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Home Maintenance Checklist

Tips to keep your home well maintained

As a carpenter I am often called to peoples homes to repair, replace or troubleshoot house problems. Most if not all issues that I deal with are a result of not taking the time to perform periodic maintenance.  These people need my  home maintenance checklist.

The fall season, is a good time to give your house a good inspection and get it ready for winter. Before the weather grows colder it’s important to prepare and prevent costly damage later on.

Below is a home maintenance checklist that every homeowner can adapt and use:

 Home Maintenance Checklist

Gutters and Downspouts:

1. Clean gutters and downspouts frequently throughout fall to prevent build up of leaves and other debris.

 Windows and Doors:

  1. Change summer screens to cool weather storm windows and doors.
  2. Inspect and repair any loose or damaged window or door frames.
  3. Install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to prevent drafts and lower heating bills.
  4. Clean and lubricate garage door hinges, rollers, and tracks and be sure screws are tight.
  5. Install storm panels and store screens.

Heating Systems:

Replace the filter in your furnace.Consider having a heating professional check your heating system to ensure optimal performance and discover minor problems before they turn into costly major repairs.

  1. Clean your ducts / fins to better your heating system’s efficiency as well as to reduce household dust and to provide relief to those with respiratory problems.
  2. Check for air leakage especially around joints.
  3. Lubricate hot water heaters pump and motor.
  4. Bleed air from radiators or convectors.
  5. Change batteries and set your programmable thermostat


  1. To prevent pipes freezing and bursting; ensure that the pipes, as well as the wall cavities where they reside, are well insulated.
  2. Be sure that you know how to locate and turn off the water shut-off valve in case pipes do freeze. Label this shut off for family members.
  3. Have a plumber install a “ball valve” for this shutoff. Ball valves are superior to knob and washer valves.
  4. Shut off water to exterior faucets.

Chimney and Fireplace:

  1. Have a professional inspect and clean your chimney.
  2. Fireplaces that are regularly used during the season should have an annual cleaning to prevent dangerous chimney fires.
  3. Test your fireplace flue for a tight seal when closed.Consider installing a carbon monoxide alarm near the fireplace and furnace.
  4. Change smoke detector batteries.
  5. Find A Roof Leak
  6. Prevent Roof leak

Attic Ventilation:

  1. Be sure attic insulation does not cover ventilation vents in the eaves to prevent winter ice dams on the roof.
  2. Be sure ridge vents and vents at eaves are free of plants and debris.
  3. Check bird and rodent screens for attic vents to prevent any unwanted guests.
  4. Add insulation and seal air leaks. Click here to see my many posts on insulation and air leaks.

Landscape and Yard Work:

  1. Although grass appears to stop growing in the fall; the roots are actually growing deeper to prepare for winter. Now is the best time to fertilize and reseed your lawn.
  2. Prune your trees and shrubs after the leaves turn to encourage healthy growth in the spring.
  3. Trim any tree limbs that are dangerously close to power lines or the roof of your house. Heavy snow and ice can cause damage in the winter.

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