It’s raining outside, and I wonder when I can get out again and visit some new places. I love the appearance of old buildings. When I walk through a city, I always estimate how old the buildings are. The funny thing is, that the exterior can be changed over the decades.

In this blog, you will find more information about how to take care of the exterior of your house. Significantly, in the Netherlands, where the weather is damp.


Did you know that wood is one of the most sustainable materials on the exterior of houses? The oldest wooden door found in the Netherlands is from around the year 1300. Worth visiting the castle in Valkenburg. However, it is only the case when it is maintained well and the right details are used. Also, the quality of the wood is essential.

Old window frames and doors are mostly made from oakwood or pine. Later on, a lot of tropical hardwood is used. Last decade, more and more preserved wood has been used for this purpose.

Maintaining wood

Well-maintained wood can last decades on the outside of a house. The maintenance aspect is very important as periods can be very wet in the Netherlands. And, when the wood stays dry, it will last for decades. Paint the wood at the right time, and you will save costs later on. It is time to start a new round of maintenance when:

– You see cracks or bubbles in the wood or the paint layer.

– The appearance of the painted surface is matte.

– The wood or nails are shining through the paint.

– The sealant is cracking.

Some replacement needs to take place when:

– The wood is soft.

– Some holes appear.

– You see mushrooms growing.

Normally, every 2–10 years, wood needs a new layer of paint. To give you a rule of thumb: 2 or 3 years for transparent varnish, 5 years for dark surfaces on the south of the house, 10 years for light painting on the north side of the house.

Painting a house on the outside, by a professional, will cost you at least €2.000,00 for a very simple house in a row. Always ask for a quotation on the forehand. A professional painter will also check the caulking, repairs little damages and built a scaffolding when necessary. Also, they will give you a guarantee period on the job done.

Things to keep in mind: when your house is older than 2 years, you only pay 9% VAT instead of 21% on painting works. Another thing: changing the colour of the house is not always allowed. Check first the website of the municipality you live in.

Do you want to know what you can do yourself to maintain your house well? Download the maintenance calendar here.


Have you noticed that the stones used in the Netherlands, differ per region and age? The clay to bake the stones is taken out from the big rivers. In the Middle Ages, using stone was something for rich people only. Wood was the normal construction material. And, nowadays, wood is taking its place again.

Brickwork doesn’t need a lot of maintenance. The masonry joints need replacement every 30–100 years, depending on the wind side of the house. Also, broken bricks need replacement.

After a few decades, exterior brickwork can be dirty. Especially, when you have light coloured, porous stones used. Cleaning is a job which needs to be done by a professional. With cleaning, you remove a layer of stone, and the stones can get extra porous. So, the dirt will come back more easily. Impregnating the stones can be a solution.


Most plaster layers are covered with paint. After, a while, the paint layer will get dirty. An easy solution is a brush and water. If the colour starts to get loose, it’s time for a new layer of paint. Normally, that’s enough.

When the plaster comes off the wall, start with a small investigation. Check if the surface is wet or damp. Is there a leakage, or does the water come from the soil? Be aware of cracks and close them as soon as possible, to prevent other problems in the future.

Roof tiles

As long as the tiles are waterproof and in the right place, your roof is in perfect condition. Many people will check their roof when it has been very windy. A good habit.

Ceramic roof tiles

This is the most used type of roof in the Netherlands. It is a very simple and effective way to keep the rain out of the house. The tiles can be glazed or not glazed. Glazed tiles have the benefit that algae can’t grow on them so easily.

Concrete roof tiles

Since the 1970s, concrete roof tiles are used. Some need replacement after 30–50 years. Of course, there has been a continuous improvement, so new roof tiles can last longer.

Flat roofs

Also, a very common type of roof. This type of roof needs more maintenance than a tile roof. Yearly inspecting your roof is recommended. Look for cracks and loose roofing material. Also, removing leaves is helpful. Depending on the type of roof, the maintenance and how much the roof is exposed to the sun, the roof needs replacement every 20–40 years. EPDM is normally more durable than the more traditional roofing felt.


After the leaves fall off the trees, it is a good habit to empty the gutters. In the winter, it can be very wet, and you want all the water to flow through the sewage system. By cleaning, you also see if some parts need replacement.

Maintaining the exterior of your house

The best cost-effective maintenance is just on time. That means that there is a balance between a pretty appearance and preventing damage.

Sometimes, renovating the outside is the best choice. Maintenance costs can be too high in comparison with renovating for a maintenance-friendly material. Keep in mind, when you are changing the appearance of the house, you may need a permit.

Want to learn more about maintaining your house? Download this calendar, by clicking this link.





Take off to a successful house renovation by downloading the Renovation Guide for free.

- Start off successfully by turning your Dutch house into a dream home.

- Stop overthinking the renovation steps and make the best possible renovation start.

- Save your valuable time by using this renovation guide so that you can enjoy your renovated house soon. 

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