Homeownership is one of the single biggest investments one will make in their lifetime.
That is why proper home maintenance is so important.
Regular home maintenance enhances the properties economic age (the number of years a house is expected to survive), ensures safety, prevents simple upkeep from turning into costly repairs and may even reduce energy consumption. Having a well maintained home provides piece of mind and increases resale value.
To support our fellow homeowners in achieving this objective, Greenwood Real Properties has put together a monthly checklist, home improvement and inspection routine to follow.
- Replace filters or wash permanent ones in heating system
- Open up any crawl space vents to allow for ventilation
- Open fireplace damper while not using air conditioning
- Inspect basement and/or crawl space for any signs of dampness or water
- Clean and inspect the exterior part of your HVAC system (the compressor). Make sure there is no debris in it or foliage growing near or into it
- Clean and apply a good water-proofing product to decks, steps and other wooden structures
- Inspect all gutters and downspouts for proper water drainage away from the house
- Check sprinkler system for broken heads, pipes or leaks
- Clean and tune up ceiling, exhaust and bath fans to maximize air flow
- Wash window glass, frames and sill
- Clean out weep-holes in window sliders and wash storm door frame. Change storm panels to screens.
- Clean out and organize the garage
- Clear outdoor vent of lint build up in clothes dryer
- Inspect roof for missing shingles or flashing. Examine security of antenna and cables; see if chimney needs pointing or new screening
- Rake lawn and garden beds to remove winter debris
- Prepare garden beds and plant containers with fertilizer and plantings
- Fill in bare spots of lawn with grass seed
- Clean and set up outdoor furniture, cushions and lawn equipment
How important is preventative maintenance? Without it, a home could easily lose 10 to 12 percent of its appraised value. Researchers suggest that regular maintenance increases the value of a house by about 1 percent a year. However, professional appraisers are quick to point out any gain is typically offset by the ongoing cost of maintenance. According to the U.S. Census, over time, annual maintenance can cost upwards to $3,300 or 1 to 3 percent of a home's initial cost dependant on its geographic location. To put this in perspective; owners of a $200,000 house should plan to budget $2,000 to $6,000 per year for ongoing maintenance and upkeep depending on the age of the home.
Brian Greenwood is an owner/partner at Greenwood Real Properties/Keller Williams Realty, with offices in Canton, Easton and Westwood.