Investing in a second home is only the beginning. After acquiring the house, you have to think about when you will use it, whether you want to earn residual income by renting it out, and the kind of growth in value that you want in return for the investment. More importantly, you must maintain the house to maintain its value. There is no point in having a second home if it is abandoned. Fortunately, the maintenance costs of your second home don’t need to be extremely expensive with these tips and tricks that we are going to review in this article.
1. Stick with Regular Inspections
Don’t skimp on home inspections. A thorough inspection done every 3 to 6 months can reveal potential problems before they turn into big issues. It is much better to fix a small leak than to deal with a big mould problem after a couple of months.
Regular inspections also make sure that the house doesn’t have hidden problems that can be very dangerous to its occupants. The challenge with maintaining a second home is that you are not always as familiar as you’d like with the condition of the property, but inspections solve that problem.
2. Switch to Durable Materials
Low-maintenance materials designed to be immensely durable are your friends as the owner of a second home. For instance, aluminium is a much better window frame than wood, since it requires less maintenance and will not suffer from issues like termite infestation. Composite is another great material that you can use for things like decking and cladding. Make sure you get a high-quality composite decking from top names like Ecoscape UK. In the case of Ecoscape UK, the company has 20 year composite decking warranty to back the quality of its material.
You’ll be surprised by how much you can save on maintenance when you automate the house. For instance, using an automatic sprinkler system lets you keep the landscape looking beautiful without having to hire a gardener as much as usual. The same goes for systems designed to automate the central heating system, the lights on your second home, and other parts of the house. You will also be conserving energy and keeping the house safe. A remote surveillance system completes the set.
4. Go the On-Demand Route
For things that you cannot automate, there are always on-demand services to turn to. Some maintenance tasks like cleaning the gutter or maintaining the garden can be completed with the help of contractors offering on-demand services. On-demand services are better and more economical because you don’t have to commit to a long-term contract. However, make sure you do plenty of research about the service provider so that you know you have the best contractor for the job.
5. Avoid Surprise Maintenance
Even when the house is sufficiently maintained, things can still break down. When they do, you are left with a big
repair bill to pay. It is not uncommon for items like air conditioners to break down with minimal use. Appliances that are sensitive to dust and changing climates are the most prone.
There are several ways to avoid surprise maintenance. You can have appliances tested regularly to make sure they
are working. Alternatively, you can include servicing and cleaning these appliances as part of your regular maintenance routine.
6. Get Insured
For bigger repairs, you may be able to turn to your insurance. Property insurance covers damage to the property
itself and the items you store in it. When a pipe does burst, you don’t have to worry about replacing the furniture that gets damaged by the water.
Some home insurance policies even go as far as covering repairs for electronics. Insurance is a must if you are
also renting the property to others, since guests are more likely to damage your personal belongings.
7. Low-Maintenance Garden
The next tip is about reducing the cost of maintaining your gardens, and it is really simple: create a low-maintenance garden to begin with. Some garden elements, including plants and ornaments, require less maintenance by nature.
When creating a beautiful garden to accompany your second home, think about the local climate and plants that are more resilient in that climate. Use decking and pathways to add more solid (yet functional) space to the garden. Lastly, use automation as discussed in tip #3.
8. Keep Track of Everything
Last but certainly not least, make sure you keep a detailed log of activities done to the second home. This is a simple step that will significantly reduce your maintenance costs. For example, you can decide whether it is time to clean the central heating system based on the invoice for the last maintenance.
Combined, these 8 tips can help you reduce the cost of maintaining a second home by a significant margin. Save here and there and you can keep your holiday home beautiful, clean, and functional without breaking the bank.