Home inspectors

Office:  949 716-0934    Cell:  949 981-6558    E-mail:  seay@cox.net

Preventive Home Maintenance Checkup

 

Your home can't take care of itself. Your monthly budget should include money for routine maintenance and repair for the house and yard. Plan to set money aside for the large, irregular expenses that occur normally as a house ages. Large expenses include interior and exterior painting, repairs or replacement of heating and air conditioning units and appliances, floor coverings, and roof surfaces.

Housing experts recommend setting aside 1 to 3 percent of the market value of your house each year to pay for maintenance and repair costs. While all of these funds may not be needed if your home is new, the accumulated amounts will help you pay for large future expenses, such as re-roofing or replacing a heating unit.

Home maintenance helps provide a healthy, safe environment as it protects your growing financial investment. It is much easier to prevent the development of unsafe, unhealthy conditions and structural damage than to pay medical or repair bills or both.

Who is responsible for home maintenance? The home owner is responsible for what is owned. (Check your owner agreement if you live in a condominium or townhouse.)

Why should you do regular home maintenance?

What is involved in home maintenance? Cleaning roof and gutters, cleaning or painting outside wall surfaces, cleaning floors and walls, vacuuming carpet, keeping sink and shower drains running freely, etc.

What is involved in home repair? Replacing broken glass in windows or doors, replacing warped or worn shingles, repairing a cracked or heaved sidewalk or driveway, replacing worn out faucets, repairing a broken stair rail, etc.

How often should you do maintenance and repairs? Maintenance and repairs should be done as soon as the need appears. This sooner-the-better practice helps prevent further damage and keeps repair costs down. At least once every 6 months, inspect your house and yard thoroughly to identify items needing work.

Who should do the maintenance and repairs? The home owner who does his or her own maintenance and repairs saves money. Use the following sources to learn how to do your own maintenance and repairs:

If you are not able to do the work, hire a qualified, experienced repair person. Ask friends for personal recommendations. Check the telephone book, neighborhood newspapers, or special advertisements to find a reputable repair person. Ask for written estimates, and do not pay in advance for maintenance or repair services.

Include a maintenance/repair category in your monthly budget. If you do not need the money in a particular month, put it in a savings account for the periodic, expensive repairs that will happen as a house ages.

Inspect your house regularly. Develop a system where you inspect one area per month to ensure regular inspection of each area. Start at the foundation of the house and work upward and inward. The following list of areas to check may help. For more information, see Inspecting a House.

FOUNDATIONS, BASEMENTS, and YARDS

EXTERIOR WALLS, WINDOWS, and DOORS

ROOF

INTERIOR SURFACES

ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS and FIXTURES

HEATING and COOLING SYSTEMS

PLUMBING SYSTEMS

SAFETY SYSTEMS

SUMMARY

Regular inspection and maintenance of your home will help you keep the house in good condition and maintain its value. Doing maintenance and repair as the need arises also keeps small problems from becoming bigger, more costly problems. Having and following a plan for home maintenance and repair will make the job easier. And finally, a well-maintained house will be more comfortable.

The checklist below can help you identify areas where work may be needed. Make note of anything that needs work. When the work is completed, add the cost and date. For information on how to make repairs or handle maintenance, contact your county extension center.

INSPECTION CHECKLIST (INSIDE)

OUTSIDE

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