Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

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As you go about your annual spring-cleaning ritual, take a few additional steps to save money on energy bills this summer, improve your home's appearance and ward off big-ticket repairs later.

Here are 18 things for you (or the handyman) to tackle now to help prepare your home for the warmer months and keep it in top shape.

Patricia Mertz Esswein
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Esswein joined Kiplinger in May 1984 as director of special publications and managing editor of Kiplinger Books. In 2004, she began covering real estate for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, writing about the housing market, buying and selling a home, getting a mortgage, and home improvement. Prior to joining Kiplinger, Esswein wrote and edited for Empire Sports, a monthly magazine covering sports and recreation in upstate New York. She holds a BA degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, Minn., and an MA in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University.