Holiday Home Preparation and Maintenance
After a busy season of bookings it is easy to sit back and wait for the next wave of guests! However there is work to be done!
Some people's bookings dry up after the autumn, pick up for Christmas and New Year and then they are quiet until the Easter Holidays. Most seasons appear to follow the School Holidays, however there are many guests who prefer to book out of season - the properties are cheaper, there are less tourists around and eating out is better value. Indeed there are many activities that happen out of season, such as cycling, sailing, walking and skiing.
There are also more 'last minute' bookings so it has become risky to leave maintenance and updates to you Holiday Home to chance. It is better to know what needs to be done and plan to get it done quickly when the home is free.
As the season ends there are some jobs that should be done, regardless, to protect against the changing elements.
Rain, wind, hail and snow will enevitably come at some during the winter months, so it is essential to take preventative action. Look at the roof and ensure all the tiles or slates look in place - a slipped slate came allow wind or rain to seep under other slates and ultimately create a hole. Are all the eaves and barge boards solid? Are the chimneys in good order?
As leaves fall from the trees it is important to keep gutters and downpipes clear to allow free flowing water. It is possible to buy gutter and drain covers.
Are there any trees, hedges or bushes that could a problem in high winds?
Set your water and heating to come on during freezing weather to prevent frozen pipes. A Frost stat is useful or even an 'app' to turn on the boiler.
Lastly check that your home is secure - are doors and windows locked? Change the code on the key safe, store away tools, have a light on a timer.
There are also many 'Administrative' tasks to be completed, many of which will require attention to the maintenance issues.
Insurance. Do you have the correct cover? Do you meet all the policy conditions? In the event of claim you need to know you have, part of which is taking care of your property. with our tips on holiday home winter maintenance. Here are 10 checks that we recommend you make now:
Holiday homeowners must, by law, make sure gas appliances in their properties are maintained and have a gas safety check carried out every 12 months by a registered Gas Safe engineer.
Check the last time you had your gas appliances serviced and gas safety checked.
Do you know how to turn the water off in the event of a flood or burst pipe?
Check taps and the water system for leaks.
Is your loft insulated and pipes lagged?
Have you run a Fire safety check such as Fire safelty
It isn't a legal requirement to officially PAT (Portable Appliance Test) your appliances each year however for peace of mind it is a good idea. At the very least you should check all appliances, lamps and lights for any obvious signs of wear. Fuses being blown is an obvious sign that something needs to be checked, otherwise make sure wires look intact and attached properly. Check appliances to see that they are clean and in working order.
Most holiday homes now have sort of solid fuel burners, either an open fire or wood burning stove. Make sure the stoves are sealed properly, the glass is clean but above all have chimneys swept from time to time. The most common cause of chimney fires is because of a lack of sweeping. If wood that has not been properly seasoned is used it can cause the chimneys to get 'sooted' up.
A decent log store or log shed should be used to make sure your logs are dry when needed.
When burning fuel it is imperative to install carbon monoxide detectors to prevent any poisoning Carbon Monoxide information
Equally you must have Smoke detectors and test them regularly. We suggest keeping a log.
Steps to maintain your Holiday Home to look good on the outside!
First impressions count so it is important that your holiday home looks amazing when your guests arrive! With more and more choice and some photographic wizardry peoples' expectations have grown over the last few years. So making sure your holiday home looks great from the outside is worth a small amount of consideration -small improvements may increase bookings and get some great reviews! Some changes are obvious but sometimes a second pair of eyes can be useful! The winter and early spring is the time to go ahead with some of these changes
De-clutter the garden - it's amazing how much lighter a house can become when trees, bushes, hedges, shrubs and greenery are cut back. It can also free up space and change the whole aspect of the house. We all know how much a haircut can change your appearance, your House is the same!
Re-stock the garden - maybe it's time to fill in some of the gaps and plant out some low maintenance but colourful plants. The right choice can really lift the garden. Maybe some smart planters with small trees of bushes either side of the entrance door?
Weed - most homeowners spend time weeding their beds over the course of a summer. However Holiday Home owners don't necessarily have the opportunity to do this. It is therefore important to get ahead of the game and have a serious regime before the season starts. Not just the flower beds, but all over the Garden - paths, boundaries, trees -everywhere!
Brush Up - It is common to find leaves in a garden even with the most energetic autumn clean. So before a season starts make sure all remnants are removed, as they can look pretty ugly when they decompose. Whilst doing this it is important to check gutters, downpipes and drains for leaves and debris. If full they can stain the walls below or even increase the risk of floods.
Pressure wash - With a build up of moss, algaes and litchens the exterior of your home can not only look a bit 'green' but it can also present a health hazard as slabs, paths, paving, bricks, stones and decking can become very slippery. It is amazing what a difference a blast from a pressure washer can make! It returns a property to looking clean and safe!
Clean your furniture - a pressure washer or good old elbow grease can transform your tired looking tables, chairs and BBQ's, ready for action!
Doors - make sure your front door is in good working order, with working locks and an easy action. Clean up the letterbox, keyholes, knobs etc and give it a coat of paint if needed - remember first impression!
Windows - they should be washed regularly and checked. It is easier to paint them annually than to replace them. Also make sure they are free from cracks or leaks. Make sure they 'sparkle'
Lighting - As well as well security 'trigger' lights in the front garden to help guests after dark, add a bit of style to your garden or sitting out area with some lighting. There are some really clever and cost effective options available, even solar powered ones with LED bulbs.
- Doors, windows, lighting
- Gutter and down pipe clearance
- Driveway / gravel maintenance
- Pressure wash patios
- Pressure wash garden furniture
- De-clutter the garden
- Re-stock the wood shed
- Garden maintenance
- Winter element deterioration
- Trees, hedges or bushes clearing and cutting
- Key safe
- log store / log shed
- Solar panels & electrical installations
- security features
- Car port, lean-to utility room, sitouterie - to accommodate outdoor dining year round
Steps to maintain your Holiday Home to look good on the inside!
Once your guests enter you Holiday Home they need to be impressed! Holiday Homes are cleaned at changeover and most guests leave properties almost as clean as they found them! However linens, towels etc will need to be changed as well as well as all the other cleaning tasks. Time can be limited and whilst they look great, over time there will be a gradual build up of dirt and fluff in nooks and cranies and a 'deep clean' is needed from time to time to freshen up the home.
So we have a list of suggested actions to make your property shine!
Dust first, paying attention to ceiling corners and cobwebs. Ab old fashioned duster on a long stick is ideal. Then use a vacuum cleaner, pulling furniture out and attacking the bottom of the skirting boards. Dust or spray clean the backs of furniture.
Think laterally and use long handed brushes or similar to get into tricky area such as behind radiators. Use a stem cleaner to give your furniture a deep clean and a carpet cleaner to restore the carpets. It is amazing how much dirt comes out.
In the kitchen empty the cupboards and really clean them and any surface. Make sure the taps don't drip and the sink drains freely. Check for evidence of rodents. Check all the machines and replace damaged crockery and cutlery.
In bathrooms make sure the loo seats are fixed on properly and work. Some seals around baths and showers perish and allow leakage, which can lead to bigger problems. Grout and seals should be scrubbed or replaced as mouldy bathrooms are a bad look! Use some cleaner to clean shower guards.
Don't forget to pay attention to beds and mattresses - they can hide all sorts of mites!
If the walls are looking a bit grubby they can be wiped down. Sometimes the paint can be touched up.
To really makeover a room or a home consider repainting - not only does all the furniture and fittings have to moved and subsequently cleaned before moving back. A new coat of paint on walls and woodwork really makes a difference!
We work with interior designers when required, and can recommend ones who specialise in rental properties.
- Paintwork - walls and woodwork
- Doors, windows, lighting
- Kitchen worktops
- Bathroom grouting and sealing
- Deep clean carpets and curtains
- Deep clean kitchen
- Gas appliance checks
- Key safe
- Pipes lagged
- Fire safety check
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- PAT (Portable Appliance Test) electrical appliances
- Open fire or wood burning stove maintenance
A complete property Maintenance service
We offer annual checks on properties and keep records, working with owners on
property improvement plans over several years - safeguarding and enhancing
their investment OR we can do one off makeovers and individual jobs.
We travel and if necessary move into a remote holiday cottage during an off season
week and bring lots of jobs up to date.