As you’re having your last cup of hot cocoa, packing up your sweaters and winter boots and reminiscing on the winter holiday season, there is no better time to start creating your maintenance plan.  A home maintenance plan is necessary for the well-informed homeowner that desires to preserve the value of their home.  Who wants to spend their valuable time and precious Saturdays completing their own maintenance?  If you are looking for alternatives to all your home maintenance needs, including restoring your fence, here are some tips on getting started on your maintenance and restoration early.  It is important to survey your home maintenance and restoration needs early so you can select your vendors and create a budget to get the job done so you are ready for spring and your first family get together or barbeque of the season.

  1. Consider regional aspects and timing

If you are in Southern regions or the warmer Westerner areas of the country, you will want to get a head start.  Areas that receive more rain need to more at water and weather resistant materials and solutions and protectants.  It will also be smart to regularly clean fencing and decking to avoid mildew.  Whether you are in cooler or warmer areas, remember that before you clean your wooden structures as the spring season approaches, wait until after the last freeze to turn on your outside faucets to avoid burst pipes and damage.

  1. Budget and prioritize

We recommend that after the winter holidays have ended that you create a budget.  If you have major work that needs to be completed (tree removal, major roof repairs, etc.) it may be better to tackle those early in the season.  Prioritize safety concerns like damaged or rotten decking and trimming overgrown trees along with your larger projects.  This will ensure you have completed the “must have” home maintenance and safety concern and can allocate any remaining budget on making your home beautiful through painting, fence work and even purchasing new patio furniture.  Also consider warranty agreements with any work that is completed on your home and be sure to organize and file your paperwork in case issues need to be addressed in the future.

  1. Indoor and outdoor maintenance is important

It is important to inspect the exterior and interior of your home for issues and opportunities.  Are there any outstanding issues from last year that were not addressed or issues that surfaced during the cooler months?  Here we are going to focus on exterior maintenance and how to create a beautifully inviting outdoor space for hosting but don’t forget about HVAC systems, plumbing and checking fire and carbon monoxide detectors are ready.

  1. Outside maintenance

Outside maintenincludes general outdoor spring-cleaning like raking disposal of leaves and laying down mulch. Look for mulch deals at your major home improvement retailers like Home Depot and Lowes starting in March for Southern states and in April / May for Northern and colder Western regions.  Check on your lawn care and maintenance service provider to renew your agreement or ask the local neighborhood including any bush or hedge care treatment needs.  If you’re looking for ways to save, you can always look at self-lawn maintenance buy purchasing a good push or riding lawnmower or cleaning-up your own unit.  For any dead or unsightly trees look for local tree removal services near you from sites like Thumbtack and Angie’s List.  Do your gutters need to be cleaned, does your exterior paint need a touch-up and has your pool been drained and cleaned?  Reviewing these key areas of your exterior will ensure your home is ready the upcoming season.

  1. Fence, patio and deck specific maintenance

Post treatment of your fence, patio or deck and the maintenance cycle begins as soon as the cooler season ends. The next 6 months after treatment is crucial to maintaining your investment. We recommend you inspect your deck, looking for signs of cracked wood and loose nails.  Twice a year Stain N Seal will counsel our clients on “what to do” and “what not to do” after getting their structure treated.  This will help to maintain the beauty and luster of your fences, patios and decks.  The first scheduled maintenance window typically opens in late February but be mindful that the climate will vary in your region and geographic area. Begin with prepping your fence, patio or deck removing debris along the fence bottom and/or trim low-lying branches touching the structure.  We Stain N Seal can help with this maintenance if you have tough to get to debris or tough to reach branches.  The second maintenance window opens after Labor Day (late September).  For patio and deck areas, remove barbeque grills and gently rinse down the deck or spot clean and treat the fence especially in areas of the yard where the fence gets little sunlight. And if you’re busy and find yourself in need or professional assistance, call us and we will get your fence, patio or deck prepped for the upcoming season so you are free to tackle the more important things in life. 

  1. Ways to track your maintenance

We recommend keeping track if your exterior maintenance planning with an home maintenance log book or organizer.  Here you can keep track of maintenance needs and well as save time on looking for a “handyman” services by saving the numbers of trusted home improvement handyman, vendors and service providers.  Here are a few options from Amazon:

Homeowner Logbook

Homeowner Journal