Home Checklist, 7 Great Functions That Keep Your Home Working Like Clockwork

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Do you want a home checklist? I have 7 tips for things you need to check on a regular basis to keep your home working like clockwork.

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Do you want a home checklist? I have 7 tips for things you need to check on a regular basis to keep your home working like clockwork.

We often forget that our homes are more than just cozy living rooms and stunning kitchens. In additon to all the essential items we need to maintain on the inside of the home, there is a to-do list for outdoor projects as well. While these spots might not need as much attention to make them make the “regular” list, they’re still very much an integral part of ensuring that your home remains in tip-top condition.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the oft-forgotten but über essential maintenance tasks that you cannot forget about.

Let’s get started on our home checklist


Unless you’re planning on returning home from a vacation to have your basement converted into an indoor swimming pool, you definitely want to make sure that you’re sump pump get’s all the attention it deserves. Most issues occur purely because of neglect, and the aftermath of water pumps, wet/dry vacuum cleaners, and moving fans around is just not worth the effort.

So to avoid your next backstroke in the basement contest, make sure that your pump has a vertical float switch. Check your pump at least a couple of times a year by dumping water into the basin to ensure that all works as it should and you’ll be A for away.


I never heard of it myself, but it turns out it’s a pretty important thing. Most sliding windows and vinyl replacement windows have these things called “weep holes” on the exterior of the bottom frame. Now, these holes have been designed to drain rainwater away that could otherwise collect in the frame’s bottom channel. These weep holes get plugged with dead bugs and other debris and when that happens, guess where that rainwater is going – yep, straight into your house.

And it’s easy enough to check and repair – do regular cleaning by spraying some compressed air into the hole and watching the dirt fly.


Unless you’re one of those home improvement types that HGTV seems to punt as the ideal man (or woman), then you’ve probably not given this aspect too much thought, but it’s so crucial that you do. Not only does it look great when you have Smart Exteriors, but a sound exterior is a great way to provide an added “buffer” to the elements, lasts a really long time, and did we mention – they look great!


This should be a part of your regular home maintenance schedule. We don’t mean just checking the seals and the caulking and all of that good stuff; we mean the actual windows. Scratches, chips, and cracks, no matter how small, can become a much bigger problem if they aren’t taken care of in a timely fashion. Windows, for whatever reason, don’t just mess up the object in question (in this case, the window), but they also seem to take the frames, lining, and sealant with them. And remember, your windows are doing the hard work of keeping the summer heat and winter cold out of your home.


Poorly maintained hot water heaters can cause huge headaches. Now, this doesn’t matter if you have one of the new generation heaters that are supposed to have self-monitoring capabilities. But if you have an old-school, old faithful it may need a little extra attention. It’s a good idea to check out your water heater from time to time. Check for limescale, check for dirty water, blockages, and all of that good stuff.

In addition, before the freezing nights and days come, run your heating system on max for an hour or so; sure, your kids might think you’re crazy but just monitor how long it takes to heat up and just how hot it’s getting. Check each room and while you’re at it, check the windows and vents and see where drafts may be coming through because that will add a significant amount to your heating bill. If you encounter any problems that you can’t fix yourself, get the HVAC guys out to give it a service and a once over. Whatever it costs you to do now, it’s going to be worth it when you don’t have to be “caller number 132” on Christmas eve, and it’s minus something stupid on the thermometer.


This seems a little random, but it’s something you want to do sooner rather than later.

Start with the overhead torsion springs mounted above roller tracks in your garage door, and coat these with lubricant, because all springs, no matter what the manufacturer promises you, will eventually break, and this is caused by metal fatigue and perhaps corrosion. The best time to do this is before winter weather comes because it’s uncomfortable at the best of times and more so when it’s freezing outside.

Want to know more about building a garage? Check out my tutorial at Building a Garage and Driveway Paving


This is one of our favorite winter home hacks. You turn your heating on in the early afternoons (or if you’re from Canada, you probably never turn your heat off!) If you have ceiling fans, switch them to reverse and start them simultaneously. This simple trick helps circulate warm air around your home faster and way more efficiently than just having your heat turned on.

Another tip, especially if you live someplace with heavy snow like Alaska, Michigan, or Up State New York. You need to be very diligent about your outside paving and your driveways, where trapped ice and snow can cause terrible damage over time, and it happens before you know it. So take the time to shovel that snow. It’s a great cardiovascular workout and will go some way to tone those abs you’ve been worrying about getting into shape.

We love winter. It’s a great time of year to bring your family closer around cozy fireplaces and midnight tobogganing (even on a school night – just once per season, mind you), and it’s also a time of year that naturally lends itself to some soul-searching and introspection. Everything you want to focus on in the year that lays ahead has its seeds in winter. Also, Halloween is coming, so remember to get out there and let your inner child loose – your kids will love you for it, and so will you.

If you are a first-time home buyer or are new homeowners all these things should be on any new house checklist. You will most likely have a new home inspection that will address many of these issues. In addition, an inspection will address the electrical system, roofing, and anything that might be a safety hazard such as lead paint or asbestos. Your real estate agent will give you a clear understanding of what needs to be addressed before the big move.

Other items for a home maintenance checklist:

  • check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Make sure you know where your water shut-off valves are located
  • clean the dryer vent
  • routine maintenance of the HVAC system including changing the air filter monthly
  • Make sure you know where your circuit breaker is and that it is in good shape
  • Make sure you have functioning and well maintained fire extinguishers
  • Clean gutters to prevent ice dams and water damage
  • If you have a water softener make sure it is in good condition

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Do you want a home checklist? I have 7 tips for things you need to check on a regular basis to keep your home working like clockwork.

Share it with others!

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One Comment

  1. I was just thinking about you and decided to hop on to your Blog. This is a great read. I have to admit that some of these 7 things I had not thought about doing. Thank you for sharing.

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