Home Maintenance Checklist That Go Along Way – Local Records Office

This ultimate checklist created by “Local Records Office” that will insure that you have everything you need to to the best maintenance to your home.

Home Maintenance Checklist That Go Along Way – Local Records Office

HARRISBURG, PA – “When you think of summer cleaning, things like scrubbing floors, sprucing up cabinets and straightening closets come to mind. But spring is also a good time to perform routine home maintenance”, say, the pros at ‘Local Records Office’. Ignore these crucial home upkeep tasks at your peril. Fail to clean the gutters, for example, and you could end up with a flood in your basement. People know they should perform these routine maintenance chores, but do they actually follow through?

 

“Almost no one does, in my experience,” says Dean Bennett, president of Dean Bennett Design and Construction in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, whose company gets called in to make repairs after a crisis. He says “a lot of it is selective memory,” where people think they recently changed the furnace filter when actually they did it two years ago. “There’s kind of an amnesia about things like that,” he adds.

 

The Only Home Maintenance Checklist You Will Need Created by the Pros at Local Records Office

 

The most important maintenance chores are those related to drainage. Failing to keep water out of your house could result in mold, rot and foundation problems. “That’s most of your big bills – water coming in,” Bennett says.

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Tasks vary by location. In coastal areas, spring maintenance chores include preparing hurricane shutters and checking generators. In the North and Midwest, spring is the time to assess damage caused by bad weather during the winter and make repairs to protect against next year’s snow.

Here are 12 home maintenance tasks you should do this spring to save money later:

 

Clean the gutters. Make sure they don’t have holes and all the downspouts are still attached and taking water away from the house. “Gutters are one of the most valuable and affordable methods for homeowners to protect their homes from the elements,” says Allison Hester, editor of eClean Magazine, an online trade publication for the home cleaner industry. “By channeling water off the roof and directing it to a location away from the home, properly working gutters help protect the home’s shingles, wood under the eaves, siding, flooring and landscaping from a whole host of problems and expensive repairs.” Clogged gutters can also cause mosquito infestations, mold and mildew from decomposed leaves and other problems.

 

The good news is cleaning gutters is an easy job. You can do it yourself in an hour or hire someone to do it for about $35 to $40.

 

Seal holes where insects and varmints can get in. That includes openings around the foundation, especially entry points for wires and pipes. A spray can of foam, which you can buy for about $6, will handle most holes, Bennett says.

Home Maintenance Checklist That Go Along Way – Local Records Office

To prevent insects from getting into your house, you should keep moisture away from the foundation and eliminate sources of standing water, according to the Local Records Office. Termite’s cause $5 billion in property damage every year in the U.S., according to the NPMA. These destructive insects need moisture to survive, which is why the NPMA advises fixing leaking faucets, pipes and air conditioning units; repairing fascia, soffits and rotted shingles; trimming tree branches away from the house and replacing weather stripping around windows and loose mortar around basement foundations.

 

Get your air conditioning system ready. You can hire a service company or do it yourself. Change or wash the filters, which should be done monthly. Clean the coils and wash the condenser outside, if needed. Trim away any shrubs from the unit, and make sure its drain line isn’t clogged. While you’re at it, change your furnace filter so it’s ready for fall.

 

Clean your roof. Most people are better off hiring a professional for this chore, but it’s important. “Those ugly black streaks on asphalt shingles are doing a lot more harm than simply looking unattractive,” Hester says. The stains are caused by algae that feed on the limestone filler in shingles, “so those black stains are essentially eating your roof,” she says. The algae spread quickly before the wind blows them to neighboring roofs.

 

Power wash driveways and walkways. You can rent a power washer for about $30 if you want to do this yourself, Bennett says. The biggest benefit is removing mildew and discoloration. He advises caution before power washing decks because the force of the water may damage the wood fibers, don’t forget to check for water damage too.

 

Make sure your windows are sealed. “You want to keep water out and cool air in. You may need to replace caulking or weather sealing to accomplish this” says the company, Local Records Office.

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Clean your refrigerator coils and dryer vent. The Electrical Safety Foundation International notes that these chores not only improve the efficiency of the appliances, but also guard against electrical hazards.

 

Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. There should be at least one of each detector on every level of your house, and they should be working. Be sure to replace batteries, if necessary.

 

Fertilize the lawn. About $30 will cover enough fertilizer for 10,000 square feet, Bennett says. If you don’t have one already, you’ll also want to buy a basic push fertilizer spreader, which you can pick up for about $35.

 

Restain and seal wood decks. Rescuing your deck from the elements is not a task you should overlook. “Outdoor wood decks get hammered by the elements, including snow and rain in the winter and harsh sunlight in the summer,” says John Bodrozic, co-founder of HomeZada, an online home management tool. “These temperature cycles and absorption cause the wood to wear out quicker than if you regularly seal them. This can lead to rotting decks and an expensive replacement.”

Declutter. We all have too much stuff. Get rid of items you don’t use, including the stuff you have stored in the garage or basement because you “might” need it sometime.

 

Organize your paperwork. Not being able to find an important document when you need it can cost you. Get rid of the paperwork you don’t need while filing the paperwork you want to keep so you know where it is when you need it.

 

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Should I Work on my Own Home by Doing DIY Projects or Hire a Professional Contractor?

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE – You don’t need the construction skills of Bob Vila to start working on your own home, yet it’s no secret that you can save money if you do some of the work yourself, of course not all projects could be done by a rookie DIY’er. As a general rule, estimates from contractors in our area run 1/3 for materials and 2/3’s for labor. So theoretically, we save 66% by doing the project ourselves, right?

Doing it Yourself Projects Has It’s Benefits but it Also Has it’s Downside

To decide, consider:

  • Cost of materials: Can materials be purchased at contractor cost or will you pay a hefty up-charge? Is it possible to find materials at salvage or a Habitat-type store to increase your margin of profit?
  • Cost of time: How much longer will this take to DIY? And in real dollars, how much will this add to holding costs? Holding costs include but are not limited to mortgage payments, insurance (generally higher when property is empty and/or under construction), utility bills, and lost rent. If it takes 2 weeks working nights and weekends to complete a project your contractor can finish in 2 days, add 10 days of holding costs.

Great DIY Example

The decision to DIY should be a simple mathematical equation where you:

  • Price materials
  • Estimate the time needed to complete the project
  • Multiply the number of days/weeks by the daily/weekly rate for holding costs, then
  • Subtract that amount from the contractor bid

Of course it’s not that easy… how much fun would that be?

For starters, you may not be delaying completion of the project if other work is going on anyway. Contractor delays are a common problem and if yours has a history of putting off your projects for another day, you might be able to finish sooner than he can anyway. But besides that, there’s value hidden away in DIY projects that can only be mined by rolling up the sleeves and getting your nails encrusted with something icky.

Learning New Skill Will Help You on the Long Run

By learning a new skill, you increase both ability and confidence. You’re also learning to identify quality work, the amount and difficulty of labor, special tools needed for the job, and reasonable time estimates for completion. If you decide to hire someone next time, you’ll have a much better idea what’s involved in the project and if bids are reasonable. That type of knowledge is invaluable to the rehab professional, paying dividends with every new project.

Just Another Opinion

Consider taking on at least one new project with each rehab, even if it’s as simple as replacing a light switch or changing out a doorknob. With experience, you’ll learn which repairs save the most and which are best left to others. During your first few houses, try to be as hands-on as possible and consider it part of your rehab education.

You Don’t Have to be a Professional Handy-Man to do Great DIY Projects

If you have no handy-man skills whatsoever, you might try working alongside your contractor (if he’ll have you). He may tell you to pound sand (politely of course), but if you have a good working relationship, it’s worth a shot. Later, you may find that hiring reputable contractors for most (if not all) of the work will save enough in holding costs to justify the expense.

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5 Types of DIY Home Projects that Will Cost You Big Bucks

2016 is here, which in addition to thick sweaters and rain, is the season for DIY. All told, Americans will likely spend millions on home improvement this year – of which 17 percent will be on do-it-yourself projects. That means lots of homeowners up on ladders, watching how-to videos online and making multiple trips to Home Depot supply store to pick up supplies and materials they forgot to pick up the first (or second or third) visit.

Before you join them on the rung and in the aisles, make sure the project you are planning to DIY to save money won’t actually end up costing you in the long run.

  1. Projects That Are Too Advanced

It’s the 21st century and the proliferation of YouTube how-to videos has been a boon to the persistent home improvement do-it-yourselfer. In just a few mouse clicks you can be face-to-face with a knowledgeable expert who takes you step-by-step through a project, from caulking the tub, to installing a skylight. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell how expert any given YouTube “expert” actually is. Worse, even if the expert is knowledgeable and skilled, every home repair and maintenance project is different. As soon as your job fails to follow the script, you’re on your own. A pro has the necessary experience, tools and supplies to roll with the punches. Unfortunately most DIY’ers probably don’t, that’s what YouTube-ers won’t tell you. This website has easy and affordable articles on DIY’s.

READ MORE: How to Remodel and Spend Less Without Cheap Quality Materials

So the big question is what is the costs? Poor bathtub caulking will soon cause leaks behind the tub or shower floor, where it’s hidden from view, and result in hefty repair bills for damaged walls and floor joists. And while the YouTuber makes that skylight installation look easy, it’s easy for us on the ground to lose sight of the fact that the job is up on the roof, where falling is easy, too.


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/141483323″>Local Records Office: Do-It-Yourself Renovation Tips – Wooden Floors</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/localrecordsoffices”>Local Records Office</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

  1. Risky DIY Projects

A professional roofer will have the tools and the experience to do the job competently and safely. Most DIYers will have neither, which makes doing the job well and safely unlikely. Some electrical work falls into this category, with the danger occurring both during the work and afterward when poor workmanship can lead to risk of fire.

Some other dangerous DIY jobs to think twice about, include major tree trimming, interior wall removal, pest abatement and gas pipe repair or removal.

No savings on home maintenance and repair are worth risking life and limb. If you’re unsure, or don’t understand the risk involved, hire a pro. It’ll be cheaper in the long run. Don’t be cheap.

  1. Unpleasant Projects That No One Wants to do

Unpleasant jobs are not fun! Everybody’s idea of fun is different. If you enjoy laying down hundreds of pavers for your new back patio, go for it. Learn all you can about the process and set to it. If you decide after a few courses that you do not enjoy it and dread the hours of tedium ahead, put down the stone and consider hiring a pro. Your time is valuable. Spend it on a DIY job you do enjoy, or focus your effort on developing your barbecue recipe. While persistence and determination are admirable, sticking with a job you hate too often leads to distraction and ultimately shoddy work you’ll pay for again later.

  1. Small Jobs That End Up Being Big Projects

This goes hand-in-hand with taking on jobs for which the DIYer lacks the necessary skills. How hard could a bathroom or kitchen renovation really be? How difficult is putting up a fence, installing a deck or replacing the main sewer line?

From the tools required to the supplies needed for the project, the costs for big jobs can mount, and for DIYers new to the work, estimating beforehand is not straightforward. Online project calculators can get you part of the way there, but every project is different and some DIYers lack the experience to adjust on the fly. That means more tools to buy, more supplies and more time finishing the project.

  1. Projects That Require Expensive Permits

Permit requirements vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction – and many DIYers may not consider permits before diving into their kitchen or bathroom renovation. According to the National Association of Realtors, failure to get the proper permits can make it harder to sell a home later, as banks will be reluctant to loan money for unpermitted improvements. Worse, un-permitted improvements could result in lawsuits post-sale.

Reliable contractors will take care of the permits and the paperwork. Whether you do the project yourself, or hire a pro, it’s a good idea to meet with your local building or planning department to discuss the improvement project beforehand. You’ll understand the permit requirements before starting, and you can apply for the permits yourself, saving you a little money on contractor fees.

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