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Routine Maintenance and DIY

Your new home will need constant care and attention if it is to stay clean, tidy and safe.

Whether you own or rent the house, you are responsible for keeping it maintained. In fact, you can be asked to leave a tenancy if your landlord thinks you are not looking after the house properly.

As a guideline, here are some tips for what you should be doing in your home.

Each day you should:

  • Wash any dirty plates, pots and pans and put them away
  • Keep your kitchen and eating area clean, disinfected and tidy
  • Hang up your clothes and tidy up as you go along

Each week you should:

  • Hoover carpets or wash down tiled floors
  • Clean and disinfect toilets and wash basins
  • Clean showers or bath tubs
  • Wash your duvet and pillow cases
  • Dust or clean surfaces

Don't let chores build up, cleaning and tidying up as you go along only takes a few minutes and will keep your home in great condition.

  • If you live with other people, try drawing up a cleaning rota so that the chores are shared between you and nothing gets forgotten
  • Remember if you own a pet, you need to consider the extra cleaning and maintenance it will bring with it and be prepared to deal with extra hair and a few accidents along the way
  • Don't forget the outside of your home. Gardens need as much maintenance as the house so keep the garden trimmed and tidy and free from rubbish

DIY

DIY (Do It Yourself) has become very popular in recent years. Getting in a professional to carry out jobs around the house can be expensive so many people choose to have a go themselves.

  • DIY can include anything from putting up a shelf or decorating a room to plumbing, but make sure you know exactly what you are doing before you get started. Bad DIY jobs can be dangerous and expensive. Each year around 70 people die as a result of DIY accidents and over 100,000 are seriously injured
  • No matter how small the job, always take precautions to ensure you stay safe and get the job done properly
  • If in doubt, always consult a professional. Do not start any job if you are not 100 per cent confident in what you are doing

Some tips when doing DIY:

  • Wear protective clothing such as goggles, gloves or a dust mask when doing jobs like painting or work with glass or sawing
  • When using a product that gives off fumes or dust, always keep the room well-ventilated and never smoke in the area
  • Always make sure you are using the right tools. Don't compromise on equipment. The right tools will get the job done more effectively and safely
  • When using a ladder, ensure it is stable and ask someone to hold it steady when in use, if possible
  • When using scissors or knives, always cut away from you
  • If you are fixing an electrical appliance, always switch off the power before you start and remove the plug or fuse. It is also advisable to wear rubber-soled shoes in case you do receive a shock
  • Learn what to do in the event of an emergency. Always keep a fire extinguisher in the house and never use water to put out an electrical fire
  • It is highly advisable that gas or electrical jobs are only carried out by a registered professional
  • When drilling or nailing into a wall, always ensure there are no water pipes or wires in the wall you could penetrate
  • Carefully plan the job before you get started. This will make sure you don't forget anything or rush the work, which can cause accidents
  • If you are a tenant, you should always check with your landlord first before starting any kind of DIY work. It might be written into your contract that you cannot alter anything in the house. If you have a problem that needs fixing, talk to your landlord first
  • DIY can be dangerous and many accidents are the result of DIY gone wrong, so ensure you get the right advice before starting a job

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