As homeowners, we face tons of important tasks to keep our houses in good condition. And whether you’re planning to sell the house soon or to keep it for longer, it’s essential to invest time and money in its maintenance. Doing so can prevent the house from deteriorating and losing its value. Poor maintenance can even lead to expensive repairs that you surely don’t want to put yourself into.
Without proper care, you can improve your house’s safety and even help you save money in the long run. But since there are numerous maintenance tasks to include on the list, knowing where to start can be confusing. What you need is a home maintenance plan! Read on to find out how you can create one.
Do a walking tour
We’re not talking about taking a leisure tour at your home but inspecting every part of your property that requires maintenance work. A few of the most vital things to check are your HVAC system, caulk on your doors and windows, as well as your gutters and roof. Take a complete walkthrough covering all bedrooms, nooks, bathrooms, living space, and so on. Be sure to bring your phone or notebook with you and list down your specific maintenance needs.
If your home has special features such as an unfinished basement, pools, or skylights, make sure to include them in your lists too. It will be smart to customize your plan based on your location and weather patterns. For instance, Midwest homeowners should winterize their pipes. Don’t forget external parts of your property include the lanai or patio, the garden, and areas that can be home to pests or vermin.
Organize tasks by frequency
After creating your list, it’s now time to organize the maintenance tasks by frequency. The most common tasks to include in your weekly maintenance checklist are mowing the lawn, wiping down appliances, and vacuuming the floors. As for monthly preventive projects, you can include cleaning your dryer vent and dishwasher filter, testing smoke detectors, inspecting fire extinguishers, replacing air filters, and unclogging drains.
For quarterly home upkeep, list down clearing out rain gutters, decluttering rooms, pest inspection or mosquito control treatment, air duct inspection, cleaning range hood vent, descaling coffee machine, and washing screens and windows. Your annual checklist should include tasks such as hot water unit service, rainwater system inspection, safety switch check, and solar system service, if necessary.
Create a maintenance fund
Creating a maintenance fund can help you protect your finances from unexpected problems such as a leaky roof or a broken appliance. It is ideal to put away 1% to 3% of your house’s purchase price every year. For instance, if your property costs around $400,000, you should at least save about $4,000 each year. You can spread the amount in monthly deposits or make one big deposit, whatever works for you. Keep your home maintenance fund in a separate savings account and avoid using it for any other things.
Another practical way to estimate your budget is the square-foot rule. Instead of considering your home’s purchase price, you’re going to base your budget on the size of your house. Ideally, you should set aside $1 per square foot. However, remember that this doesn’t include costs for materials and labor in your location. Rates for building materials and maintenance services can vary from region to region.
Keep all maintenance records
No matter how small the maintenance work you’ve done in your home, it’s advisable to keep every record. These include contractor receipts or invoices, home improvement receipts, manuals, warranties, or quotes for work yet to be completed. This will allow you to track all your maintenance and repair expenses and check if the budget you’re setting is enough. Such records will then help you come up with a more efficient budget.
Keeping all kinds of paperwork is also beneficial if you’re looking to sell your home. You’d definitely want to show proof to the potential buyers about any major work done in the place. Who knows, you might make more money in the sale because of this.
By having a home maintenance plan ready, you can ensure that everything will be done on time and within your budget. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars replacing your roof or paying for insurance and repair costs. All you need is to do is catch those small issues before they get worsen. Plan your home maintenance schedule now and give yourself peace of mind that your house is a safe place to live in for your entire family.