In the excitement of becoming a new homeowner, it’s easy to overlook the value and importance of regular home upkeep. Wouldn’t it be nice if every home came with a comprehensive guide on how to take care of it? Below, you’ll learn some of the top home care tips for new homeowners that you should know.
1. Budget for Maintenance Needs
Home maintenance often requires special tools, equipment, or the assistance of professionals like plumbers and electricians, all of which cost money — you can expect to spend 3% to 5% of the home’s price annually on upkeep. Budgeting for those costs helps you prepare so you’re not left trying to figure out how to pay for them as the needs arise.
2. Learn the Location of Critical Systems in Your Home
As you were viewing potential homes, you may have taken a brief look at a few of their essential systems — electrical panel, HVAC system, water heater, water shutoff valve, and smoke detectors, for example. After you officially purchase your new home, reacquaint yourself with the locations of these systems. You don’t want to wait for an emergency to have to learn where they are. If you can’t reach them, make sure you can get to them safely with a stepladder.
3. Build a Tool Kit
If you’re handy or enjoy DIY projects, you can tackle some of your home maintenance needs yourself. Having the right tools on hand can make these tasks much easier. Items to include in your home tool kit include:
- Measuring tape
- Utility knife
- Duct tape
4. Create a List of Home Maintenance Tasks
A lot goes into keeping a house in good condition. To help ensure you don’t forget anything, create a list of essential tasks. You can find plenty of checklists online that break tasks down by season and frequency — for example, you should check your HVAC system’s air filter once a month and check your smoke detectors every six months.
5. Schedule Routine Checkups and Tuneups
Some tasks require a professional’s help. Not only can an experienced service person inspect essential components of your home thoroughly for any signs of wear or damage, but they can also do so safely.
Tasks to consider scheduling with professionals include:
- HVAC maintenance
- Water heater maintenance
- Dryer vent cleaning
- Sump pump maintenance
- Roof inspection
- Pest control treatment
6. Assemble a List of Reliable Service Providers
When you do need a professional, whether for maintenance or repairs, you want someone you can trust. Don’t hesitate to ask friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers for recommendations. It also doesn’t hurt to do some research online to see how local service providers rate with past customers.
Keep a list of trusted service companies in an easy-to-remember location. That way, you won’t have to waste time trying to remember the company you hired months ago or hunting down contact information.
7. Organize Your Owners’ Manuals
Owners’ manuals provide a lot of critical information:
- Warranty and servicing details
- Power requirements and energy information
- Spare parts lists
- Safety information
When buying a house, don’t hesitate to ask the previous owner to leave behind any manuals they still have for current appliances. Make sure to keep the ones you have for small appliances, furniture, and lawn equipment that you bring with you or purchase after you move in. Spend some time organizing your manuals for quick reference. When you get rid of an appliance, get rid of the manual to avoid clutter.
8. Note Paint Colors and Finishes
There may come a time when you need to touch up the paint in your living room or replace a bathroom floor tile. Instead of trying to hunt down an exact match, eliminate the guesswork by keeping a list of all paint colors and finishes used throughout your house. You’ll save a lot of time and avoid unnecessary stress.
9. Review Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
Your homeowners insurance policy is there to protect you in the event that something catastrophic happens. Policies generally cover losses due to storms, fires, fallen trees, vandalism, and theft. You may also decide to buy additional coverage for disasters such as floods. Review your policy at least once a year to ensure you always have adequate coverage.
Keep Your Home in Tip-Top Shape All Year Long
Taking care of your house is crucial for keeping it in good condition. Your home will look great, and you’ll avoid a lot of potentially expensive repairs down the line.
The HomeKeep app is a home maintenance solution that should be in every new homeowner’s toolkit. This all-in-one home maintenance and management solution helps homeowners know exactly what, when, how, and how much is needed to take care of their home. It simplifies the homeownership process by creating regular, easy-to-follow plans, tutorials, and reminders so you can keep your home in the best shape possible.
For those in the Madison, WI area, we also offer a traditional, in-person home maintenance subscription called the Essentials Bundle. This includes maintenance and cleaning for your furnace, air conditioner, water heater, dryer vent, and more — starting at just $399. Don’t wait — as a new homeowner, now is the best time to prioritize your home’s maintenance.