Maintenance

Building maintenance

Find your building type to check out typical repair issues. Follow the links to detailed technical information you can use to better understand and check quotes from builders. Every building is different though, so get professional help for anything more than a simple problem.

Stone tenements and villas

Traditional tenements and divided houses mostly built before the First World War.

Older brick and render flats

Mainly social housing built between 1920 and 1940.

Low rise and high rise flats

Mainly built by local councils and Scottish Special Housing Associations (Scottish Homes) in the 1960s and 1980s. There are many variations.

Modern
estates

Built in the last 40 years by housing associations and private developers.

Stone tenements and villas

Traditional tenements and divided houses mostly built before the First World War.

Older brick and render flats

Mainly social housing built between 1920 and 1940.

Low rise and high rise flats

Mainly built by local councils and Scottish Special Housing Associations (Scottish Homes) in the 1960s and 1980s. There are many variations.

Modern estates

Built in the last 40 years by housing associations and private developers.

Explore all our maintenance articles

Asbestos
Asbestos

Asbestos becomes a risk when it is disturbed through repairs and internal improvements. You have a legal duty to know where it is in your building, so that workers are…

1200 800 Under One Roof
Balconies
Balconies

A sunny balcony is a positive asset to a flat but they can be a source of cold and damp. Inset balconies Cantilevered balcony. The floor should have an asphalt…

1200 800 Under One Roof
Balusters and handrails
Balusters and handrails

Check for loose or missing balusters and shakiness. See stairs.

1920 1280 Under One Roof
Bay and oriel windows
Bay and oriel windows

Oriels are bays that start from the first floor. The oriel bay is supported on a cantilevered stone that is called a corbel stone. Bay windows are built down to…

748 600 Under One Roof
Below ground level
Below ground level

Your tenement may have a basement, sometimes used for living accommodation or sometimes used for storage, cellars or wash-houses. These buildings will often also have a 'dunny' between the basement…

905 800 Under One Roof
Bressumer and other large beams
Bressumer and other large beams

Beams span large gaps and carry the weight of floors and walls above them. The ends rest on walls. They are part of the structure of your building. Often found…

748 600 Under One Roof
Central valley double roofs
Central valley double roofs

Typically found in Georgian tenements, such as those in Edinburgh, these roofs have central valley flat roofs or gutters, and downpipes may run inside the flats. They are vulnerable to…

748 600 Under One Roof
Chimneys
Chimneys

Chimneys easily suffer damage from exposure. The pointing often gets weathered and washed out at a greater rate than on the rest of your buildings walls. This, combined with the…

1024 1024 Under One Roof
Close (stair) walls
Close (stair) walls

Thinner and built on lighter foundations than external walls, close (stair) walls may settle or the foundations may be washed away by leaking pipes, leading to subsidence and separation cracks. The walls…

406 305 Under One Roof
Close / entrance floor
Close / entrance floor

Heavily trafficked and likely to get worn, but a clean and well-repaired close floor will make your building feel welcoming and safe. Problems Hollow sounding floors at ground level may indicate…

406 305 Under One Roof
Cracks
Cracks

Cracks can occur in your building for a variety of reasons. Establish the likely cause for your crack and, if it might be serious, take professional advice. Cracks can occur…

406 305 Under One Roof
Dormer windows
Dormer windows

Dormers need particular attention because they are exposed to the weather and have many junctions between materials that need checking regularly. How dormer windows are built Dormers may have flat…

1024 724 Under One Roof
Drainage
Drainage

Repairs to drainage pipes are a common or mutual responsibility. Pipes only become the responsibility of Scottish Water once they connect to the main drainage system, normally on the edge of…

905 800 Under One Roof
Estate landscaping
Estate landscaping

Even if you live in a house rather than a flat, you may still have common responsibilities that apply to the housing estate around you. Problems may often occur on:…

1200 800 Under One Roof
External brick and block walls
External brick and block walls

Brick walls can be found in all ages of building. The brickwork may form the structure, holding up the roof, or it may be cladding, with a timber kit frame…

406 305 Under One Roof
External stone wall features
External stone wall features

Stone walls are often built with architectural features that not only add to the visual appearance of the building, but also have the purpose of throwing water away from the…

406 305 Under One Roof
Fire safety in flats
Fire safety in flats

Every flat owner should have a fire escape plan and know what to do in an emergency. You can also make sure your flat is as fire and smoke proof…

1200 800 Under One Roof
Flashings
Flashings

Flashings cover the joint between two different parts of the building - such as the join between the roof and the chimney. They sometimes act like gutters and carry a…

406 305 Under One Roof
Flat roofs
Flat roofs

Flat roofs can be found on buildings of all ages. They can be covered in a variety of materials. Seldom flat, they should be laid with a gentle slope (fall)…

406 305 Under One Roof
Floors and ceilings
Floors and ceilings

Noise coming through floors and ceilings can be a real issue for flat dwellers. Individual owners can do much to prevent this problem - and to make it worse. Understanding…

1115 999 Under One Roof
Front and back close doors
Front and back close doors

Front and back doors to your building provide security and help keep flats warm. These doors take a lot of use and abuse, so should be strongly constructed. If replacing or…

2048 1365 Under One Roof

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Managing and maintaining a tenement building can be difficult. Under One Roof offers a free enquiry service that allows you to ask specific questions relating to your building.

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Mid ceiling

Below ground level

Your tenement may have a basement, sometimes used for living accommodation or sometimes used for storage, cellars or wash-houses. These buildings will often also have a 'dunny' between the basement…

905 800 Under One Roof

Energy efficiency improvements

Adding insulation and draught-proofing can save money and the planet but in…

2560 1707 Under One Roof

Insulating traditional solid walls

Recent research suggests that traditional solid stone or brick walls provide better…

2560 1707 Under One Roof

Flat roofs

Flat roofs can be found on buildings of all ages. They can…

406 305 Under One Roof

Asphalt flat roofs

On stone tenements, asphalt roofs are found on: 'high backs' - raised backcourt…

406 305 Under One Roof
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