Tim Hollingsworth, managing director of leading surveying and estate agency firm Rumball Sedgwick, explains why prevention is better than cure…
The summer holidays may already seem a long time ago, but I hope you remembered to pack the sun cream and wear a hat.
“As the experts always remind us, we may think that a fortnight’s exposure to the sun every year isn’t very much, but it can still cause major skin damage, which may not appear until years later, when it may be too late.
Property is no different. You wouldn’t believe the number of properties I see that were bought, often without a survey, where the new owner then spends all their hard-earned savings on major internal home improvements…which then turn out to be sadly ill-advised. How come ‘ill-advised’? Imagine spending thousands of pounds on your dream bathroom on the first floor or fitting a gorgeous new kitchen with granite worktops, only to have to it ruined all because you didn’t notice that a blocked downpipe was over-spilling and saturating the outside wall.
It wouldn’t be obvious initially, but gradually the damp would work its way through to the internal wall surface and you would start to see that tiles were falling away and the timber carcass of the kitchen units was beginning to soften.
When purchasing a lovely new home, buyers are usually still wearing their rose-tinted glasses and they can miss that blocked drainage, missing tile or ageing felted roof. However, a survey will highlight those matters you need to attend to quickly once you’ve bought your house. Your survey gives you a full list of the works you need to carry out: undertaking them in the right order is very important to minimise your expenses and ensuring that you don’t need to do anything twice.
Starting by getting your home’s exterior in good condition ensures that any improvements you make to the inside will both last and increase your property’s value. It is a little bit like applying the sun cream or wearing a hat – look after the external first, then move onto the inside afterwards.
Remember, small repairs carried out now will avoid major and costly work later on. A well-maintained home will ensure expensive repairs shouldn’t occur and the property will retain its value.
After all, there’s no point in applying sun cream after your skin has burned, is there? So, remember…apply the sun cream at the right time!”