No one said owning a home was easy. In fact, one of the most significant differences between renting and owning your own place is the maintenance you now have to take on yourself. This is a challenge for many homeowners – whether they’ve owned their home for 30 years or just bought their first house.
One of the best ways to address this is by building a seasonal maintenance calendar, setting up recurring appointments and being proactive. Here’s how to get started on all three.
- Build a Home Maintenance Calendar
Home upkeep is a battle fought throughout the year. But, as experienced homeowners know, there’s a seasonal rhythm to it. Spring is the time for cleaning, de-winterizing and getting the landscaping ready for the rest of the year. Then, in the summer, homeowners avoid hot days outside by tackling indoor organization and appliance maintenance projects. And, when the trees start to lose their leaves in the fall, it’s time to winterize and have your furnace or heat pump checked out by a local pro. By the time winter rolls around, you’ll be busy enjoying the holidays with your friends and family, but you can also tackle projects such as indoor cleaning or flushing the water heater.
To keep these seasonal tasks top of mind, build them into a home maintenance calendar that you can regularly refer to throughout the year. This could be a physical calendar or a digital version on your phone. The advantage of the latter, of course, is that you can set reminders for yourself when tasks are due or appointments need to be made. In either case, a calendar will help you be accountable for your home’s maintenance and prevent critical items from slipping through the cracks.
- Schedule Recurring Maintenance Appointments
There’s no shortage of home maintenance to keep track of throughout the year, and that’s on top of your everyday life! Simplify things by scheduling recurring maintenance appointments for your home. Just like you schedule the next dentist appointment at the end of your current visit, treat professional maintenance as a calendar event. For example, schedule seasonal tune-ups for your air conditioner and furnace to keep them running efficiently and at their best; your locally trusted HVAC company may even offer a convenient maintenance program.
Even if your local service companies don’t offer regular appointments, automate reminders to yourself through a digital calendar on your phone. Just make sure you set the reminder far enough in advance to get a service appointment scheduled; this is especially important during the busiest times of the year (first heatwave in the summer and first freeze in the winter) for HVAC technicians, plumbers, electricians, and others.
- Be Proactive in Necessary Repairs
It’s tempting to put aside home maintenance and upkeep when things get busy, especially during the holidays that close out the year. After all, that repair can wait until the calendar flips over, right? Unfortunately, while procrastinating on both major and minor repairs might seem harmless, it could actually lead to significant issues. First, some repairs get more complex or expensive the longer you wait. Your garage door, for instance, might start with a small sag in the middle. However, after repeated use, the door eventually breaks, potentially damaging valuables inside the garage and causing the garage door to be inoperable.
Furthermore, part of being a proactive homeowner is knowing when to bring in a professional. From your garage door or pool pump to your water heater and air conditioner, trust only licensed, certified experts to work on your home’s most important components. Trying to fix any of these things yourself not only risks further problems, but could also lead to the warranty being voided on your appliances.
When a professional recommends you address an issue before it gets worse, avoid putting off the repair to the next service visit. Instead, have the problem dealt with as soon as possible. For example, if your air conditioner needs a new voltage regulator but is otherwise running fine, it might be tempting to just delay the repair until your fall service appointment. However, by having it replaced immediately, you can reduce the wear-and-tear on the system and avoid the risk of a larger system breakdown.
Finally, being a proactive homeowner also means asking questions during your service visit. You’re already paying for the time and expertise of a professional, so this is your chance to ask them what more you can be doing to keep your home in great shape. A reputable technician, plumber or electrician will be more than happy to answer your questions and provide you with further guidance.
This is a guest post by Allbritten, a Fresno company focused on air conditioning, heating, full-service plumbing, water filtration and purification, and energy upgrade services.