Also, four tips for making maintenance more manageable — do two of these before you even move in.
Owning a home can be wonderful and bring you an immense pride and a sense of accomplishment.
Achieving that sense of bliss sometimes requires repainting your kitchen ceiling. Or repairing a leak in your shower drain pipe. Or changing fire alarm batteries located at the tip-top of your tall cathedral ceilings. Practically every homeowner has a home maintenance chore they try to put off as long as possible — or find someone else to do it instead.
A recent survey was completed and thousands of Facebook users answered. While the survey is by no means statistically valid, and everyone’s experience differs, 11 types of tasks emerged as the most disliked.
Here’s the list:
1. Repairing plumbing or water-related disasters.
Many homeowners would rather do anything than deal with plumbing problems. Hot-water heaters, toilets, leaks and more were frequently mentioned in the informal survey.
2. Cleaning or replacing the septic tank and sewer pipe,
Sewage disposal, via a septic tank or sewer pipe, a.k.a., a “sewer line,” was also widely despised among homeowners.
3. Painting those difficult-to-reach areas.
From prep work to finishing the interior trim, painting is yet another maintenance chore homeowners love to hate, and exteriors are generally more difficult than interiors — that is, depending on what you’re painting. Anyone who’s ever painted a ceiling can relate.
4. Keeping the house clean.
From dusting to mopping, homeowners have no shortage of despised cleaning tasks. And while apartment dwellers also clean their homes, houses tend to be bigger — oftentimes a lot bigger, making cleaning chores a bigger hassle.
5. Maintaining the yard.
Home buyers love lush lawns. But it’s not until you become a homeowner that you realize the hard work it can take to keep them that way. Desert landscapes are easy to take care of – once they have a good start! Without proper care though, it can take a toll on the most dedicated gardener.
6. Anything involving a ladder.
Many homeowners are rightfully fearful of ladders because of the significant risk of falling off one.
7. Deck maintenance.
Outdoor decks earned special ire for their frequent, ongoing maintenance needs.
8. Cleaning gutters, windows and screens.
Exterior cleaning chores, like clearing rain gutters, and washing windows, also made the list. The bigger the house, the more time-consuming these chores can become.
9. Roof repairs.
Most homeowners hire a pro for roof repairs. But some actually DIY this project (I do not recommend this). That doesn’t mean they like it.
Here are 4 tips for making home maintenance less of a chore.
Fortunately, there are ways to make home maintenance less onerous.
1. When you buy a house, get a professional home inspection.
This way you can get an understanding of the home’s potential problem areas. In other words, an inspection will likely be able to tell you how worn your roof is and whether it may need to be replaced in the near future, or how long you have before your furnace needs to be serviced. Some inspectors will even provide you with a personalized checklist for maintenance tasks for planning ahead. Note that an inspection doesn’t always catch everything.
2. Before you get an inspection, think about what types of tasks are deal-breakers for you.
Homes requiring less maintenance tend to be newer, smaller, in better condition, updated with easy-to-clean finishes and fixtures and not located on a hill, large lot or street with big, leafy trees.
3. Budget for routine maintenance and repairs, so it’s not a surprise.
Create a line item in your budget for home maintenance. Research costs in your neighborhood and ask your neighbors for advice to figure out how much you can expect to spend. Note that some companies may offer programs where you pay for their services once and they will cover you for the full year, or they may allow you to do a monthly payment plan for a service so that you avoid one large lump sum.
4. Know when to hire a pro rather than DIY.
Pros can be expensive, but they can also save you time and money and make maintaining your home safer for you and your family.
Despite the hassles, homeowners soldier on with their maintenance chores because, at the end of the day, when the plumbing’s unclogged, the ceiling’s painted and the deck’s ready for summer, there’s no feeling quite as wonderful as owning your own home.