Home repairs can be expensive – but ignoring them can cost even more in the long run.

Three-quarters (75%) of homeowners across the UK need to have repairs done, and half (50%) say delaying repairs in the past has ended up costing them more than an early fix would have.


The research, published by Gas Safe Register, found homeowners failing to act quickly could be left £1,876 out of pocket on average, with one in 20 (5%) spending £5,000 or more eventually getting repair jobs done.

Gas Safe Register has teamed up with Homes Under The Hammer’s Martin Roberts to help people understand the financial and health impacts of putting off repair jobs.

Roberts has shared his top tips on which repair jobs are worth it – and what can happen if issues are ignored…

Martin Roberts
Roberts recommends dealing with issues before it’s too late (Martin Roberts/PA)

If a house hunter sees several repair and maintenance issues when viewing a property, should that put them off buying it?

Roberts says: “No, it could be an opportunity to add value, but it’s important to know what damage might have been done through lack of maintenance – and it’s important to be able to tell the difference between superficial damage, and more serious long-term effects.”

What can house hunters do to work out whether the repairs needed would still make a house worth purchasing?

“At this stage, it’s probably time to call in tradesmen to give estimates for remedial works – they will be able to give a realistic assessment of the costs involved,” Roberts advises.

What’s your advice for homeowners working out how much property issues would cost to repair – should people get a range of quotes, and how many quotes would be appropriate?

“I would recommend ideally getting three quotes, and make sure they’re written – not just verbal ones. You can tell a lot about their professionalism from how the quotes are presented. And always ask for references and examples of previous work!”

A thermostat reads 'check me out'
(Gas Safe Register/PA)

How can people work out which repair jobs to prioritise, if there are more jobs than their budget will immediately cover?

Roberts says: “The priority has to be given to those that could give rise to safety concerns – like the maintenance of your gas appliances, for example.

“Poorly maintained gas appliances – such as boilers, cookers or gas fires – can not only put you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, but it can also leak gas, and – in some instances – this can lead to fires and explosions. It’s therefore really important to ensure you book an annual safety [check] for your appliances with a Gas Safe Registered engineer.

“Next up would be repairs where a stitch in time will literally save nine. Things that left unchecked will cause more expensive problems in the future, such as leaking gutters.”

What’s your advice for budgeting to repair specific problems with a home – for example, should people add a certain percentage extra to deal with unexpected costs?

“Everything starts with a full assessment, which you should do in conjunction with a builder or surveyor if you’re not comfortable or experienced to do it on your own. And then whatever those schedules reveal can be budgeted – but always allow 15% to 20% contingency of the total repair cost for any unexpected issues.

“If you’re buying a house, don’t forget costs of repairs could come into negotiations on the price you’re purchasing at.”

Should homeowners keep a pot of cash to deal with general maintenance?

“You can take out maintenance contracts for a variety of potential household issues – including boiler service contracts – which will keep everything well maintained. Alternatively, if you are able to put a rainy day fund aside, that will be very useful in times of unexpected expense.”


Dog Working GIF by Hey Duggee - Find & Share on GIPHY


What are the worst maintenance and repair problems you’ve seen generally with homes for sale – and are there any problems that would put you off buying a home completely?

“Gas appliances rarely seem to get the attention they deserve, because if not maintained they can be a major safety and health hazard. Drainage in all its forms (underground, gutters and downpipes) can lead to all sorts of major issues with damp – and in the worst case subsidence, if not looked after.

“As long as the price paid reflects all that’s needed to fix things, every house is worth considering – but you have to go in with your eyes open, and surround yourself with people who can help if you’re not experienced.”

Roberts’ top piece of advice is fixing things “before they multiply into more issues”.

Gas Safe Register is the UK’s official registration body for gas engineers and gas businesses. People can find and check a gas engineer by visiting gassaferegister.co.uk

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