Over the last few years, I have started to teach myself maintenance jobs for the Holiday House. At first, all tasks were daunting and I thought I would never have the skills to fix things. The advice I got from a friend was to stick at it and take your time, go slowly. To get a handyman out for simple jobs will cost you $$$ and sometimes the tasks can be performed quite easily.

I have detailed some of the jobs that I have undertaken over the last few years.

The flyscreen door

When we first purchased the holiday house, I noticed the back-sliding door had rips in the flywire. On to YouTube, I watched a number of videos on how to replace flyscreens. I then went out and bought the tools and replacement flywire which was cheap at $12 a roll.

I then removed the door and removed the flywire, it wasn’t that difficult. Then I took my time replacing the flywire, I used a tool I bought that cost $6. The whole process was straight forward. The job was completed in about 30 minutes.

We accept pets at our holiday house but within the first month a guest advised us that their dog had ripped the flywire, so on the next visit, I replaced it again. No longer than a month later I received another text from a guest informing me that their dog had also ripped it! It was becoming a real issue, so I investigated better quality flywire and found the pet-proof flywire (pet mesh). It was 5 times more expensive at $50 a roll but I wasn’t going to keep doing this every trip to the holiday house. It was more difficult to install as it was a tougher mesh, however once installed it looked great. Three years later and we haven’t had any issues and the fly screen still looks as good as new.

Your best friend

Painting – Walls in high traffic areas

Painting is a relatively easy job that takes more time preparing than actually completing the task. Lots of drop sheets and again go slow, take your time.

Walls that have high traffic are in stairways as people seem to be constantly touching them, using the wall as a handrail.  These areas require washable paint. I have found that we have had to repaint all these areas with a paint that is easy to wipe.

The newly painted areas have made it so much easier to clean and make look new again, it’s a must if like me you want the holiday house looking pristine for the new guests.

Painting makes a holiday house look fresh

Pool Table maintenance

The other morning, I received a text from our guests who were staying at our Holiday House for a week and were checking out on Saturday. They said they had a fabulous time but unfortunately their young child played on the pool table unsupervised and put a large rip in the cloth.  I said, “these things happen and was glad they enjoyed themselves”. I was visiting the house for some maintenance so I would let them know the costs in replacing the felt which they understood.

I immediately scrambled to find someone to repair the pool table, the cloth alone to buy was anywhere from $150 to $310. Most Pool Table companies said the repairs take a day; no sites were telling me the complete cost which was a worry. After some research, the cost to replace the cloth with labour was over $500.

15 cm rip in felt

The other problem was that it was Saturday morning and my options were limited as most repair companies were closed. After lots of googling, I managed to get a hold of a company that sold the felt and negotiated a reasonable price and collected the cloth straight away.

I was lucky as I had a window of six days before the next guests were scheduled to arrive. This meant I could look at ways to reduce costs in repairs.

Hello YouTube!! It’s amazing the number of videos on replacing cloth on pool tables I could watch.

So, the plan was hatched, I was going to replace the cloth with a friend which hopefully would save me some cash!

I arrived at the Holiday House and there was a 15 cm rip in the middle of the table as described by our guests. The table cloth was worn and probably in the next 6-12 months, I would be completing this job anyway. Unfortunately, the situation demanded I complete this now as it made the table unplayable for our new guests and our standards are all about presenting a 5-star experience. Maintenance and cleanliness are so important in holiday houses.

We set about taking off the side bumpers which was 4 screws (very easy). And then removed the pockets. From there the cloth was held on by 300 staples around the table. We took our time and removed all of them, one by one. There was no glue at all so again the process was fairly straight forward.

After removal of the felt, a simple vacuum of the table and a full clean and wipe of all surfaces was completed. The next morning, we slowly began laying the new cloth out and stapled one end and then pulled it tight at the other and stapled. It was basically doing one side with a couple of staples and then going to the other and pulling it tight until the whole table was complete. I was surprised by how good the table looked, basically brand new!

New felt just about to go on

Before we put the bumpers back on we needed to draw the markings with a permanent marker, a straight line, a couple of large dots and a “D shaped line”. Got the measurements off google measured the spots and then used a piece of timber for the straight line, a washer for the large dots and a large round plate to trace for the “D”.

Using a plate to draw the “D”

Then simply screw back in the bumpers and brush down the felt and you have almost a new looking table. So much better than before the rip and presented 100% better.

Pool table looks brand new

We then rang the guests and said it would cost $100 which was a lot less than they were expecting. We figured it needed to be replaced so we would cover a large portion as well. Also, it’s another thing you learn.

The last thing you want is to ruin your guest’s experience with an expensive repair bill at the end of their visit.

Deep Cleaning

This is the term given in hospitality when a kitchen (mainly) is completely pulled apart and cleaned from top to bottom. All stainless-steel benches are pulled apart and put through the dishwasher. All walls are washed, ovens are scrubbed. All drawers and fridges are cleaned. Basically, everything is made new again. This is usually completed once a week.

In a holiday house, there is plenty to do that’s not on the day to day cleaning list.

Jobs like –

  • All kitchen cupboards emptied and wiped down
  • All glassware put through the dishwasher
  • All pots, pans, glasses, plates and utensils all reorganised
  • All windows given a good clean
  • All bathroom cupboards wiped and reorganised
  • Gutters are cleaned

Windows are the first thing the new guests see

The deep clean list can be as detailed as you want. It’s important to understand that busy well-run hotels survive on making sure their lists are completed on a weekly basis and monitored daily.

These experiences help me understand that I need to continually learn new things to keep costs down where ever possible. Whether it’s a pool table or any other maintenance that’s needed, you might be able to do it yourself.

Most tasks are fairly straight forward, just take your time and work through the problem.

Over the last few years, I have saved lots of money and time completing these jobs myself.