Owning a home is one of the biggest life investments for you and the generations that’ll come after you. Even though your home is a place of safety and beautiful memories, it’s also a place that needs a lot of maintenance all year round.
For instance, spring is the best time to do some gardening, freshen up your lawn, and improve your curb appeal. You can paint the walls, wash the windows, and do some house renovations.
You can do some easy tasks like power washing the patio and cleaning the garage in the summer. During the cooler fall months, you should tackle more winter prep tasks like closing window cracks and inspect the heating system.
Aside from seasonal home maintenance, there are things you should do once a month, quarterly, and once a year to make sure your home is safe, secure, and up to date with repairs.
If you’re a first-time homeowner, you should also include home buyer insurance not only for peace of mind but to cover any unexpected damages, accidents, and problems.
We prepared a detailed home maintenance checklist for 2021 to help you keep your house clean, comfortable, and in good shape all year round.
Monthly Home Maintenance Checklist
Monthly home maintenance is important for the house’s longevity and your own comfort, so make sure to complete as many tasks as you can. You can order tasks by priority or share them with family members, so everyone contributes to the house’s well-being.
Some tasks you can do just once and move on to the next one; others might need repeating each month. Some of the most common monthly house maintenance checklist items include:
- Cleaning out and organizing the pantry
- Deep cleaning and organizing the bathroom(s)
- Inspecting the tub and the sink for clogs and debris and unclog as needed
- Cleaning faucets and showerheads to remove mineral deposits and mold
- Checking the water softener and add salt if needed
- Inspecting all electrical cords for damage and signs of wear
- Vacuuming heat and air conditioning vents
- Cleaning the garbage disposal
- Vacuuming the entire house (move furniture to get all the dust from underneath)
- Inspecting your backyard and clean debris
You know your house best, so you can best assess the type of maintenance it needs on a monthly basis. Newer and newly renovated homes need less maintenance than older homes, but you should still give the home the best possible care and attention.
Quarterly Home Maintenance Checklist
Every three to four months, you should also do quarterly home maintenance and complete some bigger tasks that need to be done. Some may overlap with seasonal or monthly maintenance items, but they’re still important for your home.
Some of the most common quarterly home upkeep items you should do include:
- Testing your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors — simply press the buttons to see if they work and replace the batteries if needed
- Checking your fire extinguishers (specifically the gauges) to see if the pressure is right
- Checking your thermostats to see if they work properly or need adjustments
- Inspecting your water heaters to see the temperature and pressure valves
- Flushing all toilets in the house
- Running the water for a few minutes in all sinks around the house (make sure to turn them off after)
- Recycling and garbage disposal upkeep
- Testing all outlets around the house to make sure they work properly
If you have pets, wash their bed, blankets, toys, leashes, and food bowls thoroughly. You can also do a full home and garage declutter in the warmer months and either donate things you don’t need or do a garage sale.
If you have a pool, you should clean it from debris and fallen leaves once a month. This includes skimming (using a mesh net to catch debris), brushing the walls, cleaning the filters, and balancing the water levels. Depending on your pool’s type and size, you may also need to vacuum the bottom, shock the pool with chlorine, and balance out the water’s pH level.
Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist
Each season has its own weather conditions that affect the exterior of your home, backyard, and even the inside of the house. For example, during the cold winter months, the wind, chill, and snow may damage your roof, plumbing, and even doors and windows.
Extremely low temperatures can lead to frozen pipes and ice dams on the roof. If your windows aren’t well insulated, they can crack or allow cold air to enter the house.
The heat can cause your lawn to dry out in the summer if the sprinklers or irrigation system don’t work. The warm weather can also lead to an infestation of termites or cockroaches in the basement or other common areas.
This is why it’s important to know which home improvement tasks to complete each season to make sure your house is clean and damage-free all year round.
Spring Checklist (April – June)
Springtime is when the trees, grass, and flowers in your backyard start to come alive after a long winter. The weather is pleasant, and the light breeze calls you outside to enjoy the sun.
However, before you take out the lounge chairs and tackle your lawn, you should make sure your house and garden are ready for the warmer temperatures.
Here’s your Spring home maintenance checklist:
- Give your house a nice deep spring cleaning
- Apply a fresh coat of wall paint in all rooms to freshen them up
- Make a list of all the things that need fixing or repairing and get supplies and materials
- Test all detectors, sensors, and cameras inside and outside the house
- Put new batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors around the house
- Do a thorough roof inspection to check for water damage and leaks (be careful if you’re going up the roof yourself; otherwise, use binoculars or call a roofing company to do the inspection)
- Check the gutters and remove debris, melting snow, and fallen leaves
- Check all windows and doors caulking and fix any cracks and holes that cause drafts
- Check the storm window drains to make sure all water is released, and there’s no rotting
- Check your HVAC system, change the filters, and tune it for the season
- Clean windows, remove storm windows, and install screens where needed
- Do yard work (aerate and fertilize the soil, remove weeds, clean flowerbeds, sow grass and flower seeds, mow the lawn, trim trees, and bushes, fix porch boards, turn on fountains and water installations, and do patio pressure washing)
Don’t forget to clean out your closets, kitchen cabinets, fridge, and pantry. Also, wash or replace your pillows and mattresses. If you plan to buy some new furniture or do any home renovations or remodels, spring is the best time to do that.
To avoid rush projects, make sure to plan all your major remodels ahead of time during the winter. This way, you can book contractors, set aside some money, and think about the changes you want to make.
Summer Checklist (July – August)
The summer months are a time for relaxation, and there’s not a lot to do around the house aside from a few basic maintenance tasks. From early July to late August, you can enjoy your home and garden and do everyday upkeep of your living space, pool, flowers, driveway, and lawn.
These summer home maintenance tips are for both existing homeowners and people who plan to buy a home this summer:
- Check the air conditioning units, clean and vacuum the vents, and check the ductwork for damage
- Reverse your ceiling fans and vacuum the dust off the blades
- Vacuum the refrigerator coils
- Clean/wash the carpets and wax the floors and tile
- Wax wooden furniture both indoors and outdoors
- Check the house siding, fix any cracks, and pressure wash it
- Check for drainage problems throughout the house and on outside installations
- Check the basement for mold and inspect for termites and other pests
- Paint and repair fences, patio boards, and gates
- Clean the garage and get rid of clutter
- Repair cracks in the driveway, paving slabs, and stairs
It’s important to complete any major fixes or repairs on the house while the weather is nice in the summer. Come fall and winter, and these issues might cause problems that you won’t be able to get fixed in time.
Fall Checklist (September – October)
Fall is a beautiful season when the leaves start turning colors, and the weather gets cooler, but it’s still pleasant for long walks and working in the garden. It’s also a time to enjoy the fruits, veggies, and blooms in your garden and start preparing them for the colder months.
To avoid problems and costly repairs in the winter, it’s best to tackle these tasks as soon as early Fall:
- Put a new set of batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors around the house
- Drain the sediment and mineral deposits from the hot water heater
- Inspect the roof for damage, missing shingles, leaks, and seals and repair where needed
- If you have any exposed pipes, insulate them
- Inspect the furnace or heating system or consider hiring a professional to do it
- Remove the air conditioning units or cover them when not plugged in and in use
- Have the chimneys cleaned and inspected by a professional
- Remove the screens from doors and windows and install storm windows
- Later in the fall, turn off the outdoor water faucets and features and put away the garden hoses
- Clean the gutters from debris
- Test the sump pump to check if it’s in good working order
- Reverse ceiling fans to the clockwise direction to make sure they push the warm air down
Aside from these basic tasks, check all windows and doors for cracks and damage and apply caulk where needed. Finally, take a walk around the house and inspect the foundation for damage, along with checking the drainpipes, vents, and clogged gutters.
Winter Checklist (November – March)
Winter and its holidays can be the most wonderful time of year, but only if you make sure your house is ready for the cold and snow. Before the first snowfall or frost hits, you should prepare the house for indoor comfort as much as possible.
Here’s a handy winter home maintenance list of tasks to complete starting November:
- Test the sump pump
- Turn off the water leading to outdoor pipes to prevent pipes from freezing
- Clean the dryer vent and inspect the washer, dryer, and dishwasher for leaks or problems
- Use weather strip on windows and doors to seal cracks and prevent warm air from leaving the house to save money
- Replace or fix outdoor lights
- Double-check and inspect the heating system and call a professional if needed
- Put away patio furniture, outdoor toys, bikes, and items you won’t be using
- Cover all outdoor air conditioning units
- Close the foundation vents
- At the end of winter, turn on the faucets supplying water to the exterior pipes
You can also do some smaller tasks around the house, such as applying grout and caulking to any cracks and holes.
Yearly Home Maintenance Checklist
Besides seasonal maintenance, your house and backyard also need yearly upkeep to complete bigger but essential tasks. You can spread out the tasks throughout the year, so you don’t get overwhelmed or divide them into seasons.
These can include:
- Removing dead tree trunks and tree limbs
- Cleaning the garage and decluttering the space
- Oiling the garage door springs and check for garage door damage
- Cleaning the septic tank
- Checking for bugs and other pests
- Making a family emergency plan
- Cleaning the kitchen exhaust
- Replacing old furniture, doors, windows, and floors
- Replacing the roof if it’s over 15 years old
- Any other minor tasks that you deem necessary
A house is a place that takes in a lot of wear and tear, especially if you live with young kids and pets. This is why yearly maintenance is a must for keeping it in great shape and functional for many years to come.
Home Maintenance FAQs
1. Will My House Increase in Value With These Home Improvements?
Your home’s value will depend on the current real estate market and other factors, but there are ways to either preserve its value or increase it.
By doing home improvements and regular maintenance, you can help you keep your house desirable for future buyers if you ever decide to sell it. With each renovation, replacement, and repair, you’re keeping your home in the best shape possible.
However, note that not all home improvements will lead to increasing your home value, but not doing them may decrease it. Some home improvements like adding jacuzzis, wall murals, and walk-in closets might also deter potential homebuyers in the future, so consider this when deciding which renovations to make and which to avoid.
2. How Much Money Should I Spend for House Maintenance Annually?
Depending on the size of your home, how old it is, and how well it’s been maintained through the years, you should consider spending at least 1% of the purchase price of your home. For instance, if your home costs $450,000, you’re looking at $4,500 expenses per year.
This amount can vary based on the amount of care and attention you give to your home as well as how quickly you repair and replace things before the damage gets more serious. Also, some home maintenance tasks cost next to nothing but can save you money on utilities and potentially costly repairs in the future.
Finally, many backyard and garden tasks only require a little time and effort on your part without costing any money so that you can save a bit of money there as well.
If you’re not sure how much you’re spending on home repairs and maintenance annually, the end of the year is a good time to do the math. If you can, set aside the whole amount you plan to spend on home maintenance for the following year so that you can access it in case of emergency or when something needs immediate attention.
3. Can I Hire Someone To Do the Maintenance for Me?
Many homeowners are busy with work and family obligations, so they don’t have a lot of time to do thorough house maintenance. Some families prefer to leave these jobs to the professionals and pay for house maintenance services that’ll complete the checkup in less than a day.
You can always hire someone (or a company) to do home maintenance, but make sure to do your research, read reviews, and ask for other homeowners’ recommendations in your area. Make sure the company is licensed and insured to ensure the safety of your family, your house, and your budget.
4. What Maintenance Items Should I Check Regularly?
Each season has its own challenges and things you should do to make sure your home is in good shape. Aside from seasonal checklists, some of the maintenance items to check regularly include:
- The roof, shingles, and attic for water damage and leaks
- Windows and doors for cracks and damage
- Basement area for mold and bugs
- Furnace and water heater for problems
- Air conditioner for vent issues and leaks
- Gutters for clogging and debris
- Electrical wiring and gas
- Plumbing and septic tank
- Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
Follow the monthly, seasonal, and yearly checklists to find more maintenance items you need to do regularly. If you can’t do everything by yourself, either enlist family and friends’ help or hire a professional house maintenance company.
5. What Happens if I Don’t Do These Tasks Regularly?
If you don’t do regular house maintenance or do it once in a while, you might not catch serious problems early on while they’re still fixable. For example, if you don’t inspect the roof for water damage and ice dams, this can lead to water damage inside the house, mold infestation, weakened roof, and even structural damage to the home.
Fixing this will be extremely expensive, time-consuming, and frustrating. A simple roof inspection every few months costs next to nothing, and if there’s a need for repairs, they won’t cost nearly as much.
6. Will Home Maintenance Help Reduce My Utilities?
Yes, regular home maintenance, when done properly, can help you save money on utilities and costly repairs. It’s always better to spend a bit of time inspecting for problems than leave it be and having to pay huge sums for replacements or repairs.
For instance, simple caulking of the windows, doors, and walls will take up an hour or two of your time. In the winter, heat (in the winter) and cold air (in the summer) will stay in the room rather than escape through cracks. As a result, your HVAC system won’t have to work overtime to compensate for lost heat or cool air, which means lower utility bills.
7. Can I Be One Step Ahead of Maintenance Before It Becomes a Problem?
This is exactly why regular maintenance can help you prevent and avoid problems that you might have missed otherwise. Even smaller, seemingly insignificant tasks can lead to long-term damage, especially if you don’t catch the issues early.
By completing this checklist season after season and fix/replace things as you go, your house will be safe, secure, and strong for you and your family and everyone that lives in it.
This 2021 Home Maintenance Checklist Will Help You Keep Your Home in Top Shape All Year Round
Whether you’re a new homeowner or have a family home you’ve lived in for many years, this home maintenance checklist is an easy way to keep up with monthly, seasonal, and yearly tasks.
From cleaning windows, doors, and driveways to checking your carbon monoxide detectors and air conditioning vents, owning a house is challenging work but well worth the time and dedication you put into it.
As a homeowner, you should consider the quality of your homeowner’s insurance in case you decide to make any renovations, replacements, or repairs.
Look to Lopriore Insurance for all your personal and commercial insurance needs. We can insure your home, your vehicles, and more! Reach out to us today to get a free insurance quote and learn more about our services and insurance packages.