Hector in Basement

Keeping a Row House Maintenance Tracker

Time has a way of slipping away. Before you know it, it’s time to repair, revitalize, or replace various parts of your row house. Or, a tree limb falls on your roof, breaking your skylight, hastening the process a bit (ouch!)

Regardless of motivation, it’s always a good idea to keep track of what you’ve done with your row house and when maintenance is due.

There are a lot of approaches you can use, both digital and analog, whichever is your preference. I like digital because you can set reminders that beep on your phone making it harder to misplace or ignore. Digital also allows for making a backup and sharing with others.

How to Set Up a Row House Maintenance Tracker

The basic approach is to write a list of everything related to your row house in one column. This includes everything from the roof to exterior finish to appliances. You can make a more complete list by actually walking around your house and writing things down as you see them. For example, when standing in front of my house, I’m going to start at the top and write down chimney bricks, dormer, shingle roof, front windows, fanlight (special window), exterior door, stoop, and brick facade. When I move into the living room, I’d add things like wall paint, wall plaster, electrical outlets, TV, and flooring, to the list. It depends on your particular house but it’s good to note anything that needs maintenance or might need repair. If you want to get fancy, you can make a list for each room separately.

Next, create a column for “repaired” or “replaced” and note when the particular aspect was repaired or replaced. Leave blank if you don’t know. It’s a good idea to keep track of when appliances have been replaced and having everything listed together in the tracker keeps everything handy and organized. What to take it a step further? Backup your list on the cloud so that you can’t ever lose it and share the file with your partner/spouse.

For the things that require regular maintenance, put the date and details about the actions needed in the next column. For example, you should have your roof inspected every five years even if nothing seems amiss. Or, you should vacuum the back of your refrigerator every three months. Conduct research and find out when you should perform maintenance work and note the time frame and add to the list.

Finally, in the last column, note the dates when the maintenance activities are due. For example, if you bought your HVAC system in March, the maintenance is due the following March. If you want to get fancy, you can create a reminder on your phone for each maintenance action due, or create a shared calendar so your partner/spouse can see when things are due as well.

If you don’t use an electric approach, post a reminder in an obvious place to check the tracker every month and set action items. Update the tracker as you work through items. Keep the tracker in a place where you won’t be able to ignore it. If you accomplish all your maintenance items for the month, reward yourself!

Your row house maintenance tracker doesn’t have to be fancy as long as it helps promote regular review and maintenance of your home.

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