Moving In & Enjoying
My New Linden Home
Statements contained within this manual are provided for general guidance only and are accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of printing. Linden Homes can take no responsibility for inaccuracies in this manual, nor for any actions taken as a result of those inaccuracies. Nothing in this manual forms part of an offer or contract and should not be construed as any representation by Linden Homes or its agents. Websites quoted in this manual are for information only and do not constitute recommendations by Linden Homes. Any images used are purely for illustrative purposes. Linden Homes is not liable, in negligence or otherwise, for any losses, damages or costs of any kind, which arise directly on indirectly from the use or inability to use, the USB drive or software it contains. Such losses include loss of data or computer programs, corruption of data or computer programs, damage to computer systems, equipment or property. Copyright ÂŠ Classic Folios Ltd 2012
Firstly, can we say a huge thank you – we’re delighted you have chosen a Linden property as your new home. Our most important task is making sure that your big move goes as smoothly as possible – we want you to be as happy with our service as you are with your new home. Now you’ve paid your reservation fee, you might well be wondering what happens next. We have put together this manual so you’re aware of everything that is going to happen over the next few weeks, and to make sure there are no surprises. But if you find we haven’t covered something, or you’re still not quite sure, please feel free to pick up the phone, send us an email or come in for a chat. In your manual, there is lots of useful information on:
The warranties that cover your home’s fixtures How to look after your home’s fittings and features Your home’s impact on the environment If you would prefer to read your manual on screen or while you’re out and about, it’s stored electronically on the USB drive we have given to you. This should automatically launch an electronic version of your manual when you plug it into your computer, but depending on the operating system you’re using, you might need to click a dialog box first, or open it manually. After you have legally completed, you can also view your manual online by logging in with your unique password at www.mynewlindenhome.co.uk. What’s more, clicking on an interactive link within the text will take you to straight to the website. You will be given your home’s
login details on a card, which you can keep in the pocket inside the front cover of your manual, and there is also an instruction sheet on the next page in case you need it. On completion, you will be given a box file, which you can use to keep all the documents relating to your home in one place. You will also receive the final ‘Your Home’s Details’ section of this manual, which belongs behind the last tab. If you need your manual in another format, like Braille or on an audio CD, please let us know. Finally, we hope you will be as happy as we are that you’ve chosen a Linden home, and that you find your manual helpful along the way.
What happens once you have reserved What we will do and what we will need you to do to keep the process running smoothly
To be kind to the environment, your manual is printed on 100% recycled paper. The binder is also made from recycled board, with a 100% recycled paper lining and a recycled leather outer. Linden Homes
How to Use HomeFiles
You might like to add the My New Linden Home website to your favourites so you can find it easily. As soon as you can, please click on My Account to register your email address, so we can send you your details if you forget them. You can also change your password, if you would like to.
Your HomeFiles are PDFs - you can open them by clicking on the links to each one. They will open in a new window.
Below the main files are other documents relating to your home. These will also open in a new window when you click on them. When you click a file to download, you might get a popup message underneath the browser bar telling you: “To help protect your security, Internet Explorer blocked this site from downloading files to your computer. Click here for options.” Select “Download File” and then click on the document link again - you will get the option to Open or Save the PDF.
If you click Open, the PDF will open in a new window. There are several ways that you can navigate through the document: A. By clicking the Forward/Back arrows B. Typing in a keyword in the Search box If youâ€™d like to zoom in to read text more easily, you can either: 1. Use the plus button 2. Click on the drop down arrow next to it to select your preferred scale 3. Use the fill window buttons Throughout your documents youâ€™ll find web addresses that link to the internet. If you click on a web link from within a PDF, this will navigate away from your HomeFiles screen. To return, use the browser back arrow. If you do navigate away from your HomeFiles and then close the web page, you will need to log in again when you come back.
About Linden Homes
Linden Homes encompasses Galliford Try’s previous housebuilding companies: Midas Homes, Stamford Homes, Rosemullion Homes and Gerald Wood Homes. Now operating as one national brand from Cornwall to Northumberland means the whole business can benefit from shared skills, expertise and scale. But we’ve retained the flexibility, creativity and passion at the local level that has been the foundation of our success. The unification of our businesses is part of our ongoing strategy of growth. Within the next few years this ambitious expansion plan will see us grow to build over 3,500 homes a year, ranking us as one of the UK’s largest housebuilders. Working together we’re united in our desire to give our customers an exceptional experience based on the passion and commitment of our people. We create homes that appeal not only to our purchasers, but which also serve and complement the local community and environment, whether they are in the
South West, the North East or anywhere in between. The distinctive and diverse range of homes we offer allows us to make sure the existing surroundings of all our developments are always enhanced. We take great care to lessen the impact our homes have on the environment, both during the build and once they are occupied, by adhering to strict environmental policies. As well as making them generally as energy efficient as possible, we’re experimenting with renewable energy sources to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and installing water saving features in all our homes. Of course, the most important part of building our homes is the people that buy them, which is why we measure our success through our customers’ satisfaction and not the number of homes we build. We believe in treating our customers the way we would like to be treated ourselves. It’s not just what we say, but what we actually do that proves our commitment.
In fact, we’re so committed to offering a first class service (as described fully in our Customer Charter) that 97% of Linden homeowners would recommend us to their friends. Of all our awards and achievements, this is the one we’re most proud of.
The Team From the point when you enquire about one of our homes right through to handover, you will be under the wing of one of our Sales Executives, who will be on hand whenever you need any help or advice about buying your home. They will take you through the whole process, show you what to do and when, and support you until you’re ready to move in. Once you’re all moved in, our Customer Service department will be there if you need them for help or to report a problem. Their contact details can be found on page 23.
Foundations for Success Galliford Try is the name behind Linden Homes, and is one of the UK’s leading construction and housebuilding companies, whose name is synonymous with many prestigious projects, including the roof of Wimbledon’s Centre Court, the 2012 Olympic Village and the new Forth Road Bridge. Our impressive collection of specialist skills and experience spanning multiple sectors means we can confidently take on projects that other housebuilders could not consider - from city centre regeneration, to sensitive restoration projects. If you would like to find out any more information about us, you can visit our website at www.lindenhomes.co.uk
Building Your Home
Sticking to Our Schedule
Plans & Layouts
We know you will want to be kept informed about how the building of your home is going, which is why your Sales Executive will be in touch with updates at least every two weeks. They will also try to give you a rough idea of when your home might be completing, but please be aware this is just our best estimate, and it might change as the build progresses. We will only be able to give you a definite date once Notice to Complete has been served.
These are available to view at our sales office, if needed - unfortunately we won’t be able to give you a copy to take away. Please be aware that we reserve the right to slightly adjust the positions of fences or boundaries from what is shown in the plans, to take minor physical features of the site into account.
Coming to Visit If you find that your move is just a bit too far away and you can’t wait to see your new home, we will be only too happy to show you around if we can. Talk to your Sales Executive, who will arrange a date and time for you, but please note that, depending on how building is going, parts of the development might not be accessible. If you do decide to come and visit, please make sure you stick to the rules below for your own safety while you’re looking around. The Health and Safety laws for building sites are very strict, and the last thing we want is for anyone to get hurt. Always stay with the Linden Homes staff member who is showing you around – don’t go anywhere on your own Wear the protective equipment we will provide you with
If We’re Still Building You may be one of the first people moving onto Cholsey Meadows, so we might still be building other homes. Unfortunately, noise and dust are inevitable parts of the construction process. We will work hard to keep any disruption to an absolute minimum and thank you for your patience and understanding.
It’s for everyone’s benefit that our construction staff are focussed on completing the development on time. If you do have a question, we appreciate that it seems quicker and easier to talk to someone on the development, but please try not to distract our site staff. Instead, call our Customer Service department - the team is there to help you settle in and answer any of your questions. Please also be aware that while we will make every effort to have everything done by the time you move in, we might still have small jobs to complete, like laying turf if the weather hasn’t been suitable. Thanks again for bearing with us.
Please take extra care when you’re driving and walking around the development. The final finish to roads and paths is one of the last things we do, which means that drains and manhole covers might be higher than usual. Construction vehicles could also be moving around, and we might have to temporarily change the road and pavement setup at certain points, so please follow any signs that are displayed. We also suggest you keep an extra eye on any pets that are allowed outdoors – construction sites are full of places to hide in, and we would hate for them to get stuck anywhere.
Be careful of things that could be dangerous, like trenches, falling items, machinery, scaffolding and piles of bricks Linden Homes
For Extra Reassurance NHBC To give you peace of mind and let you worry about the more important things in life, we’ve protected your home with an NHBC Buildmark warranty, and all our homes are built to NHBC’s high standards. Essentially, this means you could be entitled to compensation if we encounter problems finishing your home, and any issues once you have moved in that are our fault will be put right. We know this is the worst case scenario, but it gives everyone peace of mind just in case something does go wrong. If you don’t think we have handled any issues as well as you would have hoped, you have the added reassurance of NHBC’s resolution service. You will find a specimen NHBC warranty policy stored on your USB drive, and we have included NHBC’s ‘Guide to Your New Home’ in your box file. This will let you familiarise yourself with all the details and fine print – we will give this to you on the day of your move. The warranty lasts for ten years from the date you become the legal owner. You will deal with us during the first two years, and direct with NHBC from years three to ten. If you find you need to get in touch with NHBC for whatever reason, their contact details are: NHBC T: 0844 633 1000 W: www.nhbc.co.uk Page 10
Other Warranties Some fittings and finishes in your new home may also come with their own separate warranty, and we will make sure this is passed on to you when you move in.
Making Your Mark Depending on the build stage we’re at when you reserve your home, you might be given the opportunity to choose the colours of the tiles, worktops, etc. at our Enhance studio. Enhance is a unique in-house service available exclusively to Linden Homes purchasers, which offers you the chance to tailor your new home ready for the day you move in. Every Enhance experience begins with a one-to-one consultation at our studio with one of our dedicated Style Consultants.
Bathrooms Choice of tiles for walls and floors Mirrored cabinets and storage Mirrors
The range of potential options will vary depending on the home you have chosen and the stage of build, and your Style Consultant will explain all of the choices available to you from the standard selections, and from our range of optional upgrades.
The available choices could include:
Carpets, curtains and blinds
Extra fixtures and fittings
Built in wardrobes and other storage Lighting
Chrome sockets and switches Kitchens Units and worktops, including laminate and marble finishes Upgrades on appliances and white goods
Variety of flooring options Alarm systems and automatic garage doors Please ensure you make (and pay for, if necessary) your choices by the deadline you’re given to avoid delay or disappointment. Linden Homes
code for sustainable homes The Government launched the Code for Sustainable Homes in 2007 to encourage the building of greener, more energy efficient housing. All homes with planning permission granted after 2008 have to meet a minimum Code level. Homes assessed under the Code are given a star rating, depending on the number of environmentally friendly features that have been used in construction. These range across nine different categories, including energy and water usage and materials used, and each is worth a certain number of points. As well as being more energy efficient, Code homes also encourage their owners to live more sustainably, usually providing facilities for things such as composting and natural clothes drying.
Your Code Home The number of points that a builder accumulates for using sustainable features is given a star rating from 1 to 6, a bit like a hotel. Homes that are given 6 stars have the highest levels of sustainability. Your home has been given a rating of 3 stars. Below is a list of the features your home has that are designed to improve its environmental credentials: An energy efficient boiler to reduce emissions A mechanical ventilation with heat recovery system and a boiler flue gas heat recovery system to reduce heat loss Insulation to floors, walls and the roof, plus triple glazing to reduce the amount of heat loss 100% of internal and external lighting is energy efficient, which uses less electricity to produce the same amount of light as conventional lighting Areas have been provided for cycle storage, promoting sustainable transport
Dual flush toilets and flow restrictors fitted to your sanitaryware to reduce water consumption The external areas have been landscaped to provide environmental benefits, such as plant species that require little water A sustainable drainage system (SUDs) has been installed on the development to lessen the impact of storm water on the drainage system and the risk of localised flooding. Each home on the development has an individual soakaway as part of this system The homes and the development itself comply with some Secured by Design guidelines, which set a certain standard of security Lifetime Homes features have been fitted, including step-free access and wider doorways and hallways to accommodate disabled use A Green Travel Plan has been produced, encouraging residents to travel using sustainable methods
Recycling bins have been provided, encouraging you to recycle as much as possible Your washer/dryer (if applicable), dishwasher, oven and fridge/freezer are all rated A for energy efficiency Extra telephone points and power sockets have been fitted, enabling you to work from home
What Happens Next
Your Responsibilities We understand that buying a new home can be a confusing time, but we would appreciate you making yourself aware of what you need to do and when, so that everything runs as smoothly as possible. In particular, this includes getting to know what happens during the buying process, being available for meetings when they’re needed and sticking to our Health and Safety rules. The flowchart later on in your manual should help make this clearer. We would like to thank you in advance for your support.
What Happens When After Reservation Once you’ve made your reservation and signed a Reservation Form, we can get everything up and running, and we will send you a letter confirming the details. We won’t offer the property for sale again while your Reservation Form is still valid. You’ll be invited to a PostReservation Meeting within 14 days of your reservation, during which your Sales Executive will cover all the details of the home you will be buying, including: The purchase terms, including termination rights
Once you’ve discussed everything, you will be given the opportunity to ask any questions. This meeting should take no more than about two hours. Next, we will give you a deadline by which you will need to have exchanged contracts with us. This is usually 28 days from signing your Reservation Form. You will need to contact your solicitor, if you’ve chosen to use one, to give them the deadline date and information on your current property, if you have one to sell. You will need to give us their details straight away, plus the details of the estate agent selling your current home, so we can liaise with them direct. We will confirm the following before Exchange of Contracts, both to you and via an Information Sheet to your solicitor: Local authority search
Your Right to Cancel If you feel we’ve delayed the process unreasonably, or made major changes to the property without letting you know, you have the right to terminate the contract. If you decide to cancel your reservation, please contact your Sales Executive immediately to advise them. This manual will also need to be returned before any monies can be refunded.
After Exchange of Contracts Your soliciter will apply for searches to make sure nothing could affect your new home, such as restrictions or planning permission for other structures nearby. Before you exchange contracts, they will explain the Transfer Document to you, highlighting anything especially important, they will then ask you to sign it.
Transfer document Estimated completion date (this will be fixed if your home is already finished) A preliminary deposit will also be taken at this time, which is protected under the terms of your warranty. Please be aware that if, for whatever reason, you decide not to proceed to Exchange of Contracts, your deposit will be refunded, minus any administration costs. You can find further details on your Reservation Form.
Once your new home is ready, our solicitor will serve the Notice to Complete, which gives you a fixed period in which to legally complete the purchase of your new Linden home.
Price, its validity and deposit to be paid Heating, fittings and finishes Plans and layouts Covenants and parking arrangements
Pre-Handover Demonstration Once the Notice to Complete has been served, you will be invited to a PreHandover Demonstration, which is ideally a few days before final handover - we find customers tend to settle in quicker if their demonstration is done shortly before they move into their new home. Your Sales Executive and the Site Manager will meet you, take you to your new home and run through all its facilities and functions, making sure you’re familiar with them. These will typically include: Hot water, heating and kitchen appliances The best cleaning methods to use for your fittings Servicing and maintenance Legal Completion The wait is almost over! On legal completion day, your Sales Executive will meet you at your new home. Once we’ve got confirmation that legal completion has taken place, we will take the meter readings and ask you to sign a Handover Form. The home is then legally yours, and you can begin moving in.
Carry out Land Registry checks on the new home and research the local area Organise paying your money to Linden Homes Check everything to do with your mortgage (if you have one), and arrange for funds to be transferred when required Please make sure you give your solicitor all the information they need. As well as making the process easier, it means buying your new home won’t be held up and you could well start enjoying it sooner.
Stages in the buying process
Exchange of Contracts 28 days after reservation
Build Progress Updates If you don’t know where to start looking for a solicitor or need some help, your Sales Executive will be happy to recommend one. We find the process runs much more smoothly if the solicitor you use is already familiar with our procedures.
Applying for a Mortgage If you need a mortgage to complete the purchase of your new home, you will probably know that the number of different types available adds up to well into the hundreds, so we won’t be surprised if you need a bit of help.
Planning Your Move
Notice to Complete
Legal Completion & Handover Legal & Financial Assistance Choosing a Solicitor We would always advise you to instruct a conveyancing solicitor to manage the legal side of buying your home. Their main tasks would be to: Check the contract for your new home, and make sure it includes everything it should Page 14
Your Sales Executive can put you in touch with our recommended independent financial solutions provider, the New Homes Mortgage Helpline, who can make an appointment with you to run through the options available.
For more information, you can visit the website, www.thenewhomesgroup.co.uk
Land Registration Fee
If you’ve not bought a property before, some of the terms used might be unfamiliar to you. We’ve explained the most common ones below, but if you need any more help, please get in touch with us or your solicitor.
The deed which, in the event of a freehold property having unregistered title, transfers ownership of said title to the purchaser. If the property is leasehold, the deed remains the same but is called an assignment. The title is then registered and the deed is called a Transfer.
A fee related to the value of the property being purchased for registering the ownership of the property in a new owner’s name.
Building Warranty An insurance-backed building warranty on your new home.
Enquiries Before Contract
An electronic, bank to bank payment system that guarantees same business day payment provided the funds are released before 3pm.
Prior to the purchaser’s solicitor allowing the purchaser to sign a contract, either party is fully entitled to ask a collection of detailed questions regarding many aspects of the prospective property for purchase and the vendor or his solicitor is requested to answer these fully before any contracts may be signed. These may also be called Preliminary Enquiries.
Exchange of Contracts
An entry in the Land Registry title that shows that the property has been used as collateral for a loan, e.g. mortgage. Collateral/Security
The contracts become legally binding at the stage in the transfer of a property when the signed parts of both the purchaser’s and the vendor’s contracts are exchanged.
An insurance policy or property pledged as a guarantee of repayment of a loan.
The outright and absolute ownership of land and any property which stands on it.
CHAPS (Clearing House Automated Payment System)
When a transfer of property from vendor to purchaser takes place and, in exchange for the balance of the purchase price, the necessary documents are handed over. This is the point at which ownership is transferred to the purchaser.
Ground Rent A payment made at specific times as required under the terms of the lease. Land Registry An official government office which registers and maintains all details of land ownership and any changes relating to that ownership.
Lease Document recording the terms of ownership of a leasehold dwelling. Leasehold Where a property is built on land owned by a person or organisation other than the owner of the property on the land. The leaseholder will have occupational rights for a fixed term in accordance with the conditions contained within the lease. Lessor The person or organisation who authorises and grants a lease. Local Authority Search A search commissioned by your solicitor to determine any entries recorded against your new property, such as proposed road or traffic schemes. Managing Agent Linden Homes appoints a professional Managing Agent to administer the service charges required to run any common services and ensure that you’re charged a reasonable sum for the services provided. Their aim is to ensure that both your building and estate areas (if applicable) are managed to a high standard and at a reasonable cost. Provision of services is structured within the terms of the lease.
Mortgage Protection Policy
Stamp Duty Land Tax
Also called a legal charge. A legal document which pledges freehold or leasehold property as security for a loan. If the mortgage payments aren’t paid in full on the due date, it gives the lender (such as the bank or building society) well defined rights to the property, including the power to sell it if the lender so wishes. In accordance with the agreed terms of the mortgage, when the loan advanced is repaid with all due interest, these rights are completely cancelled.
An insurance policy taken out against a mortgage, which ensures that, in the event of your death or sickness, the full outstanding amount of the loan will be paid off. It’s also possible to take out a similar policy, which ensures that in the event of the borrower’s redundancy, the mortgage repayments are met for a fixed period.
This is a government levy and payable by the purchaser of the property. When the stamp duty land tax has been paid, an official embossed stamp will be placed on the document of sale. Payment is based on the purchase price of the property and is on a sliding scale. For further information please visit the government’s website, www.direct.gov.uk. Stamp duty is levied (but at a lower rate) on some mortgage deeds and some insurance policies.
Mortgagee Any person or organisation that lends money for a mortgage, e.g. a building society, insurance company, bank or private individual. Mortgage Interest In return for the loan that has been advanced on a property by the lender, you’ll pay a certain sum in interest. The rate of this interest can be affected by economic conditions prevailing at any given time and the general financial state of the lender. This will therefore lead to a fluctuation of rate unless you have a ‘fixed rate’ mortgage. Mortgagor This simply means the borrower, i.e. you.
Mortgage Term When a mortgage is arranged it’ll be for a fixed time period. Principal Also known as capital sum, meaning the amount of the loan on which interest is calculated over the mortgage term. Redemption The mortgage is finished when the final payment is made by the borrower. In the event of a mortgage being repaid earlier than the agreed fixed term, some organisations make a specific charge called an early redemption fee. If applied, this fee will vary, depending on the lender’s terms. Searches Questions asked by solicitors on behalf of a potential purchaser of various bodies, e.g. Local Authority or Environment Agency, about a property and the land on which it’s built.
Survey Action carried out by way of inspection of a property by an independent surveyor, usually on behalf of the person intending to purchase the property or financial body. Title Legal documents confirming your entitlement to ownership of a property. Valuation Report A professional assessment of the value of the property as it stands at the time of inspection for mortgage purposes, made by a person nominated by the organisation that has received the mortgage application. Vendor Either an individual, company or organisation that owns a property and wishes to sell it.
Planning Your Move As we’re sure you will know, there are many things to think about and sort out before you move house. To help make this a bit easier, we’ve provided a helpful checklist of some of the most important things to remember in the run up to the big day.
Three Weeks To Go Get a few quotes from removal companies, and ask about extra services, like providing packing boxes, if you need them. Make sure the company you choose is fully insured in case they damage or lose any of your belongings Check that your home contents insurance covers you during your move and at your new address If you have especially big or awkwardly shaped pieces of furniture, please measure them to make sure you will be able to get them into your new home. Unfortunately we can’t take responsibility if they don’t fit
Two Weeks To Go
The Day Before
Start throwing away anything you don’t want any more from cupboards, lofts and sheds. Donate good quality items to a charity shop if you can, and recycle where possible
Finish your packing, except for things like clothes, toiletries, food and drink, etc., that you might need on the day
Arrange for the Royal Mail to redirect your post. You can do this online at www.royalmail.com
Give all your surfaces and paintwork a wipe down, and clean or vacuum the floors
Make any necessary change of address notifications
Make sure your solicitor is aware of the time of your move, so they can transfer the right funds in time before you go to collect your keys
Keep some cash available just in case
One Week To Go Double check the arrangements you have made with your removal company Clearly label anything you’re leaving behind, and remove anything fixed that you’re taking with you Make up a toolkit with things like a screwdriver, pliers, knife, hammer, hooks, fuses, etc., and keep it handy for your move
Collect and label all the keys for your current home
On The Day Make a note of your gas, water and electricity meter readings Check all storage spaces for anything you might have left behind, and lock all your windows and doors
Arrange for your utility accounts to be finalised. Don’t forget to register with your new providers at your new address, especially telephone and internet, as these can sometimes take two or three weeks to be connected Book a qualified electrician, gas installer or plumber to disconnect any appliances you’re taking with you and install them in your new home Start packing things you won’t need until after you have moved. It’s a good idea to label them with the contents so you can identify them easily Linden Homes
Change of Address Notifications
You will probably need to tell the following organisations, if they apply to you, that you have moved. Itâ€™s also a good idea to take a look at www.iammoving.com - you can enter your old and new address details just once, and the website will update all the companies of your choice at the same time.
Professional associations and trade unions
Bank and Building Society
TV Licensing - you can do this online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk
Rental companies Satellite TV companies Schools and colleges Store loyalty cards
Clubs and associations
Credit card companies
Doctor and dentist DVLA - you can do this online at www.direct.gov.uk/motoring
Local authorityâ€™s council tax department
Magazine and newspaper subscriptions
Gyms or health clubs
Mobile phone companies
H M Revenue & Customs - you can do this online at www.hmrc.gov.uk
National Savings and Premium Bond companies
YOUR Handover Once we have received confirmation that legal completion has taken place, we will do a final check of your new home with you, to make sure we’re aware of anything that might need our attention. We will then ask you to sign a Handover Form to say you’re happy with the condition of the property and to avoid any confusion later on, should anything get damaged while you’re moving in. Most importantly, we will give you your keys.
After Handover Even after you’ve moved in, we will still be on hand in case you need anything. We want to make sure everything is right in your new home, which is why you will receive a Welcome Letter from us, plus a courtesy phone call after you have moved in, just to check everything is OK. You will also receive a call from our Customer Service department, introducing your Co-ordinator and offering a Welcome Visit. While we definitely aim to get everything right first time, occasionally something may get missed. If you happen to spot something upon closer inspection once you’ve moved in, please let us know, and we will aim to deal with it within 14 days, subject to any materials we need being available. Please note that this doesn’t include anything caused during your move, or through normal wear and tear.
You should also be aware that timber doors have a tendency to move if their moisture content changes. Minor warping that doesn’t affect their operation is not classed as a defect, but we will adjust anything worse for you, after you’ve been in your home for a reasonable amount of time so it’s stabilised.
Customer Satisfaction Survey Good feedback from our customers is the best kind of reward we can get, which is why we want to make sure we’ve done everything in our power to make your experience enjoyable. Around six weeks after you have moved in, you will receive a call from In-House Research, a company we have employed to conduct a short customer satisfaction survey for us. This won’t take long at all, and we’d really appreciate your involvement. We take all the responses seriously, and use them to constantly improve our services and staff training. Thank you in advance for your time.
Managing Agent Cholsey Meadows has some shared features, which might include things such as landscaping, a children’s play area, and for apartments there may also be communal stairways, parking areas, etc. In most cases it isn’t down to one individual home owner to look after these, but everyone living on the development. To save you and everyone living on the development any hassle, we will appoint a Managing Agent who will look after all this for you and you will pay them a service charge to cover the costs. When our Sales Executive was taking your reservation they will have pointed this out to you and given you more details. Feel free to talk to them if you have a question. Once you’ve moved in, please give your contact details to the Managing Agent, including an email address, plus daytime, evening and emergency contact numbers. Rest assured they will be treated in the strictest confidence, and will only be used if we need to get hold of you regarding your home or the development. Contact details and more information about the Managing Agent at Cholsey Meadows can be found in the ‘About Cholsey Meadows’ section of your manual.
Fitting Floor Finishes
We’ve left a gap between the bottom of internal doors and the floor. The reason being, when you come to fit carpets, tiles or any other floor finish, you may need to get a carpenter to ‘shave’ a little off the bottom of the door so that it closes easily and doesn’t drag across the finish. If we’re fitting your flooring, then we will automatically do this for you, but if you are purchasing it yourself then you will need to pay for a carpenter to do this for you. You might also need to do this if you’re changing the flooring.
There is water in practically everything that goes into building your home. While it’s perfectly fine to live in your home when it’s ready, it won’t be completely finished until all this water has worked its way back out and the structure of your home is totally dry. This will probably take around 6 to 18 months. Although it’s likely you won’t even notice it happening, you need to let it run its course to avoid damaging your home.
A maximum of 6mm should be trimmed off fire doors, as this could affect their ability to stop a fire from spreading.
To allow the water to escape slowly and do as little damage as possible, we recommend keeping your home’s temperature as even as you can. This means keeping thermostats below 20oC, so your home doesn’t heat up too quickly and risk cracking as the moisture escapes.
Telephone services There are so many telephone service suppliers out there, all offering different packages dependent on whether you include broadband or other services. That’s why we’ve left this to you to organise so that you get the service that suits your needs best. In our experience it’s probably best you start organising this several weeks before you are due to move in so that you are up and running shortly after your move. It’s also best to clarify exactly what your supplier will do as they can sometimes charge to connect extension sockets.
Once all this moisture has freed itself from the fabric, it needs to get out into the atmosphere so it doesn’t damage your home. For this reason, we suggest you leave your windows open as much as possible, use your mechanical ventilation system as much as you can, and leave trickle vents open when you go out.
growing on walls and ceilings, especially in corners behind wardrobes and other furniture where air can’t easily reach. If you don’t sort out the problem, it can damage floor coverings, bedding, clothes and paint/wallpaper. However, condensation is one of the most common problems in houses of all ages, but particularly newly built ones, and there are a few simple things you can do to help avoid it: Keep your heating on a constant low temperature, and don’t let your home go unheated for long periods of time Don’t use portable gas heaters, as these produce a lot of water vapour Leave as many windows open as you can when you’re in, and leave trickle vents open and your mechanical ventilation system on when you go out Use the extractor fans in your kitchen and bathrooms Leave internal doors and wardrobe doors open so the air can circulate
Shrinkage Cracks Condensation While you might find you have a bit more condensation in your home than usual while your home is drying out, moisture levels should be perfectly normal once this has finished. However, please bear in mind that some everyday things you do in your home can cause condensation, such as cooking, washing clothes and having a bath or shower. This can lead to mould
As all the water escapes from your home, the building materials are likely to shrink slightly, which could mean small cracks appear in your walls or ceilings. These cracks are normal, and it’s very easy to fill them with a readily available product once your home has properly dried out. Please remember that Linden Homes is not responsible for repairing them.
your Lease Please make sure you familiarise yourself with your lease – it’s very important, as it tells you everything you can and can’t do with your home, and what you’re required to do as a lessee. It’s important to read the entire thing, but please be especially aware of the points below:
Subletting You need to get permission if you would like to sublet your home. Please make sure your tenants read this manual too, so that they’re familiar with how to clean and maintain everything. Linden Homes won’t be responsible if they cause any damage.
You’re only allowed to keep pets if you get permission from the freeholder. Please note that if you’re given permission but valid complaints are then received from neighbours, it might be withdrawn.
You’re not allowed to attach an aerial, satellite dish or similar item to the outside of your home.
Windows Noise As you would not expect your neighbours to make any unnecessary noise, please make sure you don’t either. You should not be able to hear any music, TVs, etc., from outside your home.
All the windows in your home should be fitted with either curtains or blinds – there might also be restrictions on the colour of the lining. You might also not be allowed to hang anything from your windows, like clothes or flags.
Repairs It’s your responsibility to make sure everything inside your home stays in good condition.
We strongly suggest you take on a good letting agent to organise the rent and look after the tenants.
Making Alterations You will need to get written permission from the freeholder before you make any changes to your home’s structure. Please also bear in mind the following: Pipes and cables are hidden behind the surfaces of walls and ceilings – be careful when nailing or drilling. We recommend using a cable detector Some walls might also be fire, acoustic or vapour barriers, and damaging them might put yourself or your neighbours in danger
Who to Ask
In An Emergency
Helping Us Improve
If you have any questions or problems at any stage of buying your Linden home, our contact details are below:
You will be pleased to know that, for the first two years after you have moved into your new home, you’re covered by our 24 hour emergency service.
During Reservation, Exchange, Completion & Handover
This covers eventualities such as:
If you’re not happy with the service you have received from Linden Homes during any part of the purchase process, or you think we could do something better, please let us know. We want your experience of buying a home, whether it’s your first or your twenty-first, to be a positive one.
Your Sales Executive will be on hand every step of the way to guide you through the buying process. You can make a note of their name and contact details below:
No heating or hot water
No electricity A water leak that can’t be contained or is seeping into the electrical system Blocked drains causing overflowing
_________________________________ Telephone: _________________________________ Email: _________________________________
Post-Handover After you have moved in, our Customer Service department will be there for two years in case you need to contact us. The details are below: Customer Service Linden Homes Chiltern Linden House Linden Square Harefield Middlesex UB9 6TQ
Toilet not flushing if there is only one in your home Broken window or door lock meaning your home is not secure Roof leak (other than one caused by storm damage - this is covered by your insurance)
You can let us know using the details on this page. If you still do not think we have dealt with your issue as well as you would have hoped, you can refer the matter to NHBC. It can also be taken further if necessary, to the Consumer Code’s independent Resolution Service. This provides a third party arbitrator, who will look at both sides of the issue and make a final decision. You will be able to find more information on our website, www.lindenhomes.co.uk
Please be aware that if you call us in an emergency and your situation does not fit one of the categories above, we might have to charge you for the callout. For emergency assistance, please phone our Customer Service department. If your emergency falls outside of office hours, please call 0800 014 7557.
T: 01895 827400 E: customerservices.chiltern@ lindenhomes.co.uk Linden Homes
our Customer Charter At Linden Homes, weâ€™re committed to providing you with a first-class service. Our Customer Charter, below, sets out how we do this. Procedures and systems are in place to meet all the commitments weâ€™ve made in this charter Our team is trained to understand their responsibilities to you, the customer, and to know exactly what the charter means to you and us You will be provided with information to enable you to make an informed decision about buying the property Our Sales Team will be on hand to answer your questions There may be choices and options available to you when you buy and we will make sure you are aware of them Health and safety advice will be provided to minimise the risk of danger, when visiting the development during construction and when living in your new home
Your purchase is covered by the NHBC Buildmark warranty and we will provide you with reliable information concerning this and any other guarantees and warranties from which you may benefit Your exchange deposit is protected and weâ€™ll explain how. We will also recommend that you appoint a professional legal advisor to carry out the legal formalities of buying the property and to represent your interests Information about the timing (or our best estimate) of construction, legal completion and handover of the property will be provided. Once a completion date is confirmed we will offer you a demonstration of your new home
Consumer Code for Home Builders The Consumer Code for Home Builders was brought in in April 2010 to make sure that all home builders meet certain standards when it comes to selling their homes. It makes sure that all buyers are treated fairly and they know what to expect, are given reliable information and know what to do if they are not happy. Linden Homes is proud to comply fully with the Consumer Code for Home Builders. If you need more information or would like details on the exact requirements of the Code, you can visit www.consumercodeforhomebuilders.com or speak to your Sales Executive.
Our aftersales and customer service procedures will be explained to you in detail There are procedures in place for dealing with customer complaints, including those concerning warranties, and we will co-operate fully with appropriately qualified professional advisors
We aim to provide accurate and truthful information in all our marketing and advertising material Our contract of sale terms and conditions are fair and clearly set out You will also have our cancellation policy made clear to you
About Cholsey Meadows
Cholsey Meadows is a flagship collection of beautiful homes set in 100 acres of traditional English parkland. There will be plenty to keep you busy at Cholsey Meadows - from the surrounding countryside and the River Thames to new cricket facilities and much more. The village of Cholsey is close by and the historic city of Oxford is only 12 miles away.
Local Authority In case you need to contact your Local Authority regarding council tax or other issues, their contact details are: South Oxfordshire District Council Benson Lane Crowmarsh Gifford Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 8ED T: 01491 823000 W: www.southoxon.gov.uk
The Managing Agent for Cholsey Meadows is Pentland Estate Management. Their main responsibilities are to maintain the communal areas of apartment buildings, roads and driveways and landscaped areas. For this you will pay a monthly service charge - you will by given more information on this by your solicitor. In case you need to get in touch, their contact details are:
Your post will be delivered to your individual post box in the communal area.
Pentland Estate Management Wolvey Hinckley Leicestershire LE10 3JH T: 01455 882431 W: www.pentlandestate management.co.uk
Parking You will be allocated one parking space with your apartment - you will be told exactly which space it is before you move in. Please make sure you only park in your allocated space.
Cycle Storage Cycle storage racks are located across the development so you can keep your bicycle safe.
Access You will be given keys that’ll let you get in through the main entrance door and into your own apartment. Visitors to your home can let you know they have arrived by pressing a button outside the main entrance door. Your entry phone will then ring, and you can pick it up and have a conversation with your visitor. Press the ‘unlock’ button to let them in.
Rubbish & Recycling Recycling We have provided communal recycling bins on the development, so you can still recycle as normal. These are located in the bin store, next to your apartment block, and will be emptied periodically by the council. You can recycle paper and cardboard, food and drink cartons, plastic bottles, glass and aerosols. Please make sure items are washed out if necessary, and place them loose in the bin. Smaller bins are also provided in your kitchen, which you can empty into the communal ones when they are full. Your nearest recycling bank for books, CDs/DVDs, mixed recycling and shoes is at the Goldsmith’s Lane car park. The nearest for glass and textiles is in the car park of Cholsey Sports Pavilion, and the nearest for Tetra Paks is at the Council Offices in Crowmarsh Gifford. For larger items, Oakley Wood Household Waste Recycling Centre is located on Henley Road, about 11/2 miles east of Wallingford. Here, you can recycle normal batteries, car batteries and engine oil, cardboard, clothing, fridges and freezers, fluorescent tubes, furniture, garden waste, gas bottles, glass, metal, newspapers and magazines, soil and rubble, chemicals, wood, electrical items and paint.
We have provided refuse bins in the communal bin store, so you can dispose of anything non-recyclable. These will be emptied periodically by the council. You should bag and tie your waste securely, and put it in the correct bin. Please don’t leave it anywhere else on the development, including next to the bin or outside your apartment – this is both unhygienic and a fire hazard.
If you have any problems or questions about rubbish disposal and recycling in your area, please contact South Oxfordshire District Council:
Bulky Items If you have larger items to get rid of, such as furniture or white goods, the council offers a bulky waste collection service. The minimum charge is £20 for up to three items, then £6.35 for each additional item. To book a collection, visit www.southoxon.gov.uk and complete the bulky waste collection request form.
South Oxfordshire District Council Benson Lane Crowmarsh Gifford Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 8ED T: 01491 823000 W: www.southoxon.gov.uk
More Information The following websites can provide you with some useful information on recycling: W: www.recycling-guide.org.uk W: www.recyclenow.com W: www.wrap.org.uk
Alternatively, you can donate unwanted items in good condition to a local charity. Orinoco collects paint, scrap materials and unwanted household items and re-supplies them from their store in Oxford to promote re-use, art and creative play. For more information visit www.oxorinoco.org
The centre is open from 8am until 5pm every day. During April to September it opens until 8pm on Thursdays.
Public Transport By using public or sustainable transport whenever you can, you can help lower carbon emissions.
Park & Ride
Your nearest cycle route is the Thames Valley Cycle Route, which runs from Putney Bridge to Oxford via Reading, including sections of National Routes 4 and 5. You can find a map of the cycle routes in Oxford in your box file.
Wallingford doesn’t have its own Park and Ride service - the nearest is in Oxford. Buses run from five sites on the outskirts of the city. Your closest site is Redbridge - a bus into the city centre from here takes ten minutes. Buses run approximately every 8-10 minutes during the day, and every 30 minutes during the evening until around 11pm. For more information, visit www.parkandride.net
Your nearest bus stop is on the corner of Reading Road and Papist Way. The number 136 to Wallingford serves this stop, which is operated by Thames Travel. You will find timetables and route maps in your box file.
The Sustrans website holds more information, including maps of this and other routes, safety advice and cyclerelated events across the country. You can visit it at www.sustrans.org.uk
For more information, you can visit the operator’s website, www.thames-travel.co.uk
Car Sharing & Parking
Trains Your nearest train station is Cholsey, which is run by First Great Western. From here, you can catch regular services to London Paddington, Reading and Oxford. You will find timetables and a copy of First Great Western’s network map in your box file. For up-to-date information on train times, fares and delays, you can contact National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50, or visit the website, www.nationalrail.co.uk
A liftsharing scheme has been set up for Oxfordshire to encourage people who take the same route around or even out of the county to share a car, saving money and reducing emissions. You can sign up securely at www.oxfordshire.liftshare.com There is a number of car parks in Wallingford. Maps and lists of the car parks and their locations are available at www.southoxon.gov.uk, where you can also find more information on parking charges and permits.
In Your Area For your convenience, weâ€™ve located some of the nearest important services that you might need to use once youâ€™ve moved in:
Doctors Wallingford Medical Practice Reading Road Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 9DU T: 01491 835577 W: www.wallingfordmedicalpractice.co.uk
Hospital with A&E Department
Wallingford Dental Clinic Wallingford Hospital Reading Road Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 9DU
Royal Berkshire Hospital London Road Reading Berkshire RG1 5AN
T: 01491 208630 W: www.oxfordshirepct.nhs.uk/dental Croft House Dental Surgery 8c Castle Street Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 8DL T: 01491 836379
Goring Surgery Red Cross Road Goring Reading Berkshire RG8 9HG
T: 0118 322 5111 / 999 W: www.royalberkshire.nhs.uk
Minor Injuries Unit Wallingford Community Hospital Reading Road Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 9DU T: 01491 208500 W: www.oxfordshirepct.nhs.uk
T: 01491 872372 W: www.goringwoodcote medicalpractice.nhs.uk
Rowlands Pharmacy 1 The Pound Cholsey Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 9NS
Cholsey Primary School Church Road Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 9PP
One Stop 19-20 The Forty Cholsey Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 9ND
T: 01491 652392 W: www.rowlandspharmacy.co.uk Lloyds Pharmacy 20-21 Market Place Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 0AD T: 01491 836206 W: www.lloydspharmacy.com
T: 01491 651862 W: www.cholsey.oxon.sch.uk South Stoke Primary School The Street South Stoke Oxfordshire RG8 0JS T: 01491 872948 W: www.southstokeprimaryschool.co.uk
Secondary Schools Police Station Wallingford Police Station Reading Road Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 9DN T: 101 / 999 W: www.thamesvalley.police.uk
Fire Station Wallingford Fire Station Station Road Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 0HU T: 01865 842999 / 999 W: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk
Cranford House School Moulsford Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 9HT T: 01491 651218 W: www.cranfordhouse.net Wallingford School St Georgeâ€™s Road Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 8HH T: 01491 837115 W: www.wallingford.oxon.sch.uk
College Abingdon & Witney College Wootton Road Abingdon Oxfordshire OX14 1GG
T: 01491 652388 W: www.postoffice.co.uk This is also your nearest postbox.
Library Wallingford Library High Street Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 0DB T: 01491 837395 W: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk
Leisure Centres Didcot Leisure Centre Mereland Road Didcot Oxfordshire OX11 8AY T: 01235 811250 W: www.nexuscommunity.org Riverside Park & Pools Crowmarsh Gifford Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 8EB T: 01491 835232 W: www.nexuscommunity.org
T: 01235 555585 W: www.abingdon-witney.ac.uk Linden Homes
Golf Club The Springs Hotel & Golf Club 1 Wallingford Road North Stoke Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 6BE T: 01491 836687 W: www.thespringshotel.com
Food Shops Tesco The Forty Cholsey Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 9ND T: 0845 026 9378 W: www.tesco.com Waitrose 1 St Martin’s Street Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 0EF T: 01491 832030 W: www.waitrose.com
Banks Nationwide 15-16 St Mary’s Street Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 0LE T: 0845 266 0744 W: www.nationwide.co.uk
Lloyds TSB 4 Market Place Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 0EH
Wallingford Sports Park Hithercroft Road Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 9RB
T: 0845 300 0000 W: www.lloydstsb.com
T: 01491 835044 W: www.wallingfordsportspark.co.uk
Place of Worship
St Mary’s C of E Church Church Road Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 9PP
Cineworld 27 Station Road Didcot Oxfordshire OX11 7NE
T: 01491 651812
T: 0871 200 2000 W: www.cineworld.co.uk
Community Centre Wallingford Youth & Community Centre Shakespeare House Clapcot Way Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 8HS
T: 01491 837053
Your nearest allotments are The Fir Tree Allotments on Fir Tree Avenue. Phone Wallingford Town Council on 01491 835373 to have your name added to the waiting list for a non-refundable deposit of £10.
Parks & Play Areas
Wallingford Castle Meadows has wildlife, walks and lots of open space.
Wallingford Museum 52 High Street Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 0DB
Wallingford Sports Park features six floodlit tennis courts, a floodlit all-weather pitch, four rugby pitches, three squash courts (two normal and one show), a grass football pitch, a cricket pitch and a skittle alley, plus changing and shower facilities. All of these are available to hire. It also has a main hall with a capacity of 150 people plus bar and kitchen facilities, and is available to hire for private functions.
T: 01491 835065 W: www.wallingfordmuseum.org.uk
The Red Lion 39 Wallingford Road Cholsey Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 9LG
A Farmersâ€™ Market is held in Wallingford town centre every third Tuesday and fifth Saturday of the month from 8.30am to 1.30pm. For more information, you can visit www.southoxon.gov.uk
T: 01491 651295 W: www.theredlioncholsey.co.uk The Morning Star 98 Papist Way Cholsey Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 9QL T: 01491 651413
Shopping Centres The Orchard Centre 20 Station Road Didcot Oxfordshire OX11 7LL T: 01235 519014 W: www.orchardcentre.co.uk The Oracle Shopping Centre Reading Berkshire RG1 2AG T: 0118 965 9000 W: www.theoracle.com
How Things Work
Your home is connected to the electricity supply via a meter, which as you know, keeps track of how much you’re using. This is also connected to your consumer unit, which contains a number of miniature circuit breakers (otherwise known as trip switches) - one for each circuit in your home. These will automatically turn off the circuit if a fault is detected, so if you suddenly lose power to a specific area of your home, this is the first thing you should check. They will have been labelled for you, so identifying the right circuit should be simple.
The gas supply to your home enters through your meter. Please note that the earth-bonded cable fastened to the main pipe should not be removed under any circumstances – it prevents the pipe from becoming electrified.
There are limits on changes you can make to the electrical system in your home – these are laid down in government legislation, specifically Building Regulation Part P – Electrical Safety. Unless a registered installer makes the changes, you need to get approval from your local council before they can be done. For more information, visit www.planningportal.gov.uk Your home’s original electrical system will also need to be inspected within ten years to check it is still safe and working correctly, and Linden Homes cannot be held responsible for any alterations you have made. You will receive the Electrical Test Certificate for your new home on completion. This gives all the information and technical details about the wiring in your home, so you should keep it in a safe place.
Saving Electricity & Gas By sticking to the suggestions below, you can help to lower your energy bills, and feel good knowing you’re helping the environment too. Turn your thermostat down by just 1oC – this can potentially reduce your heating bill by up to 10% If your heating or hot water is controlled by a programmer, set it to come on only when you need it, and not all the time Close your curtains and blinds in the evening to reduce the amount of heat escaping through your windows Remember to turn the lights off in rooms you’re not using Don’t leave appliances on standby – they are still using energy. Turn them off instead Unplug laptops, mobile phones or other devices when they have finished charging Wait until your washing machine or dishwasher is full before putting it on – one full load uses less energy than two half loads Only boil as much water in the kettle as you need
Use energy saving light bulbs instead of ordinary ones – they produce the same amount of light but use much less energy. They also last around ten times longer Let hot food cool down before you put it in the fridge or freezer For more information, you can visit the Energy Saving Trust’s website, www.energysavingtrust.org.uk
Water Your water supply comes into your home via a stoptap, which can be used to completely turn off the water to your home if you need to, such as if you have a leak or if you go on holiday. There’s also a stoptap outside your home – you will be shown where both of these are when you move in. If you find one of your drainage pipes gets blocked, it’s very likely you will be able to solve the problem yourself without needing to call out a professional. There are lots of products that you can easily buy in supermarkets to dissolve and remove blockages in drainage pipes. If the problem is with a sink, you can also unscrew the trap underneath and physically remove the blockage yourself. Remember to put a bowl or container on the floor to catch any water. Luckily, there are a few small things you can do to avoid blockages like this happening: Do not put cooking oil down your sink – it becomes a lot more solid once it cools down
Do not put anything down your toilet that it’s not designed for, such as nappies, sanitary products, cotton buds or medicines Pull out any hair that gets trapped in your plugholes As you would expect, Linden Homes will not pay for a professional to remove blockages that have occurred because you haven’t followed the instructions above.
Loss of Power or Water If you find your electricity, gas or water supply has stopped, please check with your neighbours, the site office (if applicable) or your provider to check it’s not due to works being done in the area before you contact us.
Heating & Hot Water Your System A gas fired boiler heats water that is circulated through radiators to provide central heating in your home. The boiler also heats water to supply your taps, which is stored in a cylinder until it is needed. Because it comes straight from the mains, you won’t have the need for any extra pressure. Your boiler is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, but you should get it serviced once a year by a Gas Safe registered engineer to make sure it keeps running smoothly and safely. A rust and frost inhibitor has been used in your heating system, for obvious reasons. If you need to drain your system, please make sure you replace the inhibitor.
Room Thermostat This is usually wall-mounted in each main room of your home, and will switch the heating on and off to keep the room at the chosen setting. Be careful of putting things such as lamps too near to the thermostat - the heat they give off could affect its sensors.
Programmer Your programmer lets you choose the times that your hot water (if your apartment has more than one bathroom) and central heating turn on and off throughout the day. Be aware that after the heating has turned on, it could take up to an hour for you to notice the effect, especially during the winter. The longer your heating is turned off for, the longer it will take to warm back up.
Saving Water Although our British climate sometimes makes it seem unlikely, water is a precious commodity that we can’t afford to waste – follow the simple points below to make sure you’re not using any more than you need to. Have a shower instead of a bath – they use much less water Do not leave the tap running while you’re brushing your teeth Repair dripping taps – they waste a surprisingly large amount of water Keep a jug of water in the fridge instead of running the tap until the water is cold
The Controls Boiler Thermostat It might be necessary to set this to a higher temperature during the winter because of the lower temperature of incoming water.
Cylinder Thermostat You should keep this set below 60oC anything higher could cause scalding.
Radiator Thermostats These are installed on most of your radiators, and allow you to have more control over the temperature in individual rooms. Linden Homes
EPC In this environment-conscious age, it’s useful to know how well your new home uses the energy you’re going to be paying for. When you move in, we will give you the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your home, which shows how efficient your home is. Please keep it in a safe place, because you will need it if you sell your home later on. The certificate gives two ratings:
SAP Rating The SAP rating essentially shows how much energy your home uses in relation to its size, and gives it a score out of 100 – 100 being excellent, and 0 being very poor. A higher rating also means lower running costs and less of an impact on your bank balance!
Environmental Impact (EI) Rating The EI rating is also scored out of 100, and relates to how much carbon dioxide (CO2) your home is expected to produce each year. A higher rating means your home will produce less carbon dioxide emissions, and so will have less of an impact on the environment.
utilities Television TV points have been installed in all the principal rooms of your home, so your TVs will never be too far from an aerial connection. Your home is also prewired to the communal aerial, so you won’t need to install one yourself. Please be aware that to be able to receive any channels, you will need to buy the right equipment and/or subscribe to a package from your chosen supplier.
Suppliers Your current suppliers are listed in the ‘Your Home’s Details’ section of your manual, which you will be given on completion. Of course, you’re free to change these to any other company you like once you’ve moved in, if you have perhaps got a favourite supplier you would like to stick with, or if someone else can give you a better deal. To switch, you will need to provide your MPAN and MPRN, which are also in the ‘Your Home’s Details’ section. You can find more information at www.ofgem.gov.uk
Don’t forget to move your TV licence too you can do this online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk
Telephone Telephone points have been fitted in all principal rooms of your home. Please note that while your master socket is likely to already be connected, your supplier might charge you to make any other sockets live.
Sustainable Buying Everyday Items When buying everyday items, it’s worth making a few small adjustments to what and where you buy, which could mean you have a more positive impact on the environment. The below recommendations will give you some guidance: Buy food from local producers - food that doesn’t have to travel far to get to you means it is better for the environment Avoid buying disposable items, like single-use cameras and batteries Reuse your plastic bags, or buy a ‘bag for life’ instead of taking new ones Donate any unwanted items to charity shops instead of throwing them out Buy fruit and veg that is in season products that are not usually have to travel hundreds of miles to get to you
White Goods & Appliances Any white goods or large appliances that you buy now have their energy efficiency displayed on them. This is shown on a coloured graph, similar to the EPC for your home. The highest rating is usually A, but for certain appliances it can go up to A+ or A++. The higher the rating, the more energy efficient your appliance is and the less it will cost to run.
Energy Saving Light Bulbs It is best to buy energy saving light bulbs where you can - these fit in standard light fittings and produce the same amount of light, but use a quarter of the electricity. They also last a lot longer than ordinary ones, with the average life being around 8,000 hours. Some of your light fittings might also be designed to only accept energy saving bulbs.
Buy products with less packaging, or packaging that is easier to recycle, like cardboard or glass
Looking After Your Home
Windows You can clean timber windows very easily using warm soapy water, avoiding any harsh cleaning products. Some of your windows might have easyclean hinges, which let you clean both sides of the glass from inside your home – this is particularly useful for any windows above ground floor level.
Doors External doors only need an occasional wipe down with a soft cloth and some soapy water to make sure they don’t get too dirty.
Internal doors are just as easy to maintain, needing nothing more than a wipe once in a while to remove any marks or dust that has settled.
So that your home’s hinges and handles stay working as well as they should, and to avoid any irritating squeaks developing, make sure you oil them regularly.
As you would imagine, your door handles, window handles, locks and latches go through a fair bit of wear and tear each day, which is why all the ironmongery in your home, both outside and inside, will have a coat of clear lacquer to protect the metal.
It is worth noting that this coating can be damaged by hard objects, especially jewellery such as rings. We also recommend that you don’t use metal polishes to clean your ironmongery – instead, use soapy water and dry with a clean cloth.
Your cupboards are very easy to take care of – just a wipe with a cloth dampened with washing-up liquid solution every so often is enough. Try and avoid getting too much water near the joints – this can cause them to absorb the water and swell up. If your doors are lacquered, a bit of colour might come off on the cloth the first time you clean them. Don’t worry – this is perfectly normal, and should stop after one or two cleans.
Worktops Below are a few simple points to help you look after your Earthstone or granite worktops and keep them looking as good as new: To clean them, all they need is a regular wipe with water and a mild detergent, then dry them with a clean cloth Once a week, apply a thin coat of polish to the surface to prolong the finish, then wipe off any excess with a clean cloth Always use a heat proof mat for cookware straight from the oven, hob or microwave Always cut onto a chopping board never directly onto the surface You can remove light scratches or dents with a moist Scotchbrite pad Both surfaces are resistant to staining and bacteria growth to a certain extent, but always wipe up spillages immediately to avoid damage Page 37
Appliances Warranties Please be aware that you might have warranty cards for your appliances to fill in and send back to the manufacturer(s) to validate your warranty - booking a service or repair under your warranty may not be possible if you have not registered first. You might also be able to do this online or by phone - the contact details are in the ‘Your Home’s Details’ section of your manual, which you will be given on completion.
Troubleshooting If you find one of your appliances is not working properly, there are a few simple checks you can do that might mean you don’t have to book a repair. It’s also a good idea to read through the instruction manual, so you will have a better idea of what to do if something goes wrong.
Before cleaning your baths, showers, sinks and taps, please make sure the product you’re going to use is suitable to avoid any damage. It’s best to clean all your bathroom fittings regularly, as the longer any dirt or limescale is left to build up, the more difficult it will be to remove. This especially applies to showerheads, which can get completely blocked if the limescale is not removed.
You also should not use any harsh or coarse cleaning products on your fittings – these can remove part or all of the protective finish and damage the material underneath. Please avoid putting bleach blocks in your toilet cisterns - these can damage internal parts. Hanging a bleach freshener block from the bowl, however, won’t cause any problems.
It’s a very good idea to vacuum your carpet frequently to get rid of any dirt or grit, as this can cause wear and discolouration, especially if it gets really trodden in. You should blot small stains as soon as they occur, and you can buy a range of products from supermarkets to help remove them completely. For bigger or tougher stains, we suggest that you get advice from a professional carpet cleaner.
Ceramic Tiles You can clean your floor tiles really easily – all they need is a mild detergent solution and a soft cloth. Please don’t use cream cleaners or abrasive products, as these do more harm than good. It’s also essential that you repair any cracks in the grout to prevent water seeping underneath the tiles.
Vinyl Flooring Is the power switched on? Is the plug in the socket properly? Has an MCB on the consumer unit tripped? Has the fuse blown? Is the door shut properly? Is the inlet hose squashed, bent or blocked? Is it stuck in programme mode?
Heated Towel Rails Heated rails have been fitted in your bathrooms (and ensuites, if you have them) so that you can warm towels. These are heated by the hot water in your central heating system, exactly like your normal radiators. Please note that they’re designed to act like radiators and heat the rest of the room too, so if they’re constantly covered with towels, they won’t be able to do this as effectively.
You will need to sweep your vinyl flooring regularly - dirt and grit can scratch and wear down the surface finish over time. You can clean your floor using just water and washing up liquid, but you might need something stronger for more stubborn marks. Make sure you don’t use anything abrasive to avoid scratching.
Floating Floors Some of your floors might have a layer of felt, cork or polystyrene insulation underneath – these are known as ‘floating floors’. They are designed to give slightly as you walk over them, so please be aware that this is not a fault.
Keeping Safe & Secure
Fire Safety Detectors Even though the chances of there being a fire in your home are remote, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. We will fit at least one smoke alarm in your home, so that you will always be alerted straight away if there’s a fire. The alarm will be powered by the mains, but there will also be a battery as a back-up, so it will still work if you have a power cut. Your smoke alarm is there to save your life, so please don’t try and dismantle it or paint over it. It’s best to test it around once a week to check it’s working – just hold the ‘test’ button until the alarm sounds. It will also benefit from a vacuum once in a while to get rid of any dust that might have settled on it.
Prevention The smallest things can sometimes start a fire, so please make sure you take note of these points: Make sure your smoke alarm is working properly Don’t overload your plug sockets
If there is a fire in your home, make sure you get everyone outside, close doors and windows if you can, and call the fire brigade as soon as possible. If there is a fire in a home close to yours, you only need to leave if smoke or heat affects your home too.
Don’t use electrical switches
Turn your supply off using the stop valve Call the National Grid’s free 24 hour gas emergency number: 0800 111 999
In spite of its obvious usefulness, electricity can be extremely dangerous if it’s misused. Although we are sure you’re already well aware of this, below are a few pointers to help make sure nothing goes wrong: Have a quick check of the plugs on all your appliances – they should have the right fuse in and be properly earthed Replace any cables that have split don’t just repair them with tape
Use a convector heater instead of one with a flame or element
Don’t stretch power cables – use an extension lead if you have to
Don’t smoke or light naked flames
Put out candles or cigarettes properly
Don’t store things too close to your electrical consumer unit
If you smell gas:
Open any doors and windows you can It’s a good idea to think about your escape routes in advance, so you can get to safety easily. Make sure you plan at least one alternative, and keep the keys to locked windows within easy reach in case you need to use them to get out.
Try not to use adaptor plugs – they can be dangerous
Be extra careful when cooking with oil
We know you will want to put your stamp on your new home and hang some pictures on the walls, but please be careful – there is an entire network of cables and pipes behind them, and it could be disastrous if you accidentally drill through one. We suggest you use a cable detector, which you can buy from DIY shops and larger supermarkets, just to make sure you’re not drilling or hammering into a pipe or cable. Occasionally we have to use plastic pipes, and therefore are not able to fit metal strips to them. These won’t show up on a cable detector, so please bear this in mind. If you would like to hang something that is a bit heavier, please make sure the fixing is long enough to reach the second, stronger layer of the wall so that it’s held in place properly and you don’t damage your wall in the process. Generally, when doing DIY it’s worth making sure none of your tools are damaged, and you’re using any safety equipment you need to, like a dust mask or eye protection. Page 39
Health & Safety File
Under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, we have to provide you with health and safety information relating to your new home so future construction projects can be carried out safely.
We all like the reassurance that our home is as secure as possible, so for your peace of mind, the external door of your home is fitted with multi-point bolts or five-lever security locks.
This is available to view at our regional office if you need to.
Doing DIY Sustainably Follow these guidelines to make sure your DIY projects are done in an environmentally friendly way. Use products from a sustainable source wherever you can, or reuse old materials Use flooring from natural materials, such as cork, jute, wood or real linoleum
Your home is also Secured By Design certified, meaning it meets a certain standard of security. If you would like a bit more information, you can visit www.securedbydesign.com As you will know, your home is especially vulnerable when you are away from it for longer periods, so please bear in mind the following points:
It’s also a good idea to make sure you’ve photographed and added your details to valuable items so they can be traced if they’re ever stolen. You can do this using a marker pen, or an ‘invisible’ pen that only shows up under a special type of lamp. You can also make a note of their serial numbers, which are unique to each item Finally, make sure all your belongings are insured against fire and theft, so you’re not left out of pocket if the worst does happen You might like to look at the following website for some more information: www.direct.gov.uk/crime
Don’t leave small, valuable items where they can be seen, like car keys, mobile phones or iPods
If you need to use synthetic materials, get recycled ones if you can, like recycled plastic fencing Avoid using uPVC, MDF or paint strippers, etc. If you’re buying paint, opt for one with a low VOC (volatile organic compounds) rating, or the European Ecolabel, as these are water or plant based and are better for the environment Dispose of any DIY products responsibly – you can check with your local council for more details For more information, Directgov gives advice on greener DIY: W: www.direct.gov.uk
Your Homeâ€™s Details
Your new address is:
Your homeâ€™s individual NHBC policy number is:
14 Newlands Way Cholsey Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 9FF
Scottish & Southern Energy
Scottish & Southern Energy
T: 0845 026 0658 T: 0800 072 7282 (emergencies) W: www.sse.co.uk
T: 0845 026 0658 T: 0800 111 999 (emergencies) W: www.sse.co.uk
T: 0845 9200 888 T: 0845 9200 800 (emergencies) W: www.thameswater.co.uk
Internal Stoptap Location
Under kitchen sink
Consumer Unit Location
Shut Off Valve Location
External Stoptap Location
Outside No.2 Newlands Way
In Riser Cupboard In Communal Hall Landing
Internal Finishes Paint Walls Dulux Cover Matt White Ceilings Dulux Cover Matt White Woodwork Dulux Gloss White
Supplier Symphony Gallery Range
Supplier Ideal Standard
Website www.symphony-group. co.uk
Basin 60cm Cube Basin E7943
Cupboards New York Gloss Ivory Handles Integrated With The Door
Worktops Lava Earthstone
Internal Doors Vicaima Oak
Sink Stainless Steel
Glazed Doors Vicaima Oak
Taps Blanco Prinz Chrome BT1000CH
Ironmongery Carlisle Brass Serozotta Range Polished Chrome Flooring All Bedrooms Primo Plus Ecru Kitchen Karndean Knight Tile Onyx T88 Bathroom One Karndean Knight Tile Balin Stone ST8 Ensuite One Karndean Knight Tile Balin Stone ST8
Appliances Oven AEG Single Built Under B57415-5M Hob AEG Stainless Steel Gas HG654320NM
Basin Taps Ideal Standard Cone Mixer B5107AA Bath Ideal Standard Sandringham Steel Bath Taps Ideal Standard Cone Bath/Shower Mixer B5111AA Shower Tray Mira Flight Low Profile Shower Screen Romans Orbital Silver Sliding Door OT1613S Shower Ideal Standard Trevi Ascari Thermostatic with Moonshadow Shower Kit
Extractor Electrolux EFC60001X
WC Ideal Standard Concept Cube E7916
Fridge/Freezer Zanussi Integrated ZBB8294
Washer/Dryer Zanussi ZK1245
Dishwasher Zanussi ZDTS102
Manufacturers AEG T: 08445 616 616 W: www.aeg.co.uk
Bathroom Cotton Blanco EC8500 Ensuite One Cotton Blanco EC8500 with Cotton Moka Feature
Electrolux T: 08445 616 616 W: www.electrolux.co.uk Zanussi T: 08445 616 616 W: www.zanussi.co.uk