Any savvy homeowner knows that the real work doesn’t begin until you move into your home. Whether it is a brand new home or one that was built a few years ago, maintaining your home is a never ending task that homeowners must stay on top of.
There will always be something that will need to be repaired or remodelled. Some tasks may be voluntary esthetic upgrades while others are yearly tasks that help maintain the life of your home. There are also home maintenance tasks that need to be done to maintain the property and minimize problems later on.
For example, fixing cracks in a window or a pipe that consistently leaks. House repairs like this, if left unattended, will only lead to potentially more serious issues and damage down the road that will cost you more money to fix.
Make maintenance a habit
Homeowners that keep up with the regular maintenance requirements of their home will keep it in much better working order. This is especially important if you decide one day to sell. The better shape your home is in, the more you will be able to get for it on the real estate market.
One of the best things a homeowner can do is to be very much in the habit of performing a thorough check of their property at least one per year. Make note of any issues that need to be addressed. Categorize any issues as:
- Needs immediate attention
- Put on the “to do” list
- Keep an eye on it
In particular, homeowners should examine the key areas of their home inside and out:
- the roof
- the home’s foundation
- Electrical wiring
- Fireplace and chimney
- The fence
- The deck or patio
- The driveway and garage
- Areas where water damage could occur
- All appliances
- All flooring and carpeting
- Anything else you think to check during your home audit
Be as proactive as possible and address any trouble areas as soon as possible. If the repairs are outside of your expertise, do your research and call the right person for the job so they can properly assess the repair needs.
Many homeowners break up their maintenance tasks into seasonal tasks. There are certain things that all homeowners should be doing as the seasons change to prepare their home for the upcoming season. Failure to prepare properly could lead to unwanted damage or issues.
- Fall: Get your furnace serviced, check the chimney, turn on the gas pilot, winterize landscaping
- Winter: Replace air filters on furnace, clean out drains, check for leaks in windows and doors
- Spring: Clean fireplace, check air conditioning system, check sump pump, turn off furnace pilot
- Summer: Focus on outdoor maintenance such as roof, driveway, garage, and landscaping
While these are only a few examples of tasks that can be completed each season, homeowners should create a more extensive list for the specific needs of their home.
Budgeting for house repairs and home maintenance
Be a smart homeowner and budget for yearly home maintenance. While the amount you spend on home repairs will vary based on the size and age of your home, the general rule is that home owners will spend approximately 1% of the value of their home in repairs each year.
For example, if your home is valued at $300,000 then you should expect to spend approximately $3,000 per year on regular maintenance. However, you will be able to keep costs down if you stay on top of things and fix things immediately rather than saving repairs for a rainy day.