Set Up an Annual Maintenance Calendar

First grab your favorite calendar, either paper or electronic. Next, think of all the tasks that will be associated with maintenance/care and note their frequency. Let’s get started on that and make it fun, consider using a handy spreadsheet with columns for:

• Task
• Frequency of review or performance
• Date Performed (or to be performed)
• What contractor or subcontractor did the original work (and how to reach them)
• Or consider another provider of your own choosing
• Estimated expense (for big ticket items, spread them out so your household budget isn’t stretched too thin)
• Notes to yourself, which could be reminders of defining color names, numbers, brands for each room’s wall and trim paint, comments about the vendor that you want to remember, maintenance contracts if that applies. Or in some cases, you may want to do the maintenance yourself and you can add “how-to” notes or links that you want to remember for reference.

Now, let’s think about those tasks (in no particular order) and remember we’re talking practical and necessary not hot and glamorous. And when you’re done, we suggest sorting it by frequency.

Task – Suggested Frequency Notes
Exterior painting – As needed
A lot depends on what type of paint is used and weather conditions, but generally think about painting about every ten years. Interior painting – As needed

This is impacted by several factors including:

• Type of paint used
• Outdated or dingy colors
• Which rooms are the most used
• Let logic dictate this for you

○ Roof repair/replacement – Check for leaks As needed, annually. On average, roofing will last about 20 years but a lot depends on which shingles you use, weather conditions and type of roof.
○ Termite inspections. Every 1 – 2 years – Treat if needed.
○ Driveway paving or sealing – About every 3 years. This will help keep your driveway from cracking.

Landscaping Efforts
• Seed: annually in fall
• Aerate: annually in fall (prior to seeding)
• Weeding: anytime
• Leaf collection: annually
• Bed Clean-ups: annually

○ Deck, patio or screen porch maintenance, annually use paint or stain and refresh every few years.
○ Chimney sweeping, annually in summer, if you have a wood burning fireplace or stove.
○ Exterior lighting as needed porch light fixtures, spot lights, motion detectors, lighting timers, bulb replacement.
○ Heat/air conditioning inspection and maintenance early spring and fall. Regular preventive maintenance will help extend the life of your unit. Place a weather proof cover over your outdoor unit for winter.
○ Appliance maintenance or replacement – Most kitchen appliances last 10 – 15 years;
○ Washer and dryer – As needed or per maintenance contract, about every 8 – 10 years;
○ Dishwasher – As needed or per maintenance contract;
○ Refrigerator – As needed or per maintenance contract. Deodorize monthly, clean interior and shelving at least twice per year.
○ Hot water heater – Flush twice per year, as needed or per maintenance contract. Most last an average of 10 – 15 years.
○ Disaster Planning/Evacuation Plans – Annually.

Things to consider:
• How to evacuate home
• How to ensure family members are safe
• Food
• Water
• Lighting
• Batteries
• Flashlights
• Pets

○ Assess window and screen conditions. Weather stripping and air leaks – Annually so you can enjoy beautiful spring temperatures.
○ Ceiling fans. Reverse rotation twice per year – Saves on heating and cooling costs.
○ Check and test smoke/carbon dioxide alarms and fire extinguishers.
○ Replace batteries – twice per year.
○ Dryer, refrigerator vent and range hood cleaning – Twice per year. This action will help your appliances last longer and function more efficiently.
○ Clean gutters – Twice per year in late spring and fall.
○ Replace Air Filters – Monthly. You may want to buy these in bulk.
○ Clean and deodorize garbage disposal – Monthly. The average lifespan is 8 – 15 years.
○ Inspect and maintain bath or kitchen tiles and grout – Quarterly
○ Check exterior home vents, hoses and water faucets – Twice per year. Late spring and mid fall. Drain faucets.
○ De-junk the house, closets and drawers – Regularly
○ Winterize pipes with insulation – Annually

Fall
Pesky insect treatments – Annually

Summer Moths, mosquitos, ants or spiders.
Clean residue from all shower heads – Annually

Winter
House cleaning service (if needed) – Annually or if ever dissatisfied with service.
Outdoor grilling area – Check mortar and propane source.
Pet accommodations – At least twice per year. Your pet is a member of the family.

Again, not sexy stuff here, but you’ll be glad you spent some time on this listing. Consider putting it all, along with all your appliance manuals, receipts and paint information in a three-ring binder for easy reference and safe keeping. Be sure it’s in a handy spot for easy access. Having all of this information to pass on to the next homeowner is greatly appreciated and you’ll be glad yourself when it’s time to remember that paint color or that wood type or the name of that curtain material. We’ve talked about a lot of scary expenses, but there are ways you plan to save immediately.