Maintenance A newly built home is a thing of beauty. Over time, however, some aspects needs attention be it repair or replacement. A few tricks would keep the home functional for a long time, says Radha Prathi
People who live in their own houses will vouch for the fact that it is easier to build a house than maintaining it in a functional manner. Invariably, some aspect of the home always seems to be under repair or in need of replacement.
Plumbing, sanitation, electric connection, water seepage, plastering, colouring -the issues could be of a major or a minor nature, nevertheless they are endless. Constant repairing or re-fitting of appliances and storage items can ruin the walls and render them weak in the long run. Though one cannot profess to find a permanent solution to the problem, a little time, energy and money invested on the subject in the initial stages can prove to be a panacea in the long run. Here are a few tips that can keep your home glowing and functional for a long time soon after construction or renovation.
Well begun is half done! If you invest in good quality material at competitive prices you can congratulate yourself on a project which will last longer without too many repairs. The need for space always seems to increase miraculously as the years pass. Built-in storage spaces are not only compact but also lend more living space, hence ensure to build ample storage space wherever possible, right in the beginning.
When you get your home painted, ensure that you store a little paint in each hue in little airtight containers. You can touch up little scratches and peelings on walls and doors that might occur during shifting. In the long run, a dab of the exact shade of fabric paint can do the trick. When corners of walls chip, or a little damage is caused while driving nails or fitting new appliances use a little M-seal to fill the gap evenly, rub a piece of white chalk over it, to serve as primer and then paint them over as suggested above.
Porches, porticos, balconies, service verandahs and corridors exposed to sunlight, invariably tend to be used as storage spaces. Hence, it is advisable to build some storage space from the ground level up to two or three feet, right in the beginning. The top of these cupboards can double up as seating space. You could also place potted plants on them. This way, the flooring will remain unsoiled and moisture free, besides avoiding cluttering. Make arrangements to trail some creepers along the metallic grill which encloses semi open spaces in your home. This way, you will have access to sunlight and the view outside without compromising on your privacy. Do not wait to grow old to fit railings on slippery corridors and bathrooms to support walking. If they are done right away, your home will be friendly to the elderly and sick through all times.
Electrical fittings like switches and plug points have a curious way of going out of style very quickly. Switchboards in kitchens and bathrooms tend to wear out quickly. Hence make it a point to buy the latest. If you buy some extra fittings, it will be easy to replace them whenever the need arises without making the spot look odd with whatever is available at a later point of time. While using glass for windows preferably use a higher gauge of glass. Use plain glass if you live at a higher altitude and opt for the latest pattern if you live on the ground or first floor, because, patterns on glass tend to keep changing. In case you have to replace a broken glass, go for a contrasting colour or opt for a stained glass painting replacement to avoid a patchy look.
Installing water harvesting system and solar heater at the outset can help in retaining the strength of your walls in the long run, for these installations require some extra plumbing which can cause damage. Child-proofing your home If you have small children at home, it will be a good idea to tape sandpaper or some light coloured wallpaper along the vacant walls of your home or the children’s room for about three feet from the floor. The kids can create their murals on them without stressing you. They can be retained or removed according to your convenience. Buying a couple of extra latches, padlocks, handles and knobs in the same design that you have chosen for your home can have an unpredictable way of coming in handy at a later date, without causing abrasions to your woodwork and also without sticking out unceremoniously.