Whether you live in it or are the landlord, owning a property can be an expensive business. Right from the start, buying costs, including surveys, legal fees and even the moving itself, can quickly mount up. The financial concerns do not stop once you (or your tenants) move in. In fact, property repairs can see you spending a small fortune if you are not careful. Continue reading for five top tips to help you reduce the frequency at which these repairs are necessary.
Choose quality from the start
It can be ever so tempting to choose a cheaper product based purely on the price tag. Actually, in some cases, this can work in your favor. However, you are not always that lucky. The majority of the time, it is found that a less costly product can be made from flimsy material and not pass the test of time, which other more expensive items would. So, while it may seem unwise to spend much to begin with, the cost of replacing or repairing an item after a few months or a couple of years will mean you pay far more in the long run.
When choosing your workforce, if unable to do the initial work on your house yourself, be sure to go for quality over price as well. Speak to family and friends to ask whose services they utilized. Be sure to check out the end results, too. Some work people will rush the job and leave untidy edges, for example.
Another great place to go for recommendations is their Facebook business page or even Google, where you will find testimonials, including any complaints. As for the materials your workers use, if you have the choice between two kinds of wood, one being more hardwearing and thus longer lasting than the other, opt for the slightly more expensive option.
Focus on the upkeep
If you see a problem with a piece of coving or an internal door, for example, be sure to act in a timely manner. Leaving the problem until it gets worse could result in a more costly fix or a more serious issue. Likewise, if the property is being let out, ensure that your tenants are aware that they should report problems as soon as they recognize them. Regular inspections could also help with this. Be sure to provide them with adequate notice, though, otherwise they may feel as though you are intruding.
Of course, it is possible that some things may simply be cosmetic. In which case, it is entirely up to you if you feel they need sorting straight away or not. Whatever you do, be sure that leaving something is not going to lead to anything detrimental to your property.
Ward off problem pests
No one likes the thought of a pest infestation. However, it is not simply the fear of the creatures themselves that we should concern ourselves about. Pests, such as rodents, can cause numerous problems for your property, aside from being a nuisance.
Mice and rats can bring with them disease. As soon as the first sign of them appears within your property, it is always best to seek support from a company who deals with mouse pest control. They will be able to employ pet-friendly methods to either control or exterminate the pesky creatures.
As well as causing illness, rodents can also damage furniture, nibble through cables, burrow into insulation, potentially leading to thousands of dollars’ worth of repair. To avoid allowing them easy access to your property, aim to check the outside of the property on a regular basis, checking out potential places of access, and filling them as early as they are found.
Remember that these rodents are nocturnal creatures, so it could be some months before you see evidence of them being unwanted house guests. In this situation, prevention is certainly something to aim towards. However, as with most things in life, it will never be 100% successful.
It isn’t solely mice and rats that you should be trying to keep out of your home. Other critters like bedbugs, ants, spiders and cockroaches can all do untold damage to both your home environment and your health.
Keep everywhere clean and tidy
For a multitude of reasons, it is always advisable to keep your property clean and tidy. Of course, cleanliness is key for ensuring your health is as good as possible. Things like mold spores can be damaging to your lungs, particularly for asthma and allergy sufferers. Therefore, it is essential to ensure your property is free from damp, which leads to this unhealthy mold. Try to keep the place well-ventilated.
Although it may seem counterproductive having the windows open during winter, fresh air can offer a real boost to your health. Vents, which form part of many windows and doors, are often shut because of the draught. However, they serve an important purpose and should remain open as much as possible. Drying clothes indoors can also lead to excess moisture in the air. Try to utilize your outdoor space frequently for this purpose.
If you must use indoors, consider investing in a dehumidifier, which will literally rid the air of the unnecessary damp. Although not a cheap outlay, it can save you from having to fork out thousands for work to make the place properly habitable once more. Avoiding mess and clutter can also support you with one of our previous tips, allowing you to see potential problems before they become too serious.
Train your pets (or choose not to own one)
Pets can be a major source of headaches when it comes to properties, particularly if they are young and/or untrained. From gnawing on wooden items such as decorative parts of staircases to chewing through cables, animals can cause extensive and expensive damage. Furthermore, pets which are no toilet-trained can also prove problematic, with their urine and feces potentially being unhygienic as well as damaging.