This guest post comes to us from Sage Singleton. Sage is a home and community safety expert for SafeWise and has written for a variety of audiences ranging from government sites to lifestyle magazines.
We tend to take care of our nice, expensive things. We regularly change the oil in our cars and go to the car wash. We polish our shoes and dry-clean our clothes. However, we often skip routine maintenance tasks on our homes—arguably our most expensive and best investments.
Home maintenance projects can be daunting and expensive. However, staying caught up on them can prevent costly repairs and larger problems in the future. Here are five reasons home maintenance is extremely important, and a checklist of ways to stay on top of things.
The Importance of Home Maintenance
While it seems like just another thing to add to your to-do list, regular home maintenance is definitely worth your time. While some repairs are inevitable as a homeowner, staying caught up on monthly tasks around the house can prevent major damages and save you money in the long run.
1. Saves money—Routine home checks can save you a lot of money. For example, a new roof can cost an average of $6,800. However, regularly checking the condition of your roof (or any area in your home, for that matter) can save you money in the end. Routine maintenance is a great way to avoid issues from occurring before they happen as you can fix small problems before they become large problems.
2. Enhances quality of home life—A broken water heater or AC unit can put a huge dent in your quality of life at home. Checking your AC unit annually and changing the filter in your water heater saves you money, prevents long-term damage, greatly improves the quality of your daily life at home, and keeps your home functioning properly. No one wants to shower in cold water or come home to a hot house in the middle of summer.
3. Adds to market value—Most homes appreciate over time. Homes with curb appeal add up to 10 percent in value. So how do you increase curb appeal? Maintain your home! Homes with fresh paint, crack-free driveways, and well-kept yards are more desirable. This means your market value should go up if you choose to sell in the future.
4. Extends life of appliances—Home appliances, like dishwashers, refrigerators, and washing machines, can have hefty price tags but are necessary for day-to-day life. However, simple upkeep on a regular basis can extend the life of your appliances and keep them in great condition for years to come. Vacuuming your fridge coils and cleaning your stove with the appropriate cleaning solutions will save you from buying new ones anytime soon.
5. Increases home safety—Home and yard maintenance increases the security of your property and home. Home invasions occur every 20 seconds, it’s smart to maintain home security. Burglars tend to target homes with overgrown bushes and stray branches because they provide easy hiding places. By maintaining your yard and property appropriately each season, you can protect your home and safeguard your family. Want to check in on your home while you're away or have it notify you if anything seems awry? It may even make sense to update to some smart security features.
Tips for Homeowners
So, these are all appealing perks to regular home maintenance, but how do you know what to do or how often? Here are some tips to help you stay caught up on everything that comes with being a homeowner.
Follow a monthly home maintenance and safety checklist.
Categorize tasks into daily, weekly, and monthly priorities.
Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do everything at once.
Schedule home maintenance tasks as you would other appointments and commit to doing them.
Hire a professional if you don’t know how to do something, you need to save time, or you don’t want to deal with the stress.
Delegate responsibility to all family members.
Create an inventory of household appliances and note when replacements are necessary.
Remember why you are doing this and what you’ll gain from it.
Your home is your safe haven. As such, give it a little TLC and you’ll reap the benefits for years to come.