That great deal on a fixer upper looked wonderful—at the time. Perhaps, the previous owner and their inspectors slid a few neglected systems past buyers at the time of purchase.
Or maybe life has just kept the finances and time under wraps so tightly that homeowners have fallen behind on home maintenance, and the results are starting to show. However the current maintenance situation came into existence, ignoring the home's problems will not make them go away.
If it's finally time for home maintenance remediation, this short guide can help owners exit the ‘deferred' zone and get back on track.
Evaluate and Assess Remediation Priorities
Step one is knowing exactly what needs to be done and when. Much information should stem from inspections from the home's purchase if performed at the time; otherwise, getting one now could prove invaluable. Once the ‘need to do' list is established, it's time to evaluate which projects should be prioritized.
Consider placing cosmetic damage at the bottom of the list while putting immediate concerns that could result in further damage first. Don't forget to look into current codes to ensure an older home is up to standards to avoid mishaps or fines down the line.
Explore the Maintenance Remediation Budget
Depending on the extremity of neglected maintenance that must be addressed, a hard hit to the wallet could be a painful result—especially if mould- or moisture-related problems exist. However, hiring professional contractors to assist can help save on materials, as they typically get discounts. Even owners planning a DIY can save this way, as well as by doing some prep and cleanup work to cut back on labor hours by work crews.
Remember, keep the priorities in mind, and don't forget any associated costs for permits, licensing, and upgrades to key systems related to the project. If serious repairs are not financially realistic, stop-gap solutions might buy desperate homeowners some precious time to save up or secure a home improvement loan.
Explore Stop-Gap Solutions
One of the most costly mistakes one can make during the assessment and budgeting phases is to ignore the ultra-costly deferred maintenance tasks. This attempt to save money now is highly likely to cost much more every day the chore is put off. In cases where it just isn't possible to budget much-needed repairs, what are known as stop-gap solutions might come in handy.
In essence, this means finding ways to temporary ‘fix' certain things affordably until a proper repair job can be undertaken. Some of these might include duct taping some leaks, placing tarps atop roof compromises, disconnecting malfunctioning water sources, etc. A local contractor or a handy friend can prove to be a life saver with help to explore stop-gap solutions.
Still Deferring Home Maintenance?
With all these tips ready to go, East End homeowners are prepared to take the ‘in' out of ‘inaction' by getting ‘in' gear and taking action towards finding solutions. Start making those lists of key tasks to prioritize, and research how they can realistically be solved permanently (or at least temporarily) to avoid greater expense down the line.
There are professionals that can be found locally to assist with getting homes out of a state of shoddiness after neglected maintenance takes its toll. Local real estate professionals and home improvement contractors can often help homeowners find the best providers for their specific needs.