There is nothing quite like the feeling of moving into your own custom built home. Everything is so clean and new and you’re excited for what the future may hold… Well, we can guarantee you that there will be some home maintenance in your near future that either you will need to do or be prepared to hire someone to do for you.
The difference between a home that has been properly maintained versus a home that has been neglected can amount to potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in repair and replacement costs. If you’re spending your life-savings to build your dream home the last thing you want to do is let your dream slip away into a nightmare of maintenance and repair.
Monthly Home Maintenance
#1. Inspect and Change HVAC Filters as Needed (every 3 months)
HVAC systems and their filters will need to be inspected at least once every 3 months. For a smaller family without cats or dogs in the home or any allergies, you will probably be fine changing the filters every 3 months. When inspecting the HVAC filter if the filter is really dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month. The new HVAC system in your home was an expensive investment in your indoor comfort, don’t let clogged filters make your system inefficient and make sure you do this as instructed.
#2. Clean and Degrease Range Hood Filters. (every few months)
If you enjoy cooking in your new home (if it’s your dream kitchen why wouldn’t you!) then you’re going to want to make sure your range hood and it’s filters are always clean. A good, strong degreaser and some hot water and your range hood will always look clean and will remain sanitary.
#3. Maintaining Your Yard and Landscaping (weekly/monthly)
This is the area that’s likely going to need the most attention and the most frequently depending on how you’ve designed your landscaping or if you’ve even implemented one! For many people building new homes in the area the landscaping is a significant investment, upwards of 20% or more of the total value of the home.
Lawns need to be mowed and maintained on a weekly basis, gardens will need to be maintained every few months if not more, hedges and trees will need trimming and pruning annually and any hardscapes such as decks, driveways, sidewalks and patios are going to need to be cleaned, preferably with a power washer at least once every year.
If you’re moving to North Carolina to retire then it’s quite likely you don’t want to be doing all of this work yourself.
#1. Check Water Softener or Filtration Systems (every 3 months)
If you have a water softener or a filtration system in your home then you’ll probably want to make sure it’s checked and replaced accordingly. Some water systems require more maintenance than others so this is something you can do as needed.
#2. Test Your Smoke and Carbon Dioxide Detectors (every 3-4 months)
Any modern detectors that would be installed in your home will have a test button feature. Make sure you press is and test the alarm once every few months. This device is a tiny item, easily forgotten about but they save lives.
#3. Run Unused Taps and Flush Unused Toilets This mostly applies to guest bathrooms, or any other sinks/water sources you don’t use on a regular basis. The idea is to prevent grime or any other kind of build up. Regularly running a little bit of water through will prevent this.
Annual Home Maintenance
#1. Keeping The Gutters Clean (semi-annually)
If you’re going to build your home in a rural area such as the North Carolina mountains then you’re likely going to have many trees surrounding your home or on your property. They will contribute to keeping your gutters full of leaves and other organic debris. They will need to be cleaned annually, sometimes even twice a year.
During construction of your home we can install gutter covers or protection systems but even these are not fool-proof and still need to have the screens cleaned out at least once a year or as needed. When you’re spending a few hundred thousand dollars to build a new custom home you don’t want something as simple as clogged gutters causing expensive damage to the home.
#2. Home Exterior Inspection
At least once a year it’s always a good idea to explore the exterior of your home. Check around the perimeter of the home and remove any dead or dying foliage like plants or shrubs, check your soffits, fascias, gutters and all exterior aspects of your home to make sure there is no damage or other issues that will need to be addressed.
#3. Power Washing Exterior Surfaces
If you have extensive hardscaping on your property then you’re going to need to keep it clean. The easiest way to clean decks, patios, driveways and other hardscaped areas (including your home exterior) is with a power washer. Depending on your property and the surrounding environment you might need to power wash areas once or twice per year.
#4. Check Tile and Grout
If your home has tiled flooring, walls or backsplashes in a kitchen or bathroom(s) then you’ll want to make a habit of checking the grout for tiny cracks. Any cracks in tile or grout should be addressed immediately, especially if the issue is in a bathroom where moisture is present.
Five Year Home Maintenance and Inspection
#1. Inspect Your Roof (every 3-5 years)
Regularly inspecting your roof for damage is always a good practice, especially when it’s protecting your home and everything inside. Special attention must be paid to flashing around chimneys or dormers to catch any water intrusion issues before they are allowed to happen.
Depending on the roofing material you’ve chosen your roof could need cleaning every 4-5 years. If your home is a built on a property surrounded with trees then you’re going to get organic materials on your roof such as pollens, leaves, twigs and other organic contaminants that can harbour the growth of bacteria like mold and mildew.
This is another task you’ll probably want to hire professionals for. There are safety concerns with crawling around on your roof and you may or may not know exactly what you’re looking for.
#2. Full Home Exterior Inspection (every 3-5 years)
Exterior inspections of your home and property should really occur all the time but at least once every 3-5 years you should really dig in for a thorough inspection. Check all window seals, check your siding, check gutters and downspouts, monitor any drainage problems, any pest or rodent nests and anything else that might cause you a maintenance issue down the road.
#3. Sucking Out Your Septic Tanks (every 3-5 years)
If your new home is hooked up to a septic system it’s going to eventually need pumping. Typically a family of 4 would need their septic tank pumped out at least once every 3 years. If you are a retiree couple with a relatively small footprint you could expect 4-5 year intervals with a 1000 gallon tank. This doesn’t mean you should neglect the system though!
Your septic tank should still be opened at least once per year to check the solid level and make sure there are no problems. It’s your important you have your builder (or the plumbing contractor) install sewage cleanouts in several locations so if there is ever a problem with your sewer or septic there are easy points for plumbers and whoever might be called in to make repairs.
We Build and Maintain Custom Homes in North Carolina
JL Builders is a full service custom home builder based out of Asheville, North Carolina. We specialize in building low-maintenance custom homes for people who are looking to re-locate to North Carolina.
If you have any questions about maintaining a new home, or require assistance with the maintenance of your JL Builders built home please get in touch with us.
Our Western North Carolina Service Areas