Houses built in different styles at different times have some different maintenance needs. Understanding the details and materials used in houses of a particular period or style can help you customise a maintenance plan.

While some materials and design features require less maintenance than others, there is no such thing as a ‘maintenance-free’ house. Keeping a house in good condition will help reduce the likelihood of expensive repairs being necessary at a future point. Keeping up with basic maintenance is also a requirement in most house insurance policies.

It is a good idea to clean and check over the exterior of your house at least once a year – perhaps at the end of each winter. This allows you to plan any required maintenance or repairs in good weather. In harsher environments – close to a surf beach or in a geothermal area, for example – more regular checking and cleaning is advisable. When it comes to cleaning, pay particular attention to areas that are not rain-washed.

It is important to understand the specific maintenance requirements of the materials and construction methods used on your home. For a timber weatherboard home with a factory-coated profiled metal roof, this is typically a periodic cleaning and then repainting of the timber weatherboards every 7–10 years. For a 1990s house with exposed sealant joints, checking that these are in good condition can be crucial to the house remaining weathertight.

For larger maintenance tasks or renovations, the BRANZ online resource gives more information about different houses styles and how they may be renovated.