Sanitise you space
In light of recent events, many of us are taking more stringent measures to ensure high sanitation levels. And while your new home should be cleaned before you move in, we suggest you opt for a deep, top-to-toe clean that will leave it looking gleaming and feeling safe. Urban Housekeeping offers a steam cleaning service that trades chemicals for heat, and can also sanitise your carpets, sofas, mattresses, and curtains. Another company promoting a chemical-free approach is Saniservice. It’s a top choice for leaning and disinfecting A/C units, using specialised tools to get to every nook and cranny. If you need a hand with everyday chores, from vacuuming, to ironing and making the beds, Helpling has a fab online booking system as well as a handy guide to how many hours you should book for, based on the size of your home.
Repaint the walls
A new lick of paint does wonders to refresh a room and put a personal stamp on your home. If you’re renting, do bear in mind the fact that if you paint your home a different colour, you will be required to return it to the original hue before you move out. If you want to take the color plunge, use the Jotun Colour Design app for a sneak peek of what your chosen shade will look like: simply upload a photo of your space and select a shade to apply for a virtual snapshot. If you want to leave it to the experts, TipTop Technical Services will paint or stain the walls and ceilings, doors and banisters – all while keeping surfaces well protected. For artisan finishing, Kansai Paint harnesses the Japanese spirit of beauty to bring you truly elegant paint possibilities.
DIY your light fittings
Covering those bare bulbs with decorative light fittings will take your space from stark to homely in an instant. IKEA is the go-to for your affordable lighting needs, from statement pendant lamps to cute wall lamps for kids and much more. Or, head to Marina Home (800 4360; marinahomeinteriors.com), which has a great variety of seasonal styles and trend driven pieces. For a dinner party talking point or dramatic entryway lighting, Huda Lighting is a treasure trove for wow designs from a selection of high-end international brands.
Fix annoying niggles
Call in an expert handyman to sort those fiddly little home maintenance jobs in a jiffy. HandyMan Dubai offers a range of services from hanging shelves to repairing water leaks. What’s more, the team covers the entire city and offers around- the-clock emergency call out services. Long-term Dubai resident and self-monikered ‘handy Scandy’ Bjorn and his team at Handy Scandy Home Services specialize in quality paint and wallpapering services, tiling, electrical jobs, and much more, but they can also help with your basic DIY needs such as putting up shelves, fixing picture frames to the wall or assembling tricky flat pack furniture. From plumbing to DIY work, We Will Fix It has more than 10 years’ experience in the UAE and boasts a reliable team of maintenance professionals. They’re happy to take on any job, big or small, from installing a smoke alarm to giving the water tank a deep clean.
While most white goods come in standard sizes, be sure to measure up before you splurge on these big ticket items. In terms of where to buy, is a one-stop shop for large appliances, German brand TEKA is famous for its efficient, hi-tech products, and LG appliances will bring a touch of luxury to your space.
Get the curtains up
Unless you have an amazing eye for detail and are a whizz with a power drill, we recommend leaving it to the professionals when it comes to hanging blinds and curtains. There are lots of tailors in Satwa and Al Quoz who can whip you up the window dressings of your dreams, including Empire Curtains. Most will come to you to measure up, and can often turn around your chosen designs in as little as three days. Alternatively, global brand Sedar has showrooms across the Emirates, offering several styles of curtains, drapes and blinds, plus a free installation service.
There are recycling bins in most residential communities but if you’ve got no time to dump your plastics, Green Truck (greentruck.ae) and Planet Green (planetgreen.ae) will collect your recyclables from your door for a fee.
Maintain homeward bliss
Keep your home in tip-top shape by staying on top of these maintenance must-dos. When it comes to running home in Dubai, there’s more than rent, mortgages, insurance, and living expenses to consider. We get the lowdown from the guys on the ground…
Why is home maintenance something you need to consider when planning my domestic running costs?
Dylan Fjellstrom, Clear Water:
Just as you take care of yourself, your home needs looking after too. Especially so because of the harsh climate we experience here.
Lukas Eigenman, COO, Hitches & Glitches: A poorly maintained property will create problems from day one, so choose a good landlord who maintains the property well and keeps records. If you’re the homeowner, get a site survey or audit done on the property to ensure things are working well, or check previous maintenance records for work carried out. The saying, ‘prevention is better than the cure’ hits the nail on the head when it comes to home maintenance – nip things in the bud when it comes to sorting out niggles around the house.
What are the home maintenance must-dos?
Amandeep Kaur, VFix Maintenance:
Regular A/C servicing and preventive maintenance should be at the top of your agenda, as poorly maintained units will cost you money on your utility bills. If you have allergies, it’s also worth having your filters cleaned every couple of months. Otherwise, a quarterly service is advised. Also, be sure to carry out an annual electrical supply and wiring check. During routine inspections, we often notice faulty wiring, which is a major safety hazard, although it’s easily fixed. Plumbing is another area to focus on. Cleaning and flushing the drains every six months is hygiene non-negotiable and helps avoid the possibility of airborne bugs taking hold. The checking of internal and external pipe leaks should also be factored in and it’s important to routinely maintain faucets and toilets. Overall, the issues we see most frequently include clogged drains, poor A/C performance or breakdown, leaking faucets or pipes, chipped paintwork, loosely fitted cabinets, and other carpentry issues. If you ignore these problems this will cost you a lot more in the long run. Plus, if you own and decide to sell, a well-maintained home will command a higher price.
How do I choose a home maintenance company?
Dylan: Be sure to read the fine print as many companies offer good rates, but when it comes down to it, the services they offer are very limited and there are extra charges for just about everything. Lukas: Always deal with a reputable company and don’t be afraid to compare quotations and service proposals. Insist on seeing a company profile as well as references. A reputable company that can be trusted
will have no problem providing third-party testimonials – and do ask to speak to existing clients.
What should be included in rental contracts regarding maintenance?
Responsibility for maintenance should be included in the contract and should be as specific as possible. If there is a maintenance dispute that cannot be resolved between the landlord and the tenant, the
the tenant may open a case at the Rental Dispute Settlement Centre DLD (fees/costs apply)
Is an annual maintenance contract (AMC) the way to go?
Lukas: Having an annual contract can be extremely beneficial, particularly when you consider how hard an A/C unit has to work in this climate, not to mention the impact sand and humidity can have on your
home, creating additional problems. There are different types of packages available, for example; a basic offer that provides unlimited emergency cover but limits the standard cover; a standard package
with the guarantee of a quick turnaround time, unlimited call outs (emergency and standard) and two A/C services per year; and an ‘executive’ package, which also includes unlimited carpentry and spare parts.
Dylan: An AMC means you’ll have preventative maintenance carried out periodically, which is beneficial to keeping your AC, electrical and plumbing in good condition. Be sure to check that the contract includes water tank cleaning as this is really important for maintaining a healthy water supply
Pre summer: Deep clean your home Give your entire home a top to bottom clean once a year.
Clean the AC filters: We need our air-conditioning to be on top form during the summer months, so make sure it’s delivering the chill factor before the heat kicks in.
Deal with pesky pests: As the weather heats up, the cast of Bugs Life tend to seek refuge inside our homes, stop them in their tracks by making a date with pest control.
Prepare your garden: Fertilise the grass, increase the amount of shade, and protect the soil with mulch.
Pre winter: Clean your water tank, More of us are making the switch to filtered tap water but cleaning the water tank annually (at least) is an absolute necessity.
Power wash your windows: Sand makes our windows extremely dusty, so once a year hire a power washing service to get them clean.
Clean and defrost your fridge-freezer: One of the most used items in a home, deep cleaning, and defrosting your refrigerator and freezer makes it more likely to live a full life.