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TOP TIPS

Owning ANY home means there will be an element of maintenance and, new homes are no different in this regard.

Keeping everything in a good state of repair, ensures that your investment will always maintain it’s value (relative to the market) and, you’re enjoyment of it will be optimsed.

Beyond dealing with ‘build defects’ that may arise in the first couple of years and which are the developer’s responsibility to resolve, you will have to keep an eye on:

  • Paint and decoration (internal and external)

  • Maintain service intervals for things such as boiler and security alarms

  • Light and occasional oiling of hinges and mechanisms such as locks

If you have children and/or pets in the household the frequency of re-decoration may increase due to a higher general level of wear and tear.

In addition, you need to know where certain things are, to help avoid damage to fabric and contents in the event of an emergency, such as a major water leak. Make certain you know where to locate the mains water shut-off valve (stop-cock).

Similarly, know where to find you mains gas shut off valve (if indeed you have gas).

Additional duties for all homeowners could include:

  • Know how to bleed a radiator in a traditional central heating system

  • Know how to re-pressurise a boiler

  • Know how to identify and change a light bulb

  • Know the importance of keeping gutters clean and free from debris

Have a look at our pages on:

Look also at our growing gallery of ‘How-to‘ videos.

These may appear to be things that you would call a tradesman in to do, but in fact they are all quite simple and will save you time and money if you can do these things yourself. Even during the first two years of a new home, these are considered to be the homeowner’s responsibility – not the developers.

PRIORITY

1. Always be sure you know how to shut-off the water supply to your property. Find the stop-cock and be certain other members of your household also know where it is.
2. If you have a gas supply be certain you know where the control valve can be located (usually in the meter box). The meter box is generally outside the building and you should have been provided with a meter key to allow you access either in an emergency or simply to read the meter.

3. Be sure you know where to locate the electricity consumer box – this is the point at which mains electricity enters your property. Your supply is protected through a number of small devices (RCD’s) that will automatically disconnect or ‘trip-out’ in the event of a problem. These are particularly sensitive (for your  safety) and this can happen when a light bulb blows or if you have a faulty appliance. These can be re-set by returning the relevant switch to the on position.

4. Complete all appliance warranty cards now (fridge, freezer, oven, hob, dish washer etc.) and follow the instructions for registration.

5. If you have gas heating it is your responsibility to ensure that the boiler is serviced regularly according to the manufacturer’s specification. It could affect your warranty cover if you don’t.

6. Familiarise yourself with the operation of the smoke and heat detectors and check regularly that they are working by pressing the test button.

7. Always take steps to turn-off your outside tap and lag it during the winter months.

GENERAL

8. As your home is lived in and heated, timber and other materials will shrink and this can cause small cracks on wall and ceiling finishes. These cracks are not structurally significant and can be put right in the normal process of redecoration.

9. Because a significant amount of water is used in the construction of your home (cement, plaster, paint etc.) your property needs to be well ventilated to allow moisture to evaporate as the structure dries out. Leave windows or, at least the trickle vents (slotted vents in the window frame) open for as long as you can each day.

10. To prevent the build-up of excessive condensation while the construction materials dry out it is advisable to leave fitted wardrobe doors ajar initially to prevent mold on clothes from occurring.

11. Your new home will need maintaining and it is your responsibility to ensure that within the first 12 months you should attend to interior paintwork and within 2 years you should attend to your exterior paintwork.