We all want our apartments to be as close to maintenance-free as possible, whether we live in it or rent it out. The keyword here is durability: everything should be long-lasting and of quality even if the initial financial layout is a bit more than you anticipated. Over time you will reap the benefits of having invested in superior quality items, as not only will these items last longer, they will show less wear and tear.
The added bonus is that if anything needs to be replaced, it is very likely that a more superior line of products will still be available in the same design or material. This will save you the cost and effort of for instance having to replace an entire room’s tiles because you initially wanted to save money and bought a now discontinued end-of-range and the few crucial tiles you need to replace are no longer available. Just keep in mind that the durability of any item absolutely involves some form of consideration and caretaking by the owner: the better you treat a floor, a fridge or even a kitchen surface, the longer it will last and thus live up to your expectation of it being “hassle or maintenance-free”.
Here’s our list of tips on what items any apartment owner should pay attention to:
1. Durable, hard-wearing flooring
Go for laminates as it looks exactly like expensive hardwood, can take a beating and is quick to install or replace. Laminates will also cover up a multitude of sins such as hairline cracks and moderately uneven floors. Otherwise go for ceramic tiles and ask the supplier or manufacturer if the range is guaranteed to be around for some years to come. Do not buy so-called “bargains”, as there are always reasons stockists want to get rid of them.
Laminates are durable, will last for years and affordable. If your budget allows it, go for stone such as granite, quartz or marble. Just keep in mind that marble is a porous stone and will easily stain, but this can be remedied.
3. Go for an Undermount Sink
Undermount sinks are popular design features in most modern kitchens, but also very practical. It makes for an easy clean-up as crumbs and other dirt can easily be swiped directly into the sink instead of getting caught and accumulating over time in the ridges, “lip” or grip-edge of conventional sinks.
4. Gloss Paint
hobs, sinks and in bathrooms.
5. Window Blinds
Aluminium is durable and will last a very long time. Fabric vertical blinds will fade over time, collect dust and may even disintegrate and fray. Horizontal Venetian blinds are stylish and affordable and will only need the occasional wipe.
Curtains, throws, pillows, carpets, rugs and tablecloths are all excellent at gathering dust and can harbour lingering unpleasant smells. We know that scatter cushions and throws may be important design elements, but if you must have them around, make sure covers are easy to remove from cushions and that they, along with throws and other fabrics can be easily thrown in the washing machine and need no ironing afterwards.
7. Ovens and Refrigerators
8. Air-conditioning Units
These are life-savers in Malta during summer and a horror story when they pack up. The same rules apply in point 7: rather clean the filters on a regular basis which is quite easy to do and you will have years of hassle-free operation. Not cleaning an AC’s filters can be dangerous and lead to not only inefficient cooling or heating, it can start a fire!
The aim of having a maintenance-free apartment is to have a home where everything works optimally, lasts and improves the quality of life of its occupants. This does not mean ignoring and neglecting essential maintenance of some of the appliances or the caretaking of even static items such as floor tiles and countertops.
Maintenance-free means not having to replace items that have broken down and the associated cost and inconvenience on a regular basis. We all want our lives to run as smoothly as possible without day-to-day hassles and if it means a little bit of elbow grease in order to achieve this, then it is something that we all have to put up with.