Homeownership 101: Create and Commit To A Home Maintenance Binder

Owning a house can be a lot of work. Not only is it a big responsibility financially, it demands your mental and physical attention at all times.  A house is like a body. If you properly care for your health, you get sick less. When you set aside time to groom and maintain yourself, you look better and feel better. The same goes for the body of your home.

red, white, blue, brown and silver vertical electrical wires in utility room
Photo Credit: Jess Tellier

Think of your ducts, pipes, and wiring as the veins of the house. They carry electricity, water, and air throughout the entire body of the home. The organs of a house are your furnace, water tank, gas valves, and electrical panel—the essential elements of a home that keep everything functioning and pumping through the veins safely and efficiently. When one of those organs breaks down, it can cause a whole lot of problems within the house that could result in a much bigger bill of prescriptions (repairs) than the doctor would have ordered. 

Repair Bills Are More Expensive Than Hospital Bills

Shingles, windows, wood, and flooring costs are all on the rise. Did you know that the average wood price has gone up over 500% in the past five years? DIY home repair and building materials are trending and in demand.

There are some home repairs that you just can’t DIY and that require professional assistance to handle the job. The average cost for replacing home windows in 2020 was between $150 to $750 per window. The average price of replacing a roof was between $1,700 to $8,400. The average furnace replacement was between $3,000 – $5,300. Don’t even get me started on the electrical and structural charges! 

old roof shingles with blue and orange paint splashed on them
Photo Credit: Annie Spratt from Pexels

The Essential Maintenance Binder 

Staying on top of your home maintenance is essential. Taking the time to sort out the tasks and creating a home maintenance binder is one of the best things you could do for yourself and your bank account. This hand tool helps to keep you on track while knocking off tasks in an efficient, less exhausting manner. 

Luckily when I moved into my house, the old man before us had created one of these. It was a breeze to locate everything we needed when things started acting up. There were plans for all structural renovations that had taken place on the house. There were electrical, drainage, and gas line maps. Records of every furnace service ever performed was nicely sectioned together.  It was fantastic being able to locate everything in one spot. Not to mention, it contained all the information we needed to confidently complete our own home DIYs and repairs. 

4 filled grey binders in a box
Photo Credit: Mateusz Dach from Pexels

Scheduling 101: 

Sorting out and scheduling all these chores allows you to track what needs looking after and when. It also helps make being a homeowner feel less overwhelming. Before you know it, your maintenance habits will become a routine,  making it even easier to stay on top. 

Start by making a list of all the maintenance duties required around the house. Then sort them into timelines. For example, you mop the floors weekly, wash your windows bi-monthly, scrub your kitchen exhaust fan annually and clean your HVAC system every 3-5 years.

Don’t forget the seasonal tasks. In the fall, raking is an added yard chore. In the winter, shoveling and ice maintenance might be required.  Make sure you add all of these seasonal jobs to the list.

man in black coat and had brushing snow off of a shed roof in the winter
Photo Credit: Eva Elijas

If you’re having trouble getting started, there are tons of house maintenance checklists available online. Each house is slightly different when it comes to care, so you may need to tweak the list you find online. For example, a farmhouse is located in a rural area with a septic tank would require alternate routine maintenance than my suburban home.

If you want to learn more about the maintenance tasks that your home specifically requires, pick yourself up a copy of Home Maintenance For Dummies. This book is filled with every maintenance requirement known to man. 

The 10 House Commandments

The home maintenance binder is your holy bible of house maintenance. Are you ready to pledge yourself to follow these ten house commandments?

  1. Thou shalt take responsibility for one’s household maintenance duties.
  2. Thou shalt create and outline a detailed binder of maintenance with records and routines. 
  3. Though shall maintain the maintenance binder and keep it organized. 
  4. Thou shalt protect such binder in case of insurance or warranty claims. 
  5. Thou shalt follow the instructions set forth within the holy maintenance binder to avoid loss and damages. 
  6. If one cannot perform a maintenance task, thou shalt research and hire someone to complete the job.
  7. Thou shalt commit to the defined scheduling of the home maintenance binder.
  8. Thou shalt document and update any new plans and manuals into the binder for ease of access.
  9. Thou shalt embrace the satisfaction of living in a safe home.
  10. Thou shalt reward themselves for completing successful homeownership. 

Make It Official

editing notification settings on a smart phone using the index finger.
Photo Credit: Cottonbro from Pexels

Now that you own a home maintenance binder and have committed yourself to the 10 house commandments, set yourself some reminders. Pencil them into your calendar or schedule them into your smartphone. Your new routine should be a breeze.

Related Reading: