Posted on April 28, 2015 in A La Carte Services, Disasters, Tips by ShannonNo Comments »

Over and over we end up with expensive maintenance issues that are the result of prior short cuts taken. Over the years we have had several issues with hose bibs and other areas where shortcuts have been taken.

The most recent one is a very expensive repair to a dripping exterior hose bib. Typically an old bib is just removed, a new one installed and the job is done in under an hour. For this one, a remodel was the cause of a future giant plumbing bill. The contractor put the remodeled cabinets on top of the plumbing, with no easy access to the back of the hose bib. In order to change out the hose bib, cutting into the cabinets is necessary. Stupid, costly and expensive! If just ignored, it will freeze during the cold temps, crack and probably flood the house (starting with the kitchen of course).

Leaky Exterior Hose Bib

Painting is one area that we occasionally see – a cheap painting job that takes shortcuts on quality paint products and too few coats, won’t last as long. Cheap materials do not hold up and we are happy to see the recently built homes appear to be using better materials.

The list of issues we have seen in the past decade covers every facet of a home from poor design, poor roofing materials, ventilation and lack of proper drainage. The stories are endless. The most important part is to take care, do the right thing and make the repair and maintenance in a timely fashion.

At Home Fridays we are huge proponents of doing it correctly the first time and taking care of regular maintenance. It is so much easier to pay in the front end, rather than the VERY costly repairs and potential floods! Central Oregon weather is extreme with major temperature swings that are hard on all the homes. With regular maintenance and oversight the problems can be taken care of.

Need help with your home? Give us a call to discuss how Home Fridays can help you 541/317-3088.

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Posted on March 30, 2015 in Disasters by ShannonNo Comments »

We often talk of all the issues that happen in the winter from the furnace failure to pipes bursting.  But often times we forget how many things can happen any time of the year.  Recently we had a house get ‘skunked’.  That is right, a skunk let loose under the deck and stunk up the entire house.

Imagine if the owners had come in late one night and arrived to a house full of skunk smell.  So much for your nice holiday!  Because the smell was identified early and a series of steps taken.  The house will be aired out before the owners and guests arrive.

We had pest control over right away to make sure the skunk was gone – and assist him in moving on if necessary.  Because he stunk up the crawl space in the house we had issues with the skunk smell in the furnace and duct work.  Contact with the furnace company and discussions on how best to get rid of the smell ensued.

With daily trips to the house for airing out we have almost eliminated the smell.  Laundering of bedding and some clothes was necessary to eliminate the smell.  But with a little elbow grease, time and patience the smell will be eliminated.

So when the owners arrive next week, all should be good.  Just another disaster that was avoided with regular home wellness checks.  It is nice to know that our clients will have a relaxing stink-free vacation.

If you don’t want to worry about your Central Oregon home when you are away, contact Home Fridays and we can take care of you as well.

Skunk!

Skunk!

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Posted on May 23, 2013 in Published Articles, Spring, Sunriver Scene, Tips by ShannonNo Comments »

A recent column from the Sunriver Scene on deck maintenance by Shannon Bassett.

 

It is time to think about those decks! The sun is already out and the damage is evident fro a year or two of harsh weather. Snow, ice, freeze and heat; the weather cycle of Central Oregon does a number on our decks.  The best solution is to take care of the decks every year.

In one home the owner really does not want to spend the money on taking care of his deck.  As a result of ignoring the deck the boards are warping, the understructure is rotting and the entire thing will need to be replaced.  The cost of his annual ‘money saving’ will end up with a very expensive full deck replacement.

Another home owners decks looks great on the surface. But an inspection revealed a woodpecker home in the structure beneath.  Without an inspection, the entire deck could have collapsed at an inopportune time.  With the support beam replace, the deck is once again safe and ready for a summer of fun.

Steps for deck maintenance;

  1. Annual Inspection – Look at the surface for signs of rough wear ad tear. Inspect underneath the deck if accessible. Confirm the supports are in good conditions with no signs of rot or shifting. If boards are warping or cupping and the overall condition is poor, sanding is in order.  If the deck looks like it did last year and no signs of peeling stain or raw wood, you are in luck and can skp maintenance this year. Fading, peeling and signs of wear around heavy traffic areas?  Plan to wash the deck and apply stain. Compromised structure due to bird activity, rot or shifting should be looked at by a contractor for replacement.
  2. Timing – It is important to plan your deck projects when we are above freezing. While some of the stains are rated for colder temperatures, for the best results apply in warm but not hot or freezing weather. The second and MOST important timing is around the pollen bloom. It is critical to complete the deck project before or after the pollen bloom. If pollen is left on the deck and sealed (or get into the stain during application) it will create black dots throughout the deck.  This is pollen bloom and can only be removed through sanding.
  3. Wash – Remove the dirt, leaves and sap with a good scrubbing.  Many companies out there like to use a power washer.  This causes splintering in the wood and removes all the soft parts of the wood. You end up with an uneven rough surface.  This will cause issues when the stain is applied as the hard areas do not absorb the product as well and the finish will not last as long. The ‘less is more’ phrase can be used as a guideline when washing your deck.  Less harsh cleaners, less concentrated chemicals and less pressure washing.  Use Oxi-Clean or another good scrubbing cleaner, a brush and some elbow grease.  Then let the deck cry completely before moving on, typically 24-48 hours.
  4. Sanding – Remove any bad stain or peeling paint applications with a good sanding job across the entire deck. Sanding will also smooth out the surface by removing a small layer of the old gray wood of the deck. This process is often necessary when trying to bring back a neglected deck. I love the system used by Webfoot Painting which sucks in all the dust and doesn’t leave a mess behind in the yard or on the house.  Without a dustless sanding system you will need to plan a cleaning of the house after the decks are completed. Sanding is not necessary annually and wit a good annual or bi-annual stain application the sanding process can be eliminated.
  5. Apply Stain– The product used is key and to hold up you want something that penetrates the wood.  Anything that builds a film on the wood such as Thomas Water Sealer will not hold up in Central Oregon. They tend to chip, peel and dry out in our tough climate. A penetrating product such as Messmer’s UV Stain or Flood CWF-UV 5 Oil work well in our climate. The penetrating products are easier to maintain and with many decks are only necessary to apply every other year.  Of course location and sun exposure on the deck will be the deciding factor.

The secret to a successful and good looking deck is annual attention.  If ignored you will be facing a much bigger and more expensive problem.  So keep your annual maintenance up, the cost down and enjoy wonderful summers on your beautiful deck for years to come.

To get help with your home call me, the Caretaking Commander, at Home Fridays. I have been buying, renovating and managing residential and commercial properties for over 20 years. My locally-based company, Home Fridays (homefridays. com), offers professional home management and concierge services to vacation home owners. You can reach me at 541/317-3088 or shannon@homefridays. com

 

 

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Posted on May 21, 2013 in A La Carte Services, Spring by ShannonNo Comments »

It seems we are hunting for working internet around these parts…

It has been a crazy month around Home Fridays as we try and fix everything that is broken and get ready for the first big weekend of the season.

One entire area of town has been getting an internet and cable television overhaul.  So each and every home  that has cable tv or internet needs a 2 hour service visit.  To top it off they will only schedule 4 appointments a day.  We have been rushing around town getting that taken care of.

Meanwhile in another area the phone lines are down due to construction or… who knows.  What happens when you loose a phone line? For starters your alarm will start going off, sending alerts about the trouble.  So now we have the phone company out trying to fix all the phones in that area.

Hot tubs – now is the time to start them up for that first weekend.  Oh, wait did the forecaster really say snow?  Now the calls start coming in about what we are going to do about the snow since the sprinklers are already running…never fear we will get it handled!

Imagine coming here for the first big weekend of the summer and having your entire weekend ruined with no tv or internet and nothing but cold bad weather.  While we can’t fix the weather, we can take care of all the other items!

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Posted on April 3, 2013 in A La Carte Services, Disasters, Spring by ShannonNo Comments »

An interesting article ran in the Bend Bulletin last weekend about cleaning out the dryer hoses.  For most second homes, not that much laundry is done.  But for large houses, in a busy rental pool.  The dryers are working overtime!

Check out the article for great information on the preventing vent fires http://www.bendbulletin.com/article/20130326/NEWS0107/303260313/

If you use your dryer a great deal – be safe and get your vents and flex hoses cleaned out.

 

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Posted on March 25, 2013 in Published Articles, Sunriver Scene, Tips by ShannonNo Comments »

As published in the Sunriver Scene, by Shannon Bassett, Caretaking Commander

Shopping your home owners insurance is something everyone should do on a regular basis. Are you covered for the current value of your home?  Are you paying too much?  Do you have the highest deductible possible?  I had a situation where the home owner policy had not been looked at in over 15 years. The deductible per incident was about $350. On an annual basis the owners were paying far more in premiums than necessary. A simple adjustment of the deductible and the premium reduction was enough to cover a few nice dinners at the Sunriver Lodge.

Saving money and avoiding the pitfalls of being underinsured are top of mind for most owners. Follow the steps below and make sure you are getting the most out of your insurance.

SAVING MONEY   

  1. Upgrades can save on insurance costs.  Most insurance companies give discounts for improving the safety and security of your residence.  Consider installing deadbolt locks, home security systems and alarms, smoke detectors, sprinkler systems and storm shutters.
  2. Coverage Level changes can increase or decrease your cost. Actual cash value is the lowest level of insurance, followed by replacement cost, extended replacement cost and guaranteed replacement cost. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples when comparing coverage quotes.
  3. Ask for a discount. If you have an agent that already has your business for other insurance, they may be very willing to give you a discount for adding more business. Having someone watch over the home on a weekly basis, like Home Fridays can also add savings for some companies such as Prudential.
  4. Deductibles are a great way to bring down the annual premium cost. Consumer Reports recommends getting the largest deductible available. Homeowners insurance is for the exception and should not be used for minor mishaps.
  5. Credit issues can sometimes affect rates. If this is an issue, ask your agent how much you could save if your rating improves. Work on improving your rating, and then follow up with your agent to make sure they review, and adjust your premium.

 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT COMPANY AND AGENT.

 

Communicate with people in your area, and get referrals for local agents that have a good reputation, and work in your community. These agents should be familiar with your area, and can be helpful in choosing the right products.

 

J. D.  Power and Associates conducts an annual survey of Homeowners Insurance. They look at customer satisfaction based on billing, payment, claims, interaction, policy offerings and price. This is a great resource to use when comparing different policies. http://tinyurl. com/ahcvxpc

 

FOLLOW UP!

Don’t buy an insurance policy and assume that all is good for life. Follow up with your agent anytime there are major changes to your property or valuables. At least once per year, review your policy with your agent, and make sure your assets are still covered properly.

 

This visit also provides you an opportunity to learn about any new products that might be a better fit for you, and to make sure you are getting the most for your money. Most companies offer discounts the longer you are a customer. Use this visit to ask about benefits you might be entitled to for being a valued customer!

 

Shopping for insurance does not sound like a fun project, but can actually be very simple, cost effective, and give you lots of peace of mind.  It takes time, but in the end you either get a better product at better price, or you will confirm that your original choice was the best!

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Posted on December 6, 2012 in Published Articles, Sunriver Scene, Tips, Winter by ShannonNo Comments »

As published in the Sunriver Scene, November 2012 By Shannon Bassett – Caretaking Commander, Home Fridays

 

Central Oregon winters are tough on houses. As a homeowner, if you don’t protect your property and manage the ongoing issues that crop up as a result of the harsh weather, you’ll find that our winters are pretty tough on your bank account as well. Something as simple as not clearing snow off your deck in a timely fashion can cause you to lose your deck, a regular Sunriver occurrence.

That’s far from the only winter-related problem that can arise simply by deferring maintenance for a short while. One Sunriver family decided to ignore the severe ice dams that had built up on their roof until a more convenient time. Funny how ice dams—and the associated water intrusions—have their own time schedule. By the time the owners had dealt with the water damage, they had to contend with mold abatement as well. The price tag? A hefty and utterly inconvenient $50,000.

As a homeowner myself, I know how annoying it can be to have to deal with house problems. But I also know that ignoring them only makes things worse. Of course, there’s a third option. You can hire a property manager like me to deal with the problems, or better yet help prevent them from ever happening.

By taking care of homes and always being ready for cold snaps, we can help you avoid pipe freezes and we regularly catch malfunctioning furnaces before serious problems can develop. During one regular weekly house check, we discovered that the furnace wasn’t working. The temperature had dropped at 42 that day, so we knew what the night would bring. Our team’s quick response allowed us to get a furnace repairman over to the house before nightfall. When it turned out that the part needed for the repair had to be ordered, we filled the house with electric oil heaters to keep it safely warm until the furnace was back in working order.

Not everyone, of course, has a maintenance team they can rely on. The following precautions will help you safeguard your home against the cold months that lie ahead.

 

1)    HEAT – As I have said before, it is critical to maintain your furnace. So make sure to have your furnace inspected annually. Get the filters changed and have everything in working order before the cold starts.  Then set the furnace back to a minimum of 55 degrees for the winter. If you have a brand new or remodeled house, a temperature range of 60-62 will help the wood winter better.

 

2)    PIPES – To keep pipes from freezing during those brutal cold snaps we get every year, make sure that pipes that run through unheated areas like garages, lofts or attics are insulated. You also want to insulate your water tanks. Also have any dripping taps immediately repaired as a small trickle can turn into a big frozen mess that blocks and potentially even cracks your pipe.

 

3)    ROOF – Clean pine needles and debris from your home’s gutters and roof to help prevent ice dams. According to www.realestatemsn.com, you may need to use a scraper or spatula if removing the build up by hand doesn’t work. Once you’ve cleared the gutters, give them a good hose rinse, keeping an eye out for any leaks or pipes that are out of kilter. Note: I like to give the entire yard a trim right before I clean the gutters and roof.  I make sure that all tree branches are trimmed back from the house and take care of any seasonal trimming needed on the shrubs.

 

4)    IRRIGATION – Turn off and winterize your sprinklers with a blow-out, which can be performed by most local licensed landscapers or irrigation companies.  This will clear out the water in the lines and help prevent pipe cracks during the winter.

 

5)    VENTS AND FAUCETS – Close up foundation vents. Remove and store hoses. This is critical. A hose left on will cause a break in the faucet even if your faucet is freeze proof. Then cover faucets with insulated covers.  While most of the newer installed faucets are freeze proof, I like to install insulated  covers anyway because they act as a first line defense against critters. They also help ensure that I’ve remembered to remove the hose (even when I’ve gotten it back out to fill the hot tub).

 

6)    SNOW – Make sure that a snow shovel is accessible or that you at least have the number of a local snow removal company handy.  If you have a snow blower, make sure it is tuned and ready to go.  You don’t want it to be at the shop when the snow really starts falling.  If the garbage man can’t get to your trash can because of too much snow, things could get messy in a hurry.  Not to mention the ice berm at the end of the driveway that will quickly freeze up and block access to the house.

 

7)    WINDOWS – Make sure that all your windows are in good shape. You don’t want any drafts or signs of moisture.  To keep your home warmer and save on utility bills, consider investing in insulating shades. According to Hunter Douglas, “It’s a scientific fact that heat is attracted to cold. In winter months, indoor heating moves toward and escapes through windows to the outdoors, while in summertime, the outside heat flows into your home through these same windows.” Anything you can do to reduce that exchange will reduce your energy consumption and your energy bills. (By the way, you also want to reverse the direction of your fan for winter so the warm air is pushed down.  During the winter your fan blades should go clockwise.)

 

8)     CHIMNEY – Don’t forget to have your chimney cleaned if you are a frequent user.  You may not have to have your chimney swept every year, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, but you should definitely have it inspected. For starters who knows what’s fallen in or taken up residence there. A Level 1 inspection, which most certified chimney sweeps automatically do when they sweep your chimney, is all you need.

 

9)    SMOKE AND CO2 DETECTORS – This is a great time to make sure all the batteries are fresh.  My team and I love the new 10-year, 9-volt batteries available from Energizer and Ultralife. They buy you time and help prevent that 3 a.m. wake-up call when smoke detectors with tired batteries begin to chirp.

 

10)  OUTDOOR FURNITURE – Bring in any outdoor furniture that will weather better inside the garage or under the eaves.  Cushions will be a great home to critters if you leave them out!

 

 

If you’ve ticked off every item on the above list, chances are good that your house will survive winter in good shape. Of course, house checks by professionals provide you with an even greater safety net no matter what the time of year.

My team recently found a water leak right after the owners had left after their summer stay. It turns out that the kitchen sink had been leaking the entire time they were home. Because their garbage can covered the leak, no one in the family had noticed. Our people spotted that leak because they’re trained to look for problems. By shutting off the water right then and there, they prevented major damage.

While a slow leak doesn’t necessarily show up on your water bill, it can wreak havoc on your home. Had we not been there to spot that leak, the water could have run for months before the owners’ return, ruining the hard woods, the carpet, and even the drywall. If the leak had been on the second floor, it could have ruined the whole house.

My advice? Make sure that you’ve got an extra set of eyes checking your property spring, summer, fall and especially winter. Here’s wishing you a safe and sound season.

To get help with your home call me, the Caretaking Commander, at Home Fridays. I have been buying, renovating and managing residential and commercial properties for over 20 years. My locally-based company, Home Fridays (homefridays. com), offers professional home management and concierge services to vacation home owners. You can reach me at 541/317-3088 or shannon@homefridays. com.

 

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Posted on December 6, 2012 in Fall, Published Articles, Sunriver Scene by ShannonNo Comments »

As published in the Sunriver Scene October 2012 – By Shannon Bassett – Caretaking Commander, Home Fridays

 

Are critters moving in as soon as you take off at the end of each season? Then you already know what I’m about to say all too well. There is little that’s less appealing than arriving to your house for some well-deserved R&R only to discover nasty surprises on the countertops, in the beds and around the kitchen.

Some of those surprises—and the critters responsible for them—are larger than others. One of my clients left his doors open, allowing a pack rat to move in and make himself right at home. He had free reign for several weeks until we finally managed to catch him. I’m sure you can imagine what the house looked like.

Another client had to contend with a “deck condo” that a raccoon family created above their hot tub.  With the help of Alpine Pest Management, we were finally able to screen off that area and convince the raccoons to relocate.

Raccoons are particular problem because of their dexterity. They can literally turn on outside water faucets. Of course, they don’t turn them off. That’s happened to two different clients of mine. Thankfully, both times we showed up to turn off the water, sparing the owners sky high water bills. Before leaving, we made sure to outfox the raccoons by installing removable handles on the faucets.

Mice and squirrels aren’t as adept, but they’re equally or more tenacious. And once they get in—through tiny openings in attics or along garage doors, around windows or gas lines, or via holes or cracks as small as ¼ inch—they refuse to leave or do their best to return. Having stashed food deposits all over your house—atop wooden beams, picture frames, even roller shades—they’re downright determined.

You have to be equally or more determined to keep critters out because having them in your house isn’t just annoying, it’s dangerous. Mice, for example, carry an airborne disease called Hantavirus. Breathing in the aerosolized virus from mouse droppings, urine or saliva can be fatal. That’s right. Fatal.

So the first thing to know is that if you do wind up with critters, you must safely clean up what they’ve left behind. The operative word here is safely. Use gloves. Since vacuuming can propel particles into the air, douse the contaminated area with water first. Not only will that make sure that no particles become airborne, it will also deactivate the virus. Finally, use bleach to disinfect the contaminated area.

Of course, sometimes you have to actually help your unwelcome housemates to leave. In addition to trapping them humanely or otherwise, you can sometimes drive them out with light and sound. A battery-powered lantern and a loud radio (especially if it’s playing heavy metal rock and roll) can quickly convince a squirrel to vacate an attic. But that’s only if that squirrel hasn’t started a family. And wow, that happens fast and furious. Squirrels can have up to two litters a year. That’s nothing compared to mice that start breeding as young as six to ten weeks, with pregnancies that last just three weeks.

In short, without the right precautions you could be playing host to a critter commune in a matter of months. So you need to prevent the problem in the first place by not rolling out a critter welcome mat.

For starters, don’t inadvertently invite pests into your home by leaving out what would be considered a buffet in Critterland. Make sure that in addition to not leaving out food, you clean up those crumbs on your counters and even the traces of dried food in your pets’ bowls. You’ll also want to store compost, as well as bird food and kibble, in rodent-proof containers and to keep bird feeders at a distance.

Of course, it’s not just a question of making your home less inviting. You need to make it harder for critters to sneak in.

Inspect your property. Fill any small cracks or holes in your house with cement or plaster reinforced with fine steel wool. If your exterior needs more extensive repairs, make sure those happen.

Screen off openings around gas and cable line, dryer and roof vents, and air ducts. You can find commercial vent screens for dryers that keep animals out without allowing lint buildup. Roof-vent caps can help keep squirrels at bay.

If you’re not sure where the critters are getting in, a dusting of flour in your house can help you track them. Of course, that means even more clean up. But at least flour isn’t toxic.

Outside, stacks of firewood and compost piles, as well as lawn and garden or construction debris, create lovely habitats that are a hop, skip and jump from your interior. Bushes and trees closer than six to eight inches from your house or garage also invite trouble.

Avoid providing critters with watering holes—whether big or small—close to your house. Fix any leaks; get rid of any standing water. And if you’ve putting in a hot tub, you probably won’t want it right outside your bedroom slider. There’s just nothing like critters using your spa as a personal pool or toilet to kill the romance and undermine relaxation.

In short, when it comes to critters just say no. If controlling these pests seems too daunting—or if you simply need advice or a little sympathy from someone who really understands what you’re up against—don’t hesitate to contact your Caretaking Commander. I look forward to your call.

 

To get help with your home call me, the Caretaking Commander, at Home Fridays. I have been buying, renovating and managing residential and commercial properties for over 20 years. My locally-based company, Home Fridays (homefridays. com), offers professional home management and concierge services to vacation home owners. You can reach me at 541/317-3088 or shannon@homefridays. com.

 

 

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Posted on September 27, 2012 in Tips by ShannonNo Comments »

A  new client recently introduced me to the idea of filling the empty freezer space with boxes of packing peanuts.  The freezer doesn’t work as hard when it is full and thus uses  less energy.  The evidence is anecdotal but easy to try and relevant for all those empty second home freezers.  Here is an article about the idea http://www.mgservices.ca/newsletter_freezer_blocking.htm

An idea worth trying!

 

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Posted on September 24, 2012 in Fall, Published Articles, Sunriver Scene by ShannonNo Comments »

As printed in the Sunriver Scene – September 2012 Edition by Shannon Bassett

We read over and over about how important it is to do home maintenance.  What does that mean?  What will it cost and is it worth it?  The National Association of Realtors and Coldwell Banker estimate home maintenance runs 1.5-4% of the value of your home.  That might sound like a lot, but spending money on annual maintenance can increase longevity of your major appliances and systems and thus increase the value of your home in relation to one that is not maintained. The consequences of failing to maintain your home’s infrastructure negatively affect its value and typically results in increased maintenance costs.

One Central Oregonian delayed all his maintenance, never doing anything until absolutely necessary in a misguided attempt to save money.  As a result his furnace didn’t last as long as it should have, and the last minute replacement was almost a third more expensive than it would have been if he had planned ahead.  Annual professional care and filter changing could have added years to the life of his furnace.  The damage didn’t stop there. Because he didn’t take care of his sprinklers, he ended up with a flooded yard and foundation, which created not just one giant bill but two. When you add in his repair, which cost hundreds of dollars along with the sky high water bill, total cost of his negligence on this one single issue was close to a thousand dollars. Still not learning from his mistakes, he skipped annual deck maintenance and wound up having to replace a significant portion of the rotted boards, which cost him several thousand dollars.  His attempts to save money ended up costing him more than four times what a proactive owner would have paid.

With the guidance of Home Fridays, the home caretaker service I run, another owner is proactive about maintaining her home including annual maintenance on the furnace, air conditioning, regular deck maintenance, roof inspection and even replacing the water heater prior to the end of its life.  Consequently she has spent a smaller amount of money annually and escaped all the big ‘urgent disaster’ related bills. All major systems in her home work well and she is able to plan for system replacement in advance.

When looking at the dollars spent over time by the two owners, the deferred maintenance homeowner spent more than four times as much fixing and repairing problems as the diligent homeowner.  New furnaces in the dead of winter are much more expensive to replace then getting five to ten additional years out of the existing furnace and planning replacement during the off season.  The deferred home will continue to need money to repair other ignored areas including exterior damage from a neglected painting schedule.

The bad news doesn’t stop there. The overall the value of the deferred maintenance home has been negatively impacted by the large list of items in need of repair. Don’t let that happen to you.   Invest in your home’s upkeep annually to keep your total costs down and your home’s value up.

Annual Maintenance Major Systems Check List

 

  • Furnace – Fall service check by a professional and regular filter changes will keep your furnace running smoothly.  A properly maintained furnace has a lifespan of 15-20 years.  A warm house is a good thing.

 

  • Air Conditioning – Spring service check will help keep your unit going for an estimated 12-15 years.  Annual service is important to check the refrigerant levels.  If coolant levels fall low, the unit can burn out quickly and require costly replacement.

 

  • Water Heaters – Water heaters should be examined for leaks or rusting on a regular basis. Lifespan is estimated at 10-11 years and proactive replacement is recommended.  Water sloshing around the floors from a failed water heater is the last thing anyone wants to experience or pay for.

 

  • Roof Maintenance and Replacement – The lifespan of a roof varies by the style and materials averaging 15 years.  Inspect the roof annually for loose or broken shingles or tiles.  Simple repair can help reduce future problems such as leaks or tiles susceptible to wind damage.

 

  • Decks – Wooden decks suffer from the fluctuating temperatures, dry climate and snow.  Annual sanding and sealing will maintain the integrity of the deck and delay full replacement.  Skipping over this annual step will lead to rotting deck structures, buckling and cracking boards and eventually an unsafe deck.

 

  • Exterior Paint – Paint takes a beating in Central Oregon and rarely lasts the advertised 15 years. A low quality exterior paint used on southern exposure might last just a few years.  Review the paint annually for signs of fading, cracking and peeling.  When repainting do not take shortcuts on preparation, materials or temperature to achieve the longest possible life.  Putting off painting will expose the wood house structure to greater failure.

 

  • Caulk – Filling the cracks around your siding and windows with caulk creates a barrier between the environment and your home.  Caulking material tends to dry out, shrink and crack, however, compromising the protection barrier. Inspect the caulk around your home and replace any areas of shrinking or pulling away on the windows or exterior siding.  This will protect the wood from exposure and rot.

 

  • Driveway – Blacktop driveways crack over time with the changing temperatures.  Repairing the cracks every few years and skim coating by a professional can prevent or postpone a full replacement.

 

As Home Friday’s Caretaking Commander, I take care of many homes and preventative upkeep is a priority for all.   I have seen over and over the benefits of staying current on maintenance.  Deck maintenance is cheap in comparison to total deck replacement.  The lower overall cost as well as the reduction in ‘emergencies’ far outweighs the potential headaches, cold nights and concern.  Put a plan in place to review your home and keep the maintenance current. Sustaining the investment in your home through proactive maintenance will mean fewer expensive surprises in the repairs department down the line.

To get help with your home call me, the Caretaking Commander, at Home Fridays. I have been buying, renovating and managing residential and commercial properties for over 20 years. My locally-based company, Home Fridays (homefridays.  com), offers professional home management and concierge services to vacation home owners. You can reach me at 541/317-3088 or shannon@homefridays.com.  

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