With the cooler months upon us, it’s likely you’ve been spending more time indoors. It always seems to be the case that as soon as you have holiday guests, you notice all the blemishes and annoyances that need your attention. If you make a plan to go through your home and yard on a seasonal basis, and set up regular maintenance costs to cover these annoyances, you could potentially avoid costly repairs down the road. In other words, schedule home maintenance ahead of season.
With many service providers, you can choose to pay for your annual services with a maintenance plan. The service plan covers preventative maintenance, and helps you avoid a trip charge or emergency dispatch fees. Preventative maintenance helps to avoid future inconvenience of emergency repairs or replacement. Seasonal visits often have preferential scheduling which allows your household staff members to more effectively manage the routine maintenance needs of your property. The plan’s cost counts toward the annual operating cost of your home.
Before signing on the dotted line, here are some questions to ask:
- What services are included vs. excluded?
- Preventative maintenance vs repairs
- Does the plan offer discounts (parts and labor) on future repairs?
The Great Outdoors
Now is the time to prepare for spring. Once the yard starts to bloom and the insects begin to buzz, it might be too late to plan any lawn and garden maintenance. By hiring ahead of the season, you’ll be ahead of the game. Hire a mosquito-spraying service or get your automatic spraying machine serviced so there are no surprises come mosquito season. You’ll want to make absolutely sure it’s in working order or the bugs will eat you alive.
If your yard isn’t up to snuff vs. the master gardener next door, hire a landscaping service or change your service. Once everyone’s yard needs attention, you might find it difficult to procure a slot on a coveted landscaper’s schedule, not to mention the weeds they’ll need to battle due to springtime overgrowth. Hire a landscape architect who will help you select your seasonal planting twice per year (three or four times can be costly). Invest in a plan that allows for color and interest in your yard or garden.
Don’t neglect your gutters, especially after the fall season. Have them cleaned annually, ideally twice a year, to avoid puddles, fall hazards, or even flooding if you live in an area with high rain.
Schedule regular spa and pool maintenance as well, even during the winter months, to inspect your equipment, lines, and pumps and get them ready for spring and summer.
Be sure to have your fencing and security gates inspected for any maintenance, addressing broken latches or a leaning post. This will ensure that pets and children stay corralled within the yard, and that they—and your home—remain safe from unwelcome intruders.
Home Sweet Home
At least twice a year, have your HVAC systems checked before turning on your A/C or your heat for the first time each season. Make sure your vents are clear of any and all debris. Have your plumbing lines checked as well, especially any exposed to the elements, to ensure they don’t freeze.
The best time to schedule carpet and upholstery cleaning is in October, before winter hits and you entertain holiday guests. This is also the perfect time to get your chimney(s) inspected, and if they need it, a cleaning as well. Birds love to nest in chimneys, and if you haven’t cleaned them in awhile (or don’t remember the last time you did), schedule a time.
These types of preventative maintenance can often help you avoid costly emergency repairs. By regularly reviewing your annual maintenance plans and costs, and by taking inflation into account, you’re more apt to correctly make estimates with regards to any expected price increases along the way. Be sure to keep records of all major repair and/or replacement costs.
At Organized Instincts, our seasoned team of daily money managers help you keep track of your lengthy list of providers’ costs and the frequency of your home maintenance services. Schedule a consultation and we’ll help ensure your home is where your heart—and your dollars—are wisely spent.