Welcome to the home of Fidalgo Home Watch. Our home watch services are designed with one thing in mind… To make your time away from home as worry-free as possible! Not only will we provide you with a thorough and reliable home watch service, but we’re also on call to handle any needs that may arise in your absence.
Hopefully this page will answer any questions and help you determine if our services would be beneficial.
A little bit about ourselves: We are life-long residents, James & Martha Harper, and we feel know this town well. Our Window Cleaning company, Anacortes Window Cleaning, has been going strong for 15 years now. In fact, it was while working in that business that we discovered the demand for Home Watch in Anacortes. Let’s face it, as beautiful as our Island is in the Spring and Summer it can also get pretty dark and gloomy during the Winter months. Unless you were born and raised here and are used to “weathering” these months you may be inclined to migrate to warmer climates during this period. As James got to know his window cleaning clients on a personal level the question emerged, “Would you consider watching over our house while we’re in ________.”
Thus, Fidalgo Home Watch was born. For nearly 10 years now we have been providing a customized home watch service to the residents of Fidalgo Island. That brings us to our services…
What is Home Watch? In short, it’s periodic checks on your home to make sure everything’s well on the home front. To answer question of what Home Watch would be for you, we would first have to ask you a few of our own questions. Our Home Watch service is tailored to your need’s.
This service can include both inside/out and just an exterior check. Depending on what level of service you choose this could include:
~ Checking the exterior perimeter of house for any signs (water damage, fallen debris, pests, etc.) of damage.
~ Checking roof areas (where visible) for any fallen debris.
~ Check that all doors, windows & screens are secure and show no signs of forced entry.
~ Check front entry for packages, leaflets, phone books, etc. and remove if present.
~ Take out & collect trash or recycling bins from curbside if necessary.
~ Check that contracted lawn maintenance services are being performed.
~ Visually check lawn and landscape for dry or extremely wet areas.
~ Check that all outside faucets are secure and not leaking.
~ Maintain bird baths & outdoor feeders (hummingbird & seed).
~ Maintain outdoor water features or spas.
~ Water outside plants.
~ Check irrigation system, fine tune adjustments.
~ Clean & maintain gutters, roof moss treatments or timed window cleaning for your arrival back home.
~ Collect & sort mail, forward anything if needed.
If choosing interior service as well some options include:
~ Check that alarm system is set and functioning properly.
~ Check overall interior condition for any signs of trespassing or damage.
~ Run inside faucets & toilets to replenish reservoir’s, look for signs of leaking.
~ Check that refrigeration units are working properly & check for leaks.
~ Check for any unusual smells.
~ Check that thermostat is properly set.
~ Check that timer-activated lights are set, rotate to different areas if needed.
~ Check that smoke detectors are working, replace batteries as needed.
~ Care for your feline friend (replenish food & water, change litter box, give affection).
~ Water interior plants.
~ Check answering machine and relay any important information.
~ Start & idle vehicles as needed.
~ Supervise any of your homes contracted needs (carpet cleaner, housekeeper, landscaper, etc.).
~ As needed, oversee any plumbing or contracting work (arranged through your preferred service)
A seasonal home is susceptible to the same issues that would arise in a full-time residence. Our services won’t prevent thinks from happening, but in the case of an incident we can recognize the problem early on and (coordinating with the homeowner) facilitate its resolution.
How often should we arrange a Home Watch visit? We offer daily (for those that need cat care), weekly or bi-weekly visits. Any less frequent and we wouldn’t be able to do our job effectively, simply too much can go wrong in the span of a month. Our experience has also led us to believe it is a good idea to have us conduct the first service shortly after you (the homeowner) leaves. As can happen, when rushing out the door, some things (unlocked doors/windows, water, thermostat, etc.) are not properly attended to. If you have a housekeeper, it’s also a good idea to have us visit shortly after as the same issues can (and have) happen.
Tip: Many of our clients turn their water off at their home’s main water valve, as well as turning down their water heater. This is one of the best ways to limit what can go wrong (leaks in ice makers, toilet lines, etc.). If the homeowner is gone long term, we can bring water jugs in to periodically fill drain reservoirs.
If water is left on, we will periodically flush toilets (sticking around to make sure valve shuts off), run water in sinks, showers, tubs. We can also run dishwasher & washing machine if requested.
If you are away for an extended period keep track of your utility usage. Any irregularities may be a sign of trouble. On one visit we noticed a hose had been left running in a very much overflowing Coi pond by the landscaper the day before. At least it wasn’t left for the whole week!
How much is Home Watch service? Our services start at around $35 – $65 per visit, which is based on a number of factors (where house is located, what customized service client selects, frequency, etc.). Keep in mind we are not your “neighbors doing favors” or hobby home watchers. We’ve spent a lot of time researching how to provide a professional home watch service and are insured for providing this service.
Who will be conducting this service? This is the beauty of supporting a small, family run operation. All services are conducted by Martha or James😊 However, this also means there will be times throughout the year when we are both out of town. We try to plan these times when our Home Watch demand is low, and if that ever is the case will communicate well in advance to the homeowner. If we do have to leave town for an extended trip (our 20-year anniversary is coming up in 2021!) we have a responsible family member that would be properly trained to conduct this service in our leave. True story, another Home Watch provider I know went on vacation to Hawaii (without communicating this with clients) and had the misfortune of running in to one of his customers. Not good!
Tip: If your home is seasonal (meaning you spend a portion of the year in another dwelling) and you’re not just off on vacation your homeowner’s insurance may require you to have a Home Watch provider. In other cases, having a Home Watch provider may qualify you for a discounted rate.
For more information or to schedule your free consultation contact Martha at 360-420-0873
Again, thanks for your interest in our Home Watch services. We look forward to helping with your home care needs!