Now that you’ve bought your own home, it’s time to learn how to maintain your house in the best shape it can be. There are lots of small maintenance tasks that come along with owning a home and keeping up with them will help you in the future. Let’s take a look at some of the easiest ways to keep your new home maintained.
Make a list of tasks
One of the first things you should do is to write down a basic idea of tasks that you know need to be done and then sort the list by how often you think they need to be done. Some tasks are seasonal (clean the gutter or cover the plants for example) but make sure you keep them on your list anyway so they don’t get forgotten. Put your list on the fridge or in another common area so you can easily add to it.
Another idea for anyone who’s a little more on the tech-savvy side is to create alarms in your phone calendar to remind you of specific tasks. If you replace the batteries in your smoke alarm, set yourself a quick reminder to check them again in 6 months with a few taps on your phone. This is a great way to keep yourself reminded of tasks that need to be done months apart.
Do your research
Do you know how many times a year you should clean out your dryer tube? Or how often do you need to check your pipes for leakages? Some of these things are easy to guess for but others you should research. This is especially important when you buy a new appliance.
When you purchase something big like a new oven or washing machine, look into what kind of maintenance is recommended by the manufacturer. They can usually give you a good guide as far as what you need to do and how often you need to do it.
Looks can be deceiving
When it comes to keeping things maintained, you can’t always rely on just your eye to catch any problems. Just because something looks like it doesn’t need to be checked, doesn’t mean there isn’t an issue lurking underneath. A sink might not be dripping onto the shelves below it but that doesn’t mean it’s not slowly leaking into the wall behind it so be thorough when you do your checks or you might regret it later.
Call in the pros
While most home maintenance can be easily done by the homeowners, some things are better left to the professionals, at least until you can get a good grip on how to do it yourself. A pool is a great example of something that will need to be maintained the proper way or it could cause damage if you don’t know what you’re doing. There’s no shame in calling in an expert to show you how to maintain it the first time.
Another place you might need to bring in a pro for is your HVAC system. The warm summer months make your central air system a necessity so it’s important to get it checked out before it fails on its own. The company that installed the system will likely be able to provide an employee to change any filters but you will need to hire a separate company for duct cleaning.
Make it a seasonal routine
Many of us subscribe to “spring cleaning” but routine maintenance is something that needs to be done all year round. If you have your task list sorted by season, it’s much easier to tackle everything in a few days. Setting a time (the first weekend of every 3rd month for example) will help you stay on track.
Communication is key
If you have multiple people working together on your home maintenance routine then you need to communicate to each other which tasks have been done and when. A printable checklist is a great way to keep yourself organised and make sure time isn’t wasted.
These are fairly easy to make and customize yourself but you can also buy pre-written lists on websites like Etsy to save yourself a bit of time.
Keep a journal
While this idea might seem like quite a bit of work, you will be thanking yourself in spades if you ever choose to sell your home. Buy yourself a plain notebook or keep a digital log of all the repairs and maintenance you’ve done to the home. This way you will be able to have a record of how long it’s been between certain jobs which are invaluable when you list your home.
Being able to tell your real estate agent that you had the roof repaired “sometime last May” is nice but being able to show them the dates, how long it took for the repairs to be completed, how much was spent and the company you used is so much better. It shows you care about the upkeep of the house and gives the new owners a timeline of when and how the home was maintained.
Don’t take shortcuts for repairs
There are sometimes when a temporary repair can be okay but you need to make sure you aren’t leaving things for too long. If you need to fix something major then don’t skimp on the time or materials or you might regret it.
Fixing a broken basement step with some old particle board isn’t the best solution. If you want your home to last you’ll need to fix it with the same quality it was built. Replacing the entire stair with a new piece of wood or replacing the entire staircase with a stronger wood will take longer and cost more but you can have peace of mind that it’s going to last.
Add to your daily routine
Making some minor changes to the way you clean your home can actually help you minimise the effort you might need to keep certain areas maintained. Here are a few ways you can integrate something small into your cleaning routine that will help you in the future.
- Do a weekly vinegar and baking soda cleanse of your bathroom and kitchen pipes to prevent buildup
- For both dishwasher and washing machines, running an empty load with some vinegar and soap every week is a great way to clean them and keep them running smoothly
- Dusting might seem like a hassle but your duct systems will thank you later. Use a microfibre dusting cloth to keep the dust off your knick-knacks, fan blades and vents.
- Keep your hardwood looking its best by using a cleaner once a week that’s made specifically for hardwood and using a dry cloth or mop to apply it. Keeping moisture away from hardwood will make it last much longer.
- Shampoo your carpets if you have children, pets or just messy adults. Replacing a musty carpet is expensive and it’s much easier to give the carpets a good cleaning every month to keep them fresh.
Everybody’s home maintenance routine will vary but making one that suits you and your home’s needs will help you so much. Sticking to your schedule will help you keep your house in the best shape it can, help avoid costly repairs in the future and help your resale value.
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