090902-N-2888Q-003 COLUMBUS, Ohio (Sept. 2, 2009) Petty Officer 3rd Class Debby Warden, from Navy Operation Support Center Columbus, and Sgt. Matthew Smith, from Navy Recruiting District Ohio, clean the rain gutters on a home as part of a Rebuilding Together Central Ohio project. Sailors and Marines from Navy Operation Support Center Columbus and Navy Recruiting District Ohio volunteered to help a local homeowner who needed home repairs and maintenance. The community service project was part of Central Ohio Navy Week, one of 21 Navy Weeks planned across America in 2009. Navy Weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they have made in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Lucy M. Quinn/Released)

Keeping the House Maintenance Schedule

Every home owner knows that maintenance to their property has to be done, though there seem to be two different camps on what gets done and when. Some of us either get the ladder out and have a good look at the roof, at the end of the winter, and again in autumn, especially if we have had an especially hot summer, as the sun will cause trouble, just as easily as rain or snow in the winter. The maintenance list is going to include not only the roof, but the walls and brickwork, especially the pointing, looking for any signs of dampness or decay, along with the plumbing system, house painting and everything else, because nothing lasts forever. The second camp is a little less proactive, and starts moving when the kitchen is under several inches of water, or there is another absolute emergency.

DIY or Call a Professional

With many maintenance issues that come up, quite a few of them can be done quickly and cheaply by anyone with a basic set of tools and a little bit of common sense. Others seem to be able to take on a myriad of challenges themselves, and of course there are a few out there who would have difficulty knowing one end of the screwdriver from the other. The most important thing in home maintenance is recognising when you are out of your depth and when it is time to call in someone, who really knows what they are doing. Obviously we do not want to look stupid, by declaring you have an emergency for the repair guy to turn up, flick one switch and say, “There you go mate! That will be $60 please?” At the same time we do not want our house to collapse, flood, burn to the ground, or suffer any other mishap.

The Main Trades to Have Covered

Aside from long term planned maintenance or improvements, which you normally think about well in advance, there are a few areas that it is wise to have, either some understanding of the issues and possible repairs, or a business card to hand to get a professional in fast. As any handyman from the Inner West can tell you, Plumbers and Electricians should be high on the list, as no water, or worse, too much, along with no power, are issues that need to be rectified swiftly and properly. Most properties have at least a few maintenance issues that could use attention, so it is also good to have a carpenters details along with a locksmith, someone to cover the doors, windows and gate, the list can be never ending.

A sensible option that is growing more popular, is where a company forms, which brings a range of handymen from all trades together under one banner, meaning that one phone call can connect you with whichever tradesperson you need. Such companies often do not stop at just your normal tradesmen jobs, but will install your TV, assemble that furniture the salesman assured you was simple to do, but for which the assembly instructions seem to have been mixed up with another product. This is who to find, for whatever household job, you don’t want to try yourself.


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