Keep a Detailed Home Maintenance and Remodeling Database

Just as it’s important for you to keep detailed records of your home business, your bills, income tax information or medical history, sit is just as important that you keep a detailed record of all the maintenance and repairs that you have perform on your home.  After all, it’s your biggest investment, and properly maintaining your home will help it to maintain its value and to ensure it continues to be able to protect your family from the elements and keep them secure.  However, when you think about everything you have to do to take care of a home, setting up a manageable way of keeping accurate and detailed records can seem like an overwhelming task.  But with some creative thinking and a commitment to accuracy and organization, we can make a daunting task quite simple.

Whether you are just purchasing your home or you have owned it for a while, start with being committed to setting up a manageable database of information regarding your home’s maintenance.  Begin with taking stock of your home’s current condition.  Be brutally honest when you’re assessing the situation.  You might want to categorize your database by section of the home such as the exterior, kitchen, master bedroom or basement, or you may choose to divide it according to task, like painting, electrical, insulation, roof, landscaping, or climate control.  Treat your initial walk-through as a real estate agent or investor might do.  You might ask a friend or spouse to help you with the walk through and ask them to be honest in their evaluation. Study each corner, each tile and brick, and notate any damage, defect, or upkeep that needs to happen.  Looking back at your database a year or more from now will demand that you keep complete notations. In this case writing too much is better than not enough.

A spreadsheet program such as Excel works well for a database like this. Simply list all the rooms in column A running downward, broken into groups of rooms, as the picture shows. You can re-size cells to accommodate more information, or even merge cells if needed.  You can even add date fields next to rooms or items to note when they were painted for example.

 

As you look through your completed home maintenance database, don’t let it become overwhelming to you.  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.

Let’s talk about hiring professionals. Ask local friends, and neighbors who they have used in the past. The go to question to ask is would you hire him again? You can create a list of repair people or contractors and keep it with your database. Another option is to find a general contractor who you trust. He will have the contacts in all areas you will need to keep your home in tip top shape.

Be sure to have a separate section in your database for renovations, updates, or remodels that you’ve completed as well.  Be sure to include the dates these events were started and completed, as well as the material used, such as model numbers of faucets, stain and paint colors, etc.

All this information will help you maintain your home, increase its value and also show prospective buyers that you took care of the house they are about to buy.

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