Three reasons not to cut your maintenance budget

When you’re responsible for buildings and estates, you know the work it takes to keep things running smoothly. From staying up-to-date with planned maintenance, to ensuring you’re compliant with legal requirements, covering your legal obligations is non-negotiable. But when you’re getting pressure to cut your budgets, maintenance can seem like an easy target.

You also know that the decision to invest a little more in your planned preventative maintenance upfront can really make a difference to the condition of your buildings and assets, and it can affect your bottom line too. Yet this can be difficult to explain to those that hold the purse strings.

Here are three simple reasons you can use to explain to non-estates people about why you should do more, not less, with your maintenance regime.

It’s all about efficiency

Sustainability should always be at the heart of your maintenance plan. But improving your energy efficiency isn’t just about big capital projects, such as changing your heating system or fitting solar panels. It can be as simple as making sure you regularly maintain your assets. If you conduct frequent servicing on your equipment beyond statutory requirements, it ensures it is running at peak efficiency, and not wasting unnecessary power. Think of all the equipment you have across your buildings – if each item is running even a couple of percent off its optimum, that can add up to really make a difference to your energy bill and overall carbon footprint.

No nasty surprises

With regular servicing that gets your building working at its optimum level, you’ll also identify and rectify minor issues in your assets and equipment that will save disruptive and costly repair works in between services. Whilst these issues may be minor, they will often need an engineer to attend site, or take away a site team member from other important work, in turn becoming more costly than the additional service visit needed.

Tom Farrow, Operations Lead at Sewell Facilities Management, said: “We manage preventative maintenance for many schools, and it’s crucial that they don’t have unexpected failures in their heating or water systems which may cause the building to have to close without warning.

“We always advise organisations to ensure their maintenance and servicing schedule is as comprehensive as it can possibly be, enabling them to reduce potential issues, avoid costly repairs and prevent unnecessary disruption.”

Don’t save up problems for future

When budgets are being cut, maintenance programmes can be an easy target. Reducing regular servicing of your mechanical equipment to just compliance inspections feels like an easy win, but the small amount of money saved now is often outweighed by the risk of larger expenditure in future.

Most equipment is designed to last a certain number of years, or run for a certain number of hours before reaching the end of its usable life, and if it is cared for properly and consistently, these expectations can in many cases be exceeded. However, on the flip side, if neglected and left unserviced, these life expectancies can be drastically reduced and bring the cost of replacement forward by several years. In the case of new equipment, you may also be unknowingly voiding your warranties by not keeping up with manufacturer’s guidance, potentially introducing additional replacement and repair costs that could be avoided at comparatively little expense. Many of these services may be simple cleaning, lubrication and realignment activities, but your assets will thank you for it.


Paul Marshall, Chief Executive of Assure Advisory, sees many of their clients experiencing pressure to cut their maintenance budgets. “Cutting maintenance can feel like an easy win, but that’s a very short-term benefit,” he said. “Forward thinking organisations recognise the value of their regular servicing, as they understand it makes a big difference to the longevity of their buildings and ultimately the cost of keeping them running over a longer period of time. The answer isn’t to do everything as often as possible, instead it is about finding that perfect balance of cost and benefit through better understanding of our buildings.”

If you want more advice on your maintenance schedule, or you’d like a review of your maintenance programme, get in touch.