Maintenance of traditional buildings

From the HES website:

Overview | Maintenance plan | Types of maintenance | Inspection tips |Maintenance and saving energy

Maintenance plan

You must know your property and how it functions before you can draw up a suitable maintenance plan.

Walk around your property and make a checklist of key areas to inspect. Decide how often each must be inspected. Then work out which areas you feel confident inspecting yourself and which you need help with. See the inspection cycles and common maintenance actions checklist in our Short Guide 9: Maintaining your home.

How often you inspect a building depends on its:

  • exposure
  • age
  • general condition
  • use

A biannual inspection is usually adequate, with additional checks after extreme weather or other unforeseen events.

In particular, you should check:

  • rhones and downpipes twice a year – clearing them of leaves and debris as necessary
  • below ground drainage periodically – including testing to ensure that water is draining freely away from the property
  • windows and timber items for repainting every five years
  • masonry twice a year

After your inspection, draw up the maintenance plan, identifying work required in the short, medium and longer term. Ideally, you should agree this plan with your selected tradespeople. They can then prepare for the work and build it into their forward plan.

The more complex a building’s layout and roof, the more care you must take to ensure that your inspection covers all areas.

External areas to inspect and maintain include:

  • rainwater disposal
  • slates and other roof coverings
  • gutters, ridges and valleys
  • chimney stacks
  • windows
  • high-level joinery and decorative ironwork
  • wall masonry
  • below ground drainage
  • external ground levels

Internal areas of focus include:

  • mains water and domestic plumbing
  • heating systems
  • electrical systems
  • ventilation
  • attic space
  • timber floors

Keep a list of recommended tradespeople and professionals who can help with inspection and repair work. You can also read our inspection tips.