Are you tired of playing an endless game of whack-a-mole with your home maintenance tasks? We are going to break down why a proactive approach to home maintenance and a well-organized annual plan is essential for protecting your investment, keeping your family safe, and avoiding costly repairs down the line. We asked our founder Melissa Shymko a few questions about how to plan for home maintenance and hope that it will be a helpful guide to get your started. Why You Need an Annual Home Maintenance Plan Living in the warm embrace of the Bay Area, you're spoiled for choice when it comes to how to spend your free time. We're willing to bet that tinkering with the HVAC unit or unclogging drain pipes certainly wouldn't be at the top of your list. However, maintenance tasks like these are critical to protect your investment and to ensure that you can enjoy your life without interruption. That's exactly why you need an annual home maintenance plan! Q: Why does everyone need an annual home maintenance plan? Many repairs whether they are major or minor can be avoided by adhering to a checklist of annual tasks. Sticking to a calendar of recurring tasks to clean, service or inspect the various components of your home will help you save money long-term. Although maintenance isn’t exactly sexy, a well-planned and executed annual plan can save you time, money and countless headaches in the long run. Q: How much should I set aside for maintenance costs? It's recommended that you set aside 1%-4% of your home's value for maintenance costs. By doing so, you'll have the funds necessary to cover routine maintenance and repairs without incurring unexpected expenses that can strain your budget. Some years may be fairly straightforward and come in below 1% but other years there will be “bigger” more significant work that needs to be done, like repainting the exterior or replacing an appliance. While 1-4% may seem like a significant amount, it's a small price to pay to protect your home and avoid costly unexpected repairs in the future. Think of your home like a car - there are oil changes and services and then occasionally you need to budget for replacing all the tires or brakes. But you never want to have to repair something that is mechanical because you didn’t take care of the small stuff. Check out our latest blog post all about the cost of repair vs prevention. Q: What tasks are involved in an annual home maintenance plan? An annual home maintenance plan involves regular inspections, cleaning, repairs, and replacements of essential components such as HVAC systems, electrical systems, plumbing, roofing, windows and doors. It also helps you stay on top of routine tasks that are often overlooked but are crucial for your family's safety and well-being, like changing air filters, cleaning the dryer vent and checking smoke detectors. Q: Can I DIY home maintenance tasks on my own? Of course! However, we do recommend engaging with a professional for more complicated tasks. For a basic guideline we created this annual maintenance checklist for homeowners. You can download a copy right off of our website. For homeowners who are overwhelmed or don’t have the time to manage their home’s maintenance needs that is exactly what we do at Project Preservation. We work with you to devise an annual maintenance plan and prioritize your property’s needs. Our goal is to prevent problems and provide timely assistance whenever you need us! With a little bit of planning and a lot of expertise, we can ensure your home runs like a well-oiled machine all year long.
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As a homeowner, you have many anticipated financial responsibilities like your mortgage, insurance, taxes and utilities. But there are also expenses that can sneak up and create financial stress if you don’t properly plan for them. We are talking about maintenance. When it comes to home repairs, it pays to be proactive. The average homeowner spends $1,400 – $2,300* on regular annual maintenance, excluding any repairs or replacements. This may seem like a significant investment, however, when compared to the average cost of failure, you can see why it's worth it. (See our infographic on Preservation vs Repair)
Budgeting for recurring home maintenance as well as any unforeseen expenses is the key to a well-functioning home and avoiding costly repairs down the road. As a rule of thumb, you should have a maintenance budget between 1-4% of your home’s total value. Since home maintenance is an ongoing expense, to fine-tune your budget you should create a list of all the important components, appliances and systems that make up your home. This includes things like the roof, siding, and windows, as well as minor and major appliances like your water heater, HVAC system and refrigerator. Once you've assembled your list, it can be helpful to determine the age and condition of each item and then call local vendors to find out what you should be doing (and how much it costs) to maintain those items. Next, create a calendar of maintenance for your home. Additional factors to consider are your location and seasons, the age of your home and maintenance history. Not sure where to begin? Check out our maintenance checklist template and guide.
It’s important to remember that luxury doesn't come without a price. Just because you spent the extra dough to get the best doesn’t mean it doesn’t require maintenance. Think of your home like a luxury vehicle that needs to be serviced even though everything seems fine. Just like your car, we don’t recommend waiting until the “check engine” light turns on. If you have custom-built or premium features you may need to increase your maintenance budget to cover the costs of repairs, replacements, and upkeep. Things like high-end appliances, marble countertops, European plumbing fixtures and sophisticated technology will be more expensive to maintain, but the cost of doing nothing will also be much higher.
While nothing lasts forever, you can drastically increase the lifespan of many important and costly systems and appliances by just showing them some proactive TLC. For example, the average cost to have a roof and gutters cleaned professionally is between $120 - $320 and it can be up to double your roof lifespan if done annually. The lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof is between 15-30 years and costs the average homeowner around $7K to replace. Wouldn’t you rather get close to 30 years out of your roof? Never mind the stress and headache of a leak in the middle of the rainy season. Did we mention that many roofing companies will provide a free inspection?
Neglecting even seemingly small maintenance tasks can quickly spiral out of control and make your home dysfunctional. Beyond the savings you will enjoy by avoiding costly repairs, budgeting for home maintenance will also allow you to enjoy your home and reduce the stress caused by untimely breakdowns. Ever have your AC unexpectedly quit working when it is 100 degrees outside? If you're planning to sell down the road, a well-maintained property will mean increased value and be more appealing to potential buyers. While it’s a drag to think about budgeting more money toward your home’s care, performing regular home maintenance will save you $ long-term … and who doesn’t like that?
* There are many factors that contribute to the cost of maintaining a home. For the purposes of this blog post, we decided to include “national” averages and amounts we researched on other websites. Budgeting for maintenance is relative to the size, age, contents, location and condition of your home - but so is the cost of repairs and replacements!
How Much Does A Roof Replacement Cost? (Forbes)
Post on HVAC Services (This Old House)
Cost to Repair Roof Leaks (FIXR)
As we prepare to kick off the new year this is a great time to organize and purge. Your home and personal space can greatly influence how you feel and function. The new year is an opportunity to feel you're entering a "fresh start." Organizing can also be overwhelming, so we came up with are some simple tips to help you get started:
Fridge & Pantry
You'll be surprised by the amount of unused food and other random items that have accumulated in your kitchen. Go through your pantry and cabinets and throw out expired ingredients, cracked or dented containers, duplicates, and items you no longer use. Check if you have any spices or condiments that have dried up, and finish with a deep clean of your fridge to remove any lingering food smells and make way for fresh new ingredients.
You can also donate any extra food to your local food bank or soup kitchen. It's a great way to help out those in need while clearing out space for new items!
Out with the old and in with the new. One of the easiest ways to think about purging your closets is to get rid of or donate an item for every new item that goes into your closet. We call this the 1 for 1 rule. Sometimes going into a task with a small goal in mind leads to purging more items you no longer need! Another idea for creating space is storing your seasonal items you don’t need in shrinkable storage bags. If you aren’t sure you are ready to part with items - put them in a bag out of sight for a few months and if they haven’t crossed your mind then it is safe to say you don’t need them!
Get Rid of Something Big
Instead of stressing about going through all of your little knick-knacks, think about getting rid of a couple of big things. Perhaps an old chair, dresser, appliance, tv or kids toy that is taking up a lot of space. If you aren’t able to donate to a local organization then think about posting on Nextdoor or Facebook Marketplace for free.
If you need to haul off something large or a lot of items , try Lugg. Vetted professionals will take care of all the logistics involved, from loading and transporting - ll you have to do is schedule your pickup here.
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