Welcome to the first of six articles about the home ownership and renting life stages we pass through over the years. As we discuss each stage, we’ll identify the jobs you can and can’t do around your rental or owned home and when you should get the professional tradesperson in.
As a teenager or young adult, the first property you live in after you leave your parent’s home is most likely to be rented. You may be the one with your name on the tenancy agreement or simply a flatmate. As the named tenant, you pay a weekly cost to live in the rental property directly to the landlord. Clicking on the image above will take you through to reach Tenancy Services. They can help you with further information on the basics of renting and flatting.
If you are a flatmate, you pay it to the person whose name is on the tenancy agreement and they pay the landlord. Whichever you are, ensure you get a receipt or pay via internet banking so you have a record of payments made.
As a tenant, you must inform the landlord immediately if you notice anything which needs fixing. This also includes maintenance work to be done, regardless of how the damage occurred. This is to ensure that your flat remains safe and the landlord can arrange to fix the problem. (more…)
Moving house is one of the most stressful events in your life, especially if you have been in the same home for a long time. Our moving house checklist will help you plan your move and help make your move run like clockwork.
The first thing you need to confirm is the actual date that you need to move. Until this is finalised, you can plan and prepare, but you can’t hire a removalist, organise a cleaner or do a lot of other tasks. This can be stressful because although you’re planning what to do, you can’t actually do anything! (more…)
When preparing your rental property for tenants, it’s handy to have a pragmatic approach to home design and decorating. Of equal importance is having knowledge of the practical and legal requirements of being a landlord. This includes understanding about a tenancy agreement and the residential tenancies act.
If you’re converting your own home to a rental property, remember your tenants may not have the same taste as you. You may love your brown carpet and cream floral wallpaper, but others may not!
If you have bought a property specifically to rent it out, then its best to decorate it with neutral colours. Creating a bright blank canvas is preferable. This will appeal to a wide range of tenants. It also lets them personalise the rental property without clashing with the decor.
A waste remover can also provide you with a skip or bins, and can be contracted to remove waste on a weekly basis. They can provide garden, office, home, green and/or commercial rubbish removal services. Waste removers can also deal with deceased or liquidated estates in a sensitive manner.
When hiring waste removers check whether they’ll deliver a skip which you can fill yourself, or they’ll come onto your property and remove the unwanted items such as old appliances, broken furniture, renovation rubbish, old sheds and more. Anything and everything you have no further use for.
If you are a landlord who has had tenants move out leaving your rental property in a uninhabitable state, waste removers can handle this for you – with your permission they may go under the house, into the office, warehouses, garages and sleepouts to clean up after the tenants.
They also perform damp, water and weather-proofing along with installing and repairing slate, tile and shingles and resurfacing roofs.
Roofers carry ladders to get up onto the roof where they will work to either patch a hole or repair the roof. While some people just get a roof re-shingled, this will only work for a certain period of time. After about 40 years, you often need a new roof. A new roof entails removing all of the layers of shingles in the original roof as well as the tar-paper and, in most cases, the wood underlay.
The wood must then be replaced, new tar-paper put down and brand new shingles put on the roof. When hiring Roofers ensure they are skilled in dealing with guttering and eaves.
When you’re getting a new roof, it’s important to consider the type of material, style, colour and cost. There’s a wide variety of roof materials now available, including ones that have a variety of eco-friendly advantages. Talk to your roofing contractor about the type of material best suited to your property and lifestyle.
This information aids the buyer in decididing if the home or building is worth purchasing or if there are major faults that could affect their purchase decision.
When hiring a property inspector to look over a property, they will check everything that is visible. They are generally not responsible for any internal issues like faulty wiring or plumbing hidden by walls. Each property inspector will have a disclosure listing their responsibilities and what errors or omissions they can or cannot be held accountable for at a later date.
There are other potentially dangerous conditions that a property inspector will look for as well. If desired, they can check for lead paint and most will keep their eyes peeled for asbestos while in an older home.
It is key to know of past damage in the building and if the condition that caused the damage can happen again. A property inspector will look for fire damage, past water leaks and evidence of termites and determine if the conditions are active or dead.
For example, a home may have had termites at one point in history, evident by small holes usually in the basement structures. The inspector will advise if it is an active infestation or one that is long gone based on the age of the holes.
The property inspector will prepare a report at the conclusion of the inspection. Usually it will follow in the days after the inspection and will contain the information they pointed out to the accompanying home-buyer during the inspection itself. This report will give a list of repairs needed and code violations as well as cost estimates for repairs.
Some inspectors will also include pictures and local information that they believe may come in handy for the potential home buyer.
A pest control operator or an exterminator, uses special equipment, treatments and preventive measures to remove or control the infestation of detrimental animals and insects from homes, commercial buildings and land.
An exterminator may be an independent contractor or work for a pest control company or government agency.
The most common insects a pest control operator deals with are cockroaches, fleas, bedbugs, spiders, ants and termites. Hives and nests of bees and wasps are other common targets for extermination. Animal pests often include rats, mice and other types of rodents. Occasionally, birds that have nested in buildings are eliminated by a pest control operator.
Homeowners frequently hire pest control operators to schedule inspections when they hear of pest problems experienced by their neighbours. Many exterminators offer free inspections. These inspections generally entail the operator examining the home and yard of the resident.
The pest control operator commonly inspects the home from top to bottom, looking in foundations, basements, attics and other areas that are popular hiding places for pests. They also typically scrutinize outdoor buildings, such as sheds or garages and look under shrubs and trees for signs of infestation.
Following inspection, the pest control operator will prepare a report for the homeowner that outlines areas of concern and recommends plans of action.
These action plans often include spraying with chemical or natural compounds, setting traps, sealing up suspected points of entry and obliterating nests and suspected breeding areas.
If the homeowner agrees and signs a contract, the operator typically schedules an appointment and returns with a crew to do the job. Residents are frequently required to vacate the premises if toxic materials are part of the pest removal program. Safely segregating pets during the procedure is normally recommended as well.
The majority of pest control companies provide on-the-job training that ordinarily takes two to three months to complete. The training generally includes instruction on safe administration of the treatment products and how to conduct comprehensive inspections.
Locksmiths specialize in locks, whether it be houses, safes, cars or other locks.
Locksmiths are familiar with metal locking systems, as well as electronic security systems and card-activated systems. Hire a Locksmith to install, repair, and adjust locks in everything from cars to office buildings, and they also offer services to people who are locked out or individuals who want to consult with someone about their security systems.
Locksmiths install locks on an office building, he or she usually becomes that building’s default locksmith, because of his or her presumed familiarity with the building’s locks. Some locksmiths retain extra key sets, by request, to gain quick entry when needed.
They also keep records of the types of locks used in a structure, replacement or repair work undertaken, and any other relevant information, such as connection with a security system which demands that a code be entered when a door is unlocked. Locksmiths will carry a vast array of tools, designed for picking locks, so that they can get into locked structure and vehicles.
They also have equipment to fabricate keys, program electronic locks, and to perform other tasks related to the profession, such as diagnosing problems with electronic lock and security systems.
If you’ve been delaying small but important home maintenance tasks because you don’t have the time or skills to DIY then it’s probably a good time to hire a handyman.
The jobs handymen can do vary and most are more than capable of completing small-medium construction projects from remodelling a room to repairing a damaged floor.
They can also work in gardens, paint a house and troubleshoot plumbing or electrical problems even if this means having to refer you to a professional electrician or plumber to fix a major problem. The list of jobs handymen can’t do is smaller than the list they can do.
Handymen are not allowed to do the following jobs unless they have the current legal licences and qualifications:
Handymen usually charge by the hour, working as fast as they’re able. There maybe additional fees for emergency or after hours jobs so check first. Handymen are useful as they can perform a wide range of repair jobs all at once, which means you only have to call one person rather than several different tradespeople to deal with all the small problems that occur in your home.
Handymen often will pride themselves on coming up with innovative and inexpensive solutions to fix your homes problems, saving you time and money. Read more about what questions to ask when hiring a handyman.
It takes several weeks or months to prepare a building for demolition. Items of value are stripped from the building and other materials need to be removed, such as glass as it can form a deadly projectile, or insulation which will scatter over a wide area. Non-load bearing partitions and drywall also need to be removed.
Selected columns on floors where explosives will be set are drilled and high explosives such as nitroglycerin, TNT or C4 are placed in the holes. Smaller columns and walls are wrapped in detonating cord. The goal is to use as little explosive as possible; only a few floors are rigged with explosives, so that it is safer (fewer explosives) and less costly.
More time-consuming than the demolition itself is the clean-up of the site, as the debris is loaded into trucks and hauled away.
For small buildings, such as houses, that are only two or three stories high, demolition is a rather simple process. The building is pulled down either manually or mechanically using large hydraulic equipment: elevated work platforms, cranes, excavators or bulldozers.