Advice and Opinion

Good reasons to keep on top of home maintenance for 2016

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the old saying goes, and it holds especially true these days for homeowners.

“By keeping up with maintenance on a regular basis, for example, they will be able to spot and remedy minor problems before they multiply and become major headaches requiring budget-breaking fixes,” says Jan Davel, MD of the RealNet estate agency group.

“It also means they will be able to spend their next summer holiday relaxing and entertaining with family and friends, instead of catching up on a year’s worth of home maintenance chores, as many people have recently been doing.”

Noting that “deferred maintenance” is one of the biggest reasons that homes don’t reach their asking price, or don’t sell at all, he says that sticking to a proper maintenance and improvement plan will also ensure that the property always looks its best and is ready for sale should the owner need to sell quickly.

Some expert suggestions for drawing up an annual home maintenance planner include the following:

* Alternate major jobs such as re-painting so that the interior is done one year, the exterior is painted the following year, and windows, doors and frames are painted as a separate project;

* Check the roof regularly for damaged waterproofing and any leaks. A leak quickly mended could save you from having to repair ceilings and repaint walls;

* Regularly check the plumbing and irrigation systems for blockages and leaks. Small faults can often be repaired by the homeowner but a major overhaul will probably need an expensive expert;

* Remove garden refuse and any rubble regularly in small loads, and avoid having to call in a waste removal service to take away a mountain of junk;

* Clean fitted carpets regularly to ensure they always look their best;

* Clean the pool daily to avoid an expensive draining, re-surfacing and re-filling.

And, finally, Davel says, it’s a good idea to keep a maintenance “logbook” from the time you move into your home, including details such as paint colours and codes, any guarantees, and the names of preferred suppliers and service providers for appliances, tools and equipment such as pool and borehole pumps, gate motors and electric fencing.

“This will ensure that no essential tasks are missed, and could also be a great selling point as it will reassure potential buyers that the property has been carefully looked after.”