Maintaining your home now is a great way to prevent bigger problems later. A well-maintained home keeps out the wind and the rain, while you remain warm and cosy inside. A well-maintained home is also less vulnerable to things breaking, becoming blocked, falling apart or in need of more extensive and expensive repairs when things do go wrong. A well-maintained home lasts longer and retains a higher market value than a building in a poor state of repair.
Not only is it in your own financial interests to maintain your home, but your keeping it in a good state of repair is one of the fundamental conditions almost certain to be written into your home insurance policy. It is a standard understanding in any insurance contract that you play your part in mitigating the risk of loss or damage – and with home insurance, this means maintaining your home.
Budgeting for repairs and maintenance
If you recognise that repairs and maintenance are important, how much are they likely to cost in any one year?
The answer depends on the type, age and current state of repair of your home, of course, but a useful rule of thumb is suggested by the website AOL. In a post dated the 5th of August 2017, it cites housing experts as quoting 1% of the value of the average home each year for essential repairs and maintenance.
With the latest Land Registry records showing that the average house price in the UK is currently £243,520, that means the typical owner needs to budget for around £2,435 for annual repairs and maintenance.
In the view of AOL’s correspondent, however, the average homeowner is seriously underestimating the amount that needs to be spent each year.
To create a meaningful and realistic budget for repairs and maintenance, of course, you need some understanding of just what jobs need to be done.
Once again, this varies from one property to another, but the issues most commonly identified by homeowners appear to be:
- keeping the roof in a good state of repair and replacing missing or slipped tiles or slates is a high priority – although recognised as one of the potentially more expensive tasks;
- plumbing issues come a close second – and important if you are to avoid an escape of water and risk flooding your home;
- controlling condensation and the growth of mould is a problem for others; while
- few seem to worry about electrical problems or the need to keep gutters unblocked and rainwater goods in a good state of repair.
In fact, all of these issues need to feature prominently on your checklist of essential repairs and maintenance.
If you are a handyman or are competent at DIY, many straightforward repairs and maintenance jobs may be tackled quite simply and effectively. You might even test your home handyman skills by trying the “ultimate home repair test” suggested on the Fantastic Handyman blog and posted on the 9th of October 2017.
For a more thorough schedule for maintaining your home – and to help put your mind at ease that everything is taken care of – you may prefer to enlist the help of a reputable builder from time to time or refer back to the detailed survey you probably commissioned before buying your home.