Editors Blog


Think Whole-Home Maintenance

July 27, 2012
After watching a popular home improvement show the other night I was left wondering if there is a list and schedule of recommended home maintenance. Of course, I understand that the filters in the HVAC system should be changed about every six months and I have been told that the ductwork should be cleaned once every five years. I think you might be surprised, however, at how many homeowners I suggest duct cleaning to who still look at me like I have lost my mind. It’s likely the same face I made when the guys from “Ask This Old House” were recommending I change the water hose leading from the water to the washing machine every three to five years. Who knew?

It got me thinking about how many other simple items in my house should be adjusted, updated, or replaced on a regular basis for optimum performance. Manufacturers release these suggested maintenance lists for vehicles, why not have one for homes? Maybe there is one out there and I missed it.

This idea of a whole-home maintenance list may be something that you as a trusted contractor and service provider could offer to the homeowner for a fee. Instead of just signing maintenance agreements on the HVAC equipment, why not have agreements made for whole-home maintenance? The items on the list your company cannot handle could be opportunities for some add-on business or inter-trade partnering. Both could lead to great profits. Pitch your ideas for what should be on the whole-home maintenance list below in the comments section.
 

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Jim Hughes
July 31, 2012
Angela, this is very interesting idea. It would be an extremely broad list and include everything from: How often you replace your roof, to How often your main sewer. The greatest challenge will be accounting for the different life cycles of each type of system in a home. For example: You mention that your air filter should be changed every six months. While this is true for certain types of filters other types of filters have a 30 to 60 day life and that depends on conditions in the home. A list of this nature would be a great help to homeowners. To have validity with homeowners it would need to be created by a third party not involved in providing products or services for the home. Someone like Consumer Reports, HUD, BOMA, etc. Maybe, with any luck, a third party will take on the challenge.

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