My Christmas curse continues! You see, for a very long time now — virtually thirty years — Christmas has turn out to be synonymous with dwelling issues for me.
This all began within the first dwelling that Kris and I owned again once we have been newly married. We woke one Christmas morning to seek out that the water heater had overflowed, flooding the laundry room and far of the transformed storage. Unfazed, we cleaned up the mess and spent our vacation with out sizzling water. It was enjoyable!
Since then, I’ve skilled an extended line of dwelling issues on Christmas day: frozen pipes, damaged gutters, fallen fences, and extra. And this yr? Well, this yr’s challenge was minor…however might result in a significant restore.
The home that Kim and I purchased final August is in fine condition. We made positive of that through the inspection interval. Still, no dwelling is ideal — and a home constructed fifty years in the past has just a few warts.
“Did you know something’s wrong with the ceiling in the hall bathroom?” Kim requested on Christmas morning after she completed her bathe. “The paint on the ceiling seems to be peeling.”
“What?” I stated. I went to have a look. Kim was proper. The paint on the ceiling appeared to be peeling.
“I’ll bet that’s from moisture,” I stated. I discovered a footstool and climbed as much as take a more in-depth look. I turned on the air flow fan. “Wow,” I stated. “The fan doesn’t seem to be pulling any air. That’s the root issue.”
I toyed with the peeling paint, which was a mistake. The brittle stuff crumbled and fell to the ground in giant chunks. “That’s so strange,” I stated. I picked up just a few items of particles. “Is this only paint? It seems so thick.”
“It looks like it’s just paint,” Kim stated. “But many layers of paint. Who knows? It could be something else underneath.”
So, now we’ve got the primary pressing dwelling venture in our new place. It’s not an enormous deal, clearly, nevertheless it’s one thing we wish to restore sooner moderately than later. It’s only a matter of discovering time. (This looks as if one thing we should always be capable to repair ourselves moderately than hiring out.)
This challenge has truly been a blessing in disguise. Everywhere I stay, I hold a grasp checklist of repairs and tasks. But I hadn’t but drafted that checklist for our dwelling right here in Corvallis. This morning, I remedied that.
My Homeownership Projects List
When you purchase a house, you additionally purchase a parade of tasks. No house is ever totally useful at any given time. There’s all the time one thing that must be repaired or upgraded or inspected.
As a fellow who struggles with ADHD, this endless stream of dwelling tasks can overwhelm me. There’s a lot that must be completed that my inclination is to do nothing. But, in fact, doing nothing solely results in extra tasks sooner or later. I’ve realized that it is essential for me to make fixed, incremental progress on duties round the home.
To keep centered, it is important that I keep homeownership to-do checklist.
Longer in the past, I created my venture checklist with pencil and paper. Nowadays, I hold the checklist digitally. At our final home, I maintained a textual content doc with all the issues that wanted to be completed. For our new home, I’m experimenting with Apple’s built-in Reminders app. This permits me to share the checklist with Kim, add notes and pictures and deadlines to duties, and extra.
I suppose there are lots of methods you possibly can select to construct your private checklist of dwelling tasks. For me, it is all the time been best to make use of the house inspection report as a place to begin.
“I use your report as a to-do list,” I informed our dwelling inspector in August.
“If you do, you’re the only one,” he stated, laughing. “Nobody seems to take this stuff seriously. It frustrates me to go back and inspect a home I saw a few years before, and not a single issue has been addressed. That happens all the time.”
To start, I let the inspection report kind the construction of my checklist. For this home, the report was divided by main methods, akin to: Roof, Grounds, Exterior, Attic, Plumbing, Electrical, HVAC, and so forth. And inside every part of the report, the inspector graded gadgets as OK, MM (for marginal or “needs maintenance”), or RR (for “repair or replace”).
I divide my checklist into the identical sections because the inspection report. Because this specific report did not break down particular person “interior rooms”, I added a piece for every house inside the home: Kitchen, Living Room, Kim’s Office, Hall and Stairs, and so forth.
As I web page by means of the inspection report, I copy over every flagged merchandise as an motion step. The inspector’s remark about moss progress on the roof turns into “Remove Moss (RR)”. I add notes and feedback, if I’ve them, and I’d even pencil in a tentative date to deal with the venture and/or contact data for a contractor I wish to rent.
But the inspection report is barely a place to begin.
Next, I stroll s-l-o-w-l-y by means of the home, going from room to room and eager about our plans for the long run. I take notes as I am going. I write down something that bugs us (“install thresholds into rooms downstairs”, “install carpet runner for stairs”) and I notice any upgrades we wish to make to the home (“buy heater for deck”, “completely remodel hall bathroom”). I attempt to write down each single factor I can consider, regardless of how small. My purpose is to get these items out of my head and onto (metaphorical) paper.
As a closing step, I make certain to ask Kim if there’s anything I ought to add to our checklist of tasks. She’ll typically have plans and desires of her personal that she hasn’t but shared with me. It’s good to get these on the grasp checklist, too.
After this braindump, I’ll have an inventory crammed with dozens of duties that need doing round the home. These duties can be divided by subsystem and/or room (which makes the roles simpler to “batch”), they usually’ll even be ranked by precedence.
My grasp homeownership to-do checklist has proved invaluable up to now. The checklist provides me motivation and path. It helps me to prioritize the duties that have to be accomplished quickly, as opposed to people who are straightforward or enjoyable. Most importantly, it helps us to handle downside areas in a well timed style as an alternative of permitting them to fester.
I ought to notice that this is not the one checklist of dwelling tasks that we use. We additionally hold an ongoing checklist/calendar of upkeep duties. This began as a easy checklist that I had pulled from some e-book about dwelling upkeep, however over time it is turn out to be a collection of calendar reminders that Kim and I modify frequently.
For instance, I needed to blow off the roof and clear the gutters twice this autumn as a result of our home is surrounded by huge tall evergreens. The needles are a nuisance. Each time I cleaned the roof, I positioned an alert in my calendar for a similar time subsequent yr as a reminder. We do the identical for any common upkeep activity that we do not wish to neglect.
Home upkeep and residential enchancment can actually be a headache at occasions, however I’ve discovered that the ache will be mitigated by (a) holding an up to date checklist of dwelling tasks and (b) frequently plugging away on the checklist — even when doing so in an unorganized style.