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Home Maintenance

Now that you own a home of your very own, you want to make sure it is maintained properly. Home maintenance requires some routine inspections for maintenance. We have provided you a Home Maintenance Checklist to help you become familiar with the items and systems that should be routinely inspected and cared for.

The purpose of this checklist is to help you identify the need for minor repairs or maintenance by walk-through inspections. These should be done at least twice a year because of seasonal changesóonce in the fall and once in the spring. You should be able to recognize the evidence of a need for repairs at other times during the year based on your walk-through experiences. Major repairs and their cost will be avoided if you do proper inspections and take appropriate action. The checklist indicates the parts of the home, what indicators of a problem to look for, and suggests possible causes.

Interior

∑ Basement - Dampness or water following wet weather - Check if ventilation to the basement is adequate, if sump pump is working, if leaders and downspouts are working properly, and if drainage on the outside of the foundation is away from the house.

∑ Living AreaóWater stains on the ceilingóCheck for missing caulk around the bath tub and tile.

∑ Attic or Ceiling Under RoofóWater stainsóCheck for worn roof or missing shingles.

∑ Electrical SystemóFuses that blow or circuit breakers that go offóCheck for overloads and employ a licensed electrician to upgrade the system if the problem continues.

∑ Heating and Cooling SystemsóInadequate heating and coolingóCheck for dirt and dust around furnace. Clean or change any air filters. Have heating and cooling system checked by a qualified service person.

∑ Plumbing SystemóLeaking faucetsóCheck for worn washers.

Exterior

∑ FoundationóPool of wateróCheck leaders and downspouts to make sure rain water flows through properly and away from the foundation.

∑ WallsóPeeling paint or decayed siding and trimóCheck for lead-based paint, if the house was built prior to 1978 and take corrective measures if there is a problem. Check drainage from leaders and downspouts.

∑ RoofóMissing or worn shinglesóCheck branches of nearby trees to determine if they are too near the roof. Evaluate roof for replacement.

∑ YardóRotted or dying treesóCheck for insect infestation and soil contamination from road salt, chemicals, etc.

Getting Money To Pay For Repairs

The money to pay for major repairs can come from home improvement or personal loans from local lenders. The contractor may provide financing or advise you where to obtain it. A home equity loan may be the approach you take. In any event, you should shop around for the best interest rate and the best repayment schedule for you. Check with community agencies to find out if money is available through special grants or loan programs.

You should perform a fall and spring inspection, since it will be helpful for you to be aware of items that may need attention before they become major repairs. Eventually, it will become routine to check items that my need repair before they become a problem. This will save you money in the long run. Example would include replacing a downspout from the gutters, scrapping and painting the outside trim of windows, cleaning or replacing the furnace filter, and draining the hot water heater.

Saving Money Through Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency such as adding insulation without over-insulating to cause dampness, having a thermostat timer and purchasing energy efficient items will result in lowering the expense of homeownership. You can contact your local utility or state agency for energy-saving tips and the availability of grants or low cost loans to improve the energy efficiency of your home. You should be aware of energy savers such as: turning out lights when you leave the room, not letting water run unnecessarily, insulating your attic, having your furnace or heat pump serviced periodically, installing storm windows and putting weather striping around your windows and doors.



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Budgeting To Buy a Home | Neighborhoods | Find Your First House | Inspect Before You Buy | Shop For a Mortgage Loan | Mortgage Home Loan Process | Credit Score and Credit Report | Home Mortgage Loan Closing | Being a Home Owner


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Edited and suplimented by Mory Brenner, Esq. For more information read our terms of use and privacy policy.