Maintain My Domain
July 23, 2010 11:08 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a home owner's manual. By that I mean a book, website, etc. (the type of media doesn't matter) that is structured like a car manual's scheduled service interval section.

For instance, it would list out things like "at 6 months, inspect this; at 2 years clean that; at 5 years inspect and if necessary, replace this." I can fix things (or pay someone else to) when I see there's a definite problem, but I'd like to be organized and maintain my house in a way other than reactionary. Anything like that exist?
posted by schleppo to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
That's kind of what a home inspection is. We had a home inspected several years ago that we were interested in buying. We ended up with a big binder that was like an owner's manual. "Roof is is approx X yrs old, will need replacing in 4 to 6 years" etc." The whole house was covered, inside and out.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 11:48 AM on July 23, 2010

Seconding the home inspection, which is basically a customized manual which will highlight the specific aspects of your house. It should cost you $200 - $300. A good inspect will be VERY thorough noting routine things like dripping faucets or stuck door jambs. If you know a real estate agent they can refer to you some good inspectors. Its a bit pricier than a $30 book but will give you much more relevant information.
posted by Scientifik at 11:54 AM on July 23, 2010

We just bought a home as well. Because of the wide variety of geographic situations and engineering standards of appliances and fixtures, you pretty much have to make your own manual for your home. For example, our air conditioner typically needs filter changes once every 90 days, but because we live quite close to a major freeway, I'm scheduling it every 60 days.

A thick home repair book from your local hardware store will help, but getting a hold of specific manuals and having serial numbers ready will help a lot more. Having your home inspection report from buying as stated above is also really helpful. We hired a guy who was known as a local "deal breaker" because his reports were extremely thorough and often caused buyers to rethink the purchase.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:57 AM on July 23, 2010

I tried checking a home inspection professional organization for what they feel is appropriate, and the whole thing is focused on purchases. So I think home inspector reports will probably focus on steps to bring a house up to perfection, rather than ongoing maintenance

Here's a checklist from Bob Vila, and here's a list prepared by a professional home inspector. I'm assuming it's the reason the schedule has things more often than the one from Vila is primarily profit motive.

For the most part, I think you can just rely on the maintenance schedule of the appliances, and maybe pick up a fiber optic scope to check out vents. So go find the manuals for all the stuff in your house.
posted by pwnguin at 12:09 PM on July 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This was a great answer, too.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:29 PM on July 23, 2010 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: I asked this exact same question.

Apologies, CPB. Must have missed that during a search. You're 2nd linked comment is more what I'm looking for. Thanks!
posted by schleppo at 1:35 PM on July 23, 2010

No apology necessary! Happy to help.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:23 PM on July 23, 2010

CPB, I have that Black & Decker book, and it's incredibly helpful!
posted by epersonae at 5:30 PM on July 23, 2010

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