I was really surprised. So people in your country do maintain their houses just a little? This came up during an interview with an international expat friend. She said: “They buy a house and attach that to their wishes and then just do only what is really needed. And after 15-20 years they buy another house and do the same again”. How come? “Well, labour is cheap. So when you have money, you just pay for the job”. So do you know how to maintain a house in the Netherlands? “Not really” she said. “When I need, I just ask my fellows for a company who can do the job”. In this blog more information about the stage after moving – maintaining a house.
I don’t know how it is in your culture. But compared to other cultures, the Dutch do a lot of the jobs at home their selves. As you maybe have experienced: labour is (very) expensive here. On the other hand: a house in a good state will help you when you need to sell the house. Houses which are in good condition, will sell more easily, of course.
Normally when you buy a house, there is no instruction manual given by the previous owner or the broker or estate agency in the Netherlands.
The basics of maintenance
Here are some basics of maintenance, you maybe didn’t think of:
- When you do maintenance just in time, you will save unnecessary costs.
- When you wash your windows, clean also the window cases.
- If the paint layer on the wood outside is turning into powder or cracks it is time to paint again.
- Once a year you need to empty the gutters, that helps prevent leakages.
- A yearly check up of your heating installation is essential to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If you hear a lot of water running through the heating system, check if you need to add more water.
- Test the fire detectors every few months, and replace batteries when necessary.
- If you have a ventilation unit in your house, clean it at least every six months.
- Ever looked what the state of the sealant in your bathroom is?
- Do you have a tap outside? Shut the water in the winter.
All houses are different, of course. How much maintenance you have will depend on a lot of varieties:
- Age of the house.
- The size
- State of maintenance.
- Used materials.
- Used details.
- The area where your house is in. (A house close to the beach needs more attention than in Noord- Brabant for example).
- Your own expectations and wishes
After you move – maintaining a house is helpful to prevent more costs in the future and keep the value of your house high. Costs and what kind of maintenance is dependent on your own specific situation. Keep in mind that for some expats labour can be expensive in the Netherlands.
In a few weeks, part 2 of this blog series will follow.