Homeownership is a big responsibility. One constant that all homeowners face is the need for ongoing maintenance. Any homeowner will tell you there is always something that needs doing; repairs, upkeep for wear and use, remodeling for upgrades, and emergencies. All too often, there is too much to handle at one time. Instead of attempting to tackle all your home’s needs in one fell swoop, focus on prioritizing home renovations and repairs. Here’s a handy guide.
Assess and Prioritize Needs
First, you want to take a good look at your home. Take the time to examine every indoor and outdoor space from top to bottom. Make a list of items that need attention. Don’t worry about whether they are big or small – for now, just get ink on paper to have a record of things that will require repairs or maintenance. After your list is complete, then you can prioritize each item. Here are some suggested categories:
- Emergency – these items cannot wait; these are safety issues or, if deferred, could cause more extensive problems.
- Priority – these needs will need to remain near the top of the list, either for utility reasons or other concerns.
- Short-term – while not an emergency or high-priority items, handle these issues sooner rather than later so that they don’t develop into bigger, more expensive projects.
- Long-term – these items are more wish list than repair or maintenance needs or require an extensive financial investment.
Renovation and Repair Categories
After arranging the items on your list in order of priority, separate them into home renovation and repair categories. What is the reason each particular item needs attention? Doing this will further help you prepare a budget for prioritizing renovations and repairs. We suggest these basic categories:
Your family’s safety is a priority, so you want to handle these issues first. Most, if not all, of your emergency items, will fall into this category. They may include:
- Fire hazards
- Electrical problems
- Gas leaks
- Plumbing/sewage issues
- Structural weaknesses
These items will likely be both short- and long-term things that need periodic attention. Keeping up with routine maintenance helps avoid the nasty, high cost of deferred maintenance and the resulting fallout. This category would include:
- Locating and repairing leaks/moisture intrusion
- Periodic inspections for the home’s major systems (exterior shell, electrical, plumbing/sewage, roofing, foundation/drainage, HVAC)
- Filters, light bulbs, etc.
- Window and doorway seals
- Chimney inspections/cleaning
- Lawn/outdoor/hardscape maintenance
- Drywall crack repairs
- Pressure washing
Issues in this category may be necessary, but only to maintain or increase the home’s value. They may be more like renovations than maintenance or repairs. They can include:
- Replacing doors, windows, siding
- Adding steps and walkways, retaining walls, outdoor living spaces
- Room/space additions
- Upgrading roofing material
Advance Planning for Prioritizing Home Renovations and Repairs
When planning for these and other home renovations and repairs, be sure to include a category in your budget. Determine how much money you can put back for these matters and stick to it. Some larger items may require obtaining a loan. You can save some money by performing many small repairs or changes yourself. Mark those items on your list.
Obtain material and labor cost estimates to help you plan and budget for those items that will require a professional. Review customer recommendations and online reviews for contractors in your area. Ask your neighbors if they have had work done recently and whom they would and would not recommend. Seek permission to look at the work performed.
Some planning for prioritizing home renovations and repairs can put you on the fast track to keeping your home shipshape and safe. Renaissance Development provides masonry, tuckpointing, and hardscape services for homes and urban gardens throughout Washington DC and the surrounding areas. When you need tuckpointing for masonry moisture intrusion or other similar issues, give us a call or message us online to schedule a consultation.