If you recently built a new home in the Rochester area, you’ll probably never forget the first time you walked in the door after everything was put away and the furniture was in place. Maybe you even thought to yourself: “I can’t believe we live here!” The good news is that with a little effort you can recapture that feeling—at least to a degree. Here are some tips for keeping your new Rochester home looking and feeling fantastic.
If you’ve purchased a new home, you’ve made a significant investment. And when you make that kind of investment, you want to protect your investment so that it retains its value—both in terms of financial return and in terms of the value your home provides in terms of comfort, convenience, and peace of mind.
But even the best-built homes can’t take care of themselves. They require proactive protection: action on your part as a homeowner. That doesn’t mean you have to devote all of your time to keep your house looking like a showcase. It does, however, require you to be aware of some key areas that need consideration and a minimal amount of elbow grease. Keep in mind that not every maintenance task has to happen at the same time. Let’s look at some key areas that you’ll want to keep an eye on—and also look at a plan for doing the maintenance.
Boring Can Be Beautiful
Sometimes the things that make your home warm, welcoming, comfortable, and convenient aren’t even things you see or think about all that much. And yet, even the most lavish home doesn’t feel like a great place if it’s too cold in the winter, or too hot in the summer. Even boring things have a beauty of their own! Here’s a look at some of the boring things that can matter a lot in your Rochester home.
That’s why you’ll want to make sure you stay up to date on maintenance for your HVAC system. Even something as simple as changing the filters on your furnace regularly during the winter months can help. Not only will your furnace run more efficiently, but you'll also keep dust and other allergens down.
How often should you change your filters? There’s no single answer that fits everyone. Some HVAC experts say to change them every three months. Others recommend changing them monthly in the winter. If you have pets, it’s not bad to do it more frequently to eliminate fur and dander. The best answer we’ve come across is: “Change filters when they’re dirty.” Of course, that means checking regularly (probably once a month). The thing is, that furnace filters are pretty inexpensive. Paying a few dollars a month to ensure clean air and efficient heating/cooling is probably worth it.
The same holds true with having your HVAC unit serviced. Chances are it won’t need much (if anything) in the first few years. But it’s cheap insurance. And it provides peace of mind. Once you’ve done it, you don’t have to think about it anymore.
Inspect And Clean
We all like to think that our houses are clean, but never underestimate the power of dirt! And even if you’re really good about keeping your home looking great, there are out-of-the-way places where dirt and dust can accumulate and cause problems. These aren’t places you have to keep spotless all the time, but accumulated dirt or dust can cause problems that may (eventually) require more intense maintenance. Here are some areas that need regular cleaning to keep things running smoothly.
- Exhaust fans in all bathrooms
- Range Hood fan in the kitchen
- Refrigerator/Freezer coils (don’t forget the one in the garage!)
- Dryer lint trap and exhaust
- Fireplace flue
Seal and/or Treat
Some of the surfaces in your home may need to be resealed or treated to ensure that they hold up and continue to perform well (and to look great). For instance, if you’ve installed granite countertops, you’ll want to make sure that you keep them sealed. Different surfaces may require different types of sealing. Check the paperwork you received when your counters were installed. The good news is that this isn’t something you’ll need to do often (perhaps once every year or two). Doing it as recommended, however, means you’ll enjoy your countertops for a long, long time.
If you have tile floors, you’ll really want to keep an eye on the grout between the tiles. Once again, this kind of maintenance isn’t required frequently, but keeping an eye on things and keeping up with maintenance can keep your floor (or bathroom/shower tiles) looking like new.
Some hardwood floors require occasional treatment or sealing as well. Again, I’d encourage you to look at the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific flooring. If you don’t need it, don’t do it. But if it is recommended, following those recommendations can significantly extend the life of your flooring—as well as keep it looking great.
By the way, if you haven’t purchased a new home recently (but are considering doing so in the future), here’s a post that compares different types of flooring for your bathroom—including a look at typical maintenance.
Create a Plan
Chances are you’ve heard the well-known quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (author of The Little Prince): “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Simply having a goal of living in a well-maintained house won’t make it happen. You’ve got to have a plan.
One problem that many homeowners encounter is that there are a lot of details to think about. We’re all busy and it’s easy to overlook things. I’ve got good news for you: You don’t have to remember all the details and map out a plan. We’ve already done that for you!
Simply click here to check out our Annual Maintenance for Your New Home Checklist that breaks down the essential maintenance tasks by season. You won’t have to try to remember what to do when—or wonder if you checked all of the things that you needed to check. It’s all laid out for you!
Some items occur more than once a year, so they’ll appear in two different places on this checklist. So even if you think to yourself: “Didn’t I just check the batteries on the smoke detectors?” you’ll be up to speed.
All of the items on the checklist are easy to do and don’t require much in the way of special skills or tools. The biggest part of home maintenance is simply staying on top of the condition of things and making sure they’re working properly. And if you find something that does need special attention, it’s almost always easier (and less expensive) to catch and fix the problem early.
Taking a little bit of time to stay on top of maintenance for your new Rochester home will ensure that your home will continue to look great and feel comfortable for years to come. And taking care of these items in manageable amounts will mean you have time to enjoy time outside of your home as well—no matter what season we’re in!