Employing other people to carry out maintenance can be a good solution, but you need to ensure that the people you employ are properly registered or licensed and have the skills and experience to do the job. This maintenance guide takes you through the steps to getting the job done properly. It also tells you how to check if someone is authorised to do the work.

You also need to make sure insurance will cover any work done. When it comes to significant maintenance or repair work – especially anything affecting the roof, exterior walls or the structure itself – let your house insurer know well in advance what you are planning. Check that your policy will cover the work. Some standard house policies will cover work up to $10,000 and some up to $25,000, but there are usually tight conditions.

If the work involves builders or other trades, the contract with them should set out whose responsibility it is to take out insurance for the work. Very often, you as homeowner will get an extension on your house insurance policy.

There is another connection between insurance and home maintenance. You may not have read the fine print of your house insurance policy recently, but most policies require you to keep your home maintained for the cover to apply. If poor maintenance has contributed to damage in a property – such as a rainwater leak through a badly-maintained roof – a claim to the insurance company may be turned down. Gradual deterioration that results from lack of maintenance is typically excluded or tightly limited in most house insurance policies.