Following a regular schedule of home maintenance can save you a lot of money on costly repairs in the long run. What’s more, most maintenance jobs are not difficult if you know what to do. The key is to build a full year maintenance schedule by determining how often certain jobs need to be completed and then finding the best time to do them. Some jobs, like testing your garage door, should be done monthly or quarterly; others, like clearing your gutters, usually only needs to be done once a year.

Monthly and Quarterly Tasks

Most of the monthly and quarterly maintenance tasks involve inspecting different areas of your home. Usually repairs should not be necessary, but when you find a problem, you can save a lot of money by making a simple repair before real damage occurs.

Faucets – all faucets should be inspected every month for leaks. If leaks are found, the most likely culprit is generally worn out washers. These can be replaced easily by first turning off the water supply, and then unscrewing the bolt where the leak is taking place and replacing the worn out washer.

Garage door opener – make sure the reversing mechanism on your garage door opener works smoothly when it is obstructed. This is a simple test that you can do every month. If it doesn’t work smoothly, often a simple tightening of screws or aligning of the system will fix the problem.

HVAC filters –  inspect the filters on your heating and air conditioning units regularly. Depending on your type of household, these may need to be replaced or at least cleaned as often as monthly.

Fire extinguishers – be confident that your fire extinguishers and smoke alarms are working properly with a simple inspection once a quarter.

Toilets- inspect your toilets to see if they’re draining correctly and if there are any leaks. Generally replacing the flapper part of the flushing mechanism fixes these issues.

Once or Twice a Year Tasks

Many of the most expensive home repairs can be prevented by inspecting and replacing parts once or twice a year.

Roofing – before and after winter is a great time to check your roof for damage. If it’s a shingled roof, replacing one or two shingles when they tear can save thousands of dollars in leaks and other damage down the road.

Gutters- after the winter is a great time to clean out the gutters and make sure they are draining properly. Clean gutters will last years longer.

Air conditioning and heating systems – always test your air conditioning and heating systems at least once in the off-season. This way you can be sure to be prepared should there be any problems. Repairs are often cheaper when the systems are not in high demand – for example, repairing the air conditioner during the winter.

Dead plants, debris and shrubs- spring is a great time to clear out any dead plants, debris or shrubs that may be around the house in order to minimise the risk of fire catching and spreading.

Trees – at least once a year it’s a good idea to evaluate how the trees on your property are growing. You’ll want to ensure they’re not in danger of obstructing or falling on power lines, portions of the house or areas where vehicles regularly park.

Water heater – water heaters often build up sediment at the bottom of the tank throughout the year. To get the most out of your heater in the long run, drain the water once a year and clean out the inside of the tank.