Life’s very busy for most of us. With competing priorities and tight schedules, it seems there’s never time to slow down and look after the non-urgent things around us.
One of the important, but non-urgent areas we often overlook, is maintaining our home. Over the long term, failure to look after our house will result in expensive repairs. Clients who buy homes using our services, receive a home maintenance checklist, divided into four seasonally appropriate lists and an ‘as-needed’ list.
It’s a good idea, to spend a day walking around every part of the house and garden at the beginning of winter, spring, summer and autumn. Make a list of items that need attention, decide whether they are DIY items (see our posting about DIY safety), or if you need a handyman or tradie to deal with them.
Inspect every room in the house for damage or deterioration. Check walls & ceilings, air vents, light & power switches, window operation & security, flyscreens, door hardware, floor coverings, fireplace/s and chimney/s.
Check the roof inside and out; insulation, roof structure, electric, internet & phone cables, water & gas lines, air ducts etc. Look for any change in the roof-line that could indicate structural damage. Note any cracked or broken tiles and replace them. Inspect flashings around chimneys & flues, and at joins in the roof
Walk around the perimeter of the house, examining the eaves, walls and footings. note any cracks, especially around windows and at corners. Ensure there are no places where soil contacts the walls above the damp-course, where termites could enter the house. Clean out the gutters and make sure downpipes are also clear. Use a hose if necessary, to make sure that excess water doesn’t pond against the house – if it does, take steps to ensure all rainwater is directed at least 3m to 5m away from the building.
Walk around the perimeter of your property and ensure all the fences are in good condition. If not, this may be a good time to talk with your neighbour about making sure the fences are kept sound and secure, and that any trees or shrubs on or near the boundary don’t encroach the boundary line. Rules and customs vary from place to place, so make inquiries, but generally, if your tree overhangs your neighbour’s land, s/he can trim it back to the boundary, and put the cuttings over the fence onto your land.
Take a little time to deal with minor home maintenance items before they get worse. You’ll be protecting the enjoyment of your home as well as your equity. Regular maintenance to keep things clean, bright and functional are key factors for homeowners as well as for investors.