If you own a home, you have something you need to do to repair, maintain or update it. Always. It never ends. Its part of the joy of home ownership. When I notice something that needs attention, my first reaction is usually to let it go and hope it fixes itself. That’s really not a good idea. Let it go and guess what? It reproduces; it invites all its friends to party; it ends up being completely unmanageable when it would have been fairly simple if it had been addressed in a timely fashion.
Perfect example: I noticed that the condensate line from my furnace was off; I made a mental note to reattach it, then I promptly forgot about it. The next time I thought about it the line was missing completely. I thought, hmmm, better find out what happened to it. And I promptly forgot about it again. Months later…all the water that would have drained out puddled in and under the furnace. $800 later all the rusty pieces were replaced and the condensate line was back in place.
So how can you avoid forking out $800 on a repair that would have cost NOTHING if it was done on time? Follow these easy steps to keep those honey do lists honey done.
- Inspect your house. Do a walk-through and take note of everything you see that needs attention. These are all the things that need repaired, revamped, or replaced. Start outside; walk around the circumference of your home. Look for peeling paint, cracks in mortar, holes in screens, loose soffit, unattached shingles, etc. Then go through the front door and examine walls, ceilings, floors, doors, fixtures, every little thing inside your house.
- Be specific. Record the needed repair and add all pertinent details; take measurements, note screw sizes, bulb types, paint colors. If necessary, take pictures, particularly if you need to get advice from an expert at the local DIY store.
- Sort it out. Group the easiest tasks and the more difficult tasks together. Make a separate list with the projects that will have to be completed by a contractor. On this list, sort projects into groups; it’s possible that one handyman may be able to knock out several tasks. For example, if you need an electrician to add a GFI outlet, install flood-lights and replace a ceiling fan, hire the same person to do it all.
- Estimate costs and time involved for each task and make note of any purchases required.
- Go shopping. Purchase everything you need to take care of all the DIY projects. This way you will have all your supplies on hand; one less excuse to not do the work.
- Schedule time. You have your list and you have your supplies. What you need now is time. If you know that this Saturday there are no soccer games, you can plan on doing something that is more time consuming. If the rest of the family is going to be gone on Sunday afternoon, you can pick something quick and take care of it so you can enjoy your solitude. If there’s nothing on tv on Wednesday evening, maybe that’s a good time to do one of your quicker projects. And, as your budget allows, schedule the bigger jobs to be done by a professional.
- Keep your list updated; mark off what you have completed and add tasks as you notice them. Keep you list of supplies updated as well so that you will always have what you need on hand. And make it a habit to do a walk through every 6 or 12 months.
Put, and keep your house in order. With just a little organizing, you can save yourself a lot of time, aggravation and money – especially money!