I recently visited one of my favourite local places when out and about– a beautiful, abandoned Manor House called Aldermaston Court. It made me feel sad to see that the beautiful building is falling into disrepair, but it also made me think about how important maintenance is to our buildings. Within a few years, a building can really start to degrade.
At Aldermaston Court, just being close to any window, I could feel the odour of the internal spaces rotting away. So my visit to that wonderful old grand building that I dream of working on one day inspired me to write today’s post about house maintenance.
The reality is that some of these things will need the help of a strong person, a registered plumber gas safe person or electrician or even someone with a harness and possibly a ladder. If you have lived in a property for 10 years and you have never looked at any of the external House Maintenance issues it is time to do a visual inspection and then set aside a day or book in that handyman to help. Keeping a house maintained is important but it can also be dangerous so don’t forget to hire help when jobs are too dangerous or you don’t know what you are doing especially at height or when it comes to gas and electrics.
External House Maintenance
Don’t underestimate the importance of external maintenance. The reason why houses go into disrepair is because they aren’t looked after. It can cost you much much, more in the long run to leave a problem unattended to and the structure of your home is pretty important and also there is the argument for street appeal. If you have a home, why wouldn’t you want it to look nice? The main areas to focus are:
– your roof (clearing gutters, fixing loose tiles, flashing and making sure there are no areas where water is getting in).
– Windows, doors and penetrations (checking the seals are intact, clearing any vents and making sure they are working properly, washing the windows and doors is included here).
– Drainage. This includes opening up manhole covers, gullies and rainwater pipes and checking to see their condition. Just a hint, there shouldn’t be any debris or plants growing down there, they should be clear and empty.
Internal House Maintenance
Is there a part of the house that needs repainting? If you can do it in a day, just do make the effort, it is worth loving that space again. It might even motivate you to get some new bed sheets and spruce up a spare room that has been collecting junk for longer than you like to admit…
Internal maintenance can include but is not limited to:
- Unclogging sinks and drains and fixing dripping taps
- Doing a thorough clean, removing stains on tiles or metal appliances
- Cleaning large appliances including the trays and shelves in the ovens.
- Repairing the newel posts on stairs
- Sticking down the lino where it has come loose
- Replacing light bulbs (with energy efficient LED ones – try 3000K warm white with a 65-degree angle for an average height room).
- Checking the radiators and boiler.
- Fixing fuses, wires and broken sockets.
Washing, Ironing and Linen
This includes pairing socks, hand washing the growing pile of delicate items, repairing broken items, hemming, cutting fixing, ironing, folding, sorting and purging. Imagine if all of the clothes in the house were in their right place, folded or hanging beautifully, clean and dry and looking dapper. It’s a big day tackling the laundry and I know that more often than not it can be a 2 day affair to get the above list totally completed, but I have managed to complete everything but it is true you will probably need the help of a sunny, dry day (so make the most of it anyone here in the UK… and probably Seattle, I heard you weather is on parr). I added this because clothing and linen can take up so much space in a home, its heavy and can be quite toxic (if you haven’t read my post about how your home can harm you for Empowered Wellness and Living Magazine, you can read it here).
We all have better things to do on the weekends than spend a full day cleaning, especially when we work so hard during the week, but don’t underestimate how important taking just one day to tackle one of these is for the health and normal function of your home. If you have done your maintenance and just love that feeling of getting things done, why not opt for a spring clean as well! You can read my blog post about how A Spring Clean Can Change Your Life.
If you are ever in Berkshire, go and visit Aldermaston Court. The grounds are really beautiful and it’s still wild and wonderful. The building has just been abandoned almost like a scary movie, items all left in place when looking through the windows…