I recently stumbled on the website for Home Maintenance for Smart Women and contacted the author Jan Calvert to learn more about her book. She sent me a copy of the book and wrote the following excerpt which I believe our readers will find informative and educational.

Home Maintenance for Smart Women by Jan Calvert

By going through a few drawers and cupboards, you can probably come up with at least 10 instruction manuals – your cell phone, your digital camera, the microwave, your car, the coffeemaker.  And they’ll range in length from a few pages to a mind-numbing encyclopedia.  Where is the one for your house?  The largest investment most of us will ever make, and it doesn’t come with an instruction manual?

Like you, virtually all the women I know want to be responsible homeowners – to protect their investment, keep their home safe, and avoid huge expenses that could have been prevented through maintenance.  And we’re certainly capable of doing home maintenance chores – we just don’t know what all needs to be done.  Your car tells you when you need to add gas or change the oil.  Your cell phone tells you when the battery needs to be charged.  Even my toothbrush tells me when to stop brushing my teeth.  But your house is uncommunicatively silent – it just sits there, saying nothing, until it screams that it needs a new roof or new furnace – right now.

That’s why I created this manual.  Until we can all start buying houses that, like our cars, tell us when to have maintenance done, we need to know what to look for to prevent problems from starting.  While the checklists may seem dauntingly long, most of the tasks take less than 30 minutes to do.  And they’re not difficult.  Unless it involves getting into the crawlspace, I’ve done everything in it (in fact, I considered naming it, “If This Fat Middle-Aged Woman Can Do It, So Can You” – but then I lost 45 pounds).  So while I believe all of us are capable enough and smart enough to do each of the tasks, not everyone will choose to do so – there’s not enough time, it’s not enough fun, you’re just not interested.  So the purpose is not to show you how to do each of the steps – it’s to show you what needs to be done and why.  Checklists are included after each section that will become your home’s “maintenance records” as you fill them out.  But if you do absolutely none of the other tasks, please do the first three:  knowing how to turn off the water, gas and electricity to your entire house.  Your safety, and the value of your investment in your home, depend on knowing these.

By making sure maintenance gets done on your house, you will:

Maximize the value of your home by knowing all its maintenance needs
Save a lot of money by increasing the lifespan for every major component
Catch problems while they are small – before they turn into huge, expensive problems
Keep you safer by being prepared
Have a better idea of what needs to be done – so you won’t be bamboozled into believing an over-zealous handyman or contractor. 
In short, you’ll increase the value of your investment, save money, be safer and more comfortable in your home, and most importantly, be better informed.  You’ll make your home as safe and well-maintained as it is welcoming and loved.

For more information or to get a copy go to: www.forsmartwomen.net