marathonAs a Hopkinton resident, Marathon Monday signals the true beginning of Spring. On Patriots Day we watch the runners parade through town, and then I, without fanfare, ingloriously report home and officially begin Spring Maintenance.

At my house, Spring Maintenance is broken into three phases which are tackled separately, with a simple checklist, a can-do attitude and a bottle of suds as just reward after a day of hard work .

-Every home’s maintenance needs are custom. This checklist keeps my home humming-.

Part 1: Exterior Home Maintenance-

Our houses are continuously exposed to the elements. To perform, and look their best we need to maintain them. Semi-annual is a good start, and after a New England winter, Spring Maintenance often can’t come soon enough. The goal is to identify and address problems with the exterior of your home, and remedy them before Summer Sun and fun.

1: On the ladder

Gutters– There is a reason you find “cleaning gutters” on every maintenance checklist out there. Clean gutters ensure proper water drainage away from your home and serve to protect your roof, siding, foundation, and foundation plantings from water damage. Clean gutters (and downspouts!) serve the purpose of their design. Neglected gutters, not so much.

Clogged gutters lead to a host of problems including, improper drainage, pest attraction (cozy home for mice, spiders, carpenter ants), miledew/mold, damage to your home’s physical structure and plantings, wood-rot or corrosion of the gutters themselves, and ice dams.

  • Remove all leaf litter and debris from gutters
  • Fill gutters with water and check for leaks
  • Ensure downspouts are clear and draining water properly away from home
  • Gutters DONE

Windows/Doors: By design windows and doors bring the beauty of the outdoors into our homes.  Proper maintenance will ensure our cool air stays inside this summer, and pesky mosquitos, moths and their bothersome brethren are kept outside.

  • Check, and repair as needed sealing and weather stripping around windows and doors
  • Remove and wash window screens
  • Wash exterior windows
  • Install screen doors for summer season
  • Windows/Doors DONE

Siding: The siding and color of your home distinctly represent its design, character and charm.  Your home’s siding is substantial, and Spring Inspection for chinks in the armor will serve to protect and beautify.

  • Powerwash home siding
  • Check for damage from pests
    • Carpernter ants/bees
    • Birds
    • Bats
  • Inspect/sand down areas requiring paint touch-ups
  • Touch up exterior paint
  • Siding DONE, finally

2. On the roof : From the ladder to the roof, it is time for a physical inspection of how your home survived winter’s worst. To the trained eye, evidence of damage will be apparent at once. Visual clues to look for include:

  • Loose shingles
  • Popped Nails
  • Chimney/mortar damage
  • Damaged chimney/skylight flashing
  • Off the roof, DONE

3. On the Ground- Finally I am ready to check the foundation and any subterranean exterior features of my home.  Oftentimes, if not inspected, this is where critters and crawlers will attempt to take residence.

  • Inspect foundation vents and ensure screens are intact
  • Clean out window wells
  • Check exposed foundation for visible signs of water damage or cracking
  • Ground list, DONE

white_stucco_homeFor most, home maintenance is a tedium we wish we could, and sometime do neglect. However, that persistent nag in the back of our heads is right; “neglect today, problems tomorrow.” I was recently chatting with my dentist friend, and realized that we offer the same service. For your health, or your home’s, semi-annual maintenance is an absolute necessity. If you concur, but don’t have the time or inclination for DIY home maintenance, please check my Managed Services blog.

My Spring Maintenance is done. Ready for my beer, and my 6 mo. appointment at Great Hill Dental

Managed Services; Not just for IT, but for YOU

What are managed services, and are they applicable to me?  At the highest level, managed services, offer solutions by which clients are able to apply the infrastructure or product of a 3rd party, to their own business, without the overhead or expertise otherwise necessary to offer said services.

A quick Google lookup of “Why use managed services?” will offer a plethora of reasons for the popularity of this offering type:

  1. Efficiency
  2. Cost effectiveness
  3. Ability to leverage provider resources
    1. Tech
    2. Knowledge
    3. Support
    4. Personnel

Managed Services have transformed the way Tech is developed and utilized, but why have other business sectors lagged behind with this offering? And, more importantly, how can we take advantage of managed services away from the office, and in our everyday lives?

The simple reason for the gap between supply (“where are they?”) of managed services and demand (“we want them!”) is scale. Tech is built for scale; designed for rollout out to the masses with controlled impact on provider resources. Despite would-be client demand, the inability to scale labor resources renders managed services nearly obsolete outside of tech. But oh, the possibilities…

Take for example, a managed service offering for your home, or your life. An “easy button” if you will, to schedule home maintenance or assist with daily tasks: Clean the gutters, take me to the airport, set up my lawn furniture, put it away, hang my holiday lights, fix my leaky faucet, tune my AC, check on my home while I’m away, fill my fridge, clean the house, trim by shrubs. You get the picture. That would be nice. Well, now, that IS nice.

My Estate Concierge is now offering managed services to the luxury home market in the Greater Boston area. Our services are not tech (although we can help there), so availability is limited. Visit our site to see how we streamline client home and life maintenance, with a Single Point of Contact, 1 contented customer at a time.


Not sure if you’ve noticed but the greater Boston area is going through one of the biggest building booms in local history. Estates and dream homes face significant wait periods for putting foundations in, and tear-downs are as common as hedgerows in MetroWest.

The unprecedented local growth has stressed the ability of contractors to keep up with opportunities and shed light on the obvious; tradesmen are not a renewable resource. The demand for skilled workers far exceeds supply, and the shortage is further exacerbated by a shrinking­ labor pool as fewer and fewer young Americans enter the sector.

It is harder than ever to get qualified companies to take smaller jobs or maintenance projects, as their personnel resources are committed elsewhere. Unaccountability, scheduling nightmares, and sub-standard teams are pervasive in this underserved market where all too often the best, qualified resources are not available.

Homeowner frustration and the dearth of professional service providers focused on home maintenance and repair, has born a new breed of managed service company committed to filling the void with a level of professionalism and accountability uncommon in today’s marketplace.

My Estate Concierge, a locally operated Boston managed services company, welcomes the opportunity to serve your home and family.