The blog

Roger Hunt is an award winning writer and blogger specialising in sustainability, old houses, housebuilding and traditional and modern building materials. He is the co-author of Old House Handbook and the companion volume Old House Eco Handbook.

Don’t neglect your home!

Don’t neglect your home!

Maybe it’s because you’re busy or perhaps you’ve just lived in your home for so long that you no longer notice the crack in the wall or the damp in the spare room, but more and more UK homes are falling into disrepair because of neglect. In fact, around 11 per cent are now in need of major repair and approximately half need minor repairs*.

It’s easier than you think to avoid your home becoming one of these unfortunate statistics. All your home needs from you is a little bit of hard work and a lot of TLC.

Check it regularly

One of the most important parts of home maintenance involves checking your house regularly for any cracks, damp patches or other potential problems. Look carefully at your home at least one a year and, if you’ve had extreme weather, it’s wise to check roofs, chimneys and gutters as soon as possible because existing problems may be aggravated. Broken tiles or slates on the ground are one sign that all may not be well.

Don’t put it off

If you do find any issues with your home, don’t leave them to get worse. Instead, deal with them straight away before a more serious problem arises. This is especially important with simple maintenance issues like blocked gutters, as cleaning out a gutter costs virtually nothing but the potential damage it can cause to your property is considerable.

Ask mum and dad

Although more than a quarter* of homeowners profess to be home maintenance enthusiasts, many people lack the practical skills to repair damage to their home. If you’re not sure how to tackle a task, seek the expertise of friends and relatives. If nothing else, they can provide an extra pair of hands to get on with the work, allowing you time to think about the more glamorous aspects of improving your home, for example by sitting back and surfing the Betta Living website for your finishing touches.

Hire a professional if you need to

If your family and friends’ combined knowledge still isn’t enough to get the job done, don’t be afraid to hire a professional to make sure repairs are up to scratch. In any case, you should seek the expert opinion of a qualified surveyor or structural engineer if you suspect more major problems or need to undertake any substantial repairs.

If you’re organised, fast acting and motivated, keeping your home in good condition is easy. Just remember to fix any small problems before they become big ones!

*Halifax Insurance Home Maintenance Monitor

Image: ©Roger Hunt

guest post in association with Betta Living

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SPAB Working Party

For the last 25 years conservation experts and volunteer heritage enthusiasts have come together to join the annual Working Party run by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB). I went along to join them and created a video about the Working Party at Sullington Manor Farm near Storrington, West Sussex. They were working…

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If you’re going to invest in just one book on sustainable, low carbon building I’d strongly suggest that you make it The Environmental Design Pocketbook. Now in its second edition, this useful volume by Sofie Pelsmakers should be essential reading for architects, designers, developers, planners, students, clients and anyone else involved in the construction and operation of buildings….

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