When it comes to the most interesting or exciting things about property, maintenance and repairs are unlikely to be at the top of the list. But they are certainly one of the most important.
Keeping your property fully maintained does not just make it look good; it also works better – more efficiently – as a home; saving you money and probably making you money when you look at the bigger picture.
1. Regular maintenance
The first priority in protection of your home is to ensure that it benefits from regular maintenance.
With property, as with anything, “a stitch in time saves nine”. By regularly maintaining your property, preventing the small problems from becoming large, you stop or delay the arrival of big expensive problems and eye watering repair bills.
For instance, painting external windows every 3-5 years could enable them to last for decades.
In contrast, years of neglect will lead to the frames rotting away under attack by the elements, with the inevitable need for new windows costing a small fortune.
Drains and gutters also benefit from regular maintenance. Clearing gutters of leaves and the like on a regular basis can stop blockages and water ingress which, if serious, can end up costing of thousands of pounds in damage.
It’s a similar story with boilers. Annual servicing can seem a bit of a luxury, but it may reveal relatively minor problems which can be cheaply fixed – prolonging the life of the boiler. Not a bad thing when you think of the rapidly escalating cost of installing a new boiler these days.
2. Annual maintenance contracts
Where you decide to go down the route of annual maintenance, it may be cost effective to look at ongoing maintenance contracts with high quality but affordable service providers.
An ongoing contract may prove cheaper on your time as well as money compared with having to source a new provider each year – however you do need to review charges every year or two to ensure that you are not being taken for a ride.
You can use price comparison websites to identify the most cost effective cover for you in respect of things such as:
- Central heating
- Cookers, fridges and washing machines.
On research you may find that a comprehensive cover package works out cheaper than several individual contracts.
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3. Buy-to-let properties
Ongoing service cover is particularly sensible if your property is being rented out to tenants.
Regular maintenance will mark you off as a professional landlord. Regular servicing and prompt repairs where necessary are likely to prevent or minimise issues or disputes with your tenants – saving you money in the longterm.
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4. Local handyworker
Another sensible idea is to cultivate a good working relationship with a local handyworker to deal with things such as the regular cleaning of gutters and drains or the cutting back of bushes or trees before they become a nuisance to the public or neighbours.
Where the odd small job needs doing, you may be able to negotiate a better price from your local handyworker rather than calling out an online contractor whose charge will almost certainly include the fees of middlemen.
5. Reserve fund for major repairs/replacements
Repairs or replacements can be expensive and the key to having a good maintenance and repairs strategy is to grow a reserve fund each year.
There are no hard and fast rules, but you could aim to set aside say £1,000 to £1,500 each year – building a fund to pay for major expenditure, such as the need for a new roof.
Your home is probably the most expensive thing you will ever buy and it makes sense to look after it. It is a sort of investment, and you can help to maintain or even grow its value by keeping it in tip top condition.
Look to prevent expensive repairs or replacements by conducting ongoing maintenance and upkeep, relying on good quality contractors.
If you are able to do most of the work yourself, so much the better for keeping down the cost.
How do you deal with maintenance and repairs at your home? Others may benefit from knowing how you do things. Please leave your comments below.
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Rebel Property Coach
My website is: www.rebelpropertycoach.com