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Priority Maintenance for New Homeowners

There are so many home maintenance and repair items that are important; it can be confusing trying to establish which are the most critical. To simplify things, we have compiled a short list of our favorites. These are by no means all-inclusive, nor do they replace any of the information in a home inspection report. However they should help you get started on the right foot. Remember, any items marked as priority or safety issues on your home inspection report need immediate attention.

One-Time Tasks

♦ Install smoke detectors as necessary (usually one on each level of the home, near any sleeping areas).

♦ Install carbon monoxide detectors, according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

♦ Make any electrical improvements recommended in the home inspection report.

♦ Remove any wood/soil contact to prevent rot and insect damage.

♦ Change the locks on all doors. Use a dead bolt for better security and to minimize insurance costs.

♦ Correct trip hazards such as broken or uneven walks and driveways, loose or torn carpet or uneven flooring.

♦ Correct unsafe stairways and landings. (Railings missing, loose, too low, etc.)

♦ Have all chimneys inspected by a qualified professional before operating.

♦ Locate and mark the shut-offs for the heating, electrical and plumbing systems and label the circuits in electrical panels.

♦ If there is a septic system, have the tank pumped and inspected and check local health department rules.

♦ If there is a well, set up a regular testing procedure for checking water quality.

Regular Maintenance Itemschecklist


♦ Test GFCI circuits, CO and smoke detectors using the test button.

♦ Check furnace filters, humidifiers and electronic air cleaners.

♦ Check the bathtub and shower caulking and improve promptly as needed.

♦ Test reversing mechanism on garage door opener.

At Least Twice per Year:

♦ Clean the gutters in the spring and fall.

♦ Check for damaged roofing and flashing materials.

♦ Check attics for evidence of leaks and condensation and make sure vents are not obstructed.


♦ Clean the tracks on horizontal sliding windows annually, and ensure the drain holes are clear.

♦ Service furnace or boiler.

♦ Shut off outdoor water faucets in the fall.