It takes a lot of effort to maintain a home. The long list of recommended tasks can quickly overwhelm any homeowner. But the effort is worth it. Failing to properly maintain your home can lead to unnecessary costly repairs. It can also put your family’s safety at risk.
So as we start this new year, it’s a good time to resolve to stay on top of those pesky, but important, home maintenance tasks. An annual home maintenance calendar will help. It provides you with a plan to be proactive instead of reactive. It helps you avoid repairs and the headaches that accompany them. It’s a tool you can use year after year to maintain your home’s value.
Don’t have an annual home maintenance calendar? Here are a few simple steps you can take.
1. Don’t start from scratch.
Do a simple internet search for home maintenance calendars or schedules. Many exist from reputable sources like Lowe’s, Better Homes and Gardens, and the National Center for Healthy Housing. You’ll find some more detailed than others. Some are organized by season, others by month. Find two or three that resonate with you to use as a starting place.
Print the calendars and highlight the tasks that apply to your home. You may be tempted to highlight every activity, but beware of biting off more than you can chew, especially if you’ve neglected home maintenance for awhile. Prioritize to-dos based on safety and cost avoidance.
Start by focusing on areas that keep your family safe, for example:
- Testing fire and carbon monoxide alarms
- Checking for tripping or choking hazards
- Looking for cracked or broken glass
Next highlight tasks that will help you avoid costly repairs, like:
- Checking for leaks from hot water heaters
- Cleaning gutters and downspouts
- Checking for signs of rodent or insect damage
Finally, highlight other activities. Be realistic about how much time you can spend on home maintenance. You can add to the list over time as your routines become more comfortable.
3. Create your calendar.
When you’ve nailed down the maintenance tasks relevant for your home, it’s time to put your schedule into action.
Decide how you want to create and manage the calendar. Keep it simple. Here are a few options:
- Use a wall calendar and write monthly home maintenance to-dos in the top or bottom margin of the appropriate month’s page. Every year, transfer tasks from the old calendar to a new one, editing as needed. This manual process may be the ticket for you.
- Type up and save a simple checklist organized by month or season. Keep it next to your calendar. Check it monthly when you turn the calendar’s page, and add tasks to your to-do list. Every year, you can update the checklist and print it out anew.
- Use a productivity tool you’re familiar with, like an online calendar or electronic to-do list. Create recurring tasks scheduled according to your maintenance calendar to receive reminders. This paperless approach is more time-consuming to set up but may be easier to maintain over time.
A Final Consideration
If you’ve lived in your home for more than a few years, a home inspection is an excellent investment. A licensed home inspector will review all areas of your home. He can help you identify and prioritize needed repairs before they become catastrophic. His report will help you validate that your home maintenance calendar is focused on the most important activities. So if you haven’t had a professional inspection since you bought your home, consider doing so now.
Many of our customers engage us to inspect their homes annually to keep maintenance on track and maintain their home’s value. For more information on our annual home inspection services and how Dallas home inspector Keith Boggs of Stonebriar Property Inspections can help, please contact us at (214) 923-7304 | [email protected].