Home Maintenance Guide

Maintenance tips to keep your house in top shape ...

  1. Can proper maintenance increase the value of my home?
  2. What are some home maintenance steps I can do myself?
  3. Increase the energy-efficiency of my home without spending a fortune?
  4. Is it worth the money to call a professional just to handle maintenance?
  5. What maintenance records do I need to keep?

 

1. Can proper maintenance increase the value of my home?

Yes. Careful maintenance can pay off when it's time to sell your home. A neat, well-maintained property can be expected to generate more interest, and most likely a faster sale for a better price, than a comparable house in less desirable condition. The same goes for home improvements, even minor ones like kitchen remodelling or new curtains.

Even if you're not planning on selling in the near future, keeping up with routine maintenance will pay off in the long run. For one thing, it will save you considerable time, trouble and expense when the time comes to sell. Also, it's certain to make home ownership a more rewarding, worry-free experience for you and your family.

Home maintenance doesn't have to cost a lot, in terms of time or money. Even if you're not a weekend do-it-yourselfer, there are steps you can take right now to keep your home in top shape, inside and out. 

 

2. What are some home maintenance steps I can do  myself?

You can get more enjoyment in your home, and save money along the way, just by making a quick inspection every few months. The following list includes some important safety, economy, and comfort considerations that you shouldn't overlook.

INSIDE CHECK-UPS Make sure handrails and posts on stairways are secure. Replace when necessary with inexpensive bracket hardware.

Test all household alarms. And don't forget the doorbell! Make sure pipes are running smoothly. Check traps and waste pipes, then check the main water line and taps. Check for wall seepages and ceiling leakages. Inspect all sockets and switches, and look for fraying wires.

OUTSIDE CHECK-UPS Keep gutters sloped towards the downpipes and keep them free of leaves and twigs. Replace individual roof tiles when worn or loose. Use wire screening to keep insects and birds from nesting in roof ventilation areas.

Lubricate autogate doors, hardware and hinges. Fill and seal driveway cracks when necessary.

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, BE PREPARED! Make sure that everyone in the house, including children who are old enough to be left alone, know where to find the following; The closest fire extinguisher, and how to use it. Fuse box or main circuit breaker, and how it works. Main gas shut off valve, and how to turn it off. Main water shut off valve, and how to turn it off. Emergency services contact numbers (fire, police, ambulance).

 

3. Increase the energy-efficiency of my home without spending a fortune?

Making your home more comfortable and efficient doesn't have to take a great deal of time and money. Take these four easy steps towards savings on your home cooling, and other energy bills:

  1. For air-conditioning, keep your thermostat set around 24c. By avoiding constant adjustments you can stabilise your energy bills.
  2. Dripping bathroom taps and leaky shower heads are obvious waste culprits. Fortunately, they're easy to fix with a self-help book.
  3. Compact fluorescent lighting costs more than you're used to paying for the standard incandescent bulbs, but fluorescents last more than 10 times longer (over 5 years in many cases) and use just a quarter of the electricity.
  4. Help your home systems and appliances do their jobs by keeping filters clean and operating parts oiled. Clean air-conditioning filters and wall units each year. A professional inspection once a year will keep things running smoothly.

 

4. Is it worth the money to call a professional just to handle maintenance?

When everything in your home seems to be running fine, it's very tempting just to let maintenance go until next year. Don't fall into that temptation! Stick to a regular schedule of maintenance for the systems and equipment in your home.

Catching little problems before they get big, can add up to enormous equipment and energy savings. Of course, the added benefit is the peace of mind that comes with being sure that everything in your home is humming.

If your home is covered by a Home Warranty Plan (HWP) and you need assistance, you simply follow service instructions included in your warranty contract. And if you have any questions or need professional repair service, check with your HWP consultants.

 

5. What maintenance records do I need to keep?

For easy reference in case of a repair or maintenance question, it's a good idea to keep a record of the brand, model number, and serial number of your major appliances and systems.

An example is shown below. Your records should also show the equipment installation dates (if known), as well as performance checks and service calls. Keeping these records will help you keep your home running smoothly. This handy reference can help you protect your investment for as long as you own your home, and it's proof of consistent maintenance to impress prospective buyers.