Since, for most individuals, their home represents their single – largest, financial asset, doesn’t it make sense, they should do all they can, to effectively protect this investment? Doing so, does not mean, wasting a lot of money, or doing massive programs, at one time, but, rather, developing, creating, and using a clear – cut plan, which includes scheduled maintenance, etc, so they minimize potential problems, etc. With that in mind, based on personal ownership of both my home, as well as investment properties (owning and managing multi – family houses), and my over a decade, as a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, in the State of New York, this article will briefly propose a suggested 6 – step, maintenance schedule and checklist.
- Exterior paint, and/ or maintenance: If the exterior of your home is wood (such as wood shingle), you will need to paint it, on an ongoing basis, to keep it, in the best possible condition. Depending on your location, climate, and proximity to salt water (ocean, bays, seas, etc), this schedule will vary. Once you know it, inspect regularly, to determine the best schedule. Don’t put it off, because delay generally means, a bigger job will be necessary, and thus, increase your costs. If your exterior is vinyl or metal, you won’t need to paint, but must power – wash the exterior, on a regular schedule, often determined by your grounds, trees, and geographic region.
- Interior paint: You don’t need to paint the entire house, at once! Rather, understand, certain areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms, dining room, dens and living rooms, as well as children’s rooms, often need refreshing, more often than other areas. Follow a schedule, and do a little, at a time!
- HVAC Tune – up: Most components have a certain, useful life. Generally, for example, the water heater has a life of about a decade, while other components far longer. Have your supplier, technician, etc, do an Annual Preventative Maintenance, including cleaning the unit and filters. Check, clean and/ or replace your air conditioning filters, on a regular basis.
- Walkways and patios: In colder climates, these areas take far more abuse, than in warmer climates. The salts, we use to melt the snow and ice, as well as the expansion and shrinkage, which occurs, when temperatures widely fluctuate. Regular maintenance and prevention, will often extend their useful lives!
- Driveways and roofs: Most driveways are made of asphalt, while some are concrete, paving stones, or other materials. The useful life of asphalt, is often expanded, by using something, known as Blacktop and Sealing, which fill smaller cracks and imperfections, and thus extend use. Examine the leaders and gutters, and keep them clean, and debris clean. Consider a system, if cost – effective, which may minimize challenges to these areas. When cleanings are done, inspect the roof, and keep it clean, and well – maintained.
- Tree pruning, and gardening/ grounds: Have your trees pruned and thinned – out, to minimize potential damage, and keep the trees healthy! Have a regular schedule, to maintain your grounds, and improve the appearance of your gardens!
The key to home maintenance and repair, is to do a little, at a time! Smart homeowners use the concept of preventative maintenance!