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Property Advice

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Nethouseprices are delighted to have partnered with Kate Faulkner, one of the UK’s top property experts, to bring you the best help and advice for your property project or help solving a problem.

Kate is the author of property books for Which? the consumer organisation and is regularly featured in the media, commentating on the property market and giving advice on every type of residential property project or problem.

Kate and her team at Propertychecklists.co.uk have sourced the very best companies and organisation to partner with to bring you independent, up to date advice and help. So whatever you need to know, they will have a checklist or article to help or you can even ask them for help directly through their Contact Us or Forum.

These Buy to Let quick checklist guides will help you through the property investment and management minefield!

  • Identifying and solving condensation, damp and mould – Envirovent

    If any of you are students, or have children who are, you will almost certainly have encountered damp, mould and condensation problems in a property. However, these issues aren't localised to just youngsters renting, we all need to know how to spot and sort them out. One of the most important things is to make sure you have a qualified surveyor to give you an expert diagnosis of the problem which may be caused by damp or by condensation. Handymen, builders and plumbers are not the people to turn to! Experts will checkout the problem for you free of charge and give you a correct diagnosis so you know whether it’s damp or condensation problem as they require different solutions.

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  • Identifying and solving rising damp – Peter Cox

    Rising damp can be a tricky thing to spot without knowing what to look for, or understanding the nature of the problem. Is your property suffering from rising or penetrating damp? Signs of rising damp include peeling wall paper and dry or wet rot may be visible on skirting boards; penetrating damp may appear due to loose slates & tiles and cracked render. You will need to get a specialist in to properly diagnose the problem, a local builder or tradesman won't have the required expertise to diagnose or fix the problem, so don’t try to cut corners. Finally, you'll need to understand the pros & cons of the available solutions as well as cost and make sure you get good guarantees and warrantees which survive the lifetime of the company you use.

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  • Maintaining your Property – Aspect

    Property maintenance can be a slog, all those little jobs we put off doing because there is always something more pressing to be getting on with, but if you're not careful and don’t maintain your home, you could end up invalidating your insurance. Firstly, read your policy to find out what maintenance you need to carry out and keep any receipts for work you have done. Also check things like missing tiles after windy weather and to see if any tree roots are affecting your foundations. You should carry out these sort of routine checks every six months to ensure you stay on top of things.

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  • How to choose a bespoke staircase designer? - Jarrods

    The first thing to think about when choosing a bespoke staircase is making sure you understand the building regulations and if not that the help you do get knows the rules! Then it is down to things like what type of staircase you’d like, the projects timing – if it’s weeks you might not have enough, if it’s a few months you will probably get some good, bespoke help. Always ask questions like whether VAT is included and before you settle on a company ensure you have references of previous work. So, if you are thinking of a new staircase, don’t secure one unless you have read this checklist first!

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  • How to choose Energy Efficient Windows – BFRC

    To choose energy efficient windows you will need to know the rating system, A++ is the most efficient and G is the least efficient. If you purchased your home after 2007 you will have been given an energy performance certificate so will easily be able to find out if your energy efficiency requires improvement. According to the Energy Savings Trust, fitting energy efficient windows can save up to £160 per year. You should always secure three quotes and ask how your windows achieve energy efficiency levels promised and check the window manufacturer and fitter is correctly accredited. Finally, you should ask to be given a BFRC Homeowner Energy Rating Certificate as it can help you sell in the future.

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  • Steps to choosing a window, glazing and door (WGD) Specialist – FENSA (Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme)

    The first thing to do when choosing a WGD specialist is plan months if not a year ahead as the good ones tend to need time to provide the windows, especially if they are bespoke. It can be cheaper to replace everything in one job and you can choose uPVC, Resident 9 or wooden windows as well as aluminium. Whoever you choose though, make sure they are members of FENSA so you have guarantees and warranties and the windows provided are compliant with building regulations.

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  • How to check your Home Electrics are Safe – NAPIT

    Everyone knows not to stick a metal fork in a toaster or stand in the middle of an empty field during a lighting storm but there are plenty of other things you should be doing to ensure your home electrics are safe. You should have a residual current device, get an EICR carried out every 10 years (every 5 if a landlord) and if you’re having work done, make sure the correct electrical safety certificates are supplied. Ensure you choose an electrician that is a member of one of the government approved schemes, such as NAPIT who offer warranties on any Part P work they carry out.

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  • Choosing a Carpenter – Institute of Carpenters

    Everyone wants a professional job done and to also get good value for money when choosing a tradesperson. Before you choose a carpenter make sure you know exactly what sort of work you want doing, is it a few shelves or bespoke furniture? This will influence who you choose. Decide on your budget, secure quotes from at least three different carpenters and check if the work comes with any quality guarantees. After that it's mostly common sense - ask to see previous work, make sure the carpenter is a member of the Institute of Carpenters, has insurance and warranty cover and obtain a price for any changes to the brief, confirming this in writing.

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  • How to Choose a Builder – The Home Improvements Guarantee

    Before choosing a builder and getting a quote make sure you know all the work you want carrying out. Is there anything restricting what works can be done on your property? Is your builder a member of a trade organisation and is their membership up to date? Remember to be wary of offers to do work for cash as you may not be able to claim against them if something goes wrong. Understand what is and isn't included in each quote you receive and, if possible, visit other properties where the builder has done jobs.

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  • How to Avoid a Rogue Trader – Checkatrade

    Although rogue traders are an absolute menace, doing shoddy work and costing innocent people their hard earned money, it is a lot easier to avoid them in today’s world. All you need to do is use trusted sites such as Checkatrade to help and find a tradesperson that is a member of a trade organisation which offers guarantees, warranties and a free complaints system. Find out if they are registered as a sole trader or limited company. Do they charge VAT? Are they registered with Companies House? All of these things are good news as it suggests they are a legitimate company that abides by the rules. Never use a company that offers to take ‘cash in hand’ to ‘save tax’ as although this is tempting it means you have no receipts and the work isn’t protected should it go wrong which would cost you much more than any short term savings.

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