Garage Doors and House Sitters: What to Put on the to Do List

House sitters are the dedicated folks who keep your home safe and well-tended while you're away on vacation or a business trip. While they're on the job, you're free to let go of worries about home so you can concentrate on fun, or business, or both. Before you leave, there's a standard list of details you and the sitter agree upon. The list can range from feeding pets and collecting mail to bigger responsibilities, such as managing the landscape irrigation and handling any maintenance emergencies that occur. But one area that you may not think about when you're preparing the list is the garage. Avoid unexpected surprises by adding these details to your overall agreement with the house sitter.

Vehicle Status 

Will you be leaving your car in the garage? If not, is it OK for your house sitters to park their vehicle there? If so, double check with your insurance agent that there is full coverage of both the property and their vehicle, should any unexpected problems arise.

Garage Door Opener Remote 

Ensure that there is a spare battery on hand in case it's needed, and make sure the house sitter knows where it's kept. If you do not have time to pick up a battery, leave sufficient funds to buy one in case it's necessary. If the house sitter isn't going to be at home when you return, make sure arrangements are made for a place to leave the remote where you can retrieve it, or get a second remote to carry with you so that you can easily park inside when you get home.

Garage Door Opener 

If the garage door gets stuck or the mechanism fails to operate correctly, it's a good idea to have a plan of action in place. If you prefer, that could mean no action at all until you get home to deal with the matter. But good house sitters are prepared to deal with this type of emergency as long as you give them the authority to do so. Include the phone number of a garage door repair service, along with the list of other emergency and repair numbers they might need. You may also leave a prepaid credit card with the sitter to use for this type of situation, or make arrangements with the repair company before you leave to cover payment upon your return.

End-of-Stay Check 

If the garage door is not in use during your absence, ask the house sitter to open and close it a couple of days before your scheduled return to ensure it is in good working order. If there's a problem, this timing allows for repairs to be done before you arrive back and are ready to start driving and parking at your own home once again.