NEW COLUMN: ServiceMarket answer your questions

We spoke to home services company ServiceMarket to offer our readers some useful advice on annual maintenance contracts and services.

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The focus this time is on maintaining your home. Whether you are the owner or just renting there are a number of issues that can arise.

Have you got something you want to ask the team? Email contactus@adwonline.ae to get expert tips and advice.

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Q – My family just bought a new villa and we are not sure if we should pay for an annual maintenance contract or if it will be cheaper to just pay a handyman by the hour if we have any issues. From your experience, what would you recommend?

A – From leaky faucets to squeaky door hinges, there are many problems you could face in your new home. You can call in a handyman at any time to immediately fix any of these common problems for a small fee, usually based on how many hours they put in.

Many people just compare this small bill with the cost of an annual maintenance contract and think that it is better to just call in a handyman whenever something goes wrong. But, in the long run, an annual maintenance contract is often more affordable.

In addition to plumbing and electrical works, it typically also includes some services like AC cleaning and servicing that you will require on a regular basis. The cost of hiring a part-time handyman for all these services will quickly add up. Depending on your package, your maintenance contract may also include regular inspections to make sure that everything is well maintained.

However, make sure to understand what exactly is included in your maintenance package and shop around to find the best option. Some of the cheaper packages will charge a per-hour labor charge after a set number of hours and may not include some key services.

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Q – My washing machine has broken down and as it was quite expensive I want to try to fix it rather than buying a new one but it is just out of warranty. Who can I call?

A – There are many reputable maintenance companies in Abu Dhabi that would be able to come to your home to take a look at your washing machine. Bear in mind that it would typically cost AED 150 per hour for the labor costs plus the cost of any spare parts. You can get quotes from multiple maintenance companies on servicemarket.com

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Q – We bought a villa last month and need advice on AC Maintenance. Should I do it? And why?

A – Air conditioners need to be serviced regularly. If you have just bought a villa, you probably don’t know the maintenance history of your ACs. Old and unmaintained units can malfunction at anytime without warning, making it uncomfortable to stay indoors, especially in summer.

You should get an AC check-up done shortly after moving in to understand the condition of your AC. You should also call an AC maintenance company if you notice that the AC is not blowing out cold air or there is a smell in the air. Some of the most common AC problems include blockage of chilled water strainers by grit or dirt in the water, dirty filters, and gas leakage.

All of these problems can reduce the AC’s capacity to keep your room cool. However, before you book an AC specialist, get multiple quotes to compare the rates of different companies. Read reviews to see what other customers are saying about the company and make sure the AC specialist they send to your home is experienced.

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Q – I just moved to a rented apartment in Abu Dhabi and wanted to know whether the home maintenance is my responsibility or should the landlord take care of this?

A – This depends on the contract that you have with your landlord and the building managers. Often, the building will have its own maintenance team who can help out with small issues around your home, such as AC maintenance or leaks in pipes. However, you will need to personally deal with any maintenance issues arising from your own items, such as cracks in the wall due to hanging a painting or a mirror.

We’ll have more of your questions answered soon but make sure to send your questions to contactus@adwonline.ae 

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