Before You Head North: A Last-Minute Checklist

Before You Head North: A Last-Minute Checklist

BY Theresa Ulrich On

Your home is one of your biggest investments, and if you’re getting ready to head north for the season, it’s important to ensure that it will be ready to welcome you when you return. Before you leave, be sure to run through this last-minute checklist to keep your home in top shape while you’re away. While doing these things can’t guarantee that you’ll head back to a problem-free home, taking the time to attend to these details will go a long way in protecting your property.

Save Electricity and Money

  • Unplug small appliances and electronics.
  • Unplug your water heater or shut off the breaker to it.
  • Temporarily disconnect unused utilities and services.

Protect Your Appliances

  • Empty your dishwasher and leave the door open.
  • Ensure your washing machine is empty and leave the lid open.
  • Set your refrigerator at the warmest setting and be sure the ice maker is turned off; remove all perishables and leave bottles or bowls of water inside to help maintain the ambient temperature. 

Avoid Damage 

  • Program your thermostat so that your air conditioner runs for a few hours each day; or (if you don’t have a programmable thermostat) set the temperature at 76-78 degrees. Keep humidity below 50%.
  • Turn off the main water valve. 
  • Open all interior doors, including closet and cabinet doors, to promote air circulation.
  • Make sure smoke detectors work and have fresh batteries. 

Be Prepared for a Storm

  • Place lanai furniture indoors.
  • Be sure the yard is clear of any objects that could become airborne during a storm.
  • Install and secure hurricane shutters.
  • Ensure gutters are clean and that water flows freely.

Safeguard Your Home and Possessions

  • Have your mail forwarded to your northern address if applicable. (It’s quick and easy to do online!)
  • Set timers on indoor and outdoor lighting.
  • Take valuables with you, or place them in a safety deposit box. 
  • Avoid publicly sharing on social media that you are away.
  • Arrange for a home watch company to check in on your home periodically. Be sure to interview someone from the company and check its credentials before you hand over the keys. (Check out this guide to selecting a home watch provider to learn more.)
  • Close all blinds and curtains.
  • Be sure all doors and windows are locked.

Your time away from your home is the perfect opportunity to give it an update. By scheduling a remodel for the season when you’re up north, you can avoid the hassles of living in a work in progress. And, when you plan a renovation or addition with KGT Builders, you can be sure that your home will be treated with the utmost care and that you’ll stay in the loop each step of the way. Our custom client portal will give you instant access to updates and photos of the progress on your project and enable you to easily sign documents from anywhere with an internet connection. Contact us before you leave to schedule your complimentary no-touch or virtual consultation. 

Our thanks to Diane Pisani, founder of Your Home Watch and co-founder of the International Home Watch Alliance, for consulting on this blog.