If you’re like most homeowners, you take great pride in your home and property. You mow your lawn and trim your shrubs and trees regularly. If you have wood siding or deck, you probably paint or stain it every couple of years. But do you go the extra yard and inspect and perform regular maintenance (or hire someone to do it) on the essential systems and components of your home such as the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems? If not, you could be setting yourself up from some expensive surprises down the road.
“But why fix something if it’s not broken?” you might say to yourself. “I don’t want to waste money on projects that aren’t really necessary.” That strategy for home maintenance may be shortsighted and risky, because whatever might be a small problem right now can easily turn into a big and expensive headache later. For some, it helps to set aside some cash every year to cover some regular maintenance such as replacing heating and cooling system filters, cleaning and repairing clogged or damaged gutters, and – especially here in New England – taking care of any winter storm damage, such as missing shingles, ice damage, and debris clean-up or repairs needed for damage caused by broken limbs or fallen trees. A good rule of thumb is to have 1-3 percent of your home’s value set aside for these kinds of maintenance and upkeep projects. This kind of prudent planning prevents the need to spend a lot more in an emergency when you have water pouring into your house or a failed system that renders it unlivable.
Regular maintenance tasks
Performing a few simple monthly and seasonal maintenance tasks is a great way to stay on top of things and ensure that your home is operating at the peak of efficiency. Many of these things can be done yourself if you are at all handy and so inclined. If not, hire someone reliable and experienced to do them for you – it will be money well-spent.
Recommended monthly home maintenance tasks include:
Checking and replacing (if necessary) heating and cooling system filters
Checking and cleaning your kitchen vent hood filter (especially if you like to cook and use your range a lot)
Looking for leaks around toilets, showers, tubs, sinks and anything else that uses water
Inspecting grout and caulking around showers and tubs to prevent water seepage
Checking and testing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Checking your home’s exterior for damaged trim, siding, gutters, windows and doors
Recommended seasonal home maintenance tasks include:
Winter home maintenance tasks
Checking for drafts around windows and doors
Testing your sump pump and backup generator (if you have one)
Covering outdoor AC system components
Checking for roof ice dams after snow falls
Spring & Summer home maintenance tasks
HVAC system tune-up by a professional technician
Inspecting driveway and sidewalks for cracking
Check gutters for clogging
Check siding and deck
Irrigation system inspection and start-up by professional technician
Trim shrubs and trees that may be encroaching on your house or HVAC unit
Fall home maintenance tasks
Professional heating system checkup to ensure cold weather functionality and safety
Fireplace, wood/pellet stove, and chimney inspection
Exterior water shut-off and system drain for outside spigots and irrigation systems
Check and modify exterior grading around foundation to ensure that water drains away from the house
The benefits of working with a professional design/build team for home maintenance
While there are a number of monthly, seasonal, and annual home maintenance tasks you can do yourself, it’s smart to work with a reliable, experienced, and responsive design/build team. Why? Because a respected and trusted firm has expertise and experience in a wide range of home construction and renovation projects and services. They have the comprehensive knowledge and understanding of a home’s complete infrastructure that enables them to spot, identify, and mitigate any potential issues in and around your home before they grow into major problems. This kind of proactive approach to home maintenance can save you significant time and money.
And it’s not just about finding and fixing problems. A good design/build team can help you upgrade old and outdated systems in your home to further protect and improve your investment. Smart systems, improved insulation and building materials, and other technological advancements all offer opportunities to make the most of your home.