Maintaining a holiday home

Whether a primary residence or holiday home, upkeep is a vital aspect of homeownership, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

“Maintaining a property assists in ensuring that the home holds its value over time and that it remains in a livable condition,” says Goslett. “However, for many owners there is often the dilemma of what work needs to be done on the property and what they can actually afford to do when owning a second property.”
He notes that when a homeowner is at their holiday home enjoying their time off, the last thing they will feel like doing is thinking about what needs to be done around the property to prepare it for the months when they are not there. However, just like their primary residence their holiday home will need to be taken care of. 

“The grass grows rapidly during the rainy season, leaves fall from the trees during the autumn months and the swimming pool turns green. These are just some of the aspects that need to be considered and addressed by those who have holiday homes. It is also important to remember any large-scale maintenance projects should be booked well in advance, as experienced, reliable contractors are often not working during the holiday season,” says Goslett. “When selecting a contractor get at least two quotes for work that needs to be carried out on the property. It is surprising how different the range of prices can be from one contractor to the next. It is also advisable to ask for contactable references.”
Goslett adds that if the property is going to be left empty for long periods of time during the year, there are several things that holiday homeowners can do to ensure that their property is kept in a good condition:
Exterior Maintenance:
Exterior walls – Check for any cracks in the exterior walls and carry out the necessary repairs. Cracks in the walls could lead to damp problems, which can be costly to fix. Early detection and maintenance will prevent larger repair outlays at a later stage.
Door locks – Ensure that all door locks are in good working order and where necessary replace faulty lock barrels. This aspect cannot be over emphasized as it will assist in keeping the home safe when no-one is around. Remember to also have a look at the locks on any outbuildings such as sheds. 
Gutters and downpipes – debris can cause blockages in gutters and downpipes, which could result in penetrating damp and damaged fascia boards. Holiday homeowners should clear any leaves or foreign items out of their gutters at least once a year.  It is also advisable to replace any damaged gutter sections and seal joints.
Drains - If possible, jet wash any accessible drainage points. This will prevent blockages from forming and ensure the integrity of the drain.

Window and door frames – wooden frames will require regular maintenance, especially if the home is located at the coast.  Wooden frames should be inspected for rot and treated with a weatherproofing solvent at least once a year. Although it might be expensive at the onset, replacing wooden frames with aluminum will reduce the need for maintenance and will be a cost effective solution over the long term.
Patios and terraces –
Wash down the patio or terrace to remove any dirt and see whether any grouting is missing and needs to be replaced. Remove and repair any damaged grout to prevent frost damage over the colder months and to ensure good surface drainage.
It may also be worthwhile to consider getting the lawnmower and garden equipment serviced.
Interior Maintenance:
Geysers – The geyser is the most power-hungry component in a home. Ensure that the geyser is turned off over periods when the property is not in use.
Water Mains – The water should be shut off at the mains. Once the water mains have been shut off, open up all the taps in the basins, sinks and showers to drain all the water from the pipes. This will prevent the water in the pipes from causing rust.

Plugs - If possible, remove all plugs from wall sockets to prevent electrical equipment being damaged during thunderstorms.
Fridge and freezer – The freezer and the fridge should be thoroughly defrosted and the doors should be left open to prevent mold from forming inside the unit.
“A property that is well-maintained will retain its value and will be a pleasure to those who make use of it. Taking care of the property and fixing  problems as soon as they arise, will ensure that small issues don’t become major complications,” Goslett concludes.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 17 Jan 2018
      While the current property market may still favour buyers, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be well prepared before putting in an offer to purchase.
    • 17 Jan 2018
      Lightstone lists Blair Atholl as the most expensive suburb with an average house price of R11.2 million, followed by Westcliff (R10.5 million), Dunkeld (R9.3 million), Sandhurst (R9.1 million) and Inanda (R7.2 million).
    • 17 Jan 2018
      As it currently stands, there are four main ways in which a home can be bought in South Africa, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who adds that deciding in which legal entity to purchase the property is not a decision that should be entered into lightly, as each has its pros and cons.
    • 16 Jan 2018
      The start of the new year is symbolic of new beginnings. A good time to take stock of one’s possessions as well as how necessary they actually are. However, seeing as the process may appear daunting – a plan goes a long way.
    • 16 Jan 2018
      The Western Cape is still in the throes of a severe drought and many households have to adjust the way they use and save water. It is a little more complicated in sectional title schemes, however, as it is not that easy to implement grey water systems for multiple users and it is also difficult to monitor water usage accurately if there are no separate water meters
    • 15 Jan 2018
      In ideal rental situations, when a lease is signed the tenant will stay for the full duration of his lease without any complications and the landlord will uphold his obligations, creating a win-win situation for tenant and landlord.
    • 15 Jan 2018
      The Atlantic Seaboard’s housing market has stoically withstood the brunt of the growing economic and political instability, consistently achieving double digit growth way above the national average, however, in 2017 South Africa’s most resilient market finally began to yield to the pressure.
    • 15 Jan 2018
      Sectional title insurance can be a little confusing and, as a new owner, you may be tempted to just assume your body corporate has you covered. While this may be the case, understanding the extent of your coverage and your personal liability is the only guaranteed way to protect yourself against potentially costly oversights.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us