A logbook will help you to organize and record useful information about your building. It is a unique record that will build up over time to give you a picture of how your building is performing. It can help you to prioritize works of maintenance and repair, and is an invaluable tool in times of emergency.
A logbook is worth keeping for even the smallest of buildings, but it will prove particularly valuable for larger properties where the person responsible for maintenance is likely to change from time to time. Recording the long-term performance of materials used in previous repairs, for example, can help you to avoid making potentially costly mistakes when further works are required.
You may wish to keep your logbook as a paper copy in a file or to store it on your computer, but whichever method you choose the basic information should include:
- plans of the building if these are available;
- details of the type and location of services, for example, the location of stopcocks and gas mains;
- essential names and contact details, including emergency helplines, utility and insurance companies and local tradespeople, such as plumbers and glaziers;
- photographs of the building;
- a copy of the listing description of the building, if applicable;
- details of any warranties; and
- copies of instruction manuals.
Over time, you should add:
- completed maintenance plans and supplementary photographs;
- records of any work carried out, including the name of the contractor, date of completion and cost;
- details of products used, such as paint types and colours; and
- meter readings to help you monitor energy and water consumption.