For many first-time homebuyers, the hardest transition from renting to owning is having to take care of the property. Not only does nearly every facet of the home have a steep learning curve—how exactly do you maintain a garage door, anyway?—but there’s also so much to do. It can easily feel overwhelming. You need a plan.
In this article, we’ll discuss why home maintenance checklists are so important to helping homeowners stay on top of maintenance and upkeep, and why dividing the work out by season makes sense. We’ll also review how pairing your new proactive approach with a home warranty plan can help you save money and reduce stress.
Divide up the work by season
Fall and spring will be the busiest months for upkeep. In the spring, you’ll need to thaw out your home after the long winter and care for your landscaping. In the fall, you’ll want to winterize your home, clean fallen leaves out of gutters and downspouts, and ensure your furnace is ready for colder weather. Generally speaking, summer and winter should be the two slowest months for home maintenance. In these seasons, summer vacations and the winter holidays are the priority, and the weather is often not conducive to outdoor work.
Not everything in this seasonal plan is a DIY project. Some maintenance, such as cooling and heating tune-ups, should only be completed by a licensed contractor. Make sure you plan for the time it will take to schedule an appointment with a local professional.
For example, you should have a Buffalo Heating and Cooling contractor look at your air conditioner every spring. In the early spring, call them to schedule this appointment so that your system gets inspected and tuned up before summer arrives. You may also want to ask them if they offer an AC service plan where this appointment can be pre-booked for coming years. If so, that’s one less thing for you to think about and do: they’ll call you next spring for your AC service appointment!
Why is a checklist so important?
Without a plan, homeowners are just adrift when it comes to caring for their home. Often, this means that preventative maintenance gets forgotten, needed upkeep gets pushed out weekend-after-weekend, and major issues go unnoticed far longer than they should. Ultimately, this is going to result in more problems, more expenses, and more stress. It’s just not worth it.
A good maintenance checklist accounts for everything your home, appliances, and major home systems need on a regular basis to keep them in their best-possible condition.
Of course, any checklist or plan is only as good as the ability to execute it. Feeling enthusiastic and engaged, too many new homeowners make the mistake of trying to do everything at once. More often than not, this results in burnout. It’s unrealistic for any homeowner to think they can complete all their annual home projects in one season, let alone one month or weekend. You need to spread things out.
Pair your plan with home warranty protection
Even stretched out over the course of the calendar year, your home requires a lot of attention and work. In a vacuum, that might be fine, but life just doesn’t work that way. While you’re trying to keep up with your home’s needs, you’ll also be working, taking care of the kids, traveling, cooking, and so much more. It’s enough to overwhelm even long-time homeowners.
A home warranty plan just makes things so much easier. For a low monthly cost, a home warranty provides coverage for major appliances and home systems, such as your air conditioner and furnace. If one of these appliances stops working, you just call the warranty company and they’ll arrange for a local service provider to come out and fix the issue. If the appliance or system needs to be replaced, that’s often included in your warranty coverage.
Paired with seasonal preventative maintenance, a home warranty plan can go a long way to reducing the stress that comes with homeownership. More importantly, you get peace of mind knowing that the most important features of your home are protected.
Take the next step to build your home maintenance checklist
If you’re ready to get serious about maintaining your home and keeping it in its best-possible shape, you need a plan. First, check out this infographic. It will serve as your starting point for sorting maintenance and upkeep by the season.
However, you should also consider speaking with a local home services expert or contractor. They’ll be able to inspect your home and give you a more individualized checklist based on your home’s condition, age, and the climate where you live.