This week we’re asked to consider the notion of maintenance.
The number of houses we viewed that were described as ‘in need of modernisation’.
Some were real wrecks, having serious holes in walls or roofs, and one even had a mini swimming pool in the back garden that just happened to be without walls. It’s a bit worrying when you step out of the back door and sink up to your ankles in water stepping on a flagstone.
House buying can be a money pit. Even buying a property that is brand new and never been lived in can have its drawbacks, as some residents found a few years ago when huge cracks appeared in the walls and roof tiles started to fall off due to subsidence.
Here the insurance jump in and sting you the excess as stated on your policy, but you may have to wait for the fix as they opt for a ‘preferred contractor’ before the work can be carried out.
Even on the boat we had maintenance to do.
This was two-fold, not only keeping it clean and tidy, and also keeping it operational. Luckily, most of it Hubby could do himself, like oil changes, checking batteries, pumps and electrics, and we used an additive in both our fuel and water.
We had a cassette loo which was emptied every couple of days on the marina and whenever possible out on the river where there was a chemical waste point at the lock.
We had a problem in the winter keeping the condensation under control, but we adapted.
Unlike a steel hull, we didn’t need to have the boat blacked or anti-fouled every couple of years or so as it was aluminium and thus ‘low maintenance’.
It doesn’t matter what we buy, not only a property, but car, computer printer, cooker, washing machine etc, we take into account how much it will cost to maintain. It’s a fat lot of good having a top of the range vehicle on your drive if you can’t afford the road tax, insurance or fuel to put in it.
We strive to deal with a problem when it occurs rather than leave it until it becomes a major issue or crisis. We have known people in the past who have been aware of car, central heating or roofing problems but ignored them in the hope they would either go away or rectify themselves. What would have cost perhaps £100 to fix at the time has now escalated to a thousand, and when you haven’t got it, ‘oops’ just doesn’t seem to cover it.