Why take out a maintenance contract on your new home?

Date:

Wednesday 26th September 2012

Have you ever considered a maintenance contract for your new home?

Often, a new home is the most expensive and important investment you'll ever make, so keeping it in top condition is a no-brainer. However, remembering to repair fencing, service your boiler or even just mow the lawn can prove difficult when you're caught up with day-to-day life. That's why hiring a property maintenance company to keep your home in top good condition and provide home improvement advice could be the answer.

Why get a property maintenance contract?

After all the cost and hassle of buying a new property, you might feel like organising a property maintenance contract is a waste of time - but think again. Taking out a maintenance contract on your new home will:

  • Save you time and hassle - home maintenance can be time consuming and tedious. It's also an ongoing task which can be hard to keep up with; a maintenance company will deal with all this for you.
  • Protect the value of your home - without regular maintenance, your home will depreciate in value faster than it would if it was properly cared for.
  • Keep your home safe - property maintenance companies will ensure that all vital safety tasks are carried out by qualified, trained professionals. This includes boiler servicing and electrical checks.
  • Appeal to buyers - a well maintained property will be easier to sell, should you wish to in the future.
  • Improve your lifestyle - regular maintenance will keep your home looking great and ensure that it is warm, safe and energy efficient.
  • Help in an emergency - maintenance contracts usually cover emergencies. So, if your boiler suddenly breaks down, there's an electrical fault or your plumbing packs up, your maintenance company will come out straight away to fix the problem.

What type of work will your maintenance contract cover?

Here are some examples of common property maintenance tasks:

Roofing and guttering work

This may include replacing broken tiles, removing moss, waterproofing leaky roofs and fixing defective fascias and soffits. Your gutters will also need to be cleaned at least once a year, preferably at the beginning of autumn to prevent blockages which can leak to leaks and penetrating damp problems. If you have a working fireplace, your chimney will also need to be swept at least once a year to avoid fires and blockages which can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Plumbing

Even new properties may experience plumbing problems such as clogged drains and pipes, central heating breakdowns or minor leaks. All plumbing tasks should be carried out by qualified, trained professionals.

Painting and weatherproofing

This particularly applies to external walls which are exposed to the elements; these may need regular plastering and painting to keep them in good condition. Wooden fixtures such as window frames, doors and decking will also need to be re-painted or stained to avoid rotting. Any interior painting, plastering or decorating tasks may need to be carried out over time.

Garden maintenance

Gardens can quickly become untidy if left to their own devices. To avoid this, mowing, general gardening and tree surgery tasks will need to be regularly carried out. Patios, driveways and paving may need occasional power washing to keep them free from moss and slime. Any fencing may also require weatherproofing or repairs, especially after periods of bad weather.

Safety checks

There are a variety of home safety checks that need to be regularly carried out to keep you and your family safe. These include:

  • Appliance servicing - electrical and gas appliances such should be regularly serviced.
  • Electrical surveys - you should have a full electrical survey at least once every 10 years.
  • Boiler servicing - all boilers should be serviced at least once a year. This is particularly important for gas boilers which can leak lethal carbon monoxide if defective.
  • Alarm testing - any fire, CCTV and burglar alarm systems should be regularly tested and serviced to make sure they're running correctly.

Cleaning

If you don't have time to keep your property clean and tidy it can become a health risk and attract pests. As well as general cleaning tasks, property maintenance companies can arrange professional carpet, curtain and window cleaning services.

What to Look for in a property maintenance company

There are many property maintenance companies to choose from, here are some tips on what to look for when hiring one:

  • Make sure they have valid public indemnity insurance.
  • Choose a well-established, local company who aren't likely to go out of business in the near future.
  • Ask for references and follow them up to find out if other customers are happy with the service.
  • Make sure you understand all the terms of the maintenance contract before you sign on the dotted line.

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