It’s the little home repairs that keep your home together. I know. That sounds hyperbolic. However, by repairing that leaky faucet, cleaning your gutters, and weatherstripping your windows, you can prevent more significant problems, such as severe water damage.
Simple maintenance, beyond checking that everything works, can also extend the life of your appliances and systems that maintain your home. You can also save money by performing regular maintenance. Additionally, it reduces the threat to your family’s safety.
A survey by the real estate marketplace Zillow found that 75% of pandemic-era homebuyers regretted their decision. The top regret? Buying a house that needed more maintenance than they anticipated
Although managing your home repairs can seem daunting and expensive, there isn’t always a need to spend money on these expenses. It is usually just a matter of remembering to do these chores. What is difficult is knowing what needs to be done to maintain your house at what time.
So, the easiest solution? Utilize your online calendar to remind yourself of the most important, common home maintenance tasks. If you schedule home projects of all sizes, from small touch-ups to whole-room remodels, you’ll be able to accomplish them faster and more easily. And, this is how your time-management tool can help.
Schedule Daily Cleanings
Even if your week is jam-packed, you can still incorporate daily house cleaning into your schedule. But how? Through your online calendar.
Start by assigning certain chores to specific days of the week. By doing so, your to-do list will become less overwhelming. As a result, your cleaning tasks will be more manageable.
For an example of what a little strategic planning can accomplish, check out the following house cleaning checklist.
- Monday: Clean your bathrooms. After the weekend, your bathroom probably needs some attention. Take care of this chore early in the week, like cleaning the toilet. Don’t deal with any heavy-duty cleaning, like scrubbing grout until the weekend though.
- Tuesday: Dust common areas. You should lightly dust all surfaces in the living and dining rooms. You can use an upholstery attachment to clean drapes and furniture after vacuuming to remove any dust that may have fallen.
- Wednesday: Make the kitchen sparkle. As part of your regular house cleaning routine, you already wipe down your countertops after meals and wash your dishes on a daily basis. This time, you’ll clean other kitchen areas as well, like warping the stovetop and cabinets.
- Thursday: Attend to your bedroom. Go ahead and dust your dressers, vacuum, and put away unused items like shoes or clothing.
- Friday: De-clutter your mind. Congratulations on sticking to your daily routine all week. Veg out in your clean home. Do some laundry if you must clean. As it washes and dries, you can read a book or watch a movie while it is doing its thing.
Prepare a Home Maintenance Plan
The frequency and season of your tasks can be noted either online or offline. Remember that there is no right or wrong way to do things. In other words, you can do things when and how it works for you and your family.
But, to get you on your way, you can use this house maintenance calendar to keep track of monthly, quarterly, and annual activities. Also, to ensure you don’t forget, use calendar reminders.
- Make sure all the locks and deadbolts on your doors and windows are working.
- Check and replace your HVAC filters as needed. You may need to change your filters every 2-3 months if you have a small family and no pets or allergies. If not, do so every month.
- Keep your kitchen sink disposal clean. When the disposal is dirty, run homemade vinegar ice cubes through it. The blades will be sharpened and the area will be cleaned.
- Filters on your range hood need to be checked. Use an auto degreaser diluted in hot water to clean the filters.
- Ensure your GFCI outlets and power outlets are working properly.
- Check your smoke and CO detectors. They usually come with a test button. When you press the button, you should hear an alarm. Replace the batteries if not.
- Make sure your garage door is working. The auto-reverse feature should work properly. Placing a log of wood on the ground will allow you to see whether the door reverses automatically. Place something in front of your photo-electric sensors if you have them installed. Your sensors will go up immediately.
- If a toilet is unused, such as in a guest bathroom, flush it. To prevent grime or any buildup in the bathroom sinks, run water.
There are different times of the year to perform annual home maintenance. It’s important to prepare your house for each season. In order to do so, regular maintenance must be performed.
Spring home maintenance.
- Make sure that your gutters and downspouts are clean. Get rid of leaves and debris, grime, or sediment left over from the winter.
- Replace storm windows with screens and wash windows.
- Ensure that your drainage system is working properly. The landscape so that rainwater or any other water flowing from the house and its foundation will flow away.
- Clear your property of any dead plants or tree stumps. Your shrubs and bushes should also be trimmed. Your home’s exterior cracks can be damaged further by wayward plants. Check that no trees are interfering with your electric lines as well.
- Plant a garden.
- Carry a roof inspection for signs of damage or leaks. Take professional help for any roof repair.
- Examine your house’s exterior. Look for peeling exterior paint, damaged siding, foundation cracks, or broken windows and doors. Hire a professional to fix these problems.
- Before summer, make sure your air conditioner is serviced. Consult the user manual when you maintain your HVAC system yourself. A central air conditioner is a more complex system than a window air conditioner and should be handled by a professional.
Summer home maintenance
- Wash your patio or deck. Restain the deck if necessary. You should also check for any loose boards or posts, as well as any problems with the railing.
- Look for damage to your tile grout in the bathroom and kitchen.
- Find any leaks in the plumbing system. Make sure the water pressure is good as well.
- Make more space for your summer projects by cleaning and organizing your garage.
- Get rid of lint and blockages in your dryer vent.
Fall home maintenance
- Put a tarp or cover over your AC until next season.
- Check the caulking and weatherstripping on windows and doors.
- Inspect your hot water heater for leaks and sediments. This will prolong your heater’s life and increase its efficiency.
- Prepare your heating systems, furnaces, and fireplaces.
- You should winterize your sprinklers.
- Check your sump pump’s functioning. That’s especially true if you live in a rainy area.
- Look for cracks in your driveway or pathways. Before winter, seal all the cracks so snow can’t freeze and expand. If not, this can cause more damage.
- Clean and store patio furniture, as well as garden tools.
Winter home maintenance
- Watch out for ice dams and icicles on your roof are not only dangerous, but they can cause water damage in your home too.
- Make sure all tubs and showers are working and caulked properly.
- Maintain a high water pressure by cleaning the showerheads.
- Take a look at the basement and see if any mold or mildew is growing.
- Check the pressure relief valve on your water heater. If you check it regularly, you can avoid corrosion and mineral buildup. Furthermore, you will use less energy.
- Every six months, deep clean your whole house. Keep your appliances, garage, basement, doors, and windows clean to prevent dust buildup.
- Smoke and carbon dioxide detectors need to be recharged every six months.
- Using a vacuum cleaner, clean the coils of your refrigerator. You’ll be able to maximize the efficiency of your appliance by doing so.
Arrange Appointments as Soon as Possible
Home improvement professionals can make all the difference. Your home’s foundation is protected by pest control by keeping away bugs and critters. Plumbers can stop leaks from causing mold. And, HVAC specialists ensure that your home remains comfortable and is energy efficient.
Here’s the problem. Last-minute bookings of home professionals can be stressful. It’s better to contact them before an emergency arises. And, ideally, you should also book them when they aren’t as busy. For example, why wait to schedule your annual chimney cleaning until November? Instead, make an appointment when they have more availability, like in August or September.
In that sense, you can schedule appointments in advance thanks to your online calendar. Additionally, a calendar is an excellent record-keeping tool. With digital home repair scheduling, you can look backward to see when your roof was last replaced, for instance.
Budget For Home Repairs
You can have trouble making home repairs if you don’t have the funds. The best way to deal with emergency repairs is to budget for them. A good way to budget is to use your online calendar.
With an online calendar, you can start your home-improvement fund easily. Put a reminder in your pay period to add a little to your fund. You won’t be caught short of funds by a surprise home repair if you set aside just $100 per month.
Nonetheless, when you are planning your home repair budget, the 1% rule of thumb is a good place to start. “Using 1% as a rule of thumb for home maintenance is actually a great example of when the common wisdom for something is pretty spot-on,” according to Mischa Fisher, a chief economist at HomeAdvisor and Angi.
According to Fisher, the numbers are reasonably accurate. “Our latest’ State of Home Spending’ report has average [annual] upkeep spending at $3,192, roughly 1% of the median home value in the U.S., which is a little over $300,000.”
If you’re considering buying a “fixer upper,” you’ll likely need to budget for substantial home repairs from the get go. Especially for first time home buyers, you may need more cash for repairs than you have set aside. Sure, you might think you have plenty saved up, but down payments and other closing fees can deplete your savings quickly.
So for those fixer upper expenses, you’ll want to navigate the mortgage pre-approval process accordingly. That means letting your lender know about including repair expenses in the mortgage and estimating how much it will cost.
Don’t Clutter Your Calendar
You can better handle stress when you manage your time effectively. As an example, if your schedule is organized, an unexpected issue at home, such as a broken pipe, or clog will not catch you by surprise.
While time management can be improved in many ways, the end goal remains the same. You want to be in control more of your time. Getting to bed earlier or arranging childcare more efficiently might help you make better use of your mornings. But, I’m also big on not cluttering your calendar as well.
What does that mean? Well, it simply means leaving some blocks of time wide-open. So, if there is an emergency at home, that’s when you can attend to it. More importantly, when you have some free time on your hands, you can get a head start on a home repair. Or, maybe you can do a quick inspection that makes sure that everything’s in tip-top shape.
Image Credit: picjumbo.com; Pexels; Thank you!
Use Your Online Calendar to Manage Your Home Repairs was originally published on Calendar by Deanna Ritchie.