DETERMINE A MAINTENANCE PLAN

While we can cover the basics and general priorities, drafting up a full maintenance
plan can only be done by you because no two homes and homeowners are the same.

 

General Tips

Prioritize:

  • Health, safety, and keeping the water out of your home come first.

 

Group tasks together:

  • If you’re already on the roof to check out your chimney, look over your gutters and flashing.

 

Set money aside:

 

  • Plan both a short and long term maintenance schedule. For example, if things aren’t critical, but you anticipate needing new mechanicals or a new roof in 5 years, don’t wait 4 years to start saving.

 

Consider how you want to use your space:

 

  • Before planning to put an addition on your home, consider how you may be able to use space differently to achieve your needs. This will save you a huge amount of money, not only in building costs, but in heating and cooling costs as well.

 

You may want to plan for your needs as you or older family members age:

 

  • If you plan to stay in your home into your later years or are caring for someone who is already older, plan and make adjustments before mobility is already compromised. It will be much easier!

 

Be realistic:

 

  • This is not an HGTV television show! It’s a process. Focus on priorities for the next 6 months. You will need a permit for a wide variety of things, including seemingly minor tasks like installing a hot water heater. For a full list, visit Cityofchicago.org.

 

Stay organized:

 

  • Always save manufacturers’ instructions and manuals.

  • The contractor you hire will make a huge difference in the success of your project. See our list of trusted referrals.

 

Draft a Plan of Attack

Take a weekend to get to know your home and surrounding property. Grab a notepad and do a walkabout. Take notice of the following when inspecting your property:

  1. Building Exterior and Structure:
     

    • Site drainage (where’s all that rainwater going?)

    • Landscaping

    • Site paths and paving

    • Fences and walls

    • Roofing

    • Exterior walls and foundation

    • Exterior windows, doors, and porches

    • Gutters
       

  2. Building Interior and Structure:
     

    • Basement

    • First floor

    • Second floor/attic
       

  3. Mechanical and Electrical Systems:
     

    • HVAC

    • Plumbing

    • Electrical system

    • Other systems

 

Mark Everything


M for Must

S for Should
C for Could
L for Later
 
  • Create a schedule that includes each task and how often it must be done.

  • Remember to combine tasks whenever possible.

  • Some people prefer handwritten schedules, some prefer spreadsheets, but all that matters is that it makes sense to the homeowner.

  • There are a number of excellent guides online to help you plan.

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Chicago Bungalow Association is an Illinois nonprofit corporation exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3)