While Christmas closures offer Network Rail its main opportunity to carry out changes to the track layout or to jack new bridges into position, the construction industry as a whole largely shuts down for the festive season. The New Year return to work then, should present itself as an ideal opportunity to take stock and plan fresh approaches to maintenance; especially for those involved in Facilities Management.
Furthermore, with new budgets often being signed off for the coming 12 months, it can also be a time when cost savings have to be found in order to keep planned or reactive maintenance on track. For with the UK economy booming again across most sectors, estates and facilities mangers are having to cope with the double- pronged problem of buildings being in greater or more frequent usage, while the skills shortage is continuing to push up the price of labour as well as specialist contractors.
One solution to these challenges is to consider #cosmetic repair as a fully flexible approach to dealing with minor damage or the everyday wear and tear which can make building interiors – and exteriors – appear tired or neglected.
Rather than tasking traditional trade contractors such as carpenters, plasterers or decorators with trying to renovate various building substrates – for which they lack the equipment or relevant technical skills – a cosmetic repair expert can tackle virtually any challenge. Amongst the surfaces which Plastic Surgeon’s highly trained Finishers repair on a regular basis are laminates, uPVC, joinery items, glass, ceramics, brick and other types of masonry including marble. Architectural metalwork such as brass, bronze and stainless steel can also have damage polished out.
Sometimes confused with French Polishing, the art of cosmetic repair is constantly having to be reprised in order to keep pace with the introduction of new materials and building components. This also highlights the fact that making good existing substrates normally represents a far more affordable and environmentally alternative to replacement of expensive items.
Keeping on top of maintenance work throughout the year, potentially making use of cosmetic repair as part of either planned or reactive repair programmes, can constitute an extremely cost effective measure, having wider economic benefits. It is common for buildings that are kept in a good and attractive condition to command higher rents, with shorter void periods, as well as resulting in lower overall lifetime maintenance expenditure.
In fact January is a good time to look around at what work requires carrying out – after all it is not only the fax machine which tends to get abused during the staff Christmas party: plenty of furniture, fixtures and fittings may also benefit from the attention of a skilled Finisher. Overall the advice to facilities managers should be to embrace cosmetic repair as a recipe for a hassle-free 2016.