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General house maintenance

(16 Posts)
Rogerthatmummy Wed 30-Jul-14 22:01:44

We've been having a chat about regular house maintenance jobs over here

Do you lovely lot in Good Housekeeping have any tips to add to our ever growing list?

Our collective wisdom so far....

House maintenance is a regular project and should be setting aside money annually for things beyond decorating whimsy smile Suggestion that you should budget for 1% of your house's worth for ongoing maintenance and repairs - as an average as you may end up spending more some years than others for some of the bigger jobs. Budget annually, but some years more than others eg £250k house would be £2,500 a year but might be £500 one year for basic maintenance but £4,500 the next (eg new boiler, plus ongoing maintenance)

Inside jobs

Go in the loft every so often to make sure all is well there
Turn stopcocks on and off once a year. Don't leave them fully open or they stick
Turn thermostatic radiator valves fully on in summer to stop them sticking
Make sure you have corrosion inhibitor in your heating system
Annual boiler service; essential for oil, good for gas
Keep toilets clear of limescale (as well as cleaning them!)
Ventilate well - don't dry washing indoors, put lids on pans, ventilate bathrooms. Try airing the house with the windows open for an hour each morning as you get ready
Get chimney swept once a year if you have open fires or woodburning stoves - if you use a wood burning stove or fireplace as part of your main heating system rather than occasionally sweep every 6mths rather than yearly.
Vacuum the coils on the back of fridges 2 x year to make them run better
Fit and test smoke/carbon dioxide detectors
Clothes Dryer: Vacuum lint from ducts and surrounding areas regularly
Dry clothes outside or in the tumble drier if you can - if you then use a clothes horse in the spare room / bathroom with the windows wide open
Maintenance wash on washing machine monthly (?)
Maintenance wash on dishwasher from time to time
Clear bath/ kitchen sink drains with an overnight treatment to dissolve gunk build u
Bleed your radiators at the start and halfway point of each winter.
Check your boiler pressure gauges - If you’ve got a sealed system, do not assume it is working fine. Get a full briefing from the boiler installer so you know what reading to look for. And make sure you have your boiler regularly checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Outside jobs

Annual tree pruning (keep trees under control - too big too close to the house is bad) and trim hedges annually (checking right time for the plant) - NB weather and hedge/ plant type may mean more than once a year
Check and clean out guttering at least 2 or 3 x year (NB falling blossom as well as leaves)
Windows cleaned 6-8 weekly
Keep drains clear at all times. Go out in a rainstorm to see that drainage works.
Treat fences and woodwork to preserve
Look at your roof tiles - any cracked or excessively weathered?
Regular weed killer/ pulling up weeds between block pavings etc to prevent weeds taking hold in drives/ paths
Clean decking, patios and driveways in the spring to clear debris/ algae/ dirt

A great tip from ThreeYorkshires:
I'd recommend writing this stuff on your calendar (I do mine at the end of December, because I'm boring) as then you see a reminder when you have to do it.
So, every month I run a service wash on the washing machine and dishwasher, chuck some of that bright orange drain unblocker down each sink and descale the kettle. It's the same week each month, and it just done automatically now.
I also have a garden company trim hedges and trees once a year-they send me an email a couple of weeks before they're due to tell me the date they'll be coming Same for the boiler service-they tell me when it's due, and I book them in.

A handy guide:

Rogerthatmummy Thu 31-Jul-14 20:58:03

No one? hmm

Tweedjacket Thu 31-Jul-14 21:29:13

Great thread @rogerthatmummy, I'm useless at this sort of thing! What about 'household duties' too, eg what should you do daily/weekly/monthly? But a realistic list lol, not disinfect toothbrushes everyday smile

Rogerthatmummy Thu 31-Jul-14 22:26:51


treesntrees Sun 03-Aug-14 21:28:37

If you have to store standby/excess cleaning products on pipe boxing in ledge use narrow melamine trays to avoid stains on painted ledge.

ThreeYorkshires Tue 05-Aug-14 11:55:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tweedjacket Tue 05-Aug-14 13:40:56

What a good idea booking in advance, I can never remember stuff.
Melamine trays sound a good plan - might do that with soap and washing up liquid too, always having to wipe away marks underneath.

atticusclaw Tue 05-Aug-14 16:01:50

I'm going to save that list, its a great reminder.

milkingmachine1 Tue 05-Aug-14 16:08:23

Thanks for this list. We've just moved into a house, from a flat, and although this list feels overwhelming it is very helpful!

greedygal Tue 05-Aug-14 16:54:43

Hi OP,

The list is superb! Thank you so much.

I saved and sent it to my D. So when he asks if Ive done this that & the other, I'll shove it in his face and say NO without any further explanation!

atticusclaw Tue 05-Aug-14 17:04:21

Clear lint from tumble dryer hose and vent. Ours stopped working a couple of months ago and it was simply because there was lint build up in the vent. Took a while to figure that out though!

atticusclaw Tue 05-Aug-14 17:12:13

Oops you had that one!

Abra1d Tue 05-Aug-14 17:17:34

I've never done a service wash on either the dishwasher or washing machine and we are in a VERY hard water area, but have had few problems with them over their eight years (each) service. Is this really necessary if the machine isn't smelly?

I've never had an oven clean done professionally either--just do it myself once a month of so with a quick spray of Mr Muscle.

What about steam-cleaning/cleaning carpets, though?
Taking curtains and soft furnishing covers outside and giving them a good bash to get rid of dust. OR washing them if you can.

atticusclaw Tue 05-Aug-14 17:20:14

Take apart your dishwasher and you'll be shocked at how dirty it is. The first time I did ours I felt sick it was so horrible.

Abra1d Tue 05-Aug-14 17:30:10

We take out the filter and clean that out once a week and check outlet pipes, etc. Is there more?

specialsubject Tue 05-Aug-14 17:40:57

one or two preventatives:

- nothing goes into the toilet except body waste and toilet paper
- nothing down the sink except waste water. Fit a trap to catch food bits and NEVER empty fat/oil down the sink.
- clear shower drain of hair after each use; fit a trap if anyone has long/thick hair

tumble dryer is a good point; lint must be cleared after every use. Fire risk otherwise.

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