We should maintain the external and internal fabric of our buildings because they are our income. If we do not, our assets can decay without us realising it until we face a major expense. There are three types of maintenance:
- Planned maintenance to attend to defects ascribed to wear, tear and the harsh Australian climate
- Corrective maintenance to deal with specific problems like broken windows and leaking roofs
- Emergency maintenance for health and safety reasons like storm damage, or a gas leak
Planned maintenance helps us avoid corrective and emergency jobs if done properly. This is the only form of maintenance we can plan for. The other two ‘happen’ often at inconvenient times as luck would have it. If we neglect these maintenance tasks, our buildings will deteriorate.
Reasons Why We Need a Maintenance Plan
The main reasons for holiday rental maintenance are preserving our asset, and remaining an attractive proposition for guests. We need a maintenance plan to tell us when we are due to do what, and remind us to do so when it falls due. A stitch in time definitely saves time. We found this interesting diagram on the NSW Heritage Office website showing the multiplier effect of neglecting maintenance jobs.
How to Create a Building Maintenance Plan / Budget
Our first step is to put a program in place that defines how often particular jobs need doing. A calendar-based solution such as the following fragment sourced from the NSW Heritage Office website enables us to drive an annual maintenance budget out of it. This is essential to keep control of finance. It is also a useful document when delegating, or outsourcing the program.
Maintenance Inspections and Reviews
We should inspect our buildings once a month to identify items needing immediate corrective action. This is over and above the scheduled inspections in the maintenance plan, and covers unplanned events like wind and storms. From time to time we should sit back, and review how well our maintenance plans are working.
We are not aiming to meet the Hilton Brisbane Hotel standard. As long as everything looks neat and tidy and