And a good job, too

Ben AshleyThe West Australian
man cleaning gutters.
Camera Iconman cleaning gutters. Credit: Comstock Images/Getty Images

For those of us still spending increased time around the home, recent research from trade aggregator hipages may prove something of an inspiration.

The report, released in February, revealed Australian households had accumulated a whopping $40 billion worth of maintenance and repairs in undone works around the home over the past 12 months.

Some 92 per cent of homes had at least one outstanding project, with the repeat offenders including cleaning, general home maintenance and gardening. The majority of jobs had been put off for six months or more.

hipages Chief Customer Officer Stuart Tucker said it was time for Australian homeowners to get stuck in.

“Our research says there are about 80 million repair and maintenance jobs outstanding in Australia,” he said. “Eight million of those are in Western Australian households alone.

“Evidence shows every Australian home has a to-do list they put off for either six days, six weeks, six months or six years.”

“That list hasn’t gone away.”

Mr Tucker said based on previous research the company had long-suspected jobs were being put off, but was surprised at the sheer scale of it.

“That’s why we decided to publish these results and hopefully encourage Australian homeowners to make their to-do list into an action plan,” he said.

“Because the research also shows the longer you put a job off, the more likely it is to get worse.”

Ray White Urban Springs Co-Principal Andrew Huggins agreed, having long noticed this trend throughout his career.

“Most owners defer maintenance, which leads to increasingly more maintenance down the track and higher depreciation of their asset,” he told West Real Estate.

“It is a slippery slope to defer maintenance for too long, as simple fixes can become major over time.”

Mr Huggins said there was a range of surprisingly affordable jobs around the home that could make a marked difference to its value.

“Gutter cleans, re-painting, urgent repairs to water leaks and even modernising kitchens and bathrooms can be a lot cheaper than many realise, helping to maintain your asset and keep your rental price high, or make for a much more pleasant lifestyle without much outlay,” he said.

According to the report, 29 per cent of male homeowners were prone to promising they would undertake a job around the home themselves, but never follow through.

Mr Tucker said it was important people acknowledged their limits.

“Look, there are some people who are very good at their DIY projects,” he said. “Others would really struggle to even change a light globe.

“In some situations it’s better to bring in a tradie, and we think the best way to do that is through a platform like hipages. Read the reviews and recommendations and find someone who is licensed to do the job.”

Mr Huggins was more direct.

“If you don’t know what you’re doing, pay someone,” he said. “Bad jobs invariably devalue a property.”

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