Home maintenance is like cleaning, very few people like to do it but it needs to get done! Hopefully you're smart, lucky or both, and you've got a great cleaning service, someone who cleans your house regularly so you can relax at home more.
What I find hard to understand is why everyone things paying someone to clean is a great idea, but they'd rather do their own home maintenance? Patty who cleans my house brings her own cleaning supplies (except for trash bags), mops and vacum. When you hire a handyman, they also bring tools and basic materials for the most common home maintenance chores (you still need to buy furnace filters as they're all different). Like smart homeowners, I keep a running punchlist of projects and schedule my local handyman (the business I used to own admittedly) to come take care of everything on the list – I stick to things I can do in 5 to 10 minutes, without pulling out special tools or a ladder.
Proactive Home Maintenance Saves You Money
If nobody cleans the bathroom, there's a constant reminder that it needs cleaning. Unfortunately, your furnace won't tell you when the filter needs to be changed and water's clear, so unless you feel around the toilet or the base of your vanity, you're not going to discover a slow leak for a long time. You have two choices – proactive home maintenance or fix things when they go wrong? What's important to understand is you'll save money on repairs (see how repair costs increase when home maintenance deferred) by tackling routine home maintenance on a regular basis.
Your house starts aging as soon as it's built. Home maintenance extends the life of home systems, saving you money!
Priorities for Proactive Home Maintenance
There are never enough hours in the day, the weekend and each of us has many competing demands on our time and money. That's why it's important to understand priorities when deciding which home maintenance items to complete first.
- Safety is always the #1 home maintenance priority, from handrails on stairs to adequate fencing around pools and precautions against hidden or unexpected danger like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (learn more about this silent killer).
- Home maintenance priority #2 is keeping your home dry, as moisture combined with any food source (wood) supports the growth of mold and weakens your homes structure.
- Next, the focus shifts to saving energy and water, and you'll save you money on future utility bills. Check out our articles with energy and water saving tips.
- Plan and budget for major home systems that need to be replaced periodically, like a new furnace, hot water heater or roof.
The last item is an important one because most homeowners aren't ready to pay for a new roof when there's a catastrophic failure, e.g. one of my handyman customers had the ceiling in their kitchen fall down. To help our readers manage their home maintenance budgets, we have 2 articles that help you identify when you'll need to replace your home systems:
- Planning & Budgeting for Exterior Home Updates covers everything from your roof down to outdoor living spaces.
- Budgeting to Replace or Upgrade Interior Home Components from hot water headers and furnaces to critical appliances like your washing machine and dryer.
Home Inspections That Assist You With Home Maintenance
Our homes are pretty complicated so it pays to call in the experts to help you maintain your most critical home systems.
- You'll want to get annual inspections and tune-ups of your heating and central air conditioning systems, which will pay for themselves with lower fuel costs.
- Call a roofing company for help monitoring your roof as it ages, so you'll be prepared to replace it at the right time.
- When in doubt, use a home inspector to review your home's condition and make recommendations for needed repairs.