My Christmas curse continues! You see, for a very long time now — nearly thirty years — Christmas has grow to be synonymous with house issues for me.

This all began within the first house that Kris and I owned again after we had 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 a protracted line of house issues on Christmas day: frozen pipes, damaged gutters, fallen fences, and extra. And this yr? Properly, this yr’s problem was minor…however might result in a serious restore.

The home that Kim and I purchased final August is in fine condition. We made positive of that through the inspection interval. Nonetheless, no house is ideal — and a home constructed fifty years in the past has just a few warts.

“Do you know one thing’s flawed with the ceiling within the corridor rest room?” Kim requested on Christmas morning after she completed her bathe. “The paint on the ceiling appears to be peeling.”

“What?” I stated. I went to have a look. Kim was proper. The paint on the ceiling gave the impression to be peeling.

“I am going to guess that is from moisture,” I stated. I discovered a footstool and climbed as much as take a better look. I turned on the air flow fan. “Wow,” I stated. “The fan does not appear to be pulling any air. That is the foundation problem.”

I toyed with the peeling paint, which was a mistake. The brittle stuff crumbled and fell to the ground in giant chunks. “That is so unusual,” I stated. I picked up just a few items of particles. “Is that this solely paint? It appears so thick.”

“It appears to be like prefer it’s simply paint,” Kim stated. “However many layers of paint. Who is aware of? It may very well be one thing else beneath.”

So, now we’ve the primary pressing house venture in our new place. It is not an enormous deal, clearly, nevertheless it’s one thing we need to restore sooner relatively than later. It is only a matter of discovering time. (This looks like one thing we should always have the ability to repair ourselves relatively than hiring out.)

This problem has really been a blessing in disguise. In every single place I reside, I maintain a grasp checklist of repairs and initiatives. However I hadn’t but drafted that checklist for our house right here in Corvallis. This morning, I remedied that.

My Homeownership Tasks Listing

While you purchase a house, you additionally purchase a parade of initiatives. No house is ever totally practical 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 unending stream of house initiatives can overwhelm me. There’s a lot that must be accomplished that my inclination is to do nothing. However, after all, doing nothing solely results in extra initiatives sooner or later. I’ve realized that it is essential for me to make fixed, incremental progress on duties round the home.

To remain targeted, it is important that I preserve homeownership to-do checklist.

Longer in the past, I created my venture checklist with pencil and paper. These days, I maintain the checklist digitally. At our final home, I maintained a textual content doc with the entire issues that wanted to be accomplished. For our new home, I am 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 a lot of methods you would select to construct your private checklist of house initiatives. For me, it is all the time been best to make use of the house inspection report as a place to begin.

“I exploit your report as a to-do checklist,” I advised our house inspector in August.

“In case you do, you are the one one,” he stated, laughing. “No one appears to take these things critically. It frustrates me to return and examine a house I noticed just a few years earlier than, and never a single problem has been addressed. That occurs on a regular basis.”

To start, I let the inspection report type the construction of my checklist. For this home, the report was divided by main methods, corresponding 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 “wants upkeep”), or RR (for “restore or exchange”).

Highlight from our home inspection

I divide my checklist into the identical sections because the inspection report. As a result of this specific report did not break down particular person “inside rooms”, I added a piece for every area inside the home: Kitchen, Dwelling Room, Kim’s Workplace, Corridor and Stairs, and so forth.

As I web page by way 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 “Take away Moss (RR)”. I add notes and feedback, if I’ve them, and I would even pencil in a tentative date to deal with the venture and/or contact data for a contractor I need to rent.

However the inspection report is just a place to begin.

Subsequent, I stroll s-l-o-w-l-y by way of the home, going from room to room and eager about our plans for the long run. I take notes as I’m going. I write down something that bugs us (“set up thresholds into rooms downstairs”, “set up carpet runner for stairs”) and I be aware any upgrades we need to make to the home (“purchase heater for deck”, “utterly transform corridor rest room”). I attempt to write down each single factor I can consider, regardless of how small. My intention is to get these things out of my head and onto (metaphorical) paper.

As a closing step, I make certain to ask Kim if there’s the rest I ought to add to our checklist of initiatives. She’ll usually have plans and goals of her personal that she hasn’t but shared with me. It is good to get these on the grasp checklist, too.

After this braindump, I am going to have a listing full of dozens of duties that need doing round the home. These duties shall be divided by subsystem and/or room (which makes the roles simpler to “batch”), and so they’ll even be ranked by precedence.

A look at our home improvement list

Closing Ideas

My grasp homeownership to-do checklist has proved invaluable prior 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 significantly, it helps us to handle downside areas in a well timed trend as a substitute of permitting them to fester.

I ought to be aware that this is not the one checklist of house initiatives that we use. We additionally maintain an ongoing checklist/calendar of upkeep duties. This began as a easy checklist that I had pulled from some e book about house upkeep, however over time it is grow to be a sequence 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. Every 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 job that we do not need to neglect.

Residence upkeep and residential enchancment can definitely be a headache at occasions, however I’ve discovered that the ache might be mitigated by (a) preserving an up to date checklist of house initiatives and (b) repeatedly plugging away on the checklist — even when doing so in an unorganized trend.

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