Basic Home Maintenance Tips
Remember that home maintenance is not limited to home repairs. It’s important to remember basics such as weatherization, plumbing maintenance, gutter, window and chimney cleaning, furnace checks and more – all can keep your home in good shape over time.
Annual Basic Home Repair Checklist
Print this list off annually and post it on your refrigerator.
Hiring a Contractor
Making repairs to your home can be a big investment. Hiring the right contractor is key to the success of your project. It is important to take the time to do your homework before hiring someone to work on your home. Obtaining multiple written bids, checking references, talking to your friends and neighbors, using a clear and detailed contract and not paying for the job upfront are all important.
The City of Milwaukee posts a list of licensed Home Improvement Contractors at: www.milwaukee.gov/cityclerk/license/LicenseSearch (scroll down to “Home Improvement Contractor Licenses”)
The Federal Trade Commission publishes this consumer guide offering advice and tips for selecting and hiring a contractor: www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0242-hiring-contractor
This Old House has these Pro Tips on how to hire and work with a contractor.
Many of the programs and financial assistance offered require that homeowners be current on their home insurance policy. If you are having trouble accessing and keeping our home insurance, contact the Community Insurance Information Center, your source for free information about insurance: insuranceinfo-ciic.org or (414) 291-5360.
Lead Paint & Pipes: Many urban areas have older housing stock where lead paint and pipes are a concern and can be a factor for the safety of your family. The resources listed below can help you address their impact.
Information about Lead Poisoning can be found at www.epa.gov/lead or by calling 1-800-424-LEAD.
Check out these Lead-Safe Home Improvement Procedures before your start your next project.
Lead Water Service Lines: City ordinance requires that lead water service lines be replaced under certain circumstances such as when a lead service line is leaking, damaged during planned construction, or when the Milwaukee Water Works replaces the city-owned section on a planned or emergency basis. All property owners who choose to use the city contractor to replace their section of lead service line qualify for special assessment financing. Additionally, owners with one- to four-dwelling units who choose to use the city contractor qualify for a city cost-share.
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) Primary Prevention Program: Provides resources to make properties lead safe in Milwaukee. Through this program, eligible property owners are provided a grant to replace original windows that have lead-based paint. In older homes with lead-based paint, windows are a primary source of lead-based paint chips and leaded dust.
Get more information at (414) 225-5987 or www.city.milwaukee.gov/health/lead-Poisoning
It is important to make sure that your house is properly prepared for the winter months. Resources can include weatherization and energy efficiency improvements, and workshops by community-based organizations and home improvement stores. Check out these tips from Popular Mechanics and this checklist from Lowe’s to help you get started.
Check out our Home Repair Resources page for links to various programs and resources that can help you make improvements, repairs and winterize your home.