Homeowner Tips

After Move-in Checklist

Bathrooms and Main Floors

  • Apply grout sealer to ceramic tile grout if you wish to give the grout additional protection against discoloration from spills and stains



  • Locate the main circuit breaker in the electric panel box and show family members how to turn it off in case of an emergency.


Fire Extinguisher

  • Purchase a general purpose fire extinguisher for each floor on the home plus one small kitchen extinguisher in case of grease fires. Demonstrate proper usage to family members in case of an emergency


First Aid Kit

  • Keep first aid materials and a book on first aid procedures in an accessible location.



  • Attach furniture protectors underneath furniture legs to protect floor finishes



  • Over time, the grade around the house can settle. If this occurs, spread additional soil or sand in the depressions to raise and re-establish the grade. Be sure the grade slopes away rather than towards the house.



  • Locate the main water line shut-off valve and all individual plumbing fiture valves, and show all family members how to close them in case of a plumbing emergency.



  • If your home has natural gas, locate the gas shut-off valve by the gas meter and show all family members how to close it in case of an emergency.


Every Month Checklist

Air conditioning and heating

  • Check air filters and clean or replace as necessary.
  • Vacuum air supply and air return registers to remove dust and lint.


Garbage disposal

  • Clean disposal blades by grinding up ice cubes. Freshen it with baking soda and by grinding.
  • Test and reset Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) breakers.


Interior caulking

  • Check for cracks or separations in caulking around sinks, bathtubs, toilets, faucets, counter tops,back splashes, ceramic tile walls, ceramic floors, window sills and any other areas originally caulked by your builder. To repair these areas, use an appropriate caulking compound and follow the caulking instructions on the label.


Range hood fan

  • Clean or replace dirty filter.


Sprinkler system

  • Adjust sprinkler heads for proper coverage.


Every Six Month Checklist

Interior caulking

  • Clean and apply a light coat of wax to wood-finish cabinets.



  • Check all areas originally caulked by the builder, especially exterior windows and doors.
  • Check exterior paint and stain surfaces (especially stained doors) and refinish as needed.



  • Check screws on door lock set and hardware, and tighten if necessary.
  • Lubricate bi-fold and by-pass doors as necessary.
  • Clean sliding door track and apply silicone spray to tracks as necessary. Caution - only use a silicone lubricant; oil will cause the rollers to deteriorate. Take the necessary steps to protect adjacent flooring from the silicone, as it may cause discoloring. Oil moving parts of the garage doors.



  • Check electrical extension and appliance cords. Replace frayed or split cords.


Exterior finishes

  • Check for cracks and voids in exterior caulking and re-caulk as necessary. Follow the maintenance instructions contained in the painting section of this manual.



  • Visually inspect roof from the ground for broken or missing tiles or shingles and gaps in flashing.
  • Check and clean gutters and downspouts, if installed.


Air conditioning system

  • Have HVAC contractor perform six month maintenance check up if you live in the high temperature, high humidity area.
  • Ensure that air supply registers are not blocked by rugs, draperies or furniture.
  • Make certain the concrete foundation that the A/C unit sits on is level.
  • Remove excess leaves from vents.



  • Check assessable water supply lines and valves to sinks, toilets, refrigerator and clothes wahser. Tighten if loose or leaking.
  • Clean out faucet aerators, spray nozzles and drains.
  • Check pipes and drains for water leakage.



  • Check sills for caulking cracks or separation and re-caulking as necessary.
  • Check weather stripping around windows and repair or replace as necessary.
  • Check windows for smooth opening and closing operation. Clean tracks and lubricate as necessary, using silicone spray.
  • Inspect window screens and repair or replace as necessary.


Fire extinguishers

  • Check fire extinguishers to ensure they are fully charged.


Smoke detectors

  • Test smoke detectors and chaange batteries if needed. If you live in the part of the country that has Daylight Savings Time, when you change your clocks would be a good time to change your batteries.
  • Clean and/or vacuum.


Annual Checklist


  • Check attic vents to ensure that soffit vents are not blocked with insulation and move insulation back to its original location if there are voids on the attic floor.
  • Check inside attic for signs of roof leaks. Be extremely careful not to damage or disturb electrical wiring or pluming pipes that may be in the attic.
    *Caution: Be extremely careful entering, exiting and walking in the attic. If you are unsure performing this task, you should contact a contractor.



  • Check drawers and hinges for proper alignment. Tighten and adjust as needed.



  • Check and repair or replace weather stripping on exterior doors as necessary.
  • Tighten all bolts on garage door.
  • Check the fit of exterior doors at their thresholds. Many designs are adjustable.



  • Check all windows for gaps in caulking on the exterior of the house.


Air conditioning system

  • Have HVAC contractor perform annual maintenance check-up.


Clothes dryer

  • Check dryer hose for lint. A clogged hose may decrease the drying efficiency of the dryer.



  • Have cchimney professionally cleaned as necessary.
  • Inspect chimney for nests.



  • Remove water heater residue by draining the tank. To do this shut off the power first, using the appropriate circuit breaker in the electrical power box. Attach a garden hose to the valve and run it outside. Then open the valve at the bottom of the water heater, allowing residue to drain out untill the water runs clear. If you live in a hard water region, a water softener will reduce the need for more frequent draining.


Pressure cleaning

  • Clean roof tiles and asphalt shingles (where applicable) of mildew and dirt as necessary.
  • Clean pool deck and reseal as necessary.
  • Clean pavers, driveways, patios, and walks as necessary.
  • Clean exterior finishes such as siding, stucco, brickwork, stone of mildew and dirt as necessary.


Septic tank

  • Check and clean as necessary.


Seasonal Checklist

  • Follow all instructions for safe operation of any fireplace or wood-burning stove.
  • Brush snow off gutters and away from downspouts, as applicable.
  • Remove ice and snow from concrete surfaces and avoid using de-icing agents with damaging salts.
  • Decorate safely for the holidays. Do not overload circuits or use worn extension cords.
  • Winterize/service sprinkler system.
  • On plessant days, open windows to allow house to breathe.
  • If your home has a hurricane accordion shutters, tracks should be lubricated and shutters tested prior to the start of hurricane season.