You’ve settled into your new Brenchley Home, but what happens if you have a query or a problem?
Customer service is important to us at Brenchley Homes, whether it be pre-completion or after sales. That’s why we’ve created a Customer Care area, devoted essentially to providing you with a comprehensive guide to the management of your new Brenchley home during the early months following construction.
Things to do as soon as you have moved in
Appliances that are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty should be reported direct to the appropriate manufacturer. As specific information is required, Brenchley Homes Limited cannot make contact to the service provider. Any defect or mechanical breakdown should be reported directly to the manufacturer.
Take time to read your NHBC booklets ‘Guide to your new home’ which is located in your Homeowner’s Information Manual.
Within 14 days after legal completion it is important to check thoroughly the items listed below; any defects or damage must be reported within 14 days of legal completion. Brenchley Homes will not be responsible for any defects reported after this timescale.
- Wall/base units
- Sink top
- Sanitary ware
- Wall tiles
- Floor covering
- Doors (damage)
- Scratches etc to glass
NHBC – Buildmark New Home Warranty
Buildmark covers your new home, which is the insurance and warranty cover provided by the NHBC. The Buildmark policy belongs to you, the homeowner, and you should make sure your solicitor or conveyancer hands the policy to you when you legally complete. I would recommend that you take the time to read this, as there is a lot of valuable information in it. For additional information on the Buildmark cover please refer to your NHBC booklet ‘Guide to your new home’ which is located in your Homeowner’s Information Manual.
Brenchley Homes Warranty Period
If you have a problem with your home within the first two years of the policy Brenchley Homes are responsible for the remedial work. We will carry out a 6 month defect inspection, we will contact you to arrange this to be carried and we will arrange any works that are required.
Please note: We will not make good any hairline cracks during this inspection. If the crack is greater than 3mm then we consider this to be within our warranty and will carry out any remediation works required. Please read NHBC booklet ‘Guide to your new home’ for tips on avoiding condensation and shrinkage.
Damage to properties caused by storms is not covered under Brenchley Homes or the NHBC warranty; this includes such items as boundary fencing and roof tiles. In the event of this situation occurring you will need to contact your insurance company. Where storm damage has been caused to apartment blocks, please contact the Management Agent for your development.
Even though you have an NHBC and Brenchley Homes warranty you still require Buildings Insurance, as we are not liable for any accidental damage.
For more information relating to your NHBC warranty cover and details of your emergency breakdown assistance telephone numbers, please refer to the Homeowners Information Manual.
Caring for your new home
It is important that the information shown below is used in conjunction with Home Owners Information Manual and the NHBC ‘Guide to Your New Home’ booklet or CD. Together they provide a comprehensive guide to the management of your new home during the early months following construction.
Avoiding shrinkage and condensation
There is a lot of moisture in a new home, this is because concrete, bricks, timber, plaster and other materials will have absorbed water during construction and as your home is lived in and heated, timber and the other material 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, however, should a crack appear that is in excess of 3mm in width and providing it is within the warranty period it will be inspected by a Brenchley Homes representative.
To reduce excessive shrinkage, cracks and condensation, the following is recommended.
- Do not overheat your home or subject it to big swings in temperature.
- Keep trickle vents open.
- Keep windows locked in their “part open” positions wherever possible.
- Keep wardrobe doors slightly ajar during the day.
- Isolate damp rooms e.g. bathroom, en-suite and kitchen, by closing the doors and using the extractor fans.
- Keep furniture slightly away from walls to help to circulate air, and in wardrobes avoid packing clothes tightly inside. Boxes, i.e. shoeboxes should also be kept away from the walls.
- Do not put damp clothes or towels on radiators.
Please note: Condensation can sometimes cause mould on walls and ceilings, if this occurs the spores should be wiped off immediately with a fungicide wash to prevent damage to clothes, bedding, floor coverings and decorations.
Care must be taken when fixing curtain poles and tiebacks or mirrors and pictures etc. Please remember, where a radiator is located on a flat wall there will be pipes running vertical from the ends of the radiator valves and if the radiator is under a window, the pipes will be located outside the reveal (either side of the window).
Please note: Generally, this only applies to the downstairs of our house types and apartments. Upstairs the pipes are attached to the radiator through the floorboards, leaving the walls free from pipework. The only exception to this is on a three storey property where the pipes may also be concealed behind the walls on the first floor. A good tip to help to locate the area of the pipes is to switch the central heating on high, ensuring the radiator thermostat is open. Leave for several minutes, you will then find that the wall where the pipes are situated feels warmer than the rest of the wall, or use a pipe locator which are available from a number of high street retailers.
There is a 2-year maintenance warranty on the boiler, however, for the 2nd year to be valid a qualified engineer for your specific type of boiler must service it after the first 12 months. The service should include a complete system check. If you require assistance to locate a qualified engineer, information can be found in your NHBC ‘Guide to your new home’ under the contacts and references section.
Please note: It is important that the engineer fills out the Benchmark Log Book, which you will be given to you at legal completion, accurately.
If a radiator is hot at the bottom and cold at the top it probably needs bleeding, this is common in systems that have been newly commissioned.
Brenchley Homes obtains a test certificate from the electrical contractors prior to occupation of your home. Should you purchase your own appliances, decorative, lighting etc. please ensure that they are fitted and tested by a qualified electrician. In addition, please ensure fuses fitted are of the correct rating.
The smoke alarms fitted to your home are mains operated with a battery back up. You should check they are operating correctly once a week by pressing the test button. Smoke alarms should be kept clean by occasionally vacuuming inside the alarm.
By its very nature glass contains imperfections and bubbles, to identify defects or damage in a piece of glass it must be viewed from a distance of 2 metres, toughened glass must be viewed from a distance of 3 meters.
Please note – damage or defects detected in the glass must be reported within the first 14 days of occupation.
If you have a garage ensure you lubricate the main spring and the spools of the garage door periodically, this will reduce potential future problems and will ensure the door opens and closes smoothly. Always lift the door from the centre point.
Where an outside tap has been fitted, it is advisable to turn it off at the relevant stop cock and open the outside tap point during the winter months.
It is important to ‘water in’ the new turf, especially during dry periods, this helps the roots to grow and become established. New turf should not be walked on or cut for 3-4 weeks after it is laid, and should be fed twice a year, spring and autumn. Brenchley Homes will only take responsibility for garden waterlogging if the turf or landscaping has been provided by us. Where this option is not the case, it is essential to ensure that adequate drainage is considered before any work is undertaken. This is to avoid any potential problems in the future.
At Brenchley Homes, we’re serious about taking care of our customers and their new homes, so getting in touch with us should never be a hassle.
We know that sometimes a problem may arise, which is why we have a direct port-of-call should you ever have a problem – we will always listen first, then investigate thoroughly and provide the solution, treating your new home as if it was our own.
Tel: 01474 351651
Please note: The maintenance contact number provided only operates during office hours – Monday to Friday 9.00am-5.00pm.