A holiday home far from the madding crowd remains an essential ingredient of a stress-free annual getaway. And if you rent your second property out to the occasional guest, it can also be a great source of additional income.
But since holiday homes are, by their nature, often left unattended for long periods, they require a unique approach to maintenance.
By keeping your home-away-from-home in tip-top shape, you can reduce the risk of severe damage and the costly repairs that inevitably accompany it. Keeping your property well maintained will also increase its appeal to would-be guests.
Obviously, some homes require more upkeep than others. Older homes generally need more attention, while modern ones can sit vacant for months without requiring anything more than a surface dusting.
But regardless of their age, all homes need a modicum of regular maintenance, especially if they’re being rented out.
For starters, kitchen and bathroom fixtures should be regularly checked for leaks, which can seriously damage floors and ceilings if left unattended.
In older homes, wooden window and door frames should be inspected for rotting wood and/or cracked putty. Keeping these apertures tightly sealed will prevent water (and cold winter air) from entering the home.
Walls and furnishings should also be regularly checked for signs of mould or excessive moisture. Generally caused by poor ventilation, moisture can usually be remedied with the use of a good dehumidifier.
Wallpapering, too, should be examined for signs of wear and ageing. If wallpaper for walls suffers from torn edges or peeling, it can be easily fixed with the proper adhesive.
Also, be sure to check your home’s exterior paint coat each year and have it repainted, or touched up, if necessary. All outdoor furniture should likewise be checked for chipped paint and be touched up or varnished if needed.
Electric appliances, meanwhile, which tend to seize up if left unused for long periods, should also be checked. If they no longer function properly, they should be replaced (especially if you’re renting the property out).
Finally, special attention should be given to the maintenance of gas appliances, which both heat the home and provide hot water. In this regard, yearly inspections by licensed professionals are highly recommended.
Eye on Your Property
To maintain their holiday homes from a distance, some owners hire local housekeepers, both to keep an eye on the property and clean it when necessary.
Property management companies are also an option, depending on one’s budget. Such companies can ensure that your entire property, including gardens and pools, is adequately maintained all year round.
Along with providing the necessary upkeep, management companies can also carry out checks on your property before and after guest occupancies.