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Collapsing building © Daniel Friedman Home & Building Maintenance Guides & Reminders
Tools, Sources, Reviews

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Building & home maintenance: recommendations for home & building maintenance checklists, calendars, reminder services & data services. Here we list smartphone apps, computer software, books, & guides focused on defining and scheduling home and light commercial building mainteance chores.

The idea that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is not new, nor is the idea that in the clamor for your attention by family, friends, work, email, and your car, remembering to change the furnace filter or clean the gutters is not always at the top of every homeowner's "to do" list. But for the women and men who inspect buildings for a living, bugs, leaks, and loose stuff can translate quickly into bucks, losses, and lawsuits. So a smart to-do reminder that lets you know about important tasks in time to avoid trouble is not a bad idea. Mark Healy from ZogDigital invited us to take a look at Allstate's Home Maintenance Reminder. Here is what we found.



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Home Maintenance Guides & Procedures

Take a look at some of these free home maintenance reminder services and then read our review of one of them just below. Most of these tools are free. Several are found right here at InspectApedia.com.

Home Maintenance Reminder Tools & Programs

Reminder Tool Name Platform - runs-on Source Link Comments
About One Website About One Family organizer tool for storing your home's data at a website. Not a reminder, not specifically designed for home maintenance? Early in development, companion tools promises.
Allstate Maintenance Reminder Website: PCs, Macs, via web browser & email Allstate™ Home Maintenance Reminder

Use existing list or add your own home maintenance chores, receive notice by email.
Not ready for prime time.
See our review below

BUILDING DEFECTS LISTS Website encyclopedia InspectAPedia®_Home Inspector Education Lists of types of defects for all 40+ residential building components & systems, useful as an inspection topic guide. Not a maintenance checklist.
Home Maintenance Reminder Smartphone App
Android & iPhone
Mike Perry Have to install to see functions available.
Home Reference Book Book
of home diagnosis & maintenance advice available in printed form
and as an

E-book

The Home Reference Book

Carson Dunlop Associates

Extensive "how to" data, no calendar reminder features.
Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.

Home Spot Website
PCs, Macs, via web browser
HomeSpot Website collects home data
House Maintenance Schedule Smartphone App
Android Smartphones
Cooloy.com, at Google Play Easy to use, not easy to customize
MAINTENANCE GUIDES Website encyclopedia InspectAPedia®_common maintenance schedules, guides Detailed maintenance guides for most home & light commercial building components & systems
MAINTENANCE PRIORITIES Website article InspectAPedia®_Dan's_3_D's sets Order of Maintenance & Repairs Short article explains which maintenance & repair items should be scheduled first. Not a checklist.
Pro Home Manager Software
PCs, Macs
Pro Home Manager PC World review
SAFETY HAZARDS at HOMES Website encyclopedia InspectAPedia®_Home Safety Hazards Lists safety defects across most home areas, components, systems, useful as an inspection guide, not a maintenance checklist.

Notes:

Home maintenance reminder tools & checklists can be listed here at no cost; InspectApedia reserves the right to edit, review, list, not-list topics, products, services discussed at the InspectApedia.com website.

Allstate Home Maintenance Reminder - free reminder-calendar from Allstate Insurance

Allstate's free maintenance reminder tool - Allstate Insurance

With countless programs and smartphone apps that serve to remind us of appointments & tasks we were invited to review a free online service provided by Allstate Insurance intended to improve home durability and safety and reduce home operating costs and damage by offering reminders of home maintenance chores.

The free Allstate Home Maintenance Reminder is at http://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/maintenance-reminder.aspx

At the Allstate Website (link above) you take three steps (in addition to actually doing the maintenance chore itself):

  1. Register, including providing the company with your email address - which makes sense if you expect to be "reminded" later-on
  2. Set reminder dates: edit a company-provided list of maintenance chores, setting the date on which you want to be reminded and adding optional notes such as contractor contact data. You can also add additional reminders on your own
  3. Watch your email: you will receive notifications from the Allstate reminder program

The reminder service is set up to handle home or automobile maintenance chores but given that you can enter your own reminder items, you could add just about anything (Remember mom's birthday). .

InspectAPedia is an independent publisher of building, environmental, and forensic inspection, diagnosis, and repair information provided free to the public - we have no business nor financial connection with any manufacturer or service provider discussed at our website. 


What's Good About the Allstate Reminder Website

What's Iffy

For people like me who don't much like being asked to register, even giving an email, just to see online information, my first reaction at seeing the Allstate Home Maintenance Reminder screen was not to click on "Get Started" so I clicked on the "Learn More" button instead.

The "Learn More" button displays a screen that says home or auto maintenance is a good idea. Nothing on the page was intriguing. But hidden in the small-print text are three links that we have pasted verbatim along with our comments just below.

  1. Following the maintenance schedule - which displays a Home Maintenance Checklist. The "Checklist" mixes narrative with names of tasks ("Change your HVAC filter every 3 months" that in link-form display more explanatory information about each task. The tasks include items such as Check Your Fire Extinguisher, Clean Your Dryer Vent, Clean Your Gutters, Clean Your Washing Machine, Maintain Your Generator, Change Your Home Air Filter, HVAC Tune-Up, Inspect Your Roof, Maintain Your Underground Sprinkler System, Change Your Pool Filter, Inspect Your Sump Pump, Test Your Carbon Monoxide Alarm, Test Your Home for Radon, Test Your Smoke Alarms, Trim Your Trees, Maintain Your Water Heater.

    This is not a maintenance schedule, it's a random walk list.

    This is not even a checklist. Important items are missing: Air conditioner & heating systems lack detail - but then that may be up to you in writing your maintenance calendar - you'll be making your own list. Do you know how? Do you know what should be in it and at what priority and what schedule?

    But even if you have all of these items (not everyone has an underground sprinkler or a swimming pool) there are some mistakes in the "list:

    Some of the tasks (radon testing) are something you do once, not every year.

    Other tasks seem to be missing, hard to find, inaccurately described,

    No guidance is given for how to set a priority of choosing what things to do first when maintaining a home or other building.
  2. Regular maintenance - which displays a photo of a cute girl hugging her car and suggests rotating your car's tires, changing the oil, and changing the air filter, wiper blades, brake pads &c; each of these links to more information to help you figure out if it's time.
  3. Sign up for the Allstate Maintenance Reminder - hops back over to the start page where you're invited to Set Up your home maintenance reminder system

What's Ugly

Lost in Space?

Alstate building reminder toolWebsite navigation could be better: click your way through to the gutter maintenance page and try finding a quick link back to the start of the system. No way. Just endless back-arrow clicking.

Try signing up and setting up your home and your first reminder. Check out the reminder "Frequency" setting - after all this is the key event, right?

The drop down menu presents some options with no obvious way to scroll down past 6 months - in other words, even as a computer expert with experience dating to 1965, I could not see how to schedule anything less frequent than at 6-month intervals.

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Bottom Line

The Allstate home maintenance reminder website design, content, and navigation are ... well ... incomplete. Stay tuned; when the system is improved it might be a useful feature for folks who don't keep another electronic calendar for reminders.

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