basic home maintenance guide

We just bought a home built in 2000 located in a summertime humid climate. We used to live in a dry climate where water damage was pretty much unheard of.
It looks to be about ready for paint, and the front covered porch floor is rotting in several spots, so that needs work. Also, some of the siding where the planks butt together look like they should be caulked, and maybe some caulking around the exterior of the window. And there are some leaks in the gutters and some of the facia board (the finished edge of the roof?) looks to be black/rotting.
Overall it's in great shape, but in need of some 8+ year maintenance.
What else do I need to look for? What are the solutions to these? When/where and how do I do the caulking?
Looking for basic problem identification and resolution.
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Start with these:
http://www.ci.lakewood.oh.us/pdf/HomeGuide/1-2%20Basic%20Home%20Maintenance.pdf
http://msucares.com/pubs/publications/p1505.html
Once you've got a general idea of what items need to be considered, head off to your local bookstore and browse through their offerings to which books cover the items you are interested in.
As a first time homeowner 20+ years ago, I learned a lot from this book - still have it -
Renovation: A Complete Guide by Michael W. Litchfield John Wiley & Sons; Inc - Publisher TH4816.l57 643'.7 82-7100 ISBN 0-471-04903-4 AACR2
Don't let the word "renovation" scare you away. I have found renovation guides to be very good at explaining what is going on in older homes, as well as providing some examples on how to repair problems. Sometimes figuring out what is supposed to be happening goes a long way towards figuring out why it isn't!
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Rot after only 8 years would make me think some things were not done right originaly.
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Rot is certain on the covered porch - wrap around - floor. It's tongue and groove, which IMO was not the best choice. It makes a nice porch, but water pools in some spots and does not drain well enough. The outside edges of the floor are exposed to the elements also.
We are in NE KS and it's humid here much of the year. I may try to replace some boards, sand, and apply a good coat of paint.
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coloradotrout wrote:

What hold up the porch on the outside edge? Posts sitting on concrete blocks, like a deck? Stare at it awhile, and see if there is any way to shorten the posts about a half inch or so, even if you have to add that quarter inch back above the deck, under the posts that hold up the roof. A little slope to the porch deck will slow down the rot a bunch. Slope it the same direction as the t&G grooves, of course. Most porches are amazingly flexible, and fine-tuning reality is often possible. A botttle jack and a few blocks to 'unload' one column at a time makes things go easier. Hillbilly solution, if there is drainage under the porch- just drill a few weep holes at the ponding points. They don't need to be big.
-- aem sends...
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Posts sitting on concrete blocks indeed -- 8" x 8" posts
In fact one of the concrete blocks has settled a bit and the post is not touching it -- the framing is "hanging" the post.
I shudder to think about cutting the post - a) because I hate messing with structural components and b) because I'm not sure how I'd get a straight, clean cut across the 8x8.
But the posts run from the concrete pad to the supported "roof/ ceiling" -- which then joins into the roof of the house (it's one continuous roof).
But.. somehow the floor of the porch has to be "tied into" those posts. Maybe I can drop that a bit. I'll have to see if I have intermediate support -- but doubt it -- the porch is only about 6 foot wide, so probably joists from house to the stringers on the posts (my terms could well be wrong here).
And yes, to the other post, it is the outer boards that are decaying. A few spot inner boards should be replaced also. And the porch is open , aka not enclosed - but the roof does extend over it.
http://www.dongardner.com/images.aspx?pid=163&fn=floorplans%5c2351_f.gif
So it sounds like I should replace the decayed boards, and then apply some good paint -- currently white and worn.
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On Tue, 6 Jan 2009 13:59:54 -0800 (PST), coloradotrout

My experience with T&G is that it is a great product for properly sloped porch floors that are exposed to the elements. It lasts much longer than other flooring products under roof cover. In closed situations, so far my experience has been fine based on closing up a back porch and retaining the original floor (had to replace the outermost boards first, which had rotted from years of exposure).
What would be your best choice of flooring?
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I was thinking a trex-like product.
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but I like your optimism for the T&G - -it's leaning me towards trying a repair/replace with a fresh coat of paint
I'd prefer to have used a colored stain, but not sure if I can get all the old paint off w/o major effort
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On Tue, 6 Jan 2009 10:59:40 -0800 (PST), coloradotrout

There is a one word reminder of what can reduce the value of your investment more than anything else. It is WATER.
Water can damage from roof leaks that will destroy interiors or cause mold problems, and water can be even more damaging from basement/foundation leaks. Always be on the lookout for ways to stop water damage.
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