Before You “Break the Bank”Deborah Adefolalu
Renovations are a lot of fun- until the bill arrives
If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, “Nigerians have a poor maintenance culture”, I would probably never have to work another day in my life. Maybe a little exaggerated, but the point is, years after a building is constructed there are drastic changes in its appearance either due to neglect or misuse. These observations mostly end with comparisons between how public buildings are treated here in Nigeria and other parts of the world. But as with many problems faced in society today, we hardly go beyond pointing out problems.
‘Clean-as-you-go’ is a principle that can be applied to buildings of nearly every scale. The basic idea is to have a weekly or monthly routine for caring for your work and living spaces that will either help delay major maintenance/ renovation, OR help eliminate entire items off your ‘list’. Either way, you end up saving yourself a lot of money. Whether you are a home owner or live in a rented apartment, taking care of walls, ceilings, floors etc., can and will help reduce maintenance costs in the long-run. Here are some tips you will find helpful:
Door Mats and Carpets
Because most of the dirt on floors comes from outside sources, using a durable doormat can help catch debris from the soles of shoes before they get in through the front door. This applies whether your floor finish is mostly carpeting or tiles.
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Especially useful for Plaster of Paris (POP) ceilings, taking down cobwebs at least once a week or twice a month can help cross ‘Paint Job’ off your list of expenses. Using a mop instead of a ceiling broom or extendable brush is a much faster option and it raises less dust and prevents the cobwebs from dropping down onto your furniture. The mop should however be clean and fairly damp to prevent creating an even bigger mess than you started with.
Keeping track of the little details might seem like a lot of work but once you take the time to plan, you’ll get used to it after a while. Sometimes you use money to save time, and sometimes you use time to save money, but what’s most important being able to tell the difference.