A checklist for keeping your home maintained throughout the year
27th February, 2018
Here’s a task checklist to help you stay on top of your home maintenance throughout the year, starting from what to do now.
To do now:
Exterior repairs: It isn’t too late to make a few improvements to the exterior of your home, but don’t tackle anything too big. Take the time to make minor deck repairs or paint your fence, just make sure you give it a good clean and light sand first.
Plan your year: The end of summer is a good time to plan any home improvements you want to complete throughout the year. Get in early and take the time to lock in contractors for indoor jobs during the winter months and start scheming up that new outdoor entertaining area so you’re ready to hit the ground running in spring.
Make the most of winter weather by giving a room a fresh coat of paint. Photo: Jane Ussher
Autumn and winter
Clear the gutters: Once the leaves have fallen, be sure to clean your gutters and inspect them for any damage. Co-founder of Builderscrack, Jeremy Wyn-Harris says it’s important to make sure any necessary gutter repairs are done before winter sets in.
If you decide to hire someone to check your gutters for you, Wyn-Harris recommends getting them to check the roof for any loose or broken tile while they’re there.
Painting: Stuck inside and at a loss of what to do on a moody autumn or winter weekend?
Now’s the time to make minor exterior repairs to decking or fencing. Photo: Emma Bass / NZ Gardener
“You can get into the DIY-mood by doing the fairly straight-forward job of giving a room a paint touch-up,” Wyn-Harris says. “There is some technique involved but it is fairly simple to learn and a wet weekend is the perfect opportunity to start the paint job you’ve been putting off.
Tackle small indoor projects: The colder months are the perfect time of year to tackle the smaller indoor projects that you put off all summer.
For example, you could take the opportunity to patch up any holes or scratches in your walls. Pick up some joint compound and a putty knife from your local DIY store and fill in or sand down any imperfections.
Fix squeaking hinges by applying oil or another lubricant to the problem hinge and the frustrating squeaking should be gone. For troublesome hinges, remove the pins and soak them in oil before re-attaching them.
Wyn-Harris says this is also a great time to remove rot from doors and windows by “digging out any rot with a knife and fill in any holes with a filling compound”.
While you’re tackling other small projects around the home, check your smoke alarms and replace batteries if needed.
Fire and Emergency says you should replace all smoke alarm batteries at least once a year, while the alarm themselves need to be replaced once every 10 years if they are of the long-life variety.
Tend to the lawn: Don’t stop at dragging the lawnmower out of the garage to do your fortnightly cut. “Spraying for weeds and the prudent use of the right fertiliser makes the difference between an average lawn and a thing of beauty,” says Stan Scott from Mitre 10.
Get out the waterblaster: Rid your outdoor areas of the moss and lichen that built up over the winter months with the help of your trusty waterblaster. Make the job a little easier for yourself by following Scott’s advice and softening surfaces with the right spray before you scrub, hose or pressure-blast them.
“It’s also a good idea to clear weeds away from the base of the house,” Wyn-Harris says. “They can build up and create a problem with dampness. It also pays to clean the guttering and check out the roof to see if there has been any storm damage over the winter.”
Appliance checks: Wyn-Harris says mid to late October is a good time to get appliances checked that have run all winter. Gas fires, DVS systems, heat pumps, and also chimneys should all be checked or cleaned annually. Do this now and save yourself some stress for the next winter.