklist – programmable thermostats, heating and cooling systems, insulation and ventilation, hot water heater and power strips that let you turn off multiple electronic (energy vampires) gadgets with single switch.
Does this version of a home maintenance checklist seem easier to manage? It's not about the list, it's about helping you protect your family and your home.