When to improve and when to maintain

Owning a home also require necessary maintanence to ensure that it is fit and habitable to live in, and simply make it look and feel more comfortable. Carry out an annual inspection.

Prioritise what you should be focusing on, asking are they:

  • Vital
  • Probably necessary
  • Not immediately necessary

The roof:

Must be watertight. You should carry out annual checks on the roof


Need replacing if they are not double glazing.

Wooden Windows should be free of rot and peeling paint. Repaint every 5 - 10 years.

Pointing of brickwork

If not properly pointed, water can enter and cause problems to the inside walls.

In cold weather, ice can form, which cracks brickwork further and eventually requires extensive repairs. 

Damp proofing:

Without sorting out causes of damp on the outside, you will end up with damaged plasterwork inside. Timber floor joists may start to rot and will need to be replaced.


Bad wiring can kill. Signs that a house needs rewiring include cables that are coated in black rubber or fabric rather than the modern PVC-coated cables

Also check the fuse box.

If it has a wooden box, cast iron switches or green and yellow wires coming from it, then it may be out of date and may need replacing.

Signs of potential problems include twisted wires from ceiling roses to light fittings, plugs and sockets that feel hot to the touch or have brown scorch marks on them, fuses that blow for no obvious reason or tripping of circuit breakers, and lights that continually flicker.


You should have a plentiful supply on tap whenever you are likely to need it. Repair any leaks.

Most boilers will last for between 10 and 15 years. There is the possible risk of fume leaks,and upwards of a third more on your heating bills each year. A new boiler will pay for itself over 5-7 years, depending on the type

Probably necessary

Plastering and re-decorating. A tidy-looking house internally will make you feel better about living in it and it need not cost the earth. 

Not immediately necessary

Replace the bathroom if you have a coloured bathroom suite, if the tiles are in poor condition, or if the flooring is unhygienic in any way. But it is not essential in the short term. 

If the carpets/flooring are in a poor state, or old-fashioned, you may want to consider replacing them. But wait until after you have decorated. Carpets should last about 15 years.

If the kitchen is an extremely poor state, this is an area worth looking at. Once fitted, the kitchen will probably last for at least 15 years.


Note: If in doubt call in a reputable Tradesman


In December 2008 Danny Eldridge remodelled and updated my bathroom and utility room covering all the trades. The work was carried out on time and to budget and I'm very happy with the result. His attention to detail is good as is the problem solving. Quotes are detailed and precise and alterations are noted and re-quoted. He's reliable, doesn't miss appointments, works tidily and 'just gets on with it.' I'm very happy to recommend this company.?
Diana Vernon-Smith, Sunningdale ,

Liability Insured

Member of Guild of Master Craftsmen