Home maintenance before you start hero

Planning for maintenance

If you plan ahead and prevent problems from arising or getting worse, you’ll save yourself plenty of money and heartache.

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What is maintenance?

Maintenance is the work necessary to keep your home in a good state of repair to maximise its value and your comfort. Maintaining your home also helps increase its life, ensures it continues to perform and reduces your impact on the environment.

If your home was built or received building consent after 1992 you are responsible for making sure it continues to meet Building Code requirements.

Maintenance includes everything from regular cleaning to repairs and replacements. It can be a job as small as changing a tap washer, or as large as repainting the whole house.

Benefits of good maintenance

Maintaining your home properly will:

  • Save you money by allowing you to fix problems before they get bigger.
  • Make it more comfortable to live in.
  • Protect your home against weathertightness problems.
  • Ensure it is safe and secure to live in.
  • Help keep you and your family healthy.
  • Help it to hold its value.

Scheduling maintenance

It’s best to plan a regular maintenance schedule. There are 4 main approaches to maintenance:

  • Carry out regular preventive maintenance, such as cleaning your roof and walls. This will prevent some problems from occurring.
  • Carry out repairs as they are needed. This prevents small problems from turning into big ones. For example, a leaky roof could destroy your ceiling if left unfixed.
  • Plan ahead for major maintenance tasks such as repainting your home or re-roofing, so you have the money and time available when the work is needed.
  • Be prepared for emergencies. For example, know where and how your water, gas and power supplies turn off, so you don’t have to go searching when an emergency arises. See the back of the Yellow Pages or the Civil Defence site for information on preparing for a civil defence emergency.

Everything that keeps your home liveable and structurally sound needs to be maintained – from foundations to roofing and cladding to plumbing and electricity supply to interior wall linings.

Essential tools

When carrying out home maintenance work, these are the tools you are most likely to need:

  • 1 x Screw driver set (slotted, phillips and square drive)
  • 1 x 200mm (8 inch) and 1 x 100mm (4 inch) adjustable wrench
  • 1 x claw hammer
  • 1 x craft knife (with spare blades)
  • Pliers
  • Torch with spare batteries (that are the same size as the torch needs)
  • Duct tape
  • Electrical insulation tape
  • Rope or ratchet tie-down
  • Hard wearing gloves, dust masks, goggles and earmuffs
  • Assortment of nails and screws
  • Garden hose
  • 1 can 3 in 1 oil or aerosol oil spray
  • Black marker pen
  • 5, 10 and 15 amp fuse wire (Only if you have a switchboard with fuses)

Useful tools

In addition to the essential maintenance tools listed, you may find these tools are a good idea to have:

  • 1 x socket set
  • Side cutters
  • Multigrips
  • Ladder (3 step)
  • Tarpaulin
  • Cordless drill and driver bits/drill bits
  • First aid kit (in case it all goes wrong)
  • Fire extinguisher (in case it all goes really wrong)
  • 9 volt batteries for smoke detectors

It's also worth having these items:

  • A list of emergency phone numbers.
  • Picture showing the location of your valves for turning off water and gas.
  • Picture showing the location of your electrical mains switch and hot water cylinder switch.
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