For me, it is day 63 of being home. I’ve read 9 novels and seen practically everything on Netflix, I’ve organized the pantry, purged items from several closets and am toying with the idea of wallpapering the dining room myself. And while that’s all fine and dandy, I got to thinking about what other projects I could be doing that would make a bigger difference in and around the house than just prepping a bag of random stuff for Goodwill.
My go-to home inspection company in the Portland-Metro area has always been Crawford Inspections. The owner, Matt Fellman actually wrote the book on home maintenance and all things inspection related. With all of this time at home I thought it would be a good idea to team up with him to share some helpful project ideas that will keep your house functioning well. Because, let’s face it, we aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so let’s make sure our homes are as comfortable as can be!
Thank you Matt, for the following maintenance ideas:
Trim the branches and vegetation away from your house – This time of year things grow quickly and it’s a good time to take a lap around the house and trim any bushes or branches away from the siding and roof. The moisture from the vegetation damages the building materials and things touching the house act as a bridge for insects and rodents to get in.
Tighten loose outlets and light switches – Once you have turned off the power at the service panel, remove the plastic cover plates on any loose outlets and there are screws that should tighten the equipment back into place. Aside from being a nuisance, loose outlets and switches can lead to loose wiring connections, which is a safety hazard.
Do some paint and wall touchup – We all have some dings and imperfections on the walls around the house. If you’re like me, you walk by and tell yourself someday when you have time you’ll get around to fixing them. Well…. there probably (and hopefully) won’t be an instance when you have more time than you do now! Go down in the basement or out to the garage and crack open that can of paint you’ve been saving. After all, this is why you saved it right?
Clean your window tracks – Over the years dirt and other debris collects in the tracks of the windows and really makes the moving parts hard to slide. Cleaning the tracks is a really quick and easy task that yields high returns. You’ll be amazed how much easier it is to open and close the windows when the tracks are clean.
Vacuum the coils on your refrigerator – During the course of normal operation, your refrigerator draws air through various parts and a lot of dust collects. When a lot of debris builds up it restricts the air movement and can lead to excess wear and parts failing. Most modern refrigerators have cardboard or plastic panels on the back and/or below that can be removed to expose the dirty spots. Trust me, if it’s been a long time since the last cleaning, it will be obvious what needs it.
Tighten the hinges on your garage door – Every time an overhead door is opened and closed there is a considerable amount of vibration that occurs. Over time, this vibration causes the fasteners that hold the hinges between panels to work themselves loose. A properly sized socket or open-ended wrench is all you need and it usually just takes a few minutes.
Get organized – how long has it been since you’ve seen the surface of your workbench? Take a few minutes and put things away. It makes doing projects so much easier and more enjoyable when you can find the things you need and have space to work.
Lubricate door hinges – Sometimes you get so accustomed to something that you don’t even notice it anymore. I’ve found squeaky door hinges are like this. Take a run through your house and identify “the squeakers.” Pulling the pins one at a time and greasing them is super easy (just pound them out upward one at a time with a small screwdriver and hammer). Despite not noticing when they do squeak, you will definitely notice and appreciate the silence when they don’t.
Clean fan blades and light globes – This is one of those things that happens so gradually that you hardly notice. As ceiling fans spin they really gather a lot of dust, as do the glass covers on lights. The fans can be cleaned quickly and easily with some Windex or a Swiffer, and the light globes clean right up with a run through the dishwasher.
Take pictures for Homeowner’s Insurance – Hopefully, you never need it but if you ever go through a fire or a burglary, you’ll be glad you have things documented for your insurance company. I’ve known some people that have gone through losing things in a fire and dealing with the insurance company is a frustrating process to say the least. Having a list and pictures greatly helps.