For typical homeowners, home maintenance tasks can be tedious, but for solo mums, it can be draining, considering they still have a lot of other tasks to attend to on their own.
Nevertheless, according to St. Joseph’s Roofing, a firm with experienced Roofing Contractors Fairfax, VA, home “components such as the roof has to be maintained to ensure optimal safety of the home’s occupants and properties.”
Fortunately, there are some tricks to handling home maintenance without breaking your back or the bank.
As a single mum who is not only faced with parenting challenges but is also always busy at work, this guide will help you handle home maintenance activities easily.
Home maintenance can be a huge undertaking, especially when you have a lot of other things to worry about. A repair overlooked for too long can become complicated and require more money to fix.
To ensure you do not overlook anything, create a checklist to keep track of your home components.
Below is a month-by-month checklist to guide you:
- Trim trees, get rid of weeds and dead branches
- Check for pests around the foundation
- Change HVAC and furnace filters — should be repeated every three months
- Flush out the water heater to prevent sediment build-up
- Check around the home structure for water damage
- Patch and paint spots that need refreshing
- Oil door cringes, locks, and handle. Repaint any that needs an aesthetic touch-up.
- Test and replace batteries in clocks and smoke detectors
- Inspect your roof and windows for water damage
- Clean the outside of the house from winter debris or grime
- Spruce up your landscaping
- Check the condition of outside faucets
- Mow your lawn
- Pool maintenance
- HVAC/AC maintenance
- Examine the sprinkler system for any defect
- Clean rain gutters — this should be done at least twice a year
- Shop for refrigerators if you need to upgrade
- Fence maintenance
- Driveway maintenance
- Pest maintenance
- Bathroom maintenance
- HVAC/AC and furnace maintenance
- Drainage maintenance
- Deep clean carpets
- Clean fridge and freezer coils
- Change washers in faucets
- Roof inspection
- Clean your chimney and fireplace
- Clean exhaust fans around the home
- Flooring and cabinetry maintenance
- Fumigate the house
- HVAC/AC maintenance
- Clean rain gutters
- Check and change batteries of clocks and smoke detector
- Plumbing maintenance
- Furnace inspection
- Check and change any faulty light bulb
- Use blinds to reduce the amount of sunlight penetration into the room. This prevents overworking your AC/HVAC in keeping your home at a pleasant temperature
To keep things in good repair, especially for a quick fix, single mothers should own the following basic tools:
- Wire stripper and cutter
- Crescent wrench
- Super glue or epoxy
- Socket set
- Rubber mallet
- Utility knife
- A ruler with a level
- A hand saw
- A set of hex keys
- Measuring tape
- Putty knife
- Assorted nails, screws, and picture-hanging hardware
Some home maintenance will require hiring professionals; in some instances, you may need to replace appliances and systems. Effectively budgeting for home maintenance will help meet this financial need without breaking a sweat.
According to some reports, Americans spend $3,018 on average for home upkeep and repairs.
Some experts recommend budgeting 1-4 percent of your home value for annual maintenance. Others advise budgeting $1 per square meter of your size.
However, the maintenance cost may also increase due to your home age and location. You will likely have more home components that need replacement and frequent repair in old homes, while the repair cost may be expensive in areas with a high cost of living.
There are lots of home maintenance you can handle yourself. Unlike years ago when you needed to purchase DIY for dummies books to read about basic home repairs, today you can watch online videos and fix-it blogs.
DIY saves you the cost of hiring a technician and also saves time, as you will not need to wait for the arrival of a repairman before you can get the issue fixed.
Newer models of appliances are also programmed to display errors automatically. Reading the user’s manual or an online search can help you interpret the issue and how to fix it.
Utility bills — water and electricity bills — can be expensive. To prevent unnecessary spikes in your bill, regularly monitor the water usage around the home, such as checking for leaks and areas where water is not draining correctly.
Likewise, evaluate your energy usage. Replace energy-consuming bulbs and appliances with energy-efficient ones.