Things to do when buy­ing your home

Sunday World - - Business - This is the sec­ond part in our se­ries of NHBRC tips on what to do when buy­ing a home.

BUY­ING or build­ing a house? The Na­tional Home Builders Reg­is­tra­tion Coun­cil (NHBRC) is here to give you use­ful tips.

The coun­cil is a statu­tory body es­tab­lished to pro­tect con­sumers’ in­ter­ests and reg­u­late the homebuilding in­dus­try.

Tips when oc­cu­py­ing your home:

In­spect it care­fully. Draw up a list of the prob­lems and de­fects and sub­mit it to your builder within 90 days of the date of oc­cu­pa­tion. Keep a record of this cor­re­spon­dence.

Pay par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to:

All san­i­tary ware (taps, toi­let fit­tings, etc), fire­place sur­rounds, wall tiles and splash­backs.

Whether doors and win­dows open and close prop­erly, and whether all ser­vices (elec­tric­ity and wa­ter) are con­nected and work­ing.

Whether the ex­tras you or­dered have been pro­vided.

En­sure you have keys to all the locks and that they work prop­erly.

Make sure you have been shown where var­i­ous stop valves and main elec­tri­cal switches are.

Main­te­nance:

Min­imise prob­lems from damp­ness and con­den­sa­tion by ven­ti­lat­ing your home. Leave win­dows open as long as you can, for ex­am­ple.

To min­imise cracking, try to keep a rea­son­ably even tem­per­a­ture, be­cause as the build­ing dries out, the evap­o­rated mois­ture needs to be ven­ti­lated away.

Leave in­ter­nal doors and doors of cup­boards open to en­cour­age air circulation.

Pre­vent con­den­sa­tion by pro­duc­ing less mois­ture by:

Cook­ing with cov­ered pans and pots. Don’t leave the ket­tle boil­ing.

Avoid­ing por­ta­ble gas heaters be­cause they cre­ate wa­ter vapour when they burn.

Al­low­ing steam to be re­leased by open­ing win­dows be­cause mould might form in the home ir­re­spec­tive of ven­ti­la­tion.

Ef­flo­res­cence is white de­posit on in­side walls caused by nat­u­ral salts com­ing out of the wall. If de­posits con­tinue, it might in­di­cate a wa­ter leak, in which case you should con­tact your home builder.

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