Maintenance Priorities List

1. Fix the fascia

2. Fix the gutters & install rainhandlers

3. Energy efficiency

4. Keep money on hand for HVAC repair/replacement

See also: EnergyEfficiencyProjects

NASCO Properties Maintenance Report for Sasona

March 2011

The house is looking really good. It's exciting to see the amount of work that the members have been putting into the grounds, and the common areas. As Jim mentioned, it might make sense to come up with a comprehensive maintenance plan for the next year's budget. This may already exist – I was not able to meet with Mark to tour the house, and it sounded at the meeting like he's giving thought to how the house should improve. I also understand that Donny has a lot of interest in making the house more efficient, which should get worked into the maintenance plan for the house – especially since work on efficiency will save the house money in the future, especially over the summer.

Some of the work that can be done, like replacing windows, can take place over several years (with the windows absorbing the most heat being replaced first). Some of it may be a project that cannot fit inside the regular yearly maintenance budgets, like adding a shower to the darkside, and would require some lead time to plan for.

This list is mainly high-priority items, although there are more cosmetic projects to tackle that should make it into a longer-term plan. Examples of this sort of work might include replacing the remaining carpet with hardwood/bamboo, replacing the peeling siding on the darkside, or other less vital items.

Major projects:

· Energy work. Energy conservation should begin with replacing the worst of the windows. As mentioned above, this can be done as money allows, since a few of the worst windows could be replaced each year. To start on this effort, I would suggest an energy audit done for the house. It’s a good investment. Austin Energy provides audits for houses, and includes prices and any available rebates in the results of the audit.

· Finishing Ruth's room. Having this open exposure to the attic is going to make her room miserable in the summer, and will cost a fair amount of money in electricity. If the house is having a hard time finding a contractor willing to take on such an unprofitable project, you might consider bundling it with some other carpentry work that could be done.

· Adding paneling to the attic-side of the attic bedroom. At the moment, the walls to this room are drywall backed by insulation, but there is no paneling/drywall on the side of the wall facing the attic. You would save a great deal of energy by putting a layer of drywall or plywood on the inside to create a better barrier between the air conditioned room and the heat of the unfinished attic.

· Clean out the ridge vents on the roof. This can be done very quickly using the leafblower (with a helper on the ground to move the extension cord). These vents allow the heat of the attic to escape out the peak of the roof, but they are currently clogged with oak leaves. While on the roof, it's also very easy to clean the gutters and get rid of the oak leaves and chinaberries using the leaf blower.

Kitchen work

· The new mop sink and surround look great!

· The sanitizer may be something that can be repaired by a professional, or it may need to be replaced. The damage from the leaks will be addressed in a moment, but the sanitizer doesn't seem to be working as well as it should. I STRONGLY recommend that if the sanitizer needs to be replaced, it be replaced with another sanitizer – they are much better suited to a large kitchen, since they take about 1/20th as long per load of dishes as a conventional dishwasher, and use less energy.

· If the machine needs to be replaced, you can replace it with another full height model like the ones you have, or you could replace it with an under-counter model – which works just as well, but doesn't have the ability to slide dish trays in and out at standing height. If you used an under-counter model, which is cheaper, you could consider using the cost savings and extra space to purchase a 3 compartment sink, or to add working space next to the stove.

· The damage caused by the water from the dish sink and the leaking sanitizer doesn't seem severe at this point, but it's clear that a great deal of water is leaking. The subfloor is very heavy duty here, and also allows the excess water to drain between the boards (rather than pooling and causing more damage). The water is causing some minor warping, which is partly why the large tiles on around the sink area are cracking. It would be fairly cheap and easy to replace these tiles, and prying some of them up might give you a better view of the damage to the floor, which would tell us whether any of the subfloor actually needs repair or replacement.

· You should buy some more corner tiles for the edge of the counter and have them grouted into place. These tiles are cheap, and installing them isn't a very difficult project... although you'll want to be sure to give them enough time to dry and cure so that they stay in place.

Grounds issues

· Repair the rotted fascia boards under the gutters, adjust the gutters to drain better, and if possible find a cover for them that actually works. We don’t know how much this will cost, but hiring a “handy-person” at an hourly rate might be the best way to proceed. Make sure the new wood gets sealed/painted before the gutters are replaced! The worst spots are on the south face of the building, over Trip and Emily's rooms.

· Related to this, I would suggest investigating rainhandler system in place of traditional gutters. This approach disburses the rain into a mist, and it also avoids any drainpipers that can get clogged by the trees. Take a look at for more information.

· You have a number of species that are establishing on the grounds which will become very difficult to remove if you wait much longer – in particular the Ligistrum and Chinaberry trees sprouting, mainly on the south and east sides of the yard. You also have a few hackberry saplings growing next to the edge of the house in this area. All of these should be pulled up by the roots, although the house may decide that a few Chinaberry trees are far enough along to let them stay.

· On the southwest corner of the house, near the fire pit, you should keep an eye out for water drainage the next time you get a good rain. There is a shallow ditch along the south side of the house that was created to drain water away from the house, which drains to another ditch headed away to the apartments to your south. If water builds up near the house, it should be easy to open this ditch back up to allow the water to drain away down the hill.

Minor maintenance concerns:

· Tree trimming or removal. The trees on the south side of the house are starting to brush on the roof and should be trimmed back or removed before they destroy the shingles or drop some limbs on the roof.

· Replace the railing on the limestone patio behind the house. You should make sure that you meet City code for railings. Some of the re-used materials may be fine, but some of those materials look like they may be inadequate to pass city code.

· Shore up the damage to the stone porch. Particularly on the north stairs, the stones are beginning to come apart. You could build a quick concrete mold around where you want the stones to be, and set the stones into some poured concrete.

Daniel Miller


SasonaWiki: MaintenancePrioritiesList (last edited 2011-04-27 16:50:21 by Parker)