While owning a home is the dream of many Americans, it does come with a great deal of responsibility, too. The maintenance that was once done by landlords and maintenance firms is now all up to you. Following you’ll find some tips for staying on top of home maintenance tasks and ahead of the game.
Create a Maintenance Calendar
Get organized by creating a home maintenance calendar that outlines when various tasks should be completed. This can include seasonal items like cleaning gutters in fall, checking the AC in spring, and winterizing outdoor faucets. It should also include regular maintenance like changing HVAC filters, inspecting the roof, and testing smoke detectors. Schedule regular inspections of major systems like the furnace, water heater, and appliances. Tracking maintenance on a calendar will help ensure important tasks don’t slip through the cracks.
Conduct Home Inspections
In addition to seasonal maintenance, conduct thorough home inspections twice per year – in spring and fall. Walk around the interior and exterior of the home looking for any issues that need to be addressed. Check for leaks, cracks, weathering, loose shingles or siding, mildew, and any other problems. Make a list of issues to tackle immediately and ongoing projects to budget for in the future.
Learn DIY Home Skills
Expanding your DIY skills allows you to take care of more maintenance and repairs yourself, often at a lower cost than hiring out. Watch tutorial videos to learn skills like drywall patching, tile repair, fixing leaky faucets, replacing toilet parts, and various other common home repairs. Build up the tools and supplies needed to tackle projects. Know your limits though – some plumbing, electrical, and structural projects are best left to the professionals.
Watch for Changes and Updates
As time passes, keep an eye out for any changes in your home’s condition that call for maintenance. Creaky floors, stuck windows, or new drafts indicate issues to address. Look for sagging gutters, overgrown trees near the roof, shifting exterior walls, and new cracks in the driveway. Updates like new roofing materials, siding styles, and energy efficient HVAC systems may also be worth investing in.
Installing a New Septic System
If you live in a rural area, your home likely relies on a septic system to treat waste. Septic systems require regular pumping to remove solids, generally every 3-5 years. If your septic tank backs up, leaks, or shows other signs of failure, it may be time for a new system. Those installing a new septic system will find it is a major project requiring careful planning and permitting. Here are the basic steps:
– Hire a contractor to design the new septic system based on soil tests, drainage, local codes, and your household needs.
– Apply for all necessary permits with your local health department or permitting office.
– Prepare the site by having any trees cleared and utilities marked ahead of time.
– Install the new septic tank according to the approved design. The tank is buried, while the access ports remain above ground.
– Lay perforated piping in the drain field trench and cover with gravel, soil and sod. This allows liquid waste to filter through the soil.
– Connect all plumbing from the home to the new septic tank.
– Have the installation inspected before using the new system.
– Avoid driving over the drain field or planting trees over it. Limit water use at first while the system activates.
With regular maintenance and care, a new septic system can serve your home’s waste needs for decades. By staying vigilant with home maintenance, repairs, and key upgrades like a septic system replacement, you’ll keep your house in peak condition for years to come.