Your investment journey involves quite a few moving parts that you need to keep track of. The long and short of it might seem like finding an investment-grade property, getting a loan, and finding good tenants. Detail-oriented thinking is vital if you want to make sure your investment grows.
Home maintenance is something we should do every year!
Despite how tidy and clean the tenants are, you’ll have to perform some maintenance on the property.
A malfunctioning air conditioner, a broken tap, or a crack in the wall might be signs that something is amiss. It is simply not possible to sweep these issues under the rug and expect that they will go unnoticed – which means you will have high costs down the road!
Regularly maintaining your home can help you avoid expensive problems in the future by getting minor repairs done before they become more severe and costly.
Having a property manager conduct regular inspections is the best way to accomplish this.
The following are some of the most essential house maintenance tasks you should do every year to maintain your financial health.
Maintenance of the foundation
Physics is a law that cannot be overcome. In Australia, many buildings sit atop a bed of soil. As time passes, that soil will compress and wreak havoc on your building’s foundation.
Starting small, such as a crack in the wall, a stuck door, or a bouncy floor, can lead to more significant problems. However, do not let these minor inconveniences fool you. They could be the sign that your home is approaching a major structural problem.
A structural engineer can provide you with an objective assessment of what foundation issues you’re experiencing in this situation. (If you ask a repair expert first, it’s always possible that they will overcharge you for services you don’t require).
It’s imperative not to dilly dally when it comes to foundation maintenance, or you might end up hurting yourself. An example would be a wall that has bowed less than 2 inches. It will only cost you about $5000 if you get in on it right away. You could be facing $15000 if the wall moves more than 2 inches if you put it off!
Methods for maintaining foundations
Different properties will require different types of foundation repairs. However, the two most common ones are as follows:
- Piering: Excavating and inserting hydraulic lifts (piers) underground, below the existing foundation, to lift it into the correct place. A permanent solution.
- A slab jack is formed by injecting grout mix into the existing foundation to move it back into place. A change to the surrounding earth may make this project impractical.
Maintenance costs for foundations
Since many factors affect foundation maintenance costs, it’s impossible to make an accurate prediction. But here are some ballpark numbers:
- $300-$1500 for a structural engineer
- $1000-$2500 for tree root removal
- Piering: $1340 per pier (most homes require 8-10 piers)
- Concrete slabjacking: $500-$1500
Maintaining your HVAC system.
Australia is a pretty temperamental place when it comes to its weather. There are always two extremes to deal with: freezing winters and blistering summers. Consequently, your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system sure have its work cut out for it. Therefore, its annual maintenance mustn’t be neglected!
Filters clogged, ducts broken, heater not working correctly, general wear and tear. During the year, your HVAC may run into some of these issues.
Benefits of HVAC maintenance
HVAC maintenance is well worth incorporating on an annual basis if you consider the following:
- The more efficient your HVAC system is (clean filters, for instance), the less money you’ll spend on your electric bill from running it overtime to make up for its poor performance.
- Your HVAC system will last longer if you maintain it well and keep it in perfect working order. The lifespan of your HVAC system is extended by as much as 5-10 years! Reinstalling your HVAC system won’t cost as much.
- Unserviced, dirty HVAC units are a severe health hazard for an institution. People don’t want to experience respiratory problems caused by mould and bacteria. By contrast, a properly maintained HVAC system is a surefire way to ensure the new air quality in any environment.
Maintenance costs for HVAC systems
You will find that HVAC maintenance costs vary significantly based on the type of system you have. Below are some estimates based on the typical HVAC system:
- $150-400 for ducted heating
- $200-350 for a gas water heater
- $2700-$7000 for an underfloor heating system
- $1500 for the ignition of a heater.
- Air conditioners run at the cost of $55-$80 per hour.
A property’s roof serves as its first line of defence against the elements, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s going to be chipped, dragged, and damaged with time. Damaged roof tiles and rusted valleys are the results of all that wind, rain, and heat.
Furthermore, if you don’t adhere to a regular roof maintenance schedule, you might just be exposed to water-damaged ceilings and mould growth. Such problems can come with steep repair costs.
Owners are aware that costs are inevitable, but they should try to save money when they can. If you do not treat mouldy ceilings, it may lead to costly repaintings. But even more significantly, when owners are poorly informed about those costs, it becomes even more frustrating for them.
Roofing maintenance costs
Your choice will determine how much you will have to spend on annual roof repair. The cost usually falls into one of the following categories:
- Dimensions of the roof
- repairs and the types of materials used
- The type of repair (e.g. replacing tiles or replacing mortar)
- Access to the roof
- Other additional factors
Furthermore, the roofer can charge you based on the hourly rate or the square meters of roofing required for the job.
An overview of how to calculate maintenance costs would look like this:
- The hourly rate is between $40 and $90 (the total repair cost may be higher).
- The cost of 100m2 to 300m2 is between $3000 and $12500.
Maintenance of plumbing systems
It’s easy to take the things we do for granted, like going to the bathroom, washing our hands, and taking a shower. However, once you notice your bath does not heat up or the water pressure is low, you will wish you had taken care of your plumbing consistently.
Your actions protect you from contaminated water and make sure that you succeed in the financial department. When the plumbing system is well-maintained, it is more efficient, so you will generally enjoy lower monthly water bills. Also, preventative maintenance can prevent the need for more expensive and extensive repairs in the long run.
Maintenance costs for plumbing
The cost of plumbing maintenance cannot get calculated straightforwardly. The final cost of your plumbing job will be determined by factors like the type of job, where you live, and the plumber’s skill level.
As a general guide, here’s what you can expect to pay:
- There is a $60-$100 call out fee
- For leaking faucets or toilets, the cost is around $60 to $100
- For new showerheads or basin taps, expect to pay between $80-$250.
- For new hot water service, expect to pay $1200 to $4500.
- A complete drainage system replacement costs $5,000 to $20,000.
Maintenance of pest control systems
Often, it is misunderstood that if you spot a few creepy crawlies, there is likely to be much more than you realize. Pest infestations can occur right under your nose if you aren’t an expert on insects, rodents, and the like, which is why pest control is administered annually.
It can be disastrous to your property if you have pests. What about termites? You can lose your structural integrity. What about spiders and cockroaches? Those critters carry nasty diseases and can bite you. Are there bed bugs, fleas, cockroaches, ants and flies? There’s no doubt in my mind that you won’t be having a good time with those guys either.
A yearly pest control treatment will help you hammer down any minor insect or rodent problems before they become major infestations that will cost significantly more to eradicate.
Maintenance costs for pest control
In light of factors such as the type and number of pests on your property, previous infestations, and how large your property is – the cost of pest control might vary greatly.
If you would like a general idea of price, you may take a look at the average pest control costs in the major cities to gain a general idea of price:
- Approximately $80-$300 in Sydney
- ($100-$400 in Melbourne)
- Brisbane: $70-$250
Owning a business requires you to make sure your bottom line is in the black. But if you don’t perform annual home maintenance, you may be ruining your chances.
Therefore, make sure you check your foundation, HVAC, roofing, plumbing, and potential pest problems every year. By making this small modification, you’ll not only prevent yourself from facing hefty repair bills down the road, but you’ll also achieve long-term tenant satisfaction! It’s a simple way to increase rental revenue for you.