Maintenance tips and DIY advice
Although the NHBRC is not responsible for maintenance and DIY, here are a few factors for you to consider:
Don’t worry if pathways or paving develop minor cracks as the ground slowly settles in the first two to three years.
Damp-proof courses and airbricks
If soil or other garden material is piled up against the outside walls, it may cover the damp-proof course and cause rising damp.
If it also covers airbricks, this can lead to dry rot if you have a suspended timber floor because it blocks underfloor ventilation.
If you are not sure where the dampproof course is, your home builder will show you. Keep soil and paving about 150mm below the course.
Paths alongside the home must also be about two bricks, or 150mm, below the damp-proof course and slope away from the structure.
Drainpipes must lead water away from the walls and foundations.
Do not let water stand against walls and foundations.
Trees and shrubs
Planting trees and shrubs can make your garden attractive, but be careful.
Trees and hedges take moisture out of the soil. In clay, new plants may cause it to shrink, while removing existing trees and hedges may make it swell. Excessive shrinkage or swelling could damage foundations.
Do not plant trees or shrubs against walls and foundations.
Be careful not to plant trees near your neighbour’s property. They could cause damage to the house or neighbouring wall and you could be liable for the cost of repair.
Newly planted trees and shrubs may need to be watered continuously during their early life if they are to get a good start.