66% of Brits can’t afford their home maintenance costs
The majority of Brits are still not feeling the benefits of the economic upturn, as recent research indicates that 87%1 have less disposable income now than they did five years ago. In fact, they’re faced with an average £222 less each month.
This is having dire consequences on the conservation of Britain’s homes with two thirds (66%) of homeowners reporting that they’ve had no choice but to put vital maintenance work off for at least a year whilst one in ten (12%) have not had any work done since 2010.
The fact that homeowners are deterring home improvements, repairs and maintenance for as long as possible due to financial constraint is worrying, especially when those issues that need addressing are essential to the smooth running of a home and the safety of those living in it.
Plumbing problems in particular can have serious implications if they are not addressed immediately.
A leaky tap, running toilet or poor insulation may not be too difficult to live with initially but these ailments could indicate a larger underlying problem, which if left for too long, could pose health risks and add hundreds or thousands of pounds to the eventual repair bill.
What can homeowners do to help them afford unexpected maintenance costs?
It’s important to be aware of any warranties and guarantees you may have on your home appliances. WPJ Heating, for instance, provide an 8 year guarantee for Worcester boilers and a 7 year guarantee for Vaillant boilers, which should give homeowners some peace of mind that they won’t be facing catastrophic costs should anything go wrong.
Insurance is another option to consider, as you can opt for boiler insurance or look into a broader contents insurance policy for homeowners, renters or landlords. However, it’s vital to read what is covered before committing to a policy because not every insurance provider will pay for call-out fees and repairs or installations under all circumstances.
Perhaps the best precautionary measure that homeowners can take is to put a little money aside each month and use it to resolve any home maintenance issues that do arise as soon as they occur rather than waiting for the problem and expense to get worse.
1 Heating and Plumbing Monthly, 2015. When prevention is better than cure. [Online] Available at: http://www.hpmmag.com/plumbing/5826. [Accessed 8th May 2015].