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Myth of the Maintenance-Free Building.

There is no such thing as a maintenance free building. Nor are there magic maintenance free building materials. Some materials and systems last quite a long time. Even those will need to be cleaned occasionally. Colors fade. Caulk fails. Downspouts need to be cleared. Foundation planting may be relocated as it fills in close to the building. Fixtures and fittings require regular maintenance. Paint and wall coverings should be refreshed or replaced. Not-profits planning new facilities should heed the following advice. When building a new building, enter into it with an annual maintenance budget. The best plan is to budget approximately three percent of the new construction cost annually on improvements. Do this and not only will it reduce the chance of getting caught down the road with an unwieldy expense, the facility will continue to look and feel as good as it did the day it opened.

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