Hints and Tips

Have questions about your new home?

Here’s some handy hints about general homeowner maintenance, as well as some useful tips specific to your new-build home.

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Contact our out of hours support team

Call us on 01207 503 293 if you have any of the below emergencies:

Plumbing and Drainage

A risk of flooding, water ingress or leaving your home without a flushable toilet.

Electricity Supply

A breakdown of your electricity supply affecting your property only.

Primary Heating System

A breakdown of your heating and hot water system.


Damage or fault to external doors, locks and windows that render your home insecure.

For Gas leaks, please call Gas Emergencies on 0800 111 999.

Where to start?

You’ve probably got lots of ideas about what to do first, now that you’ve moved into your brand-new home, but there are a few things you should prioritise to ensure you can settle in without worry.

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Register and service your boiler

Your boiler comes with a 2-year warranty provided by the manufacturer. You must register your boiler and ensure your boiler is serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer within your first year of occupation or this warranty will be void.

Help your new home ‘settle’

In the first twelve months, your home will need to ‘settle’; this includes drying out gently. As this occurs, minor hairline cracks in walls and gaps in joinery can appear, as well as signs of mould in poorly-ventilated areas.

These tend not to be major concerns, and there’s no definitive way to prevent them, but you can reduce the chances by:

  • Keeping an even temperature throughout your home
  • Avoid putting the heating on maximum heat
  • Leave windows or window vents open when possible
  • Avoid drying clothes indoors
  • Use extractor fans when cooking, showering or bathing
  • Avoid putting furniture too close to the walls

Nail pops

Nail pops are small circles that protrude from your wall and ceiling and show up where fixings have been fastened with nails. Nail pops are a normal part of the drying out process of your home and are a type of shrinkage.

Register your appliances

Register all your kitchen appliances with their manufacturers to ensure their warranties are validated. Details of appliance manufacturers can be found in your handover documentation pack.

Look after your lawn

Your Avant lawn has been laid using turf approved by the Turfgrass Growers Association, on a bed of at least 100mm of topsoil, approved to British Standards. Caring for a lawn, requires regular maintenance to keep it healthy and vibrant. As it’s a living plant, there are a few simple steps you need to follow to keep it looking its best and help it thrive.

Keep off the grass for a few weeks after you move in. As a rule, leave it three weeks between April and October and six weeks between October and March. If you’re not sure, a simple test is to check whether the ground is firm enough to take your weight without making impressions.

Make sure your turf doesn’t dry out by watering it regularly.

Only water in the early morning or early evening, so the sun doesn’t burn off the water you’ve applied.

It’s important not to overwater your turf at any stage as this creates boggy conditions which encourage the development of moss and grass diseases and shallow rooting. It’s also vital not to let your turf dry out, so check it regularly.

Feeding your lawn will help it stay healthy. New lawns will benefit from a first feed after two or three months. Before you apply the feed, make sure you read the instructions as too much feed can scorch your lawn and kill the grass. When feeding, look out for signs of pests or diseases and apply moss killer if needed.

Reporting snags

Although every care has been taken to ensure your new home is handed over with no problems, there can occasionally be some minor issues that only become apparent once the home is occupied. These are known as snags. Avant Homes are responsible for addressing the issues covered under the terms of the Avant Homes Homeowner Warranty for the first 24 months of your home’s occupation.

If you identify any snags, please contact your regional Customer Services department here.

Once an issue is logged, Customer Services will arrange for a repair or, in the event it is a more complex issue, may arrange for somebody to inspect the problem in order to confirm the appropriate next steps.

Under normal circumstances, we expect to resolve most snags within 30 days. Where this is not possible, we will keep you regularly updated and confirm an anticipated date for the repair as soon as we can.

Your warranty

The Avant Homes warranty provision is a 10-year warranty which includes a two-year builder (Avant) warranty from legal completion and a further eight years of structural defects insurance cover from a warranty provider, which will either be the NHBC or Premier Guarantee.

Speak to your Sales Advisor for details on the provider that is relevant to your development, and for further information on their coverage.

Log an issue with your new home here.

View your full Homeowner Warranty Guide here.

Keeping your home like new

Once all the urgent stuff is out of the way, there are some key things to bear in mind to help maintain your new home.

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Central heating

  • It is essential that your heating systems are serviced annually by a Gas Safe registered plumber. This maintains the warranty of the system.
  • Any accidental damage, such as chips or scratches to your radiator, can be repaired with enamel paint.

Avoiding blockages

  • Do not pour cooking oil, grease or coffee grounds down the kitchen sink.
  • A hair trap in the plug hole can help to catch waste that might cause a blockage.
  • At the first sign of a clogged drain, use liquid drain unblocker. It could prevent a more serious blockage in the future.

Outside tap

In winter months, you should isolate your outside tap and drain it to prevent it freezing and causing damage to your pipes.

Smoke alarm

  • Test your smoke alarm once a month.
  • Change the batteries when required.
  • Keep your smoke alarm clean. A gentle vacuum with a soft brush attachment will keep the sensors free of dust.
  • The fire service recommends that you replace the entire alarm system every 10 years.

External Maintenance

  • Gutters can become clogged with debris and leaves, especially during the autumn, and so need to be cleaned regularly. As they are high up, you may need to call in a qualified tradesperson.
  • Outside woodwork requires regular repainting or staining to preserve the wood. The first repainting will likely be needed after 2 years, but may need to be done sooner if you live by the sea or in an exposed area.

If you have any other questions about your new home, our team is more than happy to help. Just speak to your Sales Advisor, or Customer Liaison Manager.