The following post is from Melissa Batai.
If you’re lucky, the first few years you’re in your home, you won’t have to invest much money in home repairs. But, little by little, things start to break, and you need to call the repair company. For instance, our garage door has been problematic since we bought the house, and we’ve had it repaired twice. After the first repair, I went about my merry way, but then, two years later, when I needed the garage door repaired again, I had no idea who I had called for the first repair.
I quickly learned that keeping a home repair journal is the best way to stay organized and save money. There are multiple advantages to doing so:
Continue to Hire Reliable Contractors
If the contractor does a good job with the repair and is reasonably priced, you definitely want to support his business and hire him again. The first person who repaired our garage door was very reasonably priced and quick. While the second contractor I hired did the work, he wasn’t as good as the first, who I still wish I could find again.
Develop a Relationship with the Same Company
By sticking with the same company, you develop a relationship with the contractor, and you can (eventually) trust that they’ll do the work and give you a fair deal. We have hired the same plumbing company and seen the same plumber from that company several times, and it’s nice to be in their records so they know what they’ve repaired and we know they’re reliable.
Keep Track of Regularly Scheduled Maintenance
Just like you maintain your car with tune ups and oil changes and replacing items that have regular wear and tear like tires, so, too, you should maintain your home.
In your home maintenance journal, you should not only have a list of contractors who have done excellent work, but you should also keep track of what maintenance and repairs you have done and when. (If you need it, here’s a list of regular home maintenance tasks.) For example, you can easily go to the binder and see that you had the a/c checked in April of last year.
To be more organized, you can develop a schedule of regular maintenance and when you should do it. Fall maintenance tasks might include cleaning the gutters and cleaning the lawn mower before winter storage, among other tasks.
Have a List of Updates When You Sell Your Home
How handy would it be, when you get ready to sell your home, to pull out your budget binder and let the realtor know all the repairs and replacements you have made since you bought the house. “We replaced the central air three years ago, replaced the water heater a year ago. . .”
All those repairs and replacements you make not only show that you’re maintaining your property, but that you’re increasing its value, and those replacements should help you increase the listing price of your home.
If you keep a home maintenance binder, you will reduce chaos in your life and likely save money, especially as you maintain your home and prevent major repairs.
My Question for You
Do you keep a home maintenance binder? If so, what information do you include? Has the binder saved you money and reduced stress and chaos?