A few years ago I bought my first house.

It’s 100 years old.

It’s clearly had a history of less-than-professional DIY handymen/women.

And APPARENTLY you’re supposed to actually put work and money into it if you don’t want it to look terrible or water to rain down on you while you’re sleeping.

MaintainThatHouse.com is for the regular home-owner who wants to know the most efficient and effective ways to keep their house cleaned, maintained and in good repair.

Sometimes that involves some work. Sometimes, the best option is to have a professional handle it.

As covered in The 8 ESSENTIAL “Jobs” a house has to perform for you, your house only has 8 core things you REALLY need it to do for you:

1. Don’t Be On Fire

This one is obviously binary – your house is either on fire or it’s not. My personal preference is that it’s not on fire and that fire is contained to the fireplace – hence the name—the place for fire. In relation to not being on fire, well-placed, reliable smoke detectors are where it’s at. 

2. Don’t Fall Down

A bit more nuanced. This gets into structural engineering, support beams, and load-bearing walls. If you’re having problems in this area, my take is this is best left to the experts and pros. 

3. Keep electricity where it belongs

Some simple stuff you can do on your own, but there’s a reason electricians are licensed and need years of learning and apprenticeship. Don’t mess with this. You need electricity. You don’t need it where it doesn’t belong. 

4. Keep water where it belongs and at the right temperature

An impromptu, unplanned water feature in your house is just about the worst surprise to come home to – aside from numbers 1 and 2 above.

5. Maintain comfortable air temperature

If it’s unlivably cold or hot in a house, it isn’t doing its job.

6. Keep unwanted people, animals, and insects off your property

Keeping animals and people outside is more of a set-it-and-forget-it proposition – once you have a security system in place and adequate barriers like fences and locks, you shouldn’t really have to think about it again. But when it comes to pest control, that can require on-going work or treatment if you have a stubborn pest like ants that seem to come back from time to time. 

7. Look good

This is where do-it-yourself can really shine. While most people can easily get in over their head when dealing with structural or electrical issues, most people can handle the complexity and work involved in keeping the house looking good inside and out. 

8. Don’t hurt you

It’s the invisible stuff that can really get you. Most of the above items can contribute to making sure your house doesn’t hurt you, but you do have to be careful when it comes to things that can be hidden from view like mold, carbon monoxide and radon. 

If there are any house maintenance issues or questions you’re dealing with, please get in touch: tom@maintainthathouse.com.