As a homeowner or landlord, the responsibility for home maintenance and repairs lies squarely with you. It is your responsibility to ensure your rental is appropriately cared for and safe for tenants, and as a homeowner, you will want to make sure your home is safe for yourself and family. Should you be only just starting out on this exciting road of home ownership, you may be overwhelmed by all your new-found responsibilities and be uncertain about where exactly to begin. Allow this handy guide to prepare you for any home maintenance pitfalls and to ensure you know precisely where to turn should you require any assistance with domestic repairs and assistance.
When trying to rent out a property it is important to not only ensure it is safe and habitable, but to make the house presentable. A shabby property will not attract many tenants, and if you want to be able to charge a reasonable amount of rent, your property will need to reflect this. A simple coat of paint can be all it needs to brighten up a home and removing dated wallpaper, paint colours, and worn carpets immediately rejuvenates a property. Save money by carrying out this simple type of maintenance yourself. Do not be tempted to take shortcuts such as papering over existing wallpaper as this will make redecorating difficult in the future. Opt for neutral colours for both walls and flooring. A durable, wipe-clean paint is an excellent choice for walls as wallpaper can easily rip or stain, and will, therefore, need to be replaced sooner, accruing further expense. Flooring should be easily cleaned and be able to withstand a heavy footfall. Polished wood floors, although very hardwearing can also be very expensive so perhaps not the best choice for a rental property. However, if you are redecorating the family home, consider investing in a wood floor as this can last for several years. If your budget is limited or you are looking for flooring for a property you intend to rent, opt for laminate, vinyl, or a durable, washable carpet. Steer clear of wool carpets and light-coloured carpets that will show stains easily.
Heating and air-con
When you live in an area with changeable weather or a region that embraces the seasons, both heating and air-con are essential. The life-expectancy of centralised air-con or a furnace is thought to be between 10 to 15 years, which seems like a reasonable amount of time for a feature in your property, but if not well-maintained, an aircon system or a furnace can break down and need costly repairs. When these systems are well looked after you can enjoy up to approximately 20 years of service. During the cooler months, you may forget how essential centralised air-con can be, and when the heat hits you immediately regret not investing in a system, or not maintain the one you own. The same can be said when winter approaches and your heating system fails. It is important that you as a homeowner know who to contact when needing air-con and furnace repairs, and if you are a landlord, that you can ensure the immediate repair of any tenants’ systems. For more information about centralised air-con and furnaces, and how best to maintain these systems visit this HVAC contractor website.
A blocked toilet
This is one of the most common, and frustrating problems that households face, and one that can be tackled without the need to call out a professional. Be prepared for this eventuality and look like the hero of the hour by knowing exactly how to unblock a toilet without the situation getting messy, or expensive. A simple plunger can be all that is needed to unblock a toilet so ensure you have one in your home in preparation. If the water in the toilet has receded after flushing but take some time to do so, place the plunger in the toilet, so it covers the base and keep pressing and lifting, feeling the suction action until the water level lessens and the toilet is unblocked. However, blockages are not always this simple to resolve, and you may need to use a different method. When the blockage is formed further down the pipes, a different home-remedy method will be required. Many people resort to pouring all manner of stringent chemicals down the toilet, but this is not environmentally friendly. For a less abrasive approach, try pouring a litre of liquid soap into the toilet and then pouring very hot water into it until it reaches the brim. Leave the toilet for several hours, until the water has receded somewhat then flush. The blockage should have dissolved with the aid of the hot water and soap solution. If this does not work initially, try the same method again and leave overnight. This simple solution can save you a lot of money and only requires some patience, and that you have another toilet in the house to use while you wait for the solution to do its work in the blocked toilet!
Maintaining your home can be expensive, but by using a combination of ensuring you invest in the right products initially, and simple old-fashioned home remedies, you can keep your home or your rental in tip-top condition. However, when it comes to trickier jobs that could potentially be dangerous, such as electrical faults, it is always best to consult a professional. Research the best electricians, plumbers and builders in your area, before you actually require their services. Speak to family and friends about their experiences to discover who can be relied on in an emergency and what professional gives the best rates. Once you have decided which ones you want to use in the future, keep their contact details on a notice board, in an app or in a prominent place where your whole family can see them. This way, when an emergency arises, you and your family will be able to resolve the situation quickly.