Updated: Mar 5, 2020
Your home is likely to be one of your largest investments. Every year that you own your home you are building equity. However, it needs regular maintenance and updates to keep it at its highest value and to prevent costly repairs later. Here is a list of home maintenance suggestions to protect your investment. If you find yourself needing a professional, please let me know. I’m happy to refer you. March is a great time for home repair, some companies are more willing to give discounts when they're slow then when they are crazy busy. Spring Home Shows are a great place to go to get discounts and promos on services, and ideas on new products. Next show is in Cobb Co March 20-22nd. Atlanta Home Show
Consider having a professional home inspection every few years. They will find things you just don't notice anymore.
Check for dead or diseased trees. Any tree that has no bark, or has dropped more limbs than usual is suspect. Removing trees can be dangerous. This is not a DIY task usually. It's also expensive, get a few quotes
Remove branches, sticks, piles of leaves and dead bushes, forgotten potted plants, and hanging baskets
Aerate, thatch and pre-treat the yard so it’s ready to start growing
Renew your termite bond. If you don’t have one get one
Plant summer bulbs
Tune the lawn mower and other lawn toys
Check that all plants are at least 12” away from your home. (Ivy growing on your home or trees may look pretty, but it is very destructive and will cost you a lot of money and frustration. If you have ivy, call a pro to make a plan to remove it
Trim bushes and trees. Make sure windows are not obscured, and that tree branches are not against the house, or over the roof
If you have a sprinkler system, check that it is working correctly. If you don't, consider adding one. It's a nice value add.
Exterior House stuff
Clean vents, make sure they’re free of spider webs, dryer lint, flying insects, bird nests, etc
Check windows for broken glass or fogged window seals.
Repair and reinstall screens
Inspect roof and repair if necessary
Check wood for worn paint and touch up as needed. Every 5 years or so have the exterior trim painted. Paint house every 5-10 years depending on paint.
If you have hardboard siding, it is CRITICAL that you keep it covered with paint. Assess which boards need to be replaced and plan to replace the whole section.
Brick - usually very maintenance light, check for loose bricks, mortar coming loose, or stair step cracks. Repair to avoid costly interior damage and pest issues.
Repair gutters and check that water is being directed away from the foundation. Or consider a rain barrel and use the water for gardening/landscaping irrigation.
Power wash deck, patio, grill, and outdoor furniture. Plan BBQ and invite me :)
Windex exterior lights, make sure bulbs work. Replace with LED if necessary.
Front door - Clean and check that lock is functioning easily and door secures without problems. If you have a deadbolt that is key only (on the inside) that needs to be replaced. It’s dangerous.
Doors and Windows. Make sure seals are intact. If you can see light around the door, it needs to be repaired. Light a stick of incense and use it to tell if there is a draft by each window. It’s expensive to cool homes, don’t let a bad window seal cost you money this summer.
Make sure your home can be found at night. Is your number easily visible in the dark? Not only will the Amazon driver thank you, so with the fire dept and emergency rescue.
Look at your mailbox. Is it pretty? It’s your home first impression. Add some flowers, a coat of paint or new numbers. (If you’re in an HOA, stay compliant)
Inspect foundation and driveway. If you see large cracks (1/2" or more) or shifting (one part pushes out/up) call a foundation pro. The sooner you fix it, the less it will cost you.
Inspect fence, repair, restain or repaint if necessary. Make sure posts are still solid. They can weaken during winter freezing.
Ground shifts in winter with rain and cold temps. Check for low lying areas. Water will pool here and make a mess of your landscaping. Also, tree roots should be under the ground, if you can see your tree’s roots. Call a landscaper. It’s not just aesthetics, it’s about keeping your foundation stable.
Take a second look at your exterior. Remove any trash or tired “decor”
Check your crawl space for signs of water or rodent droppings.
Clean garage and remove junk.
Make sure electrical panel is accessible.
Seal garage floor.
If the walls of your garage aren't painted, paint them. It protects the walls from moisture.
Every two years, have a professional garage door company test your garage door. It's the largest moving part of your home and can be dangerous if the safety mechanisms aren't installed property.
Install a carbon monoxide detector in the home, near the garage.
Test your GFCI outlets and fuses. This is a common problem, that most people don't know they have. Check it. It could save a life. Really.
Interior House Stuff
Life hack. Used static sheets are great for dusting ceiling fan blades.
Make a list of all the light bulbs in the house that are mismatched or burnt out and replace them. If you have florescent light in the kitchen, time to upgrade. If you have old school can lights, you can update to clean, cheap and pretty LEDs for really low price and Home Depot or Amazon. Some just screw in, no need to call electrician.
Check attic. Look for disturbed insulation, chewed on wiring, and duct wrapping, rodent droppings. Contact pest company for wildlife remediation if needed
Take a close look at your paint choices. Is it time to update? Tour some new construction homes and see what is trending. Don’t buy! Just look. If you want to buy, call me first ;)
Smoke alarms can fail because of the build of up grease or dust on them. So even if the battery is fine, it may not function property. Replace annually.
Make sure fire extinguishers are charged and available on all floors. I suggest garage, kitchen, and under each bathroom sink. 2-pack on Amazon for $25.00
Get an AC tune-up . If you don't have the 5" filter, and you live anywhere with pollen, I recommend it. Your HVAC needs to be tuned up twice a year. Do this after pollen season. Also on "even years" have the ducts cleaned. Book the appointment now. Call me or check my Facebook page, I usually have good deals.
Have chimney swept. Summertime is a great time for this, because no one is using their fireplace and chimney sweeps need the work. Use this time to research and book a visit.
Have carpet cleaned (after HVAC and chimney)
Before you turn on the A/C. Dust and reverse ceiling fan blades.
Clean dryer vent. I know it's annoying, but really. This is a cause for fire, will reduce the life expectancy of your dryer and increase energy bills if left unchecked. Confirm that the dryer is actually venting out of the house. Don't assume...
Vacuum the back of your fridge. Yup. Really. It's a thing. Also, while the fridge is out, make sure you have no water leaks, and change your water filter if you have one.
Have your home tested for Radon
Clean kitchen exhaust hood and filter
Deep clean oven
Vacuum all vents and ceiling fans, and then deep clean your vacuum.
Detail clean carpet and baseboards. Touch up paint if needed.
Replace shower curtain liners
Donate old clothes and toys to charity
Life Hack. Sprinkle a little baby powder anywhere you suspect a leak. Makes it easy to find, easy enough to clean up afterward.
Check washing machine hook up for leaks.
Check toilets for wobble. If it wobbles more than a little, it's likely that the seal is broken. That needs to be fixed. Good time to replace/upgrade the toilets. Gwinnett has a toilet recycling program.
Look under all sinks for water leaks.
Inspect tub/shower caulking and replace if necessary. I hate this job. It's my least favorite home repair. Hire someone to do it if you need to. Just don't ignore it.
Open the exterior faucets and test that they perform correctly.
Below are a few links to some of my most frequently referred vendors. Some will offer deals if they were referred, so please let them know I sent you.
If you're not in my area, your Realtor should be a great source of referrals for this type of information. If you don't have one, let me know and I'll get you one.
Preferred Vendors in no particular order:
Trees - Ryan's Tree Service - 770-458-0957
Pest Control - Contractors Best - 678-765-6525
Pest Control - Northwest - 678-816-0893
Home Inspections - Atlanta Property Inspections - 770-932-8634
Home Inspections - Amerispec - 770-935-4990
Home Inspections - Sure Thing - 770-995-6305
Home Security - ADT 770-549-5533
HVAC - Temp Pros 770-988-4822
Roofing - Findley 770-516-5806
Roofing - Perimeter Roofing - 770-313-7772
Roofing - Nalley Roofing - 770-931-5982
Radon Remediation - Radon Sucks - 706-252-4628
General Home Repair - Ensign Building Solutions - 770-205-9891
General Home Repair - Brett Hayse - 770-539-4194
Electrical - Electrical Pros - 770-822-2150
Decor updates - Peachtree Interiors - 912-266-1979
Carpet Cleaning - Heavens Best - 678-822-1558
Mold Issues - Nutech - 470-655-1212 Ext. 204