Whilst it is said that the most stressful things in life are moving house and divorce, I would argue that any kind of home improvement initiative should also join the list.
With more and more of us increasingly working in the services industry, we are losing many practical skills and the ability to carry out even basic home maintenance, or understand exactly what needs to be done.
Stressful lifestyles also mean that we lack the time or the energy to keep our houses in good order and given that owning your own home is the single biggest investment the average person is ever likely to make, this does not make good economic sense.
From busy family lives through to the carefree ‘live in the moment’ attitude that many younger home owners have, essential repairs are often put on the backburner until they become problems. For many of us it is only when something breaks that we start to take notice of it.
For example during the winter months many homeowners fail to have their boiler serviced in or their pipes lagged in preparation for the weather and so fall foul of the drop in temperatures at the very moment they need their boiler the most.
Out dated heating systems can themselves be a huge cost with more modern, efficient systems often representing significant savings as well as the ability to make home life cosier.
Most of us in this digital age spend more time on ensuring that our technology runs smoothly, that viruses are thwarted and our internet connection is as robust and reliable as possible, but when the wind is blowing a gale through your letterbox and the lights and electricity go off, we are left struggling for a back-up plan. Whilst there is only so much you can do to guard your home against extremes of weather and the occasional power cut, it does make sense to at least think about what you would do in those circumstances and make sure that your home is able to withstand most normal conditions.
Unblocking gutters, sealing up areas of lose mortar and keeping drains unblocked are just some of the ways in which we can ward off damp patches and our homes falling into disrepair.
As for the more complex jobs, luckily technology does have a part to play and many helpful videos exist that can help to give confidence to even the most reluctant DIYer. Many home contents companies and those specialising in boilers, heating, and repair also offer a range of affordable solutions and care plans via monthly direct debit, and can even offer tips on how to upgrade your existing heating system at low cost by taking advantage of the various government grants that exist to help make heating more affordable.
The parable ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ is a good one to sum up this issue. Savvy homeowners are those who stay one step ahead of the game by dealing with small problems as they arise, never allowing them to get out of hand.
If your life has a tendency to get in the way of the little things, perhaps a home maintenance scheme or care plan could be exactly the kind of insurance policy you need to protect your investment.
Nicola Wilson is a self employed business advisor and recruitment specialist based in the UK currently working along side 0800 Repair Gas. To contact Nicola please connect on LinkedIn.