Your house is almost certainly the most expensive thing you own – and more than that, it’s your biggest investment. One day, you’re probably going to want to sell it off, and if it isn’t already, at that point it’ll be crystal clear why regular maintenance is such a vital part of owning a house.
The payoff from regular maintenance
A well maintained home, even if it’s covered in brown tiles, green shag pile and other construction crimes from three decades ago is a hell of lot less trouble for a potential buyer. Everything will work, everything will be where it’s supposed to be, and (massive structural issues aside) the house should be in a perfectly liveable state.
A poorly maintained home, on the other hand, will look run down and have all kinds of problems that wouldn’t otherwise exist. Regular cleaning and repairing small issues helps to prevent them from getting out of hand – tightening a loose hinge may have prevented damage to a door frame; replacing the sacrificial anode in your hot water tank may have kept it going comfortably for another 5 years; cleaning the bathroom tiles may have prevented mould infestations, and so forth.
Small problems, if addressed while they’re still small problems, will save you all kinds of grief in the long run and help to preserve the value of your home. Allowing your home to lapse into disrepair will create serious problems, many of which would’ve been completely avoidable.
Health and safety issues
Yes – ‘health and safety’ is the fearful catch-cry of the 21st century and people in general are way too concerned with perfection and sterility, but when it comes to home maintenance, it’s serious business.
Something as simple as a tile out of place on your roof or a crack in your shower base can lead to a small leak into a wall cavity. This in turn can allow deadly mould to grow behind your walls, and slowly poison your family without you ever even knowing it’s happening.
There are many small things that can easily present a serious threat – loose carpet or floorboards can cause a serious trip or fall; a broken light switch could electrocute you; or a gas leak could burn your house down (especially if you’ve neglected your smoke alarms too).
Making sure that small problems are taken care of as you notice them can very easily help to prevent serious injury or irreparable damage in your home.
Is the work to maintain your home worth it?
Maintenance doesn’t necessarily mean spending 8 hours every weekend walking around the house with a long list, a tool kit and a sombre demeanour. The sensible approach is to do some regular cleaning and fix small problems as they arise (i.e. while they’re still easily managed).
Beyond that, all you really need to do is scratch a few dates into your calendar and periodically have a quick look over the less obvious things. To make this easier, we’ve also created a maintenance checklist, which details what sorts of things you should check, and how often.
A basic level of maintenance will save you a massive amount of expense, prevent gradual damage and generally make your house a safer place to live.