This page provides guidance on the safeguarding of the fabric of historic buildings and during periods of vacancy.
Building maintenance is the responsibility of an owner. An owner is also legally responsible for any accidents caused by defects in a building such as falling masonary etc. and the poor condition of a building can also result in reducing property values and in damp and cold living conditions.
To avoid often expensive and unplanned for repairs to a building, the adoption of a planned approach to routine maintenance incorporating regular inspection is recommended. The following advice is applicable to all building types, whether new or old.
Generally, if the exterior of a building is maintained in a sound condition (the building envelope), then apart from damage caused through wear and tear, the interior of the property will remain in sound condition. Failure to identify problems at an early stage can lead to major faults and damage which may be extremely expensive to put right.
It is possible to carry out your own inspection and draw up your own checklist of items requiring inspection that could be split into four major groupings as follows.
If in any doubt on what to inspect, frequency of inspections, to interpret what you have seen etc. professional advice should always be sought. Advice can be found by contacting a number of organisations; the following are a sample: -
Routine maintenance such as clearing out gutters and down-pipes, repainting timber window frames and repainting ironwork will not require consent from the Planning Authority and is recommended to be undertaken regularly.
Repairs to traditional window frames, guttering, down pipes and roof coverings carried out on a 'like for like' basis (simply meaning using the original material in the repair), will usually not require consent.
To avoid doubt, owners are advised to contact the Planning Authority for guidance on the requirement for listed building consent or planning permission in relation to items of routine maintenance to the exterior of listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas.