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The bare-minimum home-maintenance plan

How good are you at completing jobs that are important, but not urgent?

For many of us, we understand that taking good care of our biggest asset (our home) is important, but property maintenance takes time and energy and it’s easy for those jobs to get pushed back as our days fill up with all the ingredients of modern life: Work, family, school, sports, walking the dog, daily chores.

Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months and before you know it, it’s been years since we paid attention to the four walls around us.

Houses are sturdy, strong and reliable. It’s easy to forget they need care and attention too, just like your car, your body and your mind.

If, like me, you lead a busy life. Here is a bare-minimum program that will keep your home in decent shape. Call it the 80-20 home-maintenance manifesto:

Bare-minimum home-maintenance plan

  1. Wash your home every year or two. Stop moss from growing and look after your paint job. If you are out-sourcing this job, make sure you ask for a softer wash if your paint-work is near the end of its life.
  2. Clear the gutters once a year. Blocked and non-performing gutters can be a disaster.
  3. Keep trees away from the property. Stop rodents from getting into your roof. Improve the amount of sun you get and protect your gutters and paintwork.
  4. Paint the outside if it needs it. Every 7-10 years for plaster homes especially.
  5. If you have a fireplace, get it checked each year to make sure it’s safe to use. Some insurance policies insist on this.
  6. Invest in a home ventilation system along with the best insulation you can afford. Keep your home healthy and dry. Ground moisture barriers are an affordable and under-rated addition as well.
  7. Check that your home insurance is up to date. If your insurer uses a ‘sum-insured‘ value then review this amount every year or two to make sure you won’t be left short-handed if the worst possible scenario happens. Try searching for an online replacement-cost calculator, or speak to your preferred local valuer.
  8. Take a walk! It’s easy to go months without having a close look at every part of your property. Slowly walk around the outside of your home, every 3-6 months, looking for any signs of cracks, damage, or blocked drainage. It’s a good idea to do this on a windy and rainy day so you can see if gutters are loose or over-flowing too.
There you have it. The lazy homeowner’s guide to maintenance!

If you need suggestions for a local tradesperson to complete the jobs above check out the Trade directory in the Update or online.

If you are thinking of moving in the next 3-6 months and aren’t sure which maintenance jobs to prioritise, give me a call. It’s a question we love talking through with our clients and it’s important to spend money in the right places to maximise your sale price.


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