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Water leak in the house

30 August 2016

Summer Home Renovations

The weather might have thrown everything at us this summer, but with dry days and light evenings in short supply in the autumn, time is of the essence for doing those all-important household maintenance jobs. From a lick of paint to getting your guttering sorted, here Chris Johnson, Senior Mortgage Product Manager at Principality Building Society runs through the must-do maintenance tasks that could improve your home’s value, offering advice on budgeting for them along the way.

As the nights draw in, with the chance of adverse weather conditions growing and the reality of Christmas budgeting becoming ever more real, taking on renovation projects during the latter part of the year is unlikely to be at the top of your list. So making the most of the long days and (sometimes) dry weather during summer to face those unavoidable upkeep jobs around the home could save you a lot of hassle in a few months’ time. They might not be huge tasks with big costs attached to them, but even the small things could have a very positive effect on the value of your house. Property experts recommend that homeowners should spend one per cent of the value of their home on improvements per year to maintain its worth in the marketplace. But as the homeowner, you should be able to make a valued judgement on what maintenance is necessary or not.

Get onto the guttering

During heavy rain, which we’re no strangers to in this country, the guttering on your house can be the silent saviour, protecting your home from potential flooding and overflowing rainwater pools pulling the whole system loose from the house. To do their job effectively, the gutters must be completely clear of leaves and debris which means cleaning out them at least once a year. Expect to pay around £150 if you’re using a professional service. However if you have a ladder and an extra pair of hands to hold the bottom for safety, you could save some money by cleaning out the gutters yourself. If your roof is directly beneath trees, you might need to consider upkeep more frequently.

A lick of paint

It sounds obvious, but something as simple as a fresh coat of paint can have a huge effect on the value of your home. In fact, a survey by Dulux commissioned last year found that a fresh lick of paint can increase a home’s value by nearly a quarter (23%). What’s more, getting the paintbrush out at this time of year, with lighter and longer evenings on your side, will make life much easier for getting the paint dried quickly. There are tell-tale signs around the home which should give you an idea of when it’s time to get painting, like cracked walls, discoloured window sills and a weathered front door. Large pots of paint can cost as little at £10, but be sure you match the colour correctly before buying to avoid wastage.

Check the roof (and have a dry winter)

Loose roof tiles can be one of the first things to go in heavy storm weather with even just one strong gust of wind causing havoc. Unsound roofs or chimneys are not only dangerous, but they can be the first step towards unwanted damp or a leak. Tiled roofs might be cracked or completely missing, while flat roofs could have splits. All of these problems could result in damp or the upstairs ceilings bowing under the strain of built-up water which has managed to get through.  Spotting any problems early could save you a fortune, but if you don’t feel confident getting up the ladder yourself, hire a reliable roofer or builder to take a look for you. Replacing a handful of tiles can cost from £50-£150 but larger repair jobs can be much more expensive. Getting this part of the home looked at during the summer will leave you warm and dry for the winter.

Being a homeowner can throw up many different responsibilities, whether it’s keeping on top of bills to making sure you have the right insurance policies in place. But to keep your home at the top of its value, it’s crucial not to let the household maintenance jobs get pushed to the bottom of the list. Making the most of the summer for taking on these tasks means you’ll be ready to face winter head on, with your home in its best condition. You never know, the sun might come out for you.

Published: 30/08/2016