When new homeowners move into a home, they often do not realize all the different tasks that need to be performed in order to keep it functioning. Managing a home can be overwhelming and confusing, turning what is supposed to be the happy experience of owning a home into a stressful situation. And home maintenance tasks can seem cumbersome and immense if a clearly defined plan is not in place.
Record the Details of Your Home
What is a homeowner to do and where are they to start? The first step is taking an evaluation of your personal home. Walk around the home and answer a few simple questions. Does your home have central air conditioning and heating? Does your home have a tank or tankless hot water heater? Does your home have an attic or basement? Does your home have a gas stove or an electric unit? What appliances do you have in your home? Does your home have single pane or double pane windows? Does your home have a pool? Does it have outdoor decking? What are the weather patterns of your location? How old is your home?
Answering each of these questions will help you identify the maintenance tasks that need to be completed throughout the year in your home. For instance, if you live in most parts of Florida, you may not need to rake leaves in the fall like you would need to do in Michigan. If you own a pool, depending on where you live, you may need to close and re-open it, but homeowners in the Western United States do not close their pools due to more moderate temperatures.
Scheduling the Completion of Tasks
Now that you have the tasks identified, how do you remember when they need to get done? Using online tools to help you manage home maintenance tasks can make life a whole lot easier. Managing maintenance tasks in your head can be cumbersome, and there is the risk of forgetting to perform the task if you are not alerted as to when it needs to get done or even remembering when was the last time you completed the task. As an example, who is going to remember that they changed the springs and greased their rollers for their garage door? This task is recommended to do every seven years to protect against a door crashing down and potentially hurting someone or a pet, or damaging a car.
With the best tools, you can schedule these tasks over extended periods of time and set up alerts as to when they are necessary to perform again. Scheduling these tasks will also help you worry less about getting them completed.
DIY or Hire
Managing home maintenance tasks can be something as simple as cleaning a stove vent to remove built-up grease and eliminate the risk of a kitchen fire. It can be done by you the homeowner or by scheduling bi-annual checks for your heating and air conditioning units with an experienced professional. Some tasks are better performed and managed by a professional, especially if you do not have experience with the equipment.
Many home maintenance tasks are very easy to manage as a homeowner; they just take a bit of time. However, more complicated activities might be safer if a professional is hired to perform the tasks. If you are a homeowner that is very busy, hiring a handyman to coordinate all these tasks regularly might be another option to ensure that they are completed. Your handyman may have a network of experienced professionals to help with the jobs.
Budgeting for Maintenance Tasks
Home maintenance does not have to be difficult or overwhelming if you can identify what needs to get done, schedule the activities, and then determine whether you or another will perform the tasks. As a final note, understanding the age of your home can also help you create an annual budget for these tasks.
Generally, the rule of thumb is that if your home is less than four years old, you are spending about 1% of the property value to care for it, and if it is over 10 years old, you are spending upwards of 4% of the property value. Between 4 and 10 years old, and you will find yourself spending 2-3% of the property value on home maintenance.
Following these tips can help you become a more organized homeowner. Learn how to care for this wonderful place in order to keep it safe, efficient, and healthy so that you will create amazing memories!
Do you prefer to DIY or hire for your home maintenance tasks?
Guest Post by Elizabeth Dodson
Elizabeth Dodson is the co-founder of HomeZada, a cloud-based home improvement and organizational software tool. HomeZada strives to educate and provide resources for homeowners in all areas of home management, including home improvement projects, maintenance, inventory, property information, and property value.