When the weather gets nice outdoors, all you want to do is get outside and celebrate. While we might have the best intentions when we start planning our home maintenance activities, life happens and we're likely to bump out some very important activities. That's why this article gives you spring home maintenance projects that you can fit into your busy schedule, starting with ones that you should be able to complete in under 2 hours. That way you can have fun outdoors during this wonderful.
We'll also tell you which projects require the expertise of home professionals like an HVAC technician, or maybe it's time to leave the ladder work to someone younger who works from a ladder every week.
Spring Home Maintenance Projects Everyone Can Do
There are lots of spring home maintenance activities that require some tools and skill, but not enough to overwhelm you. What we've tried to do here is show you how you can tuck small activities into an hour or two, so you can take care of most of them during the week and still enjoy your weekends.
First though, it's important to explain the real reason why most home maintenance projects don't get done. Trust me, as we have this problem at our new house because it takes time to collect all the materials and tools, to make home maintenance easy. There are 2 or 3 steps to every home repair and it's the first step that stops most people in their tracks. So let's use screen doors and windows as an example, to review these steps to any home repair project.
- Planning and prep – Take your screen doors and windows out of storage and find someplace they can sit temporarily. Inspect them to see if any screens need to be replaced. Before heading to the store, measure for the screen width you need, spline thickness and find your roller knife. Take a piece of screen fabric as they come in lots of colors, materials and mesh sizes.
- Repairs – Once you've got all the tools and materials needed, making the actual repairs is easy. You'll remove the old spline and screen fabric, replace the screening and roll the new spline into place to hold the fabric in place. Last, you cut off the excess fabric with a utility knife and you're done … almost.
- Install/Maintain – Now you're ready to hose down the screens to get them clean, and install all your door and window screens. Some projects like a deck will need to be washed, stained and sealed.
Spring Home Maintenance Projects Under 2 Hours
Does the 2 hours sound like music to your ears? If you've got 2 hours, you can complete one of the steps above, but probably not all three. So once you realize this, you can plan your schedule accordingly. Once you realize how much time goes into the planning, you'll start to organize your workshop and planning information to save time.
The old fashion approach is a binder with a page for each project, where you can keep samples of your screen fabric and spline and labels are even better, as they'll let you shop online. If you live online (or want to), take photos with the details you need. Upload the photos to a Pinterest board so you can find the information easily, whether you're ordering online or decide to stop at your local hardware store on the way home from work.Savvy Homeowner Tip – When building a house or remodeling, always get and save finish materials to make future repairs easier. It took my husband 4 months to locate matching vinyl siding which had been discontinued.
- Visually inspect your home's exterior for problems like missing shingles or peeling paint. Use binoculars for a close up view, or even better, take digital pictures and save them to compare from one year to the next. Photos will also come in handy for insurance claims.
- Make a list of exterior repairs needed and decide which ones you want to handle, and which to give to your handyman like repairs which have to be done from a ladder.
- Clean and repair gutters and downspouts, if you're comfortable working from a ladder. Also check the ground where the water exits the downspouts to make sure it's draining away from the house.
- Homeowners should start with the smaller, easier spring home projects needed to maintain all exterior wood – scraping and painting window sills, trim around doors (don't forget the kickplate under doors) and windows, fencing and more.
- Caulking is also needed where there are gaps between materials like the siding and window trim. First remove the old caulk and clean the surfaces for a clean fit.
- Replace worn weather stripping around doors and windows, to save on heating/cooling bills.
- Decks, porches, railings and fences made of wood need cleaning, staining and re-sealing at least every other year, to make them last as long as possible. (Read: Deck Repair Estimates)
- Check gas/battery powered lawn equipment & grill, and take in for maintenance if needed.
- Check lawn furniture for safety issues, and clean before setting out in the yard.
- Test outdoor faucets by turning on and off, and check for leaks. Be prepared to shut the water off quickly if you discover a pipe burst over the winter.
- Trim shrubs around the foundation of your house, so there's at least a foot of space for good ventilation.
- Check foundation and concrete slabs, sidewalks and driveways for signs of cracking or movement, and repair as needed.
- Inspect and repair your mailbox, as these tend to get struck by cars and plow trucks on a fairly regular basis, based on the number of calls we got at my handyman business.
Now it's time to head indoors for some more spring home maintenance projects:
- Change filters on your heating/cooling systems. This is also a good time to clean dehumidifiers and drain your hot water heater to clean out the deposits on the bottom.
- Vacuum places you can't see like your dryer vent, the refrigerator coils, the tops of cabinets … plus draperies, furniture and mattresses.
- Change the direction of your fans, to run counter-clockwise to provide cooling breezes by pulling cool air from the floor up to the ceiling.
- Change batteries in smoke detectors, to keep your family and home safe.
- Check for water leaks indoors – sinks, bathtubs/showers, dishwasher, your washing machine and possible water problems in your basement.
- Inspect your attic for water leaks and or excessive moisture, which indicates you don't have enough ventilation.
Spring Home Maintenance Projects for Professionals
Home maintenance tasks you probably want to hire a handyman for, so they get done on time each and every year … but if you’re determined, you can do them yourself.
- Roofing – With newer (less than 10 years old) roofs, you're better off hiring a handyman to make repairs as they're more familiar with the materials and how to install them. Once your roof is 10 years old, you should have an experienced roofer inspect the roof and make needed repairs.
- Wood maintenance – makes more sense to leave to a pro when it needs to be done from a ladder, like the fascia and soffits just below the roof line. That includes scraping, painting and caulking plus…
- Wood repair/replacement – unless you have the experience and commitment to building these skills. There are lots of tricks to save time and materials here, like cutting out the nails to replace a rotted window sill without removing the window.
- Chimney flue – should be professionally cleaned, and ask them to inspect the chimney for signs of damage. Vegetation and white calcium like deposits (known as efflorescence) are signs of water problems.
- HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) – tuneups are needed annually, so at a minimum, have your air conditioning system tuned up for the summer.
- Pest control – depends on where you live, and the critters who like living with you. You should schedule a visit from your local pest control company. They are there so don't ignore them. In California there were termites, in New Hampshire we had bats and now that we've moved to Arizona, there are subterranean termites and yikes, scorpions outdoor.