Your home is likely your largest financial investment – lets ensure it holds (and even increases) it’s value, with these home maintenance checklists for every season.

Row of homes in snow

The Ultimate Winter Maintenance To-Do List

As cold weather creeps in, it’s time to start looking at your winter maintenance to-do list. Use this list to start checking off your tasks to prepare for everything that comes with the wintry season.

Check for Drafts

Before Chicago temperatures drop consistently into the single and negative digits, save on your energy costs by addressing drafty entry points. You can save up to 20% each year, according to the U.S. Energy Department. Look for cracks in window caulking or doorway weatherstripping, which are two common causes of drafts.

Inspect Your Roof

Before the first snowfall, check for leaks in your roof! If you don’t know what to look for, a professional roof inspection can determine if there are any issues.

If you want to look for yourself, check for cracks or rust on flashing, warped shingles or build up of moss or lichen (which could mean decay below).

Clean Your Gutters

Clear debris from your gutters to avoid clogs which can lead to dangerous and damaging ice dams. Clogged gutters can cause expensive water damage! Follow these tips to clean your gutters.

Trim Tree Branches

Heavy snow can weigh down branches and even cause them to break off, and you don’t want them hitting and damaging your house! Make sure any limbs or branches around the outside of your home are at least three feet away.

Prep Your Pipes

Water expands when frozen, and if that water is in your pipes, it can cause them to burst. Avoid this by insulating pipes that run through unheated spaces like garages, crawl spaces, et cetera.

If the weather is expected to be particularly cold, consider setting your faucets to drip, which ensures water continues to move through the pipes and doesn’t grow stationary enough to freeze.

Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Get in the habit of checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors once a season to see if their batteries need to be replaced. These are important safety guards!

In the end, winter maintenance doesn’t have to be intimidating! With planning and foresight, your home will be ready for whatever winter brings.

The Ultimate Spring Maintenance Checklist

Goodbye freezing cold, hello spring! It’s time to start looking at your spring maintenance to-do list. Use this as a resource to start checking off tasks and getting ready for warmer albeit rainier weather.

Scan For Termites

Starting in March, termites become more prevalent. Keep an eye on any exterior wood of your home (porches and patios are common culprits). If you notice a hole with a winged insect the size of a rice grain flying out, that’s likely a termite. Call a pest control company as soon as possible!

Keep Mosquitos at Bay

Mosquitos can be pesky nuisances, but there is one straightforward trick to keep the hordes away from your home: get rid of any standing water. Mosquitos lay their eggs on stationary water! With no place to lay eggs, you’ll see less flying around your santuary.

Clean Your Screens & Windows

Temperatures aren’t too hot or too cold come springtime, so it’s a popular time of year to enjoy open windows. How are those windows looking? Clean filth off the screens and wipe the grime off the glass so you can enjoy as much sunshine as possible.

Clear Your Gutters

Now that the weather has thawed, rainstorms are on their way. Part of your spring maintenance checklist should include clearing leftover leaves and debris so there are no drainage issues when spring deluges truly open up.

Get Your Air Conditioner Serviced

Take care of your air conditioning units with regular service checks by scheduling a visit before the summer temperatures truly crank up. Plus, you’ll save money and stretch out the lifespan of the unit.

Check Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Last, but certainly not least, get in the habit of checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors once a season to see if their batteries need to be replaced.

woman on ladder cleaning around door

A Monthly, Quarterly & Yearly Home Maintenance Checklist To Keep In Your Back Pocket

Maintaining your home’s value is important for when you potentially sell it in the future, and it can be vital for your personal health and wellness. Don’t feel daunted by this responsibility! Here’s your ultimate yearly home maintenance list for monthly, quarterly and yearly upkeep.


  1. Clean kitchen disposal with diswashing detergent and a combination of salt and ice cubes. Follow these steps!
  2. Vaccuum out excess lint from the dyer vent. Follow these steps!
  3. Dust all of your surfaces. Your sinuses will thank you!
  4. Test the batteries in your fire and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they’re still working.
  5. Replace your air filter, or at least check whether it needs to be replaced, each month.


  1. Descale your coffee maker to remove any build up for a fresh brew. Follow these steps!
  2. Check the salt levels in your water softener.
  3. Clear out your gutters to remove and debris left from storms.
  4. Flush unused toilets and run water through unused sinks to avoid grime build up.
  5. Clean your windows and screens to keep the sun shining in dirt-free.


  1. Service your air conditioning unit and hire a professional to remove dust and debris from your air ducts.
  2. Check for termites or bug infestation, especially in the attic or basement.
  3. Inspect your roof for leaks and damage and hire a professional to fix any issues.
  4. Check your faucets, toilets and pipes for leaks.

Every 5-10 Years

  1. Seal cracks in your driveway to make your exterior look better and avoid major safety issues down the road.
  2. Recaulk bathroom grout or window sealant to prevent mold, help save on energy an more.
  3. Paint your exterior to cover up external damage that can happen over time.

Download our yearly home maintenance checklist and keep it handy to keep up with your projects.

tools on a table for maintenance

5 Home Repairs To Make When You’re Ready To Sell

When you’re ready to sell, the goal is to work smarter, not harder, without overspending. The key is to pinpoint the most important home repairs, thus making the best possible return. Here’s our list of the top 5 home repair tips to consider when you’re ready to sell!

1. Fix Damaged Flooring

The first home repairs to consider are updating any damaged or outdated flooring to create a seamless feel throughout your home. Expect to spend about $3,000 on the project — and recoup 100% of the cost, according to the National Association of REALTORS® Remodeling Impact Report.

2. Repair Any Damanged Windows And Doors

Windows and doors need to do more than just look pretty, they also need to be functional! When buyers are touring your home, they will likely open and close windows and doors to ensure they work properly. Fix any creaking doors or cracked and squeaky windows prior to putting your home on the market.

3. Paint The Walls

Did you know that painting your walls is one of the lowest-cost home improvements? It also has the highest rate of return! Touch up your home with a fresh coat of neutral-colored paint. This will instantly give your home a fresh, updated feel.

4. Revive An Outdated Kitchen

Kitchen repairs can be very expensive, so the key is to make low-cost, high-impact repairs. Updating the hardware, installing new countertops or painting wood cabinets could do the trick.

5. Resuscitate A Dying Lawn

Your lawn is the first thing a potential buyer will see, so make a good impression! Nothing turns a potential buyer away faster than a lawn full of overgrown grass, brown patches or weeds. Consider hiring a lawn care service to get your lawn looking fresh, repair any patchy areas and pull any weeds.

Couple moving couch

10 Things To Do When You Move Into a New Home

Congratulations! You’ve bought a new home. Move in, get comfortable and check off the items on this list for your personal security and preparedness. 

  1. If you haven’t already, set up your utilities. Call your water, electric, gas, sewer and garbage companies to start your services. 
  2. Update your address of important documents, like your driver’s license, credit card, banks and subscriptions, to name just a few, and make sure your mail is being forwarded from your old address to your new home.
  3. Change all of your locks. Call a locksmith out to get new locks in place. You never know who could have access to a spare of the original locks. Also, consider whether a security system is necessary for you and your family.
  4. Reset codes, like garage openers and gates. Similar to locks, you don’t know where a code might be floating around or who might have access to them. 
  5. Test fire and carbon monoxide detectors or install ones if there aren’t any. Make sure the batteries are fresh and ready to go. 
  6. Change your air filters to ensure better airflow and lower your home’s energy usage. Also, make sure to change your air filter every three months.
  7. Get a fire extinguisher for your kitchen and each floor of your home. Better safe than sorry! 
  8. Find your circuit box and label each breaker, so you’re not guessing if a problem comes up. 
  9. Find gas and water shut-off valves in case of a gas leak or a pipe breaks so you can handle the problem right away. 
  10. Check that everything on your inspection report was addressed. If they weren’t, reach out to your REALTOR® to let them know.

Then, get comfortable, set up your new space and have piece of mind knowing your new space is ready for you!

Row of Victorian style brick houses

4 Steps to Begin a Home Renovation Project

Whether you just bought a home and are looking to update the space to fit your needs, or you’ve lived in your home for years and notice wear and tear or your preferences have changed, you might be ready to change things up. Do you know where to start? Here are the steps to follow to begin the renovation process: 

Prioritize Your Wants & Needs 

During your project, you may not be able to have everything done you want. Does the space need a full renovation, or can you just update parts of your home? Deciding the extent of the project and what needs to get done versus what you would like to have done is great to determine a budget and cost later in the process. 

Get Inspired 

Envision what you want your new space to look like, and do research to get ideas of how to get there. Look into designs and make a list of what you’ll need to purchase to get the job done. This will also help you begin to get an idea of a budget, as you determine the cost of the materials you’ll need. Check out Pinterest or Houzz to get inspired.

Research Your Budget 

Next, do your research on budgets to get an idea of the extent of your project. Is a full renovation possible, or would a partial project be more ideal? Having a general idea of what materials and furnishings will cost will also help you figure out how much you can spend when hiring someone for the job. 

Decide How to Accomplish Your Project 

Is this a smaller project, like painting or refinishing something, that you think you can do on your own? Or will a professional need to be hired? Determine which direction you want to go. 

Hiring a professional will determine if the jobs gets done correctly and up to your standards. Start getting quotes from professionals. It’s best to get more than one, to determine the best person for the job at the right price.


5 Home Renovations That Add Home Value

Not all home projects are created equal, and some add more value to your home than others. Here are the top value adding home renovations to pay for upfront, for more payoff down the line. 

Kitchen Renovations

According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Remodeling Impact Survey, not only are kitchen remodels the most appealing projects to buyers, but they are also the most likely to add value to the home for resale.

In fact, this report states there is a 59% ROI on this project.

Basement Updates

Are you looking to gain more functionality for your home and family? Renovating your basement into a living area may be the best option for you. This project will improve your joy while you live in the home, and will have pay off when you sell it.

This may be a more costly renovation according to NAR’s Remodeling Impact Survey. The report states there is a 64% ROI on this project.

Wood Flooring 

The flooring may be one surface that gets worn out the fastest from foot traffic, dirt, scratching and more. It may also be one of the best features to upgrade in your home, as it tends to pay for itself! 

According to NAR’s Remodeling Impact Survey, 106% of the value of this project is recovered when the home is sold. Even if you’re not looking to fully replace your flooring, the report states this project will provide a 100% ROI to your bottom line. It’s a win-win! 


If you have a two to three-bedroom home and only two bathrooms, adding an additional half bathroom is great to consider. Going from two bedrooms to two and a half bathrooms will add 10.5% in value to your home. 

While you’re living in your home, adding an extra bathroom may add peace of mind that surpasses the money you’ll spend on the bathroom itself by avoiding arguments and stress caused by sharing bathroom time. 

New Roofing 

Putting a new roof on your home is a money saver in multiple ways. Not only is the ROI high on this project, up to 109%, but you will also save on your energy bill too. A new roof will reduce cooling costs, add curb appeal, protect again home damage like water and much more!