How Can You Protect that Big Investment in Your Home?

The Best Way is to Have a Home Maintenance Plan

It’s hot here in Kansas right now and doesn’t look like it will be cooling down any time soon. They’re predicting 100+ degree weather for the next several days. That makes me sweat just thinking about it.

Having said that…I realize that we’re just a few weeks away from fall, and it will be freezing before you know it. As I was thinking about this, I realized that it won’t be long before I need to be getting ready for winter.

It’s time to get the Home Maintenance Plan out.

Home maintenance – Prevents breakdowns, saves money, and keeps your home in the best possible condition. This regularly scheduled review can expose conditions that might not otherwise be found. This reduces mental, physical, and financial stress and strain.

Seasons happen every year and are a natural part of life. Each of these seasons presents different weather conditions and temperatures which affect your home in varying ways. We often use calendars to schedule our lives. Combining the seasons and our calendars into a Home Maintenance Checklist breaks a big responsibility into small manageable scheduled tasks.

It’s easy for the busy activities of everyday life to consume us, and home maintenance gets overlooked. This is why I prepared a Home Maintenance Plan and Check List. It’s available for free at our Solution Building website. Just follow the links, fill out the form, and download it for free.

This includes plans for monthly, quarterly, annual, and seasonal maintenance including a seasonal check list.


MONTHLY MAINTENANCE – These tasks should be done every month. You might prefer to schedule one day to do them all or spread them out over the month doing one or two items periodically throughout.

Monthly Maintenance includes things like –

  • Cleaning garbage disposals
  • Cleaning range hood filters
  • Inspecting fire extinguishers
  • Cleaning washing machines

QUARTERLY MAINTENANCE – These quarterly tasks, like the monthly ones, can be scheduled for one day each quarter or disbursed throughout the quarter at monthly, weekly, or other intervals. The important thing is to schedule them and do them.

Quarterly Maintenance includes things like –

  • Changing HVAC filters
  • Testing smoke/carbon monoxide detectors
  • Testing GFCI receptacles
  • Checking water softener salt levels

ANNUAL MAINTENANCE (By Season) – Annual tasks are more seasonal than monthly or quarterly. There is still some flexibility that can be determined by your own preference or life schedule. Some of them are not specific to the season but have been placed as they have, to spread more evenly throughout the year.

Annual Fall Maintenance includes things like –

  • Service central heating systems
  • Cover or removing window air conditioners
  • Closing or covering foundation vents
  • Cleaning out gutters
  • Cleaning out basement window wells
  • Turning off and flushing outdoor water faucets
  • Chimneys cleaned and inspected
  • Checking entry door and window hardware

Even this small portion of the complete Home Maintenance list can seem overwhelming. But like any big project, if you break it down into individual tasks, spread them out, and schedule them, it’s doable, like eating an elephant one bite at a time.

It’s a lot better to routinely do maintenance than wait until something falls apart.

That’s why home maintenance can help you preserve and protect that big investment of your home.

Get your free Home Maintenance Plan and Check List here.

Having the Right Builder Can Help Protect Your Home Investment

The Question is, How Do You Know If You Have the Right One or Not?

In our last post we discussed how expensive home construction can be and the importance of knowing your builder.

If you’re not careful, building the home of your dreams can become a nightmare.

The number of times I’ve heard people say that building their new home was the worst experience of their life is too many. This is not how construction projects should be remembered.

So, as a construction customer, how can you avoid this from happening to you?

I recommend using the 5-step BUILD process.

This simple system will help you avoid construction catastrophes.

  • Being aware that there are problems when it comes to construction. If you’ve never been involved in a construction project, they can look pretty smooth from the outside. Not so much. Part of the problem is that the professionals that do this every day know this and are prepared for it. Construction customers on the other hand can be surprised when this happens.
  • Understanding what the problems are and what to do about them. If you know about the problems and are prepared it makes the process much easier to handle. There’s nothing quite so upsetting as when you’re expecting one thing and it’s not what you get.
  • Information and Instruction. This step requires some research or guidance from someone who knows construction. This Information includes things like knowing what the processes and procedures of construction are or simply knowing what questions to ask. You can search the internet for the basic information but if you don’t know construction, it can be hard to tell what you can trust and what you can’t. This is where it is helpful to find a trusted professional.  
  • Learning can give the inexperienced construction customer confidence to ask questions of a professional builder. Being Informed and Instructed will help you Learn about the construction process so that you won’t be afraid to ask your builder questions.

A big part of the problem is that most builders either don’t realize customers are intimidated by them or they don’t care.

  • Delivery of the DREAM is the final step of this process. This should be the goal of both the customer and the builder. It’s where all the scary, hard work and time pays off. The customer gets the home of their Dreams and the contractor makes a profit.

To achieve that dream it’s important to have a builder you can trust.

Bridging this gap between construction companies and customers is why here at Solution Building we’ve developed the 5-step BUILD process. This will help construction companies Be aware, Understand, get Information and Learn. Implementing this process pays off for both the customer and the builder when the Dream is Delivered.

This system includes a Business BUILDing Toolbox for Construction Companies full of document templates and instructions for things like:

  • Proposals
  • Contracts
  • Change Orders
  • Payment Applications
  • Profit Comparisons
  • Job Costs
  • Saving Account Transfers
  • OneNote systems and processes

There are also individual and group training courses available as well as custom designing and building of business systems for individual companies.

If you know of a builder or construction company that you think could benefit from this 5-step BUILD system, have them contact us for a free 30-minute construction company consultation.

Your Home is One of Your Biggest Investments

That’s Why it’s Important to Know Who Your Builder Is

Building a new home is expensive, but the same is true for remodeling.

Let’s face it…construction of any kind costs a lot.

Currently the average cost to build a new house is around $300,000.00 not including the land. Like anything, this price will vary depending on what you want in your dream home. There’s a wide range of materials and workmanship that will affect the final price. The size of the home and location are also determining factors.

The national average price per square foot is $150.00. This means that a $300,000.00 price would get you a 2,000 square foot home.

The final price comes down to what you want in your home. It’s like looking at a bag of groceries – until you know what’s in it, you can’t know what it’s going to cost.

It makes a difference whether that bag is full of tissue paper or steak.

Most people don’t realize how much these choices can affect the price. Some of the things that have the biggest impact are –

  • Construction style – This could be a simple ranch style on a concrete slab or a multi-level house on a finished basement with high ceilings, a complicated roof and wrap around porches or somewhere in between.
  • Windows – These can be simple single hung vinyl windows all the way to custom triple pane wood windows with window treatments between the panes.
  • Cabinets –This is another place where there is a big difference in quality and styles. You could use simple basic lumberyard cabinets with veneered manufactured wood, or you might choose custom made real wood cabinets with specialty options.
  • Countertops – Can be pre-manufactured plastic laminate going all the way to custom solid surface or marble.
  • Flooring – There are a lot of flooring options, both solid surface and carpet. Sheet vinyl flooring is much less expensive the ceramic tile, and, in the middle, there’s a range of luxury vinyl. Carpeting can be a lightweight inexpensive product or a very expensive wool.
  • Plumbing fixtures – Even the lower priced plumbing fixtures aren’t cheap, and higher priced ones can be scary expensive.
  • Electrical fixtures – It’s amazing how many different styles and qualities of electrical fixtures there are, not to mention the number of cool new electrical gadgets that are out there.
  • Woodwork – You can choose to have simple basic base and casing installed or you can have multipiece custom made woodwork done. Not to mention that there is an enormous number of woodwork things like stairways, mantels, post and beams that can be done.
  • Finishes and features – Painting and staining are one of those things that most people see as a simple process that shouldn’t cost that much. What they don’t realize is that there is a lot more to it than simply brushing on a coat of paint. Preparation is the part that makes a huge difference to the finished product. The same is true for staining and applying the clear finish. This isn’t even taking into account custom paints and finishes.

These things are just a small part of what needs to be considered when building your dream home, and this is just the financial part.

In addition to the dollars and cents, there’s an emotional cost that comes with a home construction project. The emotional part can be a lot more expensive and is harder to measure. Most of the time this part of the construction process isn’t given much though.

That’s why it’s important when considering a construction project to know how to BUILD.

This doesn’t mean knowing everything about construction, rather it means knowing how to navigate the process so you can avoid the overwhelm that happens too often.

This is where having the right builder comes in. In our next post we’ll explore what you should look for in a builder and how rare it is to find a good one.

The More Important Your Priority, the More You’re Willing to Spend

Being Clear About What’s Most Important Will Show Up in Your Actions

Today, January 6th, is the start of Epiphany. The commemoration of the three kings visiting Baby Jesus and giving Him their gifts. Most are familiar with the story in Matthew 2:1-12 of these wise men traveling the long-distance, led by a star and their faith.

At the time, Herod was king. He was sly and ruthless. Willing to do whatever it took to stay in power.

In an effort to find Jesus, the wise men were asking around Jerusalem about where they could find the King of the Jews.

When Herod heard about this new King, he was scared that he might lose his position of power.

Herod had a meeting with the wise men and asked them to come back after they found Jesus and let him know where He was so that he could go and worship Him too.

The three kings were faced with a risky choice…which king would they honor?

If they reported to Herod, there will be less risk of him hunting them down and killing them. Or they could worship Jesus and earn a ruthless enemy.

After the three kings found Jesus and gave Him their gifts, God told them in a dream to not tell Herod. So, they went home a different way.

They made the right choice.

The message of Epiphany is that every person must choose which king to honor. The king of worldly power or the King of Peace.

Throughout every day we are faced with one decision after another. Some bigger, some smaller, but ultimately each and every one of those decisions are the same as the three wise men faced.

Which King are we going to honor?

God will do the same for us that He did for the wise men.

He will let us know what we should do if we will just listen.

As we begin the season of Epiphany and start this new year, full of opportunities and possibilities, be prepared to decide which King you’re going to honor and make your decisions accordingly.

Nobody said it would be easy, but ultimately, the investment is worth it.