Taking care of your new home
At Drew Smith we want to make sure that the first few months in your new home go smoothy so here are our top tips on how to make sure your new home stays in great condition for longer.
Water is absorbed into your home through the construction process. Once you move in the building materials dry out and you may notice condensation on windows, floors, or walls. Opening windows and keeping trickle vents open should help to minimise the amount of condensation so aim to let fresh air into your home as much as possible through the first few months.
Its also advisable to open windows when using the shower, avoid drying washing on radiators and leaving wardrobe and cupboard doors open at times to allow the air to circulate through them.
If you do find excess condensation you can soak up any excess water and then open a window or put the heating on and close the door.
- Garage Storage
Your home is built with a full cavity wall, but your garage is only built with a single skin of brickwork. Garages are not classified as a habitable space, which means that at times items stored in garages may become damp so we would advise you not to use a garage for storage of anything that may get damaged by the cold or wet. Your garage door is not sealed so could let water in during bad weather.
The colour of the brickwork used to build your new home may vary over time. Some bricks contain salts that can leave crystal deposits on the sides of the brickwork which is caused by alternating wet and dry weather conditions. This does not affect the brick and will eventually disappear if left alone but if you did want to remove it you can scrub it off with a stiff non- non-metallic brush in dry conditions.
- Lawn Care
If you have a garden in your new home that comes with newly laid turf you will need to ensure that it does not dry out as it will die. Please water the whole turfed area thoroughly every day for at least eight weeks to ensure that the roots bed into the ground.
We would recommend using a sprinkler to ensure an even distribution of water as well as watering in the morning or evening to avoid the sun at its hottest. Avoid walking on the lawn as much as possible.
Building materials dry out at different rates and can sometimes cause minor cracking known as shrinkage. These cracks are not a structural problem and are a common occurrence within a new build home.
You can minimise the damage caused by shrinkage by keeping an even temperature throughout your new home and keeping your home well ventilated. If cracks do appear, they can be simply filled with a flexible filler and then painted when you come to decorate.
Please contact your customer care team if you have a shrinkage crack over 3mm wide and we will come and take a look.
Always make sure that you read and follow the manufacturers instructions for your boiler carefully. To get the best out of your system we would recommend having your boiler serviced yearly by a registered engineer as well as taking up a service and maintenance agreement.
During the winter try and leave some background heating on at all times to avoid frozen pipes and if you have an outside tap, ensure that the stopcock is shut off and drain off all water to avoid the pipes freezing and bursting.
- Loft spaces
In new build houses the loft space is not meant to be used for storage and should not be boarded and loaded with belongings. Using a loft space for storage may cause damage to the structure and affect ventilation which can cause condensation.
To avoid condensation don’t leave the loft access open in cold weather, heat will rise up and cause condensation.
- Change of address
It’s important to remember to notify people of your change of address as soon as you move in. Most importantly it is vital that you advise the DVLA for your driving licence as well as your insurer as your policy could be invalidated if it does not have the correct address listed on the policy.
- Living on a development
If you are one of the early residents to move into your new home, you may find that you are living next to a live development and construction site. You may find contractors working in the area with heavy plant, lorries and machinery moving around, we would ask that you are vigilant of these. Please never attempt to ender the construction area.
The building work will create dirt, dust, and often mud. We do our best to keep the development clean and tidy but there may be occasions when we create some unavoidable disturbance or inconvenience, but we try and keen this to a minimum.
You will always have a safe access to your new home and will keep you updated with any major construction work that might cause you any problems.
- Drains and gutters
Drains and gutters should be cleaned out regularly and extra care should be taken when you have trees situated near to your new home. Please take care and don’t lean anything against gutters in pipes. Don’t be alarmed if your gutters overflow in heavy rainfall, this is normal. You may also hear them clicking and cracking, again this is normal and simply the material flexing in different types of weather.
If you do have a gutter that is leaking at one of the joints, you can try pushing them back together or if this fails call a professional.
Please refer to your handover manual for more information and if you have any issues that you need help with contact the Drew Smith Customer Care Team.