Taking care of a home along with family, car, and other obligations can be overwhelming! There always seems like there is more to do, and often household repairs don’t happen until something is either absolutely necessary, or far overdue and causing an emergency. But, eventually you will want to move and get a good price for your former home. It’s much nicer to live in a house which is well taken care of. What sort of things should you be doing annually to keep your house looking nice and working properly?
Lawn maintenance and landscaping are one of the first things that anyone sees when pulling into your driveway. In order to not need to do heavy duty maintenance later on, or, worse, resod the lawn completely, it makes sense to safeguard your investment of a beautiful show-front, including your landscaping. There are great seasonal lists available for your budding green thumb. Hiring a landscaper to do the pruning and planting for you is also a welcome option, if your budget allows (and your time doesn’t allow leisurely lawn care). Simple flowers, roses, lavender and rosemary are common plantings to improve homes’ landscaping, while having easy maintenance.
Driveway and Sidewalk Maintenance
Especially in areas where temperatures change drastically, your driveway and sidewalks are constantly under great wear and tear. Cracks can appear, and water will work its way into any crevice and freeze. Frozen water expands, and expands the cracks, and the cycle continues in the next freeze. One great way to prevent cracks from appearing in your sidewalk and driveway is to use a sealcoat, which covers small cracks before they become big ones later. Asphalt driveways need regular sealcoating to keep them lasting as long as possible and looking their best.
Interior and Exterior Paint
Your home is your palette, whether you prefer beige or bright colors. A good coat of paint always makes a room look fresher and clean. Many homes are initially sold with inexpensive contractor’s paint on the walls, and it does not scrub down easily as well. A quality paint will not only cover smudges and dirt, but will make future stains easy to wipe off. Choose colors that all look nicely together throughout the whole house, so there is no jarring shock to the eyes between rooms. One excellent way to find paint colors you personally love is to take a photograph, piece of art, or fabric you love with you to shop. Choosing individual colors which match those items becomes easier when they are there with you!
Unless you’ve time traveled to the early nineteen hundreds, no household wants to be without good restrooms, in good working order. This does not need to mean modern in every way- vintage sinks, tile, toilets and tubs are absolutely on trend for the right families! However, making sure that everything works properly, and has no leaks or other concerns is important. Your bathrooms absolutely need no leaking or corroded taps, and grout should be cleaned thoroughly. Simple paint and general repair is often a great start.
We often forget about our roofs, unless a storm knocks a few shingles off or they begin to leak! Maintaining your roof will make your life in the home much happier, as well as save money in the long run. If your house goes on the market, the inspector will definitely check your roof, both for age and maintenance. Make sure you clean your gutters, so they don’t freeze over or cause other damage. Also, remove any leaves or straw fallen onto the roof, so it does not get wet and freeze, and create an ice dam. You do not want leaks in your home, now or in the future!
Air Conditioning Unit
Another thing families forget to maintain until they refuse to work is the air conditioning unit. With good maintenance, your unit will last many years! Annual maintenance doesn’t cost much, but it certainly comes in handy that first horrible summer day. Your HVAC maintenance provider will check amounts of coolant and make sure there are no weeds growing around your unit, which could prevent it from free movement inside and enough airflow.
On the other end of the seasonal spectrum, you also need to maintain your furnace. Small changes will help immensely. You want to change your air filters regularly, often every three months. They have measurements on the side for what kind is needed, and are often sold at supermarkets and large box stores. This will help allergies, but also limit extra power your furnace needs to move air around. A licensed professional can come do a seasonal check for you, and make sure everything is working properly.
Your water heater is another part of the house which is easily forgotten unless something happens to it. Besides the frustration of not having hot water for a shower, other problems can occur. If your water heater is in a sensitive location, like in a basement, having a leak alarm is a great idea! It’s better to know you might have an issue, than to find one after it’s a big problem! It’s possible to do a simple mini-flush of the water to prevent sediment deposits, and temperature checks, which can help your water heater keep functioning for many years more.
Your home is your sanctuary during complex times. Taking a look around periodically to see what needs to be done soon is a great idea. Whether you plan on staying in your home for another five, fifteen, or twenty five years, keeping the maintenance up helps you both in the short term and in the long run. You get a better and more beautiful home, with working appliances and plumbing, to live in. And, should the need arise, you know you’re prepared in case you need to move to an even better location.