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.