April Home Checklist April Home Maintenance Checklist

Home To Dos in April

A007At this time of year it’s a good idea to take some time to make inspections and clean and maintain some of the well used systems of your home. Take a look at these 11 chores and make your own list of what needs to be done to make your home clean and fresh and ready for warmer weather.

* Replace filters or wash permanent ones in heating system
* Change batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke alarms
* Clean out and organize the attic
* Clean and inspect gutters and downspouts
* Inspect the siding and foundation for damage from pests, cracks or weather
* Inspect insulation for gaps and remove vent covers
* Inspect heat pump or air conditioning unit and clear debris
* Clean out fireplace and wood stove and have chimney and flue cleaned
* Tune up gas grill, lawn mower and other power equipment
* Turn on outdoor water spigots
* Apply pre-emergent on lawns to curb growth of weeds

If you’re considering any lawn and home improvement jobs visit us at and find the cost of doing it yourself compared with the cost of hiring a contractor.

DIY Do it yourself remodeling

Should You Do It Yourself or NOT?

Here’s a look at which home improvement projects you should do yourself and which ones are best left to a pro.

The best projects to do yourself fall into four categories: improvements that involve using inexpensive materials, grunt work that is repetitive and time-consuming, clean up projects and small jobs.

Inexpensive Materials
Painting is the most popular homeowner project because you’ll save more than half of what a contractor will charge and the paint and tools are inexpensive. Compared with $35 a roll wallpaper or pricey ceramic tile a gallon of paint costs $35. Painting lets you learn and practice on the job and if you make a mistake you can paint over it. Miscut wallpaper or tile isn’t so forgiving and it costs a lot more.

Grunt Work
A project like removing wallpaper is a no brainer and will save you a whopping 84 percent of what a contractor will charge. Another tedious but doable job is stripping varnish off dark paneling and you’ll pocket a 75 percent savings. These are good examples of projects a homeowner can tackle because they involve more time than talent and a low investment in tools.

Clean Up
Jobs like power washing a deck will save you almost half of what a cleaning service will charge because your only cost is renting a power washer, the same is true for cleaning carpeting. Outside yard maintenance – mowing, landscaping, overall cleanup work – is another example of you providing the labor, otherwise known as sweat equity.

Small Jobs
You may have no choice but to do a small jobs like repairing a torn window screen or installing a mini-blind because they’re considered a nuisance job to a contractor who can spend more time traveling to your house than actually doing the job.

Here’s some of the home improvement projects that are best left to a contractor despite how much you can save by tackling them. The projects fall into three categories: messy and disruptive, dangerous and license required.

Messy and Disruptive
If you’re a handy homeowner you’ll be tempted to tackle improvement projects that save you a lot of money, but here’s a word of caution. While you can save 76 percent by hanging wallboard, don’t. It’s a multi-step process you want to get done as quickly as possible to shorten the time your household is in disarray. And the drywall dust from sanding seems to permeate the entire house, it’s not pleasant. Thinking of refinishing your floors? Don’t be lured by saving 64 percent of what a floor refinisher will charge to sand and finish the floor either. The savings are not worth the inconvenience of emptying and storing all the furnishings of a room and the possibility of damaging the floor with the sander. Time is money and the faster these jobs are done, the better.

Roofing is definitely a job for a pro because it’s dangerous, difficult work. Just hauling heavy shingles up a ladder is strenuous even for the most physically fit. Despite the 45 percent saving use your talents and time to tackle projects closer to the ground.

Building Inspector Approval
Hire a licensed electrician or plumber for any work that your local building codes requires an inspection. A pro knows the requirements and has the skill, tools and experience to do the job. Even though you can save 44 percent by installing a surge protection device in your main circuit breaker, you’re better off hiring an electrician. Same is true of plumbing work. You may be able to save money and install a backup sump pump, but you probably don’t have the know-how. Any job that requires approval by a building inspector is best left to a pro.

Compare the DIY and contractor costs of hundreds of home improvements at


MARCH Home Checklist – 9 Things To Do This Month


    These 9 items concentrate on making sure the systems of your home are in good working order and keeping them in that condition. Inside jobs involve getting rid of things you don’t use and cleaning and freshening things that you do. If weather permits you can go outdoors and prim and trim tree branches that may have fallen and prune away any dead or broken limbs.

    • Replace filters or wash permanent ones in heating system
    • Flush vinegar through clothes washer to remove soap scum
    • Unclutter clothes closet
    • Clean out refrigerator
    • Clean and organize bathroom cabinet, drawers and closet
    • Check batteries in emergency flashlights
    • Lubricate, test and clean sump pump in basement or crawl space
    • Clean, oil and sharpen lawn tools
    • Prune dead and broken tree limbs

Visit us at to compare the cost of hundreds of improvement projects and decide to do it yourself or hire a contractor.