When we buy a car, we have to check its oil and coolant level and periodically change its filters. Different parts of the car need to be changed as the car ages since some parts have longer lifespan than others e.g alternator belt and brake pads e.t.c. This applies to new cars but more so to old cars.

Now coming to house. A new build house may not need any one to work on it. However, most people will be buying old houses e.g me in UK and old houses can be 50 to 100 years old or maybe even more.

What are things that a person must look out for in a house to keep in well maintained like a car? Assuming the house is a "standard construction" house in south of UK? I am assuming that like a car, there would be a standard list of things here too.

  • A picture of your house might inspire a better answer. Also noting the major components (fireplace, electric what?, what type of electric, roof, siding, surrounding decks and patios, internal framing, access that you have -do you have an attic or basement that you can see "things"?, all the major things about your house).
    – DMoore
    Jun 19, 2019 at 20:06
  • Here is the thing, I am going to buy my first home soon. Never owned one yet. I am viewing houses at present.
    – quantum231
    Jun 19, 2019 at 20:15
  • @quantum231 first thing I’d check is the boiler. We didn’t and come the first cold spell that winter it packed up. In the UK buying with a mortgage you’ll be required to get an inspector to review the house. They normally have three levels/packages. I’d strongly recommend going for the middle one. The bottom one is basically “does the house exist and does it look like it will fall down soon?”. Top one is only worth it for particularly old houses IMHO.
    – Notts90
    Jun 19, 2019 at 21:19
  • keep the gutters cleaned.
    – dandavis
    Jun 20, 2019 at 19:18

1 Answer 1


Answering this question fairly would take volumes. In fact, volumes upon volumes upon volumes.

But we all have to start somewhere, so thank you for asking us here. You'll find quite a few of us are enthusiasts, electricians, plumbers, builders, engineers, etc. This StackExchange forum is geared towards a question or a problem for home improvement or repair, but that said, a high level answer is a good start, and your next visit might be one of upgrades vs. repairs!!

Take the Tour: https://diy.stackexchange.com/tour to get some info on how to get the best results.

A home needs to be protected from the elements, so a sound roof that can carry water off of and away from the house is vital. Windows that close and doors that close, and seal, and keep weather out is vital. Think of the area you are buying all seasons, and decide if things look durable enough for those seasons. Look at neighboring structures and see if this place is "as good" as the rest.

A home also needs proper and functional electrical, water supply, sewer/waste removal. You aren't necessarily going to 'know whats right' but you can certainly tell when something is wrong. If something breaks, ANYTHING, EVER.... fix it. If you ignore it, it will cost you more money.

For all of the things I listed above, notice that for anything that MOVES (and I do mean anything), pay attention to it it it gets weak, deal with it. If it cracks, or doors and windows dont open and close properly, address it. Be sure to close doors "with a healthy closing" and ensure the entire wall doesn't shake. If it does, it's probably "cheap".

All appliances, and furnace, fans, etc, should be checked regularly. Schedule them for cleanings on their maintenance cycle. You could hire a general contractor to do a walkthrough of your house each year, they would love to sell you something, but chances are, you'll know when something breaks.

Pay attention to creaks, definitely pay attention to drips, wet spots, and slow draining or slow water supply. Pay attention for smells of gas, definitely change filters. Wash your windows.

Always inspect your property after any kind of storm. Look for damages. Get a ladder or someone you trust with a ladder. Wash your windows at each season, and always look at areas that have caulking, or where pipes and wires enter the building.

Trim back trees, cleanout gutters. etc.

When you are shopping for a house, keep a notebook. Make notes of the things you see that scare you! Trust your eyes, your nose, etc. If you think you smell moisutere (mold or mildew), you probably do! Look for water stains and loose fixtures. Write these down, these are all things you someday may experience when you are an owner.

When you get ready to buy, take another walkthrough or two. Bring a friend that thinks they know a lot (preferrably one that does haha). But, Even if they dont - A second pair of eyes and opinions can really help spot issues. Then pay for a home inspection. It doesn't hurt if a freind is a contractor.

Good luck.

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