It’s so easy to have a to-do list that never gets done, or to focus on the wrong things.
The important thing to remember is the never ending desire for nature to destroy your home. The weather including all the seasons in one day, wood boring beetle infestations, bacteria, wear and tear, water and fungi are just part of the long list of nasties that break down building materials. We have all seen the abandoned cottage that has collapsed and more or less disappeared back into the ground - that is the extreme. However we have heard many individuals laugh and make fun of surveyors who make comments about defective sealants around shower trays or choked roof gutters. They don’t find it so funny when they are hit with a bill for thousands of pounds as they have to rip out the shower to resolve the rot problem and reinstate the shower and tiling. Or it might be the thousands of pounds required to deal with water and rot damage to the wallhead due to the gutters overflowing.
The humour has completely gone when the insurer points to the small print and won’t pay out because there has been a lack of maintenance. From a financial perspective the cost of maintenance and repair is insignificant in relation to the potential costs that can be incurred if the problem is ignored for a period of time. We would have to emphasise at this point that we are talking about maintenance and repair and not upgrading. The colour or style of your bathroom is totally irrelevant. You’re better having an old avocado coloured bath that doesn’t leak rather than a fancy looking, modern one that does. At some point in time in the future there may be a desire to sell the property, however a poorly maintained building is far harder to sell and will achieve disproportionately less on the market than one that’s been well maintained. The lack of maintenance and repair will also be highlighted within the Home Report, putting people off before they even visit the property, and further restricting saleability.
For some there is an option to carry out the works themselves. There is nothing wrong with this although we would caution that how good some people think they are at DIY and the actual quality of their work doesn’t always tally. There are also some elements where qualified trades people are required to sign off the work. Very often we see a home that a family has occupied for many years and seen the family grow and possibly flown the nest. The reality is the property is tired and a bit worn in parts. It is now that you need to look at the to-do list and analyse what really needs to be done.
There is no point in spending thousands of pounds on modernising the kitchen to keep up with the trends when you know there is a problem with the actual building fabric. It might be a crack in the chimney or a rotten window. My advice is get these important items fixed first before they become a real problem.