Home Maintenance Checklist: Protecting Your Investment

First Service Credit Union
8/1/2018 12:00:00 AM - 12 min. read

The Ultimate Home Maintenance Checklist

If you own your own home, then you know the financial security and sense of pride that homeownership can provide. However, regular home maintenance — which is necessary for protecting your most significant financial investment — can be costly, time-consuming, and sometimes downright confusing. That’s why we’ve created this checklist.

Taking care of your home doesn’t have to be overwhelming. This easy-to-follow checklist will enable you to make the most of your investment while reducing short-term costs over time. If you have been wondering what's next for your home to-do list, then we've got you covered. With this checklist, you’ve got a proven plan to stay on top of the things that matter most for your home.


Why Do You Need this Checklist?

Every home will wear down with time, but regular home maintenance allows you to fix, clean, protect, and replace parts of your home to avoid more significant and costly problems down the line. Your home is a huge investment, but if properly maintained it is almost guaranteed to yield great returns.


The Bigger Picture

Home Maintenance Examples Infographic

Home maintenance checklists can seem daunting at first, but when properly broken up according to how frequently a task should be performed, or during what time of year, you’ll find that keeping your home in great shape really isn’t as difficult as you may have first believed.

Let’s start by tackling different seasonal jobs.


Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

Summer Home Maintenance Checklist Graphic

Summer home maintenance plans can help keep your home’s exterior looking great while also making it run more efficiently. This will help with managing your utility expenses even as outside temperatures rise and energy usage increases.

  • Have your air conditioner serviced
  • Change your AC filters
  • Reverse ceiling fans (run counter-clockwise during hot summer months)
  • Clean your vents and fans
  • Check your deck for things like creaky boards or wobbly handrails
  • Add mulch to plant beds
  • Clean your grill
  • Check for leaks on outdoor faucets
  • Stay on top of pest control
  • Look for and seal up cracks where unwelcome visitors may be able to enter
  • Remove wood piles or other debris where wildlife might make a home
  • Pressure wash the driveway, sidewalks, and home exterior
  • Check for cracks and holes in your foundation, driveway, and sidewalk
  • Inspect your fence and make repairs as needed
  • Look for any outside damage or rot on your exposed wood and siding


Autumn Home Maintenance Checklist

Autumn Home Maintenance Checklist Graphic

Autumn home maintenance is extremely important. Although most parts of the country enjoy pleasant fall weather with mild temperatures, this is the time to start preparing for whatever winter may hold. The following steps will help ensure that your home is prepared for the oncoming cold and that you will be able to stay warm and toasty all winter long.

  • Clean out exterior rain gutters
  • Service HVAC systems and replace HVAC filters
  • Clean dryer vents
  • Rake and discard leaves
  • Check weather stripping around doors and windows (replace and repair as needed)
  • Drain and shut off outdoor faucets and pipes
  • Insulate exposed faucets and pipes
  • Check walkways and railways for cracks, creaks, or other vulnerabilities
  • Prep your winter supplies and equipment, if necessary
  • Remove window AC units
  • Clean out your fireplace and chimney


Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

Winter Home Maintenance Checklist Graphic

Depending on where you live, winter may be the time of year when your home is most susceptible to the elements. However, with proper maintenance, your home is sure to keep your family warm while continuing to run smoothly. Simply follow the tips below.

  • Seal up leaky doors and windows
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Test your sump pump if your home has a basement
  • Inspect your insulation for tears or mold
  • Reverse ceiling fans (run clockwise during cold winter months)
  • Protect and/or bring inside outdoor furniture and tools
  • Test all sinks and check for leaks
  • Test GFCI outlets
  • over your AC unit
  • Make sure things like flashlights or battery-powered radios are easy to find and in good working order


Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist Graphic

Spring is a great time to take advantage of mild temperatures while preparing your home for summer. There’s probably a fair bit of cleaning to do after the winter months, but it’s important to focus on the exterior of your home as well. Here are a few tips for transitioning your home from winter to summer.

  • Check window caulking (repair and replace as needed)
  • Flush your water heater
  • Clean all outdoor siding
  • Inspect your roof (we recommend hiring a licensed professional)
  • Inspect exterior paint and touch up any chips or damage you may find
  • Clean inside and outside of all windows
  • Inspect your attic, basement, and storage areas for leaks or damage
  • Trim back trees and prune shrubbery where necessary
  • Check outdoor lighting and replace bulbs
  • Remove wood piles or other debris where wildlife might make a home
  • Prep your lawn equipment for summer – might be time for a tune-up!


Maintaining Your Home for the Long Haul

Maintaining Your Home for the Long Haul Graphic

On top of the regular maintenance that should be performed each season, there are some other larger projects and repairs that should also be regularly completed over the lifetime of your home. These will vary based on the age of your home and when it was last renovated. Below are some general ideas for planning out your home maintenance schedule.


Every 1 – 5 Years

  • Disassemble removable parts of heating ducts and clean them thoroughly
  • Contract a professional to inspect for termites
  • Replace caulking around all windows and exterior doors


Every 5 – 10 Years

  • Re-paint your home’s exterior
  • Replace any outdoor decking or other wood exposed to the elements


Every 10 – 15 Years

  • Replace smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and other household safety items
  • Replace appliances like refrigerators, water heaters, or washing machines that may no longer be functioning reliably


Every 15+ Years

  • Replace your roof when it is no longer able to adequately protect and insulate your home
  • Replace AC and HVAC systems that have been worn down by many years of usage


Budgeting for Home Maintenance Projects

When it comes to home maintenance and repairs, the costs can add up pretty quickly. We always recommend checking your budget to see what you can set aside for regular maintenance, but sometimes it may not be enough to tackle some of the bigger jobs you may face. At First Service, we may be able to help.

One of the most common ways for homeowners to finance big projects is by taking out a home equity loan. Home equity loans are loans that enable homeowners to get cash from the equity they’ve been putting into their home over the years. The funds can be used however the homeowner needs, meaning that they can help with tackling other expenses in addition to any home projects. At First Service, our home equity loans have competitive, fixed rates, and you can get flexible terms up to 20 years to help find a payment option that works for you.


The Key Home Maintenance Takeaway

By making a plan, creating a budget, and finding the right financial partner, you should have no issues with maintaining your home’s value over time. Remember, your home is more than just a place to lay your head — it’s a tremendous investment and a huge opportunity if properly cared for. Our goal at First Service is to help you prepare for a brighter financial future. Whether it’s helping with planning for home maintenance or helping out with high value home improvement projects, our team is prepared to help you make the most of your home ownership experience!