Ever wish you had a handbook that could help you take care of your home? Look no further! Here is everything you need to maintain your Colorado home!
Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve. Please don’t make that your mantra when it comes to your home’s maintenance!
Preventative maintenance is worth your time and money NOW to avoid costly home disasters later. You don’t want to be the one saying, “I should’ve caulked those windows for a few bucks a tube,” when faced with a $2,000 repair bill for mold and water damage.
Schedule and Record It
To prevent that scenario and others, now is a perfect time to create your maintenance list to keep your home in tip-top shape.
You can go old school with a binder and paper or go more virtual with an app or online system. (I like this app!)
Your list should include a schedule of when specific tasks need to be done, perhaps by month. This will help you stay on task. For example, in October: clean gutters.
Also, keep a record of maintenance tasks and purchases in one place. This file should contain information on the following:
• repair dates,
• contractor information,
• store and contractor receipts,
• model numbers and manufacturer information,
Maintenance costs can vary yearly, depending on whether you are faced with a larger project (i.e., replacing a roof). But on average, most owners should budget 1% of their initial home’s price for maintenance and put that money aside. Remember, older houses may require more work and $ to upkeep.
You may spend just a couple of hundred dollars some years, but having a reserve fund will prevent you from being blindsided by a major project, like a new roof or tree removal.
Here are some items to add to your list:
• Tune up your HVAC system in the fall and spring before heating or cooling your home. You don’t want any surprises on a cold winter night!
• Consider getting a service contract with a company to provide routine maintenance and get priority if an emergency arises.
• Change your filters regularly. Check them monthly and change them at least every three months. Dirty filters slow down air flow and waste energy. Plus, dirt buildup can lead to system failures or maintenance issues.
• Keep your eye out for any leaks in walls, ceilings, around toilets, etc. A small leak can lead to a major disaster! Carefully inspect older plumbing, especially if it’s on the second floor.
• Upgrade your system and ensure you have dedicated circuits for appliances and grounded outlets for your needs. This is a safety issue, and the cost of an electrician is well worth it.
• Follow the manufacturer’s directions to prevent misuse and costly mishaps.
• Keep clean to avoid yucky buildup on dishwashers, washing machines, driers, and refrigerators.
• Keep these clean with regular washings to prevent unsightly stains and dirt.
• Refinish wood floors when needed before they are too worn out! Stain and seal to protect them.
• Clean windows and screens at least once a year, but better yet, in the spring and fall.
• Pollen, dirt, and other debris can build up and sometimes bake on from the sun, making cleaning nearly impossible if left on too long. (You know those people with foggy windows!)
• Check caulking around windows and fix them when needed to prevent air leakage and water damage.
• Promptly repair peeling paint and rotting shingles, which can lead to water damage and mold growth.
• Power wash vinyl siding every other year to prevent bacteria from growing and staining.
• Fix damaged or missing shingles to prevent leaks and mold in the attic.
• Replace roof when necessary. Asphalt roofs last 15-20 years; slate roofs can last forever if there is no sun damage, but individual slate replacement can be expensive, so budget for that.
• Get it cleaned professionally once a year, especially if you use it regularly.
• Examine it for loose bricks and mortar and get it repointed. The earlier you catch this, the better to avoid water damage and rebuilding a new chimney.
• Keep these cleaned regularly in spring and fall, when debris and leaves are most likely the heaviest.
• Cluttered gutters can lead to water damage and standing water, which can freeze in the winter, causing the gutters to pull away from the house.
• Keep your trees trimmed and healthy. Look for dead branches and dangerous overhangs close to your home. You don’t want any surprises during a storm!
• Overgrown bushes can be a comfy home for mice and other creatures. Keep them neat and trimmed below window level.
• Follow your deck’s maintenance instructions each year, which might include cleaning it with a mild bleach solution to prevent mold.
• Pressure-treated decks can become dry and splintered, so stain or seal regularly.
• Pull weeds from patios before they take root and cause damage.
You may be saying to yourself, “Not more things to add to my To-Do List!!”
However, preventative maintenance is essential for avoiding costly repairs and preserving your home’s value. Your home is probably your biggest investment, and you want to make sure it doesn’t lose its value in the current real estate market.
According to many home inspectors, a poorly kept house in a worn condition can lose up to 10% of its appraised value. At some point, when you sell your home, you don’t want to be faced with a house with significant issues that drag down its selling points.
Bottom line: it’s important to maintain your Colorado home.
Let me know if you have any questions about your home maintenance and need any recommendations for some service providers. Sometimes it can be an easy DIY job, but other times you may need a professional, and I have a good list of recommendations if you need any. As always, I am your go-to resource for all things real estate.
I'm Lauren Haug! I'm a teacher-turned-real estate agent, and I teach people how to build wealth through real estate in Northern Colorado.
443 E 4th Street #100
Loveland, CO 80537
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