A person holding a smartphone with the Unkept Home App on the screen
Photo: Consumer Reports, Getty Images

Homeownership is an incredible achievement. And when you're handed the keys to your home, it can even feel as if you've won a race.

But as many of us have learned, the work has only just begun at that moment: The race, it turns out, is actually a lifelong marathon of mainte­nance. From fixing your appliances to refinishing your deck, these tasks can be annoying and complex, and many homeowners don't even know where to start. So we sometimes put off projects until it's too late—and the cost of setting things right starts spinning out of control.

That's why Consumer Reports has released Upkept, our new home maintenance app. One of the trickiest parts of maintaining a home is simply knowing what to do and when to do it. Upkept will propose a plan for keeping everything in good shape, and automatically schedule (and gently remind you about) tasks throughout the year.

And, like this month's cover story on kitchen renovation, the app can make you a smarter homeowner as well. Users will learn the best time to tackle DIY projects and get step-by-step instructions and expert tips for doing them right. The app even tells you when a job is best left to a professional. And all of this is powered by the independent, test-driven, consumer-focused experts at CR—a source you can trust.

Upkept is now available for download through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Or go to upkepthome.com for more information. (The app offers a no-risk, 90-day free trial and is then $4.99 per month after.)

Please send feedback to upkept@cr.consumer.org, so we can keep improving the app.

Upkept might not make home maintenance your favorite pastime. But it will make the marathon easier, giving you the peace of mind to enjoy all the wonderful things about your home.

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the September 2021 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.