Did you recently buy your first home? If so, congratulations!
Purchasing a home is a huge accomplishment and you should definitely be proud and excited. But it’s also important to note that the challenges don’t end after you’ve finished signing the paperwork.
After you’ve bought your house, you need to do everything you can to keep it in good shape.
Not sure where to begin when it comes to home maintenance? That’s okay!
Below is the ultimate home maintenance checklist that is perfect for first-time homeowners.
Why Is Home Maintenance Important?
Home maintenance isn’t just about making sure your house continues to look nice (although that’s definitely a bonus).
Keeping your home well-maintained can help new and old homeowners alike save money on repairs further down the road. It also helps you maintain the value of your home so that, in the event that you decide to sell later on, you can get as much from that sale as possible.
Keeping your home maintained will also ensure that, in the event that something serious happens (like flooding), your insurance company will help cover the cost. If you’ve never cleaned your rain gutters and end up with a flood in your attic, your insurance provider will likely decide that you are at fault for the damage and refuse to pay.
Clearly, maintenance matters. But when you’ve never owned a home before, it’s hard to know where to begin.
Home Maintenance Checklist
One of the easiest ways to stay on top of your home maintenance is to work in seasons. This checklist breaks down the most important tasks to complete during each season of the year.
The spring is a great time to tend to your grounds while also making sure the exterior and interior are squeaky clean.
When it comes to the grounds of your home, some of the most important maintenance tasks to complete include:
- Rake up remaining leaves from the lawn
- Lay down mulch in flowerbeds and beneath hedges
- Hire a lawn care service if you don’t plan to mow your lawns yourself
- Have trees inspected for signs of illness
- Reseed the lawn and fill in any bald patches
- Plant perennial flowers and make sure they get plenty of water
- Fertilize the lawn in late spring
Next, move on to the exterior of your home and check for any damage that may have occurred during the winter. This might include cracks in the concrete or driveway, chipped paint, loose or broken shingles on the roof or wear and tear on the chimney.
Clean out your gutters, too, to prevent leaks and flooding. Check for damage to the gutters as well while you’re up there.
The spring is a great time to thoroughly wash the exterior, too, to get rid of grit and grime. On a warm, dry day, use a power washer or garden hose to spray down your walls, as well as your patio or deck if you have one.
As for the interior, the following tasks are essential as the weather starts to warm up.
- Schedule your HVAC system’s biannual service–you’ll want to make sure everything is running smoothly before it really starts to get hot outside
- Check your pipes and look for signs of leaks (water stains, drips, etc.)
- Make sure your sump pump is draining properly
This is also a great time to check your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. Definitely, don’t skip on this task. It’s so simple and could save your life–three out of five home fire deaths occur in homes with broken smoke detectors.
Summer isn’t a time for a lot of major home maintenance projects–it’s just too hot outside. But there are still some tasks that you’ll need to take care of throughout the season.
You’ll still need to care for your grounds and make sure your plants get plenty of water. You’ll need to make sure your sprinklers are in good working order, too.
Summer is also a great time for exterior repairs like painting or porch repair.
As for the inside of your home, you’ll need to take care of the following tasks to make sure everything is working properly:
- Clean air conditioner filters at least once per month
- Prepare your home for harsh weather with window coverings and weather stripping for the windows
- Consider investing in a pest control service to keep insects and rodents away
The summer is also a good time to think about home improvement projects that you’ll want to tackle when the weather cools down. Consider getting bids and booking appointments now so that you’ll be able to get the help you need in the fall.
When fall rolls around, you’ll have a few more tasks ahead as you work to get your home ready for winter.
The fall is a great time to plant perennial flowers so that they can bloom in the spring. You’ll also need to make sure your leaves are neatly raked–remember, thick layers of leaves can lead to mold growth on your lawn.
It’s also important to clean your gutters in the fall and take care of any necessary repairs to your gutters or roof before winter hits.
Remember to shut off outdoor faucets and shut down your sprinkler system to prevent freezes and other damage.
On the inside of your home, you’ll want to take care of the following tasks to prepare for winter:
- Get your HVAC system serviced and take care of any necessary repairs
- Have your boiler or radiator serviced, if applicable
- Have your chimney cleaned and inspected
- Check windows and doors for drafts and caulk where necessary
- Have your dryer vent inspected (dryers cause nearly 3,000 home fires each year)
Remember to check your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms, too.
There’s not a lot of outdoor work that needs to be done in the winter, with the exception of keeping your sidewalks and driveway clear. Consider investing in a snowblower if you live somewhere that experiences heavy snowfall.
You’ll also want to stock up on ice melt before any big storms hit. A roof rake is a good investment, too, for keeping ice off the roof.
On the inside of your home, some of the most important maintenance tasks you’ll need to take care of include:
- Changing filters on the heating system once per month
- Insulating pipes to prevent freezing
- Keeping the thermostat set to a steady temperature to prevent freezing
You may also want to invest in a backup generator to keep your family warm in the event of a power outage.
Looking for More Advice?
If you follow the guidelines laid out in this home maintenance checklist, you won’t have any trouble keeping your home in tip-top shape.
Are you looking for more advice on first-time homeownership or easy home improvement? If so, be sure to check out our home advice articles today.
We’ve got all the information you need to maintain your home and make sure it stays as nice as the day you bought it!