Homeowner Handbook

Homeowner Handbook: A Seasonal and Operational Guide to Managing and Maintaining Your Home

How COSC’s Handbook Can Help You


Guided by green building fundamentals, COSC’s Homeowner Handbook is a must-have for owners of existing and newly constructed homes. A properly maintained home increases its durability, contributing to the longevity and value of the property. Incorporating green building techniques improves the comfort and protects the health of families while saving money and environmental resources.

There are many homeowner manuals out there; however this is the only one that is uniquely written by local experts with specific guidance on our regional climate and maintenance best practices for Iowa.

COSC’s Homeowner Handbook is a convenient, easy to read, and well-organized reference that includes:

  • An overview of green building fundamentals.
  • A list of handy reminders for important routine seasonal maintenance.
  • A list of recommended tools for maintaining a home and performing minor repairs.
  • Sections throughout for recordkeeping, storing documents, keeping notes and personalized lists.
  • Detailed “best practices” maintenance advice for each area of the home including exterior features (i.e decks, driveways, water management, sump pump drainage), building envelope (i.e. flashing, siding, attic vents, storm windows), plumbing (i.e. water heaters, bathtubs, drains and traps, septic system), and HVAC systems (i.e. ductwork systems, furnaces, central air conditioners).
  • Explanations of performance testing options such as blower doors, infrared scanning, and lead, asbestos and moisture testing.
  • Website resources listed by category.

We encourage you to become members of COSC and engage in our local educational and networking opportunities so that you can connect with the vast resources available to support your steps toward a healthier, more efficient and well maintained home.

Available for Free

Thanks to COSC’s recent Re-Building a Sustainable Iowa statewide program, with support from the Iowa Department of Economic Development and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, this first printing of our Homeowner Handbook is available for free to the public!

The Homeowner Handbook is free to download here: COSCHomeownerHandbook