How To Create A Home Maintenance Kit
Creating and Keeping a Home Maintenance Kit can be just as it's important as keeping detailed records of your job, business, your bills, income tax information or medical history.
Peter and Linda Pfann suggest that is it imperative that you keep detailed and updated records of the condition and all maintenance you perform on your home.
After all, your Pfanntastic Home is likely your biggest investment, and requires regular TLC to maintain or even improve its value.
Never mind that your home needs to protect you and your family from the elements while keeping everybody secure, comfortable and safe.
However, when you think about everything required to take care of a home, setting up a manageable way of keeping accurate and detailed records may be a overwhelming task.
But with some creative thinking and a commitment to accuracy and organization, you can create a Pfanntastic Home Maintenance Kit over a short period of time.
Regardless if you have just purchased your home or you are now committed to setting up a manageable system of keeping information regarding your home's maintenance, a Home Maintenance Kit might be just the thing you need to get and stay organized with your Home Maintenance.
Before we begin inspecting the home and property let's start with collecting the following items:
- All the documents about your home, manuals, warranties, reports, surveys, floor-plans, leases, service agreements, contracts, colour samples,
- Insurance documents. Strata documents.
- Inspection reports.
- Permits, home improvement contracts.
- Any other documents related to the use and condition of any part of the home, the mechanical bits and or equipment.
- We suggest using or buying one of these inexpensive Organizer Totes (any office supply store, Wallmart etc. will have these for a few dollars) this will become the Core to your Home Maintenance Kit.
- Label the tabs for each and every space in your home, and allow space for all the paperwork you have collected in the earlier steps.
- Purchase a easy to follow Home Maintenance Book (CMHC offers 3 excellent books for sale and lots of free on-line information) or contact Peter and Linda Pfann for our Pfanntastic Home Maintenance Guide.
- Buy or use a Spiral bound letter sized note book, to make notes room by room, space by space about any aspect of your property, Having Graph paper may be handy to create some simple plans.
- Have a pencil ready,a flashlight, possibly a measuring tape and a few basic tools (multi purpose screw driver, some plier etc.)
- Your digital camera, take lots and lots of pictures as you inspect your own home and property (memory is cheap and set your camera to show the date on the images) this will become your record of the condition of all bits of your home today.
- Categorize your Home Maintenance Note Book by section of the home such as the exterior, kitchen, master bedroom or basement, garage, bedrooms, bath rooms etc.
- Or Categorize according to task, like painting, electrical, insulation, roof, landscaping, or climate control.
Begin with taking stock of your home and property current condition.
- Take your Time and complete each space as you go before moving on to the next space
- Be brutally honest when you're assessing the situation.
- Take notes, make drawings, sketch it out.
- Take lots and lots of pictures of anything and everything in your home, mechanical, electrical, inside and out, any details as good as possible.
- Don't fix things as you go, but make notes and stay on task, space by space, room by room, area by area.
- Treat your initial walk-through as a real estate agent, a home Inspector or investor might do. (Mike Holmes on his website has a book called "Holmes Inspections")
- Check if all your Breakers are clearly marked as to what they connect to, if not, make this a project to do with 2 people.
- Study each corner, each tile and brick, and notate any damage, defect, or upkeep that needs to happen.
Once you have completed making all your notes, pictures, drawings, etc. relax and step back and try not to get overwhelmed.
You have an awesome complete and unbiased record of your home and property as you know it today
It is important to take a little time to reflect on what you have found (good, bad and indifferent) and to then slowly proceed as follows:
- Devise a plan with the rest of your family that works for everyone involved to complete needed tasks.
- Perhaps you'll devote this weekend to painting the exterior and the following weekend you'll focus on maintaining the landscaping.
- If there are tasks in your diary that you feel ill-equipped to handle, call a professional.
- The peace of mind knowing the job was handled by a professional is well worth it.
- Be sure to have a separate section available for renovations, updates, or remodels that you've completed as well.
- Be sure to date these events, and if there's any notes regarding specific equipment used or products purchased, be sure to jot that down as well.
Keep all your notes, plans pictures and documents in your Kit (tote) for easy reference.
As you complete a job, upgrade or fix, make a note in your kit when it was done, what you did, what materials you used, and update the pictures, manuals, etc.
If you are ever in doubt if you can or can not do something yourself, consult with an expert, and be reminded that some renovations may involve obtaining permits, inspections and could include additional fees etc.
Please also review our monthly property maintenance tips, and our basic toolbox tips.
Creating and updating Your personal Home Maintenance Kit, will take a little time and effort, but will remove stress, strain and cost.
If and when you ever decide to sell your home, Your Home Maintenance Kit will also offer added value to the future buyer of your Pfanntastic Home.