Fully managed second homes
The ultimate vacation home checklist for routine maintenanceWith the help of our vacation home maintenance checklist, you’ll be able to stay on top of indoor and outdoor tasks and responsibilities. To use the checklist:
- Download it below and open the file
- Use it digitally or print it out
- Be proactive: Staying on top of regular preventative maintenance can help extend the life of your home’s major systems and give you an early warning about potential issues, which is key to avoiding costly headaches down the road.
- Stay at your home often: Just like cars, homes stay in tip-top shape when they’re used regularly. When homes sit vacant for long periods of time, unexpected problems can arise and potentially result in costly repairs.
- Install smart home tech: Consider adding smart home gadgets like security cameras with Wi-Fi that let you keep an eye on your property. Install thermostats that you can control with your phone to run your HVAC system occasionally.
Weekly vacation home maintenancePerforming these maintenance tasks every week can help keep your vacation home in great shape. If you’re unable to tend your vacation home weekly, consider hiring a property manager to assist you with the following tasks:Indoor
- Inspect light switches and replace any burnt-out light bulbs.
- Double-check keys/access and ensure that your backup key is where you left it and that all access points are working properly.
- Confirm that toilets flush properly and tanks refill as expected.
- Test your home’s faucets to assess water pressure and temperature.
- Look for leaks and examine the areas under kitchen and bathroom sinks for leaks.
- Assess the showers’ water pressure and temperature.
- Ensure all tubs and sinks are draining properly.
- Evaluate appliance performance of minor appliances like coffee machines and major appliances like the washing machine.
- Check the garbage disposal for cleanliness and functionality.
- Examine the property, particularly the kitchen, for signs of pests.
- Test your technology and Wi-Fi, including your entertainment system, remotes, streaming services and speakers and the reliability of the Wi-Fi connection throughout the entire property.
- Examine wires and cables for any signs of damage.
- Verify that the pilot light is lit for gas fireplaces or boilers.
- Closely examine your yard for signs of pest infestations or invasive weeds.
- Examine trees on the property, especially those near a pool or power lines, for any loose branches.
- Test the functionality of outdoor tech, like motion detectors, exterior cameras and outdoor lighting systems.
- Verify that all outdoor locks work correctly and gates latch securely.
- Clean and maintain the pool, including checking and adjusting the pH and chlorine levels as needed.
Monthly second home careSome maintenance responsibilities don’t require your weekly attention. Complete these tasks every month to keep your vacation home running smoothly:Indoor
- Dust all surfaces, especially those near windows or doors.
- Inspect water filters and replace them if necessary.
- Check for indications of dampness that could create mold or water damage.
- Evaluate the condition of grout and caulk in the shower and bathtub.
- Examine the showerheads for any mildew or mineral buildup.
- Check the batteries of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Check the air conditioning and heating systems to verify proper operation.
- Ensure thermostats are functioning correctly and set to an appropriate temperature.
- Inspect the security systems and cameras.
- Examine door hinges and handles throughout the property for any issues.
- Assess the condition of furniture to ensure its structural integrity.
- Inspect bedding, linens and pillows for any signs of damage or wear.
- Verify that curtains and blinds open and close smoothly without issues.
- Inspect window and door screens for holes or damage.
- Ensure all exit routes are clear of obstructions.
- Check the fire extinguisher’s expiration date.
- Examine the fireplace to ensure it is functional, the flue is clean and all accompanying accessories (gloves, tongs, etc.) are in good condition.
- Maintain the lawn by mowing and trimming foliage as needed.
- Look for holes in the ground that may be potential safety hazards.
- Ensure the barbecue grill is clean and in good working condition.
- Examine carports and fencing for damage.
- Test the security of safety railings and gates to ensure they are secure.
- Run the irrigation system and check for any leaks.
- Clean the pool and/or hot tub filter to maintain water quality and circulation.
Seasonal home maintenance checklistUsing a quarterly or seasonal home maintenance checklist is the best way to ensure your home is weather-ready. Here are your maintenance responsibilities to tend to as the seasons change:Indoor
- Replace the air filters in the HVAC system.
- Ensure the dryer vents are clear and clean.
- Conduct tests on all power outlets to ensure they are in working order.
- Review the replacement dates of all safety devices.
- Examine the kitchen hood vent filter and clean the hood vent as needed.
- Verify the furnace functions properly.
- Perform touch-up paint and seal maintenance for both interior and exterior surfaces.
- Ensure the garage door operates smoothly and properly.
- Apply fertilizer to plants and lawns to promote healthy growth.
- Drain and flush the hot tub to maintain its cleanliness and functionality.
- Clean and inspect the cladding and exterior trim for any issues or damage.
- Check gutters and drains for weather-related issues, such as ice damage.
- Review the date of the last inspection and arrange for pumping if necessary if your property has a septic system.
Yearly vacation home maintenance checklistAt the beginning or end of every year, it’s important to assess any damage your vacation home may have endured. While you’re at it, complete the following maintenance tasks to prevent further wear and tear:Indoor
- Perform a water heater flush to remove sediment buildup.
- Bleed the radiators to ensure efficient heating.
- Examine the insulation around windows and doors for cracks.
- Clean and clear sinks and drains thoroughly to prevent blockage.
- Inspect the foundation for any signs of damage or deterioration.
- Deep clean and repair the grout in the kitchen and bathroom.
- Prune trees during the winter season to encourage healthy growth.
- Plant new shrubs or flowers to enhance the property's curb appeal.
- Inspect the outdoor AC unit, especially before summer arrives.
- Restock emergency supplies if your home is in an area prone to natural disasters.
- Conduct a thorough inspection of the roof, foundation, brick pointing and other structural elements for any signs of damage.
- Check the condition of exterior caulking and reseal where needed to maintain a watertight seal.
Vacation home maintenance checklist FAQ
Can you DIY vacation home maintenance?
Yes, you can perform DIY vacation home maintenance, though the extent of what you can handle depends on your skills, experience and the specific tasks required. If you are unsure of your ability to perform a task, consider outsourcing maintenance responsibilities on a case-by-case basis.
What is a maintenance schedule?
A maintenance schedule is a planned and organized timetable or calendar that outlines when specific maintenance tasks need to be performed on your home, appliances and any asset on the property to ensure they remain in optimal working condition. Creating and sticking to a maintenance schedule ensures you know which tasks to perform and when.
What equipment do I need to maintain my vacation home?
Maintaining a vacation home requires a variety of equipment and tools. The specific equipment can vary depending on the size of your property, its location and the types of maintenance tasks required.
Beach house maintenance, for example, may require the use of a pressure washer to remove sand and salt from outdoor surfaces. Other common maintenance tools include screwdrivers, pliers and an adjustable wrench.
Do I need vacation home help from a property manager?
If your vacation or second home is in another state or country, hiring a property manager to help maintain your place may be a good idea. If you live nearby but don’t have the time to perform regular maintenance tasks, a vacation home property company can lift that responsibility from your plate.