Like any investment, your home needs attention. As a tangible investment subject to wear and tear, that attention takes the form of regular maintenance to prevent or postpone expensive repairs.
Unlike a home improvement project, home maintenance is necessary to maintain the value of your investment. Take these examples:
- Changing the air filter in your heating system will extend the life of your unit.
- Finding and fixing chimney flashing that’s come loose in a storm will prevent water damage and mold in your attic.
- Lawn mowing services for about $70 per month
- Draining the sediment from your water heater will prevent damage to the heating element. If the element is damaged and causes the unit to fail, you'll have to replace your water heater for $1,800 to $4,500.
These are a few examples of inexpensive maintenance steps you can take to prevent the huge expense of replacing a major system that keeps your home liveable.
Most of the maintenance items on this checklist are simple enough that you can do them on your own. But if you’re not the handy type, there’s no shame in hiring someone to do it for you. Home Advisor and Angie's List are great places to find a handyman or licensed professional with the experience you need to get these home maintenance checklist items done right.
Please note that maintenance tasks and their costs can vary geographically -- if you live in Florida, you don’t likely have a fireplace, for example. Add or remove items as necessary.
And now, on to the homeowner maintenance checklist. We'll start with annual items.