Anyone who has a home in the UK will fully understand that there is always something to do. There are any number of home maintenance jobs that need to be done. Some are of course more important than others.
To try and make life easier, we have made a list of those below. We have placed them in order of what we believe to be the most important, in terms of prtecting the value of your home.
Top 50 Home Maintenance Tips for UK Home Owners
We will start outside and then make our way inside the house. If you click on the task, you will be taken to a summary of what to do and why you should do it.
- Inspect gates and railings
- Inspect fences for damage and treat them
- Inspect brick walls for damage and protect them
- Inspect driveways and repair if required
- Check doors
- Check garden tools and clean, repair or replace
- Cut back trees, hedges, weeds, ivy etc and weed regularly
- Regulary mow the grass and feed as required
- Apply sealer/preservative to outside decking, patios and garden furniture
- Power wash yards
- Check outside paintwork and refresh
- Check any outside lighting and sockets
- Check any external taps and hoses
- Check garage/shed doors and windows
- Check/Install garage security
- Check gas for BBQs, heat lamps etc
- Check roofs for leaks
- Check if the chimney needs swept
- Check double glazed windows for condensation, cracks etc.
- Check letter box for damage and leaks
- Clean and repair your gutters. I have often used a power washer to get the rough off, if the surface is very dirty.
- Clean and protect drains
- Check all utility suppliers for the best deal - gas, electricity etc
- Check and review all home insurance policies
- Check for any signs of pests in roof spaces
- Check inside floors for loose floor boards, creaks, cracked tiles etc
- Check for any signs of damp or mould
- Check walls for holes or cracks and repair
- Test any smoke or fire alarm detectors
- Test any CO2 detectors
- Check boilers for maintenance dates
- Check radiators and fit thermostats
- Bleed radiators to improve efficiency
- Check all locks function
- Check all internal lighting
- Check internal paintwork and refresh if required
- Check bathroom pipes, leaking taps, leaking cistern, shower etc
- Regrout tiles or clean grout and caulking around the bath
- Check for cracked tiles in bathroom
- Re-grout any tiles as necessary
- Check for spare fuses for electric box
- Check electrical appliances for visible wires, broken plugs, frayed leads etc
- Check freezer and fridge doors are sealed properly
- Check all kitchen appliances
- Fix items such as shelves, hinges, doors etc
- Check and mend any furniture
- Open all cupboard doors and drawers and fix as required
- Check inside accessories such as curtains, cushions for damage
- Check carpets
- Make a list of plumber, electrician, builder etc
That is a long list for sure, but most tasks really only take 15-30 minutes to check. The reality is that houses are just like us, in that they do start to get old. You may consider buying a plug in timer to run some appliances through as it is expensive to have things sitting on stand by all the time.
We can do small things to our homes, that help keep them in the best condition possible.
That will of course help them maintain their value, and also ensure that you don’t face any major disasters further down the road. If we ignore our homes, then problems can start to arise. Those things that we take for granted can suddenly start to fail.
Think of things like a leaking roof, a door that doesn’t close properly, or a window that will not open, and you will understand what we mean.
It is truthful to say that every home, even new ones, will likely to have some kind of problem that needs to be fixed. There is always something to be done, and it is always an ongoing task.
Check Gates and Railings
This is a simple inspection of the gates and railings. With metal gates you want to check for rust, especially where there are any welding spots. If you see any rust, remove it completely and repaint.
Check that the gate isn't creaking, and if it is, use something liked WD40 to remove this quickly.
It always helps to brush these down to get rid of spider webs etc. Once done then a quick clean will keep them looking great.
Painting iron gates and railings should be done every 1-2 years to keep them from rusting and to look their best. Fortress or Hammerite paint does a great job.
For wooden gates we like to use Ronseal or Cuprinol paints.
When checking any gates and railings, it is always a good idea to check your fences. These do come under a lot of pressure during strong winds, and they can start to get damaged.
Replace any cracked boards, check that posts are secure and inspect their overall condition.
Most fences need to be treated every years, and again Ronseal or Cuprinol are good choices for fence treatment and protection.
Inspecting Brick Walls
This check may sound strange to some people. However, it is very important. Check the grouting between the bricks and make sure it is not soaked or that it has gone soft and crumbling.
If so, it will need re-pointed to help restore it. On single brick walls such as garages it is also worth applying water protection to those, as that helps prevent damp.
It is always a good idea to inspect your driveways. These can be made of different materials such as tarmac, bitumen, brick, concrete etc.
You should look for any erosion, or for build up of water. if water builds up around the edges of a house it can cause a lot of damage as it will soak through the waterproof membrane and into the cavity walls and floorboards.
You should also remove any weeds and use weed killer to keep them clear.
Your typical UK home has plenty of doors, external and internal. At some stage they will all require some maintenance. It doesn’t take long and it is easy to check if any light or air may be leaking through the doors.
Warped doors or any visible gaps need to be fixed. Sometimes if the door is warped too much, it will need to be replaced.
That will save you money on heating and energy and also keep your home, warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Some smaller gaps can be fixed with an application of sealent. If any of the doors have glass, then check that there are no cracks, and that they are also well sealed.
When checking doors, it is also worthwhile checking and oiling the hinges. Check the locks as well, and it is also a good idea to give those a drop of oil as well. Replace any broken locks or hinges, as that will keep your home much safer.
Check Garden Hand Tools
Cut back Trees etc
Cutting the grass
Protecting decks, patios and garden furniture
Outside Lighting & Sockets
Outside Taps and Hoses
Garages and Sheds
Garages and Shed Security
Check your gas for BBQs etc
Check roofs for leaks
The one area of a home you never want to risk is the roof. That is especially true in the UK, where we get more than our fair share of rain and wind. We also get the odd blast of snow and ice, which can do serious damage to a roof.
Every now and then, and at least once a year try to examine your roof for any problems. Look for things like cracked slates, damaged tiles, especially ridge tiles, and also check the chimney.
It will mean getting a ladder up and having a look around.
If you find any cracked or loose slates on the roof, then get those replaced quickly. You do not want a roof that leaks. The same goes with chimneys. You do not want those falling as they can do major damage. Check the grouting and get it replaced if required.
You should also check that all flashings around the chimney are safe and secure.
Check the double glazing & windows
Like the doors above, most homes have plenty of windows. It is worth checking those and making sure there are no major drafts, or cracked panes.
If there are, it is always best to replace those quickly. With PVC windows you should also check for condensation.
That is always a sign that your windows may need replacing. PVC does require specialist work, and it is not something that you should do yourself.
Once again check window handles and locks, and give them a little oil to keep the mechanisms working smoothly. It is also a great idea to seal any areas around the window, where you feel air coming in.
Check and clean gutters
When you are up the ladder checking the roof, it is always worth a look into the gutterings. Clean gutters are there for one main reason. They redirect rain away from the base of the home, and help stop flooding.
Check the gutters on a regular basis (2-3 times a year) to see if there are any clogs, cracks, or holes that may be preventing proper drainage.
The biggest problem with gutters is dirt washed off the roof, or birds building in them. That can build up, and the rain will leak over the top, and down to the ground below. It does not take long to clean gutters with a hose, or a pressure washer.
The gutters should be properly attached and they should be sloped towards the down pipe to allow the rain to flow. Our advice is to use PVC gutters, as they are much easier to keep clean.
Always check that the water that drains from the gutters, isn’t damaging any of the surrounding landscape or property. A very easy way to keep gutters clean is to fit a gutter guard. You only have to fit these once, and they will keep your gutters clear for years.
Check and protect drains
Check your utility suppliers
Check your home insurance
Check for pests
Check internal flooring
Check for damp and mould
Check walls for holes and cracks
Test smoke alarms
Test CO2 alarms
Check Boiler maintenance
There are quite a few different types of heating systems in homes throughout the UK. With oil for example you should check the oil tank, any exposed pipes and the boiler.
Ideally a boiler should be checked annually by a qualified person.
With gas the boiler and pipes should be checked regularly. Some people still have some version of coal fires in their homes.
That will mean regular chimney cleaning. You will also need to check on glass fronted fire doors, that they are sealed and no fumes are leaking.
Check internal lighting
Check internal paintwork
Check bathroom plumbing
Check bathroom grouting
Check bathroom tiling
Check bathroom caulking and sealing
Check the electric box
Check electrical appliances
Check freezer and fridge doors
Check cupboard doors
Check furnishing accessories
Make a list of important contacts
We hope that you have found the above tips useful. If you follow these, then you will know that generally speaking, your home is in pretty good condition. You will not be wasting energy, and you will keep your home warm and dry.
You can do all of the above checks in just a couple of hours. Depending on what you find, it may take a little time to fix. However it will be a very good use of your time.
The checking, and a little oiling only takes about 1-2 hours a couple of times a year. That alone is worth doing. Yes you may have to pay a trade’s person for the more complex work, but it is money well invested. You may also consider buying a full mechanics tool set which usually comes with everything you need for most jobs.