Don’t leave yourself scrambling for service at the last minute.
As the end of the year approaches, take out next year's calendar, and schedule your annual home maintenance service appointments. Doing it before the new year or at the latest, the beginning of the new year will prevent you from scrambling to get on the service provider's schedule when everyone else is trying to.
As you schedule the appointments, create a seasonal home maintenance checklist. Why?
- Save money avoiding replacement costs.
- Keep a safe and healthy home.
- Reduce utility costs.
- Improve home value.
Use this guide with tips from HomeZada to schedule your appointments and the DIY tasks to keep your home in good repair.
Schedule a contractor for:
This is the one service that people wait until the last minute to schedule then find themselves scrambling to get an appointment. Set this for the beginning of March. Because we can hit the triple digits in April, you will want your AC system serviced in plenty of time to keep you comfortable all spring, summer, and fall long.
- Make sure crawl vent spaces are tightly shut.
- Cover and protect your central or window air conditioning units.
- Clean and store garden tools.
- Change or clean your furnace filters.
- Thoroughly clean your kitchen appliances both inside and out – including your refrigerator coils.
- Keep drains clear with a baking soda, vinegar, and hot water flush.
- In the snowy regions, place a bucket of sand or salt close to the door entrance where it's handy to use to prevent slips on the ice and snow.
Schedule a Contractor for:
Anytime you find a leak, call for a free roof inspection. If there are no telltale signs of damage, schedule a visit for May, before the monsoons arrive. You will want that wiggle room in case the roofing company finds an issue.
Schedule this in early March so your pool will be ready for the first cannonball in April.
- Clean out gutters and downspouts, looking for rotting wood or places where the gutters have pulled away from the roof.
- Touch up any areas where the paint is peeling or damaged, including the window lashes and trim work.
- Wash all of windows inside and out.
- Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors when daylight savings time begins.
- If you have a sump pump in your basement test it before the spring melt fills your basement with water.
Schedule a Contractor for:
Make sure the security system and fire alarms are working before you head out for summer vacation.
Make sure irrigations systems are working so you do not lose valuable plants.
- Open crawl space vents around your home's exterior to keep monsoon moisture from building up.
Schedule a Contractor for:
Heating System Service
Have this service scheduled by the end of September. Ask the service provider if they offer energy audits. If so, have that performed at the same time.
If you didn't do this in the spring, do it now before the winter rains.
This is not a job you want to do yourself. It is messy! Schedule this appointment for September. In a wood-burning fireplace, the wood never burns completely. The creosote that builds up over time is highly flammable. This needs to be done before the first fire of the season.
- Check door and window frames for damage. Repairs should be done before winter sets in.
- Check the caulking and weather stripping around windows to keep out drafts and lower your heating bills.
- Check gutters and downspouts again.
- Check windows and doors to make sure the weather stripping is intact. Replace any missing or damaged weather stripping now before the winter season begins.
Annually or As Budget and Time Permits
Make sure water is draining properly from the gutters and ground away from the foundation. Pooling water can cause damage to your foundation as well as your driveway and any walkways.
Dryer Vent Cleaning
Although you remove the lint from the dryer screen after each use, the whole dryer should have a thorough cleaning that including the crinkly accordion foil tubing.
Nate Woolf, Blue Sky Pest Control, Termites says pests are active year-round with peak termite season January through April and August to November. At the start of each season, check the interior and exterior of your home for signs of termites. If you find signs of termite activity, call an expert right away.
Depending on the activity, the number of pets, and your clean comfort level, you may want to schedule professional cleaning visits at least twice a year – before the holiday guests arrive and for the annual spring cleaning. The professionals can get into the spots and do the jobs you don't want to, such as vacuuming the curtains, cleaning behind the stove and refrigerator, and scrubbing grout and baseboards.
Energy Audit / Air Leaks
If you notice unusually high energy bills, schedule an energy audit. Some HVAC companies offer this service. Ask about it when scheduling your annual visit.
Why Regular Home Maintenance Visits Matter
HomeZada points out a few reasons why scheduled maintenance visits are important.
Increased Home Value
Over the long term, real estate has proven to be a very smart investment. But this doesn't mean your home will always increase in value…especially if you fail to maintain it well.
Unless they are searching for a "fixer-upper," home buyers are looking closely at your home to see if you've been doing maintenance regularly, such as peeling paint, mold build-up, and cracked drywall, ceilings, and flooring. Their offer and the home inspection will be greatly influenced by the care or lack thereof you've put into your home.
Fewer Repair & Replacement Costs
If you catch something such as a leaky pipe early, the cost of repairing or replacing it is exponentially less.
In Arizona's dusty climate, air filters should be changed out monthly. Failure to do so can potentially lead to a damaged or failed unit that will cost you tens of thousands of dollars to repair or replace.
Also, your home systems will be more efficient and save on your utility bill, but you'll also make your system last longer.
Home & Equipment Warranties
If your home is new or has newly installed systems that have been warrantied, you can expect that any breakdown you experience won't be covered if the cause was a lack of maintenance.
So, not only did you spend money on a warranty that you cannot use, but you'll need to replace or repair what was broken too.
Confidence In the Quality of Your Home
When you know that every part of your home has been properly maintained, you'll feel more safe and secure.
Maximizing Scheduled Maintenance Visits
Make sure there is clear access to whatever is being inspected. Clean around the area so the technician can move easier and faster. Not only will this give your tech space to work, but it will prevent any safety hazards for kids or pets.
Ask the technician to check multiple appliances. Save time by having the technician check multiple appliances during the same appointment. You may get a service discount for multiple repairs in one visit. In many cases, a portion of the repair bill is the travel time to your home. Be sure to request multiple appliances when making the appointment.
Take time to understand the repair. Always ask your technician what the issues are, the cause, and prevention.
Ask for tips on maintaining the item being serviced. During your service appointment, ask the technician about certain products that can help maintain the item and how to avoid future damage. The technician will likely show you how to do it and where to buy parts or tools.
Take the opportunity to make sure you're protected. Ask your tech about ways you can protect your home and appliances. Consider purchasing new extended warranties, renew existing service agreements, or purchase a whole home warranty. But do your homework first and don't get caught in the "today and today only" offer scam.
Get quotes from the company that covers your homeowner's insurance. If you cover the warranties with that policy, it can be less expensive and YOU have the choice of who you want to use, as opposed to home warranty companies that send out whomever they want. Rosie on the House generally DOES NOT recommend buying third-party home warranty policies. We recommend doing it with your homeowner's insurance with riders.
Provide helpful feedback. If you are sent a customer service survey, fill it out. Customer feedback helps the company make improvements to make customer repair experiences more enjoyable and efficient.
Schedule your annual home maintenance appointments now. As the adage goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
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