It’s an exciting experience: building a custom home that will be a family landmark for years and even decades to come. If you’ve just moved in and still have the smell of fresh paint lingering in your home, maintenance is probably the last thing on your mind.

But now is the time to keep your brand-new home looking attractive so it never loses its value, no matter how long you stay in it. At Arthur Rutenberg Homes, we pride ourselves on high-quality custom home building in the Hendersonville and Nashville area, so that your new home meets and even exceeds your expectations from the day you move in. But no matter how high of quality your home is, it can still start to deteriorate without a little regular maintenance and TLC.

The good news is, a newly constructed home is much easier to maintain than an older, used home. And if you’re designing a custom home, you can choose high-quality flooring, counters, and high-efficiency appliances and fixtures. An American Housing Survey a few years ago found that owners of newly built homes typically spent less than $25 a month on routine maintenance, largely because new home building materials are designed to last.

Still, it’s worthwhile to plan ahead. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) offers a book that’s perfect for owners of brand-new homes to plan and organize their maintenance efforts. The book offers monthly checklists for home maintenance, as well as a place to organize all of your warranties, as well as contact information and details for repairs or replacements on things within your home. You’ll also get advice on troubleshooting any problems that do arise.

You can put together your own binder if you’d prefer. Make a note of routine things that need to be done and mark on a calendar when to do them. For instance, you should clean your air conditioner’s drainage pipes, flush your hot water heater, and aerate your lawn once a year. Tile grout should be sealed and A/C grills and coils should be cleaned every six months. Your air filters need to be changed every other month and the drain bin of your dishwasher should be cleaned monthly.

Your binder can also include instructions for simple do-it-yourself repairs and help you determine when you need to call in a professional.

Remember, a little simple, routine maintenance will go a long way toward keeping your home looking beautiful for years and decades to come. You won’t regret making the effort when you’ve got multiple generations of your family enjoying your custom home.