CORONAVIRUS FAQ’S. – We are operating as usual. Visits continue by appointment with safety measures in place.
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Extractor fans remove smells and play an essential role in removing excess moisture.
It is essential to use bathroom extractor fans when you take a bath or shower to avoid problems with damp and mould.
We cannot accept responsibility for any damage caused by damp where extractor fans have not been used properly.
In all of our homes we fit extractor fans that are designed to continuously run silently, even when the bathroom or shower is not in use. You can change the settings on your extractor fan by watching our helpful how to video here.
Check the isolator switch is on. This switch will normally be on the outside of the room above the door frame.
Make sure the light is working, as this will often be linked to the activation of the fan.
If the fan still isn’t working, contact your regional Customer Service team.
The main cause of water leaking from the extractor fan is condensation.
If your extractor fan is ceiling mounted, check that the ducting (the flexible pipe connecting the fan to the outside of your home) in the loft space has not been crushed or obstructed.
If the above has been checked and you continue to experience issues, please contact your regional Customer Service team.
Regular vacuuming and wiping with a damp cloth will ensure your extractor fan remains efficient.
The extractor fans in our bathrooms and en suites are designed to run continuously.
However, if you wish to change the speed, you will need to unscrew the cover and press both the + and – button at the same time.
The settings for Bathroom and Kitchen will be flashing.
Press the bathroom symbol and then the speed symbol. From there, use the + or – buttons to adjust the fan to a sound and speed that you are happy with and replace the cover.
Watch our video below on how to adjust your extractor fan settings.
Shower traps should be cleaned regularly to avoid blockages occurring
Shower traps and toilets can sometimes omit an unpleasant odour if they have not been used for some time. Running water and flushing the toilet regularly usually resolves this issue.
Watch our video below to explain how to properly maintain and clean your shower tray.
To fill your Sottini wash basin, lift the stone in the centre of the sink and unscrew the silver plug underneath.
Adjust the silver plug to a closed position, tightened as far as it will go, and replace the stone and turn on the tap to create a pool of water in the sink.
Watch our video below on how to adjust the water flow in your washbasin.
Watch our video below on how to properly maintain and open your Avant Homes bi-fold doors.
To attain optimum performance of your bi-fold doors, the hinges will require periodical maintenance and lubrication. The hinges and tracks should be kept free from dirt, debris and obstruction at all times.
Cleaning frames - To remove grime, clean regularly with soap and water. Check drain holes are free from obstruction. If blocked, remove obstruction and wash thoroughly to ensure correct drainage.
Lock lubrication - Clean and lightly grease external moving parts and frame keeps annually.
Hinge lubrication - Clean and lightly oil hinge pins annually. If open out, lubricate every six months.
Standard handles - Clean and lightly oil external moving parts annually.
Aluminium roller track - Free any debris or dirt from drainage or track.
D-Handle - Clean and lightly oil external moving parts annually.
Cylinder - Do not attempt to lubricate locking cylinder.
Expansion – During spells of warm weather bi fold doors can expand which may cause difficulty closing. To help you may wish to aid the cooling down by washing the bi fold door frame with a cloth and cold water.
The system we’ve installed in your new home has been professionally designed. To help you, we’ve put together a few handy hints:
- Make sure your furniture and curtains are not directly in front of radiators or plinth ventilator.
- It is essential that your heating systems are serviced annually by a Gas Safe registered plumber or another reputable company. This maintains the warranty of the system.
- You can set the temperature using the thermostat, this can be adjusted to suit your personal comfort.
- Any accidental damage, such as chips or scratches to your radiator, can be repaired with enamel paint.
- It is a good idea to maintain your central heating at a constant level and to ensure adequate ventilation. This avoids extremes of temperature especially in kitchens and bathrooms.
- For best results, always use the system according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
You can download the full PDF guide for your Potterton boiler here.
Watch our video below on how to re-pressurise your boiler.
Watch our video below on how to isolate your gas hob.
You can view your full Hoover manual here.
Watch our video guide
You can view the guide here.
- Do not leave water on the surface for long periods of time. The most susceptible areas are those that are close to sinks.
- Do not use sharp objects to cut directly on the worktop surface. Instead, use other protective materials such as chopping boards.
- Do not place the surface outside or anywhere that may be exposed to high levels of ultraviolet radiation.
- Do not place any objects that give off heat, or that have been recently removed from the cooker, onto the surface. Use a trivet or tablemat.
- Do not use water-repellents, sealants, polishes or similar products.
- Do not polish the surface.
- Do not place heavy objects that are unsuitable for worktop use on the surface.
- Do not use paint strippers, caustic soda or any products with a pH greater than 10. If you use bleach or solvents, you should rinse the surface with plenty of water. Never leave such products in permanent contact with the surface, as they may affect it after 12 hours. Avoid the use of any chlorine-based products and any contact with hydrofluoric acid.
- Do not use grease removers with a high mineral content, or very strong products containing 50% solutions of hydrochloric acid or sodium hydroxide.
- Do not use any cleaning products that have a mineral content or that include microparticles in their composition.
- Do not use any scouring pads that may scratch the surface. Use a cleaning sponge.
- Examples of products that you must not use on Silestone and ECO Line Colour Series surfaces: paint strippers, oven-cleaning products, cleaning products containing methylene chloride, acids for unblocking plugholes or nail-polish removers containing acetone. If any of these products are spilled onto the surface, remove them as quickly as possible using plenty of water and neutral soap. The use of these types of products may result in the loss of the product warranty.
Due to their low porosity, Silestone® and ECO Line Colour Series surfaces are highly resistant to household stains. It is recommended you use Q-Action* to clean Silestone® and ECO Line Colour Series surfaces. If you don’t have this product, the best option is to use water and neutral soap. You should then finish off by rinsing the surface with plenty of water and drying it with kitchen paper or a clean cotton dishtowel.
When faced with stubborn stains, the best way to fix it depends on the type of stain.
The most usual cases are:
Apply Q-Action onto the stain and rub it with a sponge until it disappears. Repeat the process if necessary. Next, rinse with a generous amount of water and dry the affected area.
Use cleaning vinegar and a damp sponge. If the stain persists, you can use a limescale remover that has been diluted with water. Never leave it on for more than 2 minutes. Repeat the process if necessary. Rinse with plenty of water and dry with paper.
Silicone and Putty Stains
We recommend you remove the stains as soon as they appear. To do so, use a knife held horizontally and CleanColorsil, and scrub with a sponge. If you don’t have any CleanColorsil, you can use a well-known brand of silicone remover. Afterwards, rinse with plenty of water and dry.
For difficult stains, pour some Q-Action (or a similar product) onto the affected area and leave for 2 minutes. Next, scrub with a gentle scouring pad, rinse with plenty of water and dry. If the stain persists, contact the fabricator or studio who supplied you with your Silestone materials.
Your laminate worktops are manufactured to exacting standards, which makes them highly resistant to impact, scratching and moisture. Boiling water and cooking splashes do no harm to the surface of the worktop.
For general cleaning gently wipe the surface using either a damp cloth or sponge with a mild detergent or non-abrasive cleaner diluted in warm water. It is important to avoid using abrasive scouring powders, creams or polishes. It is always advisable to wipe off any spillages immediately. Whilst the surface will resist most household foodstuffs, including coffee and red wine, certain items such as shoe polish, dyes and nail varnish will stain. Gloss and quartz worktops need extra care to maintain the surface finish, wiping any inclusions will cause scratching of the surface.
We would recommend using a heat resistant mat and stress that objects taken directly from the oven or hob should never be placed directly onto the work surface, this may cause blistering.
Never cut foodstuffs directly on the surface, always use a chopping board for food preparation.
Critical areas on any laminate work surface are around joints and cutouts. Spilt liquids should be wiped away immediately to avoid ingress and potential damage.
We do not recommend placing appliances such as kettles, toasters or any appliance with a heat source directly over a worktop joint, this may, over a prolonged period cause the joint to expand and bulge.
Quartz worktops are man-made, they are not porous like natural stone and Granite and are much more resilient to marking and staining.
Your Quartz worktop should be cleaned regularly. We would advise using mild soapy water, rinsed then dried with a soft clean cloth. Stubborn marks can be removed with a little CIF cream applied with a washing up sponge (yellow with a green nylon scourer).
For any stubborn stains you may also use a specific stone worktop cleaner, examples of which are ‘Q-Action’.
Products containing bleach or any products containing Formic acid, Hydrofluoric acid, Nitric acid, Sulphuric acid and Phosphoric acid should not be used on any worktop.
To maintain the quality and lifespan of your worktop please observe the following:
- Do not leave spillages on your worktops wipe off using a kitchen towel. This will save you effort later.
- Never use abrasive cleaning products on your surfaces also avoid bleach, acids and alkaline based products.
- Never use lime scale removers on your worktops, it will damage them.
- Dry your worktops after use as this will reduce the risk of lime scale build up.
- Never cut and chop directly on your worktops as this will scratch over time. Use a chopping board, it will also save the edges on your knives.
- Never subject your worktops to excessive heat by putting hot pans directly onto them. Use hot rods or a trivet. Exposure to excessive heat can cause ring marks from pans and thermal shock will in most cases crack the work top.
- Induction hobs function by heating the pan rather than its contents. This means the pans are significantly hotter and even more care is required to ensure they are not put directly on the quartz.
- Avoid impacts with heavy objects as they will chip edges.
- Avoid point loading or excessive loading of the worktops. Care should be taken to avoid leaning near the cut outs for the hob and sink, do not sit, kneel or stand on them as they can break.
- If you chip your worktops, in most cases a repair can be achieved but depending on the material it is likely to be visible.
- Quartz worktops can have small imperfections and each manufacturer has an acceptable size and density for these imperfections.
Granite is a natural material and whilst very hard wearing is porous, the finish and shade of the material can also differ from one slab to the next so please be aware that this is a feature of the material and not a fault.
The care and maintenance of your granite worktop is very similar to Quartz, and so the general guidelines for operation, cleaning and maintenance described above should be followed.
With Granite additional care should be taken to remove spilled liquids as soon as possible, particular focus should be given to more highly coloured liquids such as red wine. If left on the worktop for a sustained period these may stain the worktop.
Your timber worktop has certain properties, which you need to be aware of in order to retain its natural beauty and resistance to wear. During the installation of your worktop Danish oil will have been used to seal the timber.
After installation the worktop must be oiled thoroughly, particularly during the first four weeks of use. After this the oil should be re-applied at 2-3 month intervals depending on the extent to which the worktop is used.
Oil can be applied using a soft lint-free cloth. Particular attention should be made to end-grain areas and any area adjacent to a sink where the risk of water penetration is higher.
For daily cleaning use mild soap and water on a damp cloth (do not use concentrated soap/washing up liquid). Never use products that contain Sal ammoniac or scouring powder.
To maintain the natural beauty of your timber worktop as well as following the above cleaning instructions there are a few things that you should not do.
Do not leave liquids to sit on the work surface, these should be wiped up and not left to dry.
Do not put hot pans or oven dishes directly onto the worktop. The use of a pan-support or heat-proof mat is essential.
Due to their resistant, hygienic and dense laminate surface, EGGER Worktops do not require any special maintenance or care.
As a general rule spilled substances such as tea, coffee and wine etc. should be cleaned up immediately as the cleaning work increases if they are left to dry.
When necessary, cleaning should be done with a damp cloth and mild detergent cleaner.
Abrasive scouring powders, creams and even polishes should all be avoided. As everything from light and fresh to severe and stubborn stains are possible, and which can be caused by the most varied substances, correct cleaning is an important matter.
Your kitchen units doors may drop slightly and need realignment. Please read the guide below to help you adjust these doors.
Kitchen fans work in the same way as bathroom fans. It’s designed to keep the room fresh and reduce humidity levels. For other issues with this appliance, refer to the bathroom extractor fan guides.
Watch our video below on how to adjust your extractor fan settings.
This guide will help you minimise the impact of a leak, and get it repaired as soon as possible. How serious is the leak?
- A pipe is damaged and escaping water has the potential to cause flooding or damage to your home. The leak is continuous and cannot be contained.
- Water is pooling on the floor or coming through the ceiling
Any of the above would be classed as a major leak.
- Water leakage can be controlled or contained by shutting off the water to that outlet.
- Dripping taps, running toilet cisterns and overflows, or weeping radiator valves.
All the above are types of minor leaks.
Step 1. Switch off your electricity supply
Step 2. Shut off the water supply to your home at the stopcock.
Step 3. Check if your home is still within its two-year warranty period. If so, please contact your regional Customer Support team.
Step 4. If you are outside your warranty period, you may need to call an emergency plumber.
Even if it is a small but persistent leak, water could build up and cause damage, then the first step is to try and contain it.
If it’s not possible to catch the water in a container, then an old towel can be used to soak up drips. Remember to wring it out regularly.
Try to isolate the source of the leak.
Weeping radiator valve? This can be temporarily stopped by closing the valve.
Dripping toilet cistern? Use the isolation valve to shut off the water supply to that toilet. Closing the valve and then flushing the toilet should leave the cistern largely empty and reduce the likelihood of the leak causing damage.
If your home is still within its two-year warranty period, then please get in touch with your regional Customer Service team. If you are outside your warranty period, you will need to call a plumber.
Small amounts of water can make their way past seals around the edges of baths and showers.
If the problem concerns a hinged shower screen fitted to a bath, make sure it’s positioned correctly, with no folds or creases in the flexible seal that could allow water to get past.
Should the leak be around a fixed sealant (mastic/silicone), such as at the edge of a bath or shower tray, the seal may have deteriorated. Keeping these seals in a good state of repair should be part of your standard household maintenance.
When you can see where the problem is, you might wish to try and tackle it yourself by applying fresh sealant.
Always use a quality brand of mould-resistant sealant when making repairs and leave fresh sealant alone for 24 hours to fully cure before using the bath or shower again.
Any of the problems described is a relatively simple task for a professional plumber or tradesman.
Occasionally leaks can arise when a waste pipe is damaged, or a joint stops being watertight. Sometimes they might be obvious, for instance drips underneath a sink, and other times you might notice a damp patch appearing on the ceiling under your bathroom. The leak will only appear when you use the waste pipe, for example when you run a tap or empty a bath.
Try to locate the source of the leak. If water is coming from a joint in the waste pipe that you can access you may be able to simply tighten the joint. Grasp the collar of the joint in one hand and the section of pipe it is screwed onto in the other, and rotate the collar clockwise until it feels tight.
If the leak seems to be coming from an inaccessible point, such as under a floor, you may need to seek the help of a plumber.
If your home is still within its two-year warranty period then please contact your regional Customer Service team.
There are several things that can cause a drain to get blocked. This guide will help you find the blockage and how to fix it. If the problem is affecting drains inside your home, the first step is to find out if more than one drain is affected.
If more than one fitting, like a sink and a bath, is blocked or not draining properly, and they’re in different rooms, the problem could be with the main sewage outflow from your home. Please see our advice on outside blockages.
Should more than one fitting be blocked and they are in the same room, the problem is likely to be with a waste water pipe that those fittings share.
In this case you could try using a liquid drain unblocker. Beware, some chemicals may mark or damage your plughole, so always check the manufacturer's recommendations first.
When this fails to work you will need to contact a professional drain or plumbing specialist.
If one fitting, such as a sink or shower, is not draining properly, the blockage is likely in or near to that specific plughole.
For sinks, showers and baths the trap (the top part of the plughole) can usually be unscrewed or unclipped, removed and cleaned.
When this doesn’t resolve the problem, a plunger can be used to try and dislodge whatever is blocking the drain.
With a small amount of water in the bottom of the sink, bath or shower, place the plunger firmly over the plughole and pump it up and down sharply with one hand while blocking the overflow holes with the other hand.
If a plunger doesn’t work, try using a liquid drain unblocker, beware that some chemicals may mark or damage your plughole, so refer to the manufacturer's recommendations first. Should this not resolve the issue you’ll need to contact a professional drain or plumbing specialist.
If the blocked drain is outside your home, you will need to do the following:
- Incomplete development, building work is still ongoing, please contact your regional Customer Service team.
- On a completed development, you will need to arrange for a drain specialist. Ask them to retain any material that is found to be obstructing drainage or provide photographic evidence.
Do not pour cooking oil, grease or coffee grounds down the sink.
Ensure plates are well-scraped before washing. Grease can be solidified by cooling and then put in the bin.
Bathroom sink, baths and shower
A hair trap in the plug hole should help to catch waste that might cause a blockage. Simply remove the hair trap at regular intervals and tap the waste into a bin.
Never flush anything other than toilet tissue. No nappies, sanitary products, cotton wool, wet-wipes etc.
At the first sign of a clogged drain, use liquid drain unblocker. It could prevent a more serious blockage in the future.
There are times when you’ll need to turn off your water supply. Perhaps you’re carrying out alterations, upgrades, general maintenance or because you’ve discovered a leak.
The main water supply to your home is controlled by a stopcock, also known as a stop-tap. It’s usually found outside by your water meter. There is normally a second stopcock inside your house.
Finding and operating your external stopcock
If there is damage to the main water pipe, to your property, the external stopcock may need to be turned off.
The external stopcock is almost always under a cover, usually by the water meter, set into the pavement or path in front of the house.
The cover can be removed with a screwdriver.
To turn off the water, you will need a long-reach tap tool or stopcock key.
Finding and operating your internal stopcock
Any damage or leaks to the home’s internal water system, you’ll need to isolate the water supply using the internal stopcock.
The stopcock is a brass valve and tap, with a water pipe projecting from either side.
In a house, it should be in one of these locations:
- Under the kitchen sink
- In the downstairs toilet
- Under the sink in the utility room
In an apartment, it may be in:
- The communal area outside the entrance door
- A cupboard along with stopcocks for other apartments
It’s a good idea to regularly test your stopcock to make sure it doesn’t become stuck and is always ready to use in an emergency.
Always turn off your boiler before you shut off the water to your home. This reduces the chance that your boiler may run without an adequate water supply.
To turn off your internal stopcock, turn the tap clockwise until you can feel resistance.
Some of the appliances in your home will have individual isolation valves, so you can stop the water supply to certain areas without affecting your entire house.
There are two types you are likely to come across in your home.
1. A coloured plastic tap, used to control the water supply to appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. When the plastic tap is in line with the water pipe, the valve is open. When the handle is at 90 degrees the water is shut off.
2. Valves used to isolate fittings such as taps or toilets, which can be operated with a screwdriver. When the screwdriver slot is in line with the water pipe, the valve is open. When the slot is at 90 degrees to the pipe the water is shut off.
If your neighbours have also lost their water supply then you can be reasonably sure that this is a temporary loss of supply in your area, and you should contact your local water supplier for more information.
The Consumer Council for Water holds a list of water suppliers.
Check all your cold taps. Checking hot taps may confuse matters as hot water systems sometimes have a storage tank that allows hot water to flow regardless.
Allow cold taps to flow for a minute or so to be sure the water coming out isn’t stored residue.
Turn the taps off after checking, even if no water is coming out.
If all cold taps are affected, but your neighbours are unaffected, it could be that one of your stopcocks has been turned off.
Should the problem persist you may need to contact your local water supplier, as the issue may be with the supply pipe to your home.
When the problem is limited to some cold taps, it is likely that the problem is with a pipe that supplies those taps, or with a valve that controls supply.
If you’ve recently had plumbing work carried out, it’s possible the water was not turned back on for these outlets. You can find out more about in-line valves in our guide.
Still in doubt? You will need to call a plumber.
If you’ve had no plumbing work carried out recently, and you are within the two-year warranty period, please contact your regional Customer Service team.
When water is running slowly from your taps or showers you may have low water pressure. Here are three questions you should ask to help diagnose the problem:
Do you live in an apartment?
Third floor or above? It’s possible you may experience lower pressure than your downstairs neighbours at times.
Are your neighbours affected?
If that’s the case, you may need to contact your local water supplier.
Is the problem the same throughout your house?
If so, it’s worth checking the pressure in your heating and hot water system.
The problem may be one of the stopcocks used to control the water supply.
If you’re not sure where these are, use our handy guide to help you find them, and make sure they are fully open.
If the problem persists, contact your local water supplier, as the issue may be with the supply pipe to your property.
In extremely cold weather the water in your pipes could freeze. If there has been a cold snap and you suspect frozen pipes:
- Check your water company hasn’t turned off your supply.
- Turn off the water using the stopcock and drain the system by flushing toilets and letting taps run.
- Turn off your central heating.
- Once you’ve checked for any damage, turn on all the taps and thaw the pipes with warm towels or a hot water bottle.
- When the pipes have thawed, turn off the taps and switch the supply back on at the stopcock.
- Should you discover leaks or other damage, call an approved plumber.
Outside taps are not frost proof unless you disconnect any hoses or other appliances during freezing weather.
The most common cause of burst water pipes is a frozen outside tap which has not been drained or isolated properly. To help, you can isolate the tap under your kitchen/utility sink and drain. It is important that you do this during the winter months to prevent any damages due to frozen/burst pipes.
Watch our video guide
Download the Sensori Smart Touch user guide here.
We recommend cleaning with a soft damp cloth only and advise strongly against the use of ALL cleaning products (i.e. powders and liquids.)
Avant homes don’t fit TV aerials as standard as homebuyers today prefer cable or satellite television.
All the necessary wiring for a TV is installed. From an aerial socket in your living room to the loft space. Additional rooms may have an aerial point depending on the specification of the home.
Aerials can often be fitted within the loft space. Cables will normally terminate close to the loft entrance hatch.
Employ a qualified tradesman or aerial specialist to fit and connect an aerial.
Contact us before installing a satellite dish to your home, for our permission. It is preferable for dishes to be fitted to the rear of the property. If you’re not sure, contact us before fitting.
New homes are fitted with mains-powered smoke alarms as standard.
Mains-powered smoke alarms have a standard nine-volt battery backup, so they’ll work even if there’s a power cut.
All smoke alarms are linked, so if one is triggered all will sound.
Any issues related to your smoke alarms, during the first two years, we will deal with. After that, deal directly with the manufacturer, who guarantees them for five years.
Check your home for any fire or smoke. Then, check to make sure the electrics haven’t tripped. If you’re certain there’s no obvious cause and the alarm continues to sound, please contact your regional Customer Service team.
The mains power to the alarm isn’t working or the battery needs replacing.
Check if there has been a power cut and ensure the switch responsible for your alarms has not been tripped.
If there has been no power cut and the alarm is getting mains power, replace the battery.
If that still doesn’t work, contact your regional Customer Service team.
Change the battery with a new one when the alarm beeps every 45 seconds.
- Turn off the power at the fuse box. The green LED should be off.
- Using a small flat blade screwdriver flex the locking clips on the side of the base away from the alarm.
- Using your other hand, disconnect the alarm by gently pulling away from the base.
- When alarm is removed, remove screw and open battery door on the rear of the alarm. Replace battery. Close battery door and refit the screw.
- Press the test button to ensure correct operation before reinstalling. Locate the moulded arrow on the side of the base and smoke alarm. Position the smoke alarm just below the base with both arrows in the same orientation and locate the alarm onto the base by gently applying pressure until the alarm clicks into place.
- Restore mains power and ensure green LED lights and press the test button to confirm operation.
Always change the smoke alarm batteries when required.
Keep your smoke alarm clean. A gentle vacuum with a soft brush attachment will keep the sensors free of dust.
Test the alarm regularly. Once a month.
The fire service recommends that you replace the entire alarm system every 10 years.
View the care guide for Kingsmead easy clean carpets.
The consumer unit (fuse box) where the electricity for your entire home is controlled.
It is important that you know where your electricity consumer unit is located and this will be shown to you during the demonstration. This unit employs circuit breakers rather than traditional fuses.
It is worth taking time to ensure that you’re familiar with the unit. The trip switches will have been labelled so you can reset them when necessary (possibly in the dark, so have a torch handy). If the system continues to trip, please use a qualified electrician to source the cause.
In an apartment the electricity meter may be in a service cupboard outside your door, but your consumer unit will be inside your home, normally near the front door.
Under the hinged front cover there’s a row of switches, each controlling a different aspect of the electricity in your home.
These are known as miniature circuit breakers, or MCBs. You can use them to cut power to a particular appliance or part of your home.
It’s good practice to turn off power to your lighting circuit when changing a bulb.
The large ‘main switch’ on the far right can be used to completely isolate the electricity to your home.
The row of switches is split into two groups, each ending with a slightly different looking switch and a small button. These are RCDs, devices that immediately cut off the electricity supply if a person comes into contact with a live electrical connection.
Knowing what these different switches are for will help you to know what to do in the event of an electrical fault.
If you are ever left in the dark, here’s what you should do:
Find the fault
1. Check your consumer unit to see if any of the switches are in the ‘off’ position.
2. If the main switch and RCDs are all switched on, the most likely cause is a power cut. Check whether your neighbours have power and, if necessary, call your local supplier for more information.
3. If some switches are off, start by turning on the main switch (on the far right). Then turn on any RCDs that have flipped to the off position.
4. You may find that one of the RCD switches immediately flips back to the off position. This indicates a fault in one of the circuits controlled by the switches to the left of that RCD.
5. If this happens, switch off all of the labelled switches (MCBs) to the left of the RCD that continues to switch itself off (or ‘trip’).
6. Now switch on the RCD in question and, one at a time, turn on the MCB switches until the RCD trips again, or until you encounter a switch that flips itself off as soon as you turn it on. You now know which circuit is causing the problem.
7. You can now re-enable all the switches in your consumer unit, apart from the one you have identified to be at fault.
Discovering the cause
If it’s a lighting circuit causing the problem, or a circuit for any built-in appliance such as a hob or electric shower, you will need the help of an electrician.
However, if the switch controls a room circuit (i.e. one that supplies power to wall sockets), you can take the same approach again to find the cause of the problem.
Unplug all electrical equipment from the room or rooms controlled by that circuit breaker, then switch it back on and plug your equipment back in as it was before, one device at a time, until the power trips again. You now know which device is causing your circuit breakers to trip.
Lighting is a major feature in new homes, not only providing light but also creating atmosphere and mood. It’s completely normal that sometimes the lights will go out.
Fuse box has tripped when a light bulb has blown
Modern consumer units/fuse boxes are designed to trip easily, to protect you and your home, and this will include when a bulb blows.
The consumer unit can be easily reset – this is not a fault.
It is recommended that you install quality bulbs from a reputable manufacturer.
Flickering light bulbs are not a defect and usually require a change of the bulb to resolve.
Are light bulbs covered by my warranty?
We fit Megaman light bulbs in all our properties, who offer a 3-year warranty, or 3000 hours, whichever comes first - guarantee. To replace any light bulbs, you will need to contact Megaman direct using the contact details below. All other light bulbs fitted in your property are classed as normal home maintenance items and as such would not be covered by your warranty.
Tel: 01582 544500
3 AMP (RED) – desk lamps, table lamps, standard lamps, radios, portable TVs, Christmas lights, soldering irons, scanners, battery chargers, fans.
5 AMP (BLACK) – computers, monitors, desk jet printers, laser printers, small copiers, fax machines, projectors, hi-fi’s, colour TVs, videos, fridges, vacuums, toasters, coffee makers, small irons, drills, sanders, bench grinders.
13 AMP (BROWN) – kettles, heaters, washing machines, electric fires, 1, 2 & 4way extensions, large toasters, large copiers, microwave ovens, water heaters, welders, dishwashers.
Be sure to avoid putting nails or screws into hidden wiring usually above and below switches and sockets. When hanging pictures or fixing shelves, the danger areas are usually above and below switches and sockets.
As we build your home, moisture is absorbed in materials (e.g. in the bricks, timber, concrete, etc.). When you live in your home, it begins to ‘dry out’ and moisture evaporates slowly. Materials dry at different rates and timber and plastic will move, causing small cracks and gaps to appear. This is known as ‘shrinkage’. It is to be expected in a new home and can be easily remedied when you redecorate. We’d advise that you wait a year before redecorating. The water-based emulsion we’ve used will allow moisture to work itself out.
If you’re hanging pictures or mirrors from your walls, make sure your wall fixings are suitable – heavy items may damage your walls and will need additional support.
You may notice minor cracks or small round marks on your walls or ceilings. Don’t worry, this is not a defect and is no cause for concern.
Cracks of more than 2mm wide, or 4mm on staircases, contact your regional Customer Service team. These may be repairable under your warranty. Smaller cracks are classed as normal home maintenance and repairs would not be covered by your warranty.
For neat and tidy repairs of fine cracks along walls you will need a filling knife, filler, either powdered or ready to use, 80-grit sandpaper and a sanding block, paint and brushes.
1. Place protective floor covering down directly under the crack you wish to repair.
2. Use the corner of the filling knife to widen the cracks you wish to fill. Drag the edge of the knife through the crack, raking out a little of the plaster to make sure that the gaps are large enough to push filler into. Run a dry paintbrush along the crack to brush out any loose dust.
3. Mix a little powdered filler according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Wipe the areas to be filled with a damp cloth immediately before applying the filler to help it stick to the surfaces.
4. Using the filling knife, push filler firmly into the cracks and flatten down. Leave it to dry.
5. Lightly sand back the filled surface until the filler is level with the rest of the wall.
6. Wipe with a damp cloth to remove dust and paint to match the rest of the wall.
Cracks between woodwork and walls are a straightforward repair. You will need a tube of white decorators’ caulk, sealant gun and sharp knife
1. Place protective floor covering down directly under the crack you wish to repair.
2. Unscrew the nozzle from the tube of caulk and cut off the sealed end.
3. Replace the nozzle and trim the end at about a 45-degree angle.
4. Place the tube into the sealant gun and use it to squeeze out a line of caulk along the crack. You should aim to trail with the longer side of the angled nozzle, as this will help to push it into the crack.
5. Finally, wet your finger (with gloves on if you prefer) and run it smoothly along the bead of caulk. This should produce a smooth finish along the join between wood and plaster.
6. Leave to dry and paint as necessary.
‘Nail pops’ are another result of shrinkage and settlement, they appear as raised, round bumps on walls and ceilings.
To fix them you will need a hammer, punch, or a long nail or screw, filling knife, filler, either powdered or ready to use, 80-grit sandpaper and a sanding block, paint and brushes.
1. Place protective floor covering down directly under the crack you wish to repair.
2. Use the corner of the filling knife to dig out any plaster directly over the head of the screw that has ‘popped’.
3. Place the tip of your punch, nail or screw onto the head of the screw that has popped and strike the head firmly with a hammer to drive the screw into the wall so that it sits well below the plastered surface.
4. Use a dry paint brush to brush out any loose dust from the area.
5. Mix up a little of the powdered filler according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Immediately before applying the filler, wipe the areas to be filled with a damp cloth to help it stick to the surfaces in question.
6. Using the filling knife, push filler firmly into the hole and flatten down. Leave it just a little proud of the surface and allow to dry.
7. Lightly sand back the filled surface until it’s level with the rest of the area.
8. Wipe once more with a damp cloth to remove dust and paint to match the rest of the area.
Whilst drying out, your home will be more susceptible to condensation, sometimes causing staining and even mould.
To avoid keep the trickle vents in windows open at all time, including winter. Open windows as often as possible. Good ventilation prevents condensation forming.
When cooking or having a bath or shower, use the extractor fan. This will reduce the amount of steam. Any condensation that forms should be wiped up to prevent damage.
Don’t dry clothes or towels inside or on radiators.
Lubricate internal door hinges with a 3-in-1 oil to prevent dry friction. Do not use a non-silicon-based product such as WD-40, as this is not suitable.
After each bath or shower, wipe any moisture off tiles to help maintain their appearance and prevent dirt build-up.
Any mildew that does appear should be cleaned with a suitable household cleaning product.
Check grout and mastic regularly and carry out any repairs as required.
We use Avant White paint which can be obtained from any Crown Decorating Centre using paint code RAL9010.
We do not advise making any home improvements such as wallpapering during the first 12 months, whilst your house dries out.
Gutters can become clogged with debris and leaves, especially during the autumn. Regular cleaning is a vital part of home maintenance. Working high up can be dangerous, so if in doubt, call in a qualified tradesperson to do this.
External finishes will dull over time and, where appropriate, should be washed on a regular basis.
Outside woodwork requires regular repainting or staining to preserve the wood.
The first repainting outside will probably be needed after 2 years, you may need to do this more often if you live by the sea or in an exposed area.
Render may become discoloured and fade over time, this is not covered under your defects warranty and therefore becomes the responsibility of each homeowner to maintain.
Wasps, mice and other pests can enter any home, it is unusual that this is because of a build fault. If you do have a problem, please contact a professional pest control company for their advice.
Paths and driveways will develop some minor settlement during the first 2 or 3 years. This is normal. Maintenance of these areas is the homeowner’s responsibility.
Check all heating vents and ventilation extracts are clean and not obstructed.
Contained within the deeds of your new home there will be rules about what you can and can't do with your house and land. These are known as restrictive covenants. All residents will have agreed to them.
Restrictive covenants cover anything from adding a satellite dish to your home to keeping chickens in your back garden!
Details of any restrictive covenants relating to your new home should be explained to you by your solicitor. Check them thoroughly.
If you believe a neighbour may be breaking any restrictive covenants that apply to them and it is affecting you or your family, we recommend you attempt to politely broach the subject with them first.
Should you be unable to reach an agreement, the covenants are there to protect the development and homeowner, providing protection should you need to take legal advice. Avant Homes are unable to police and enforce these covenants.
New developments normally have parking restrictions such as:
- Not parking on certain roads
- Not parking boats, or caravans, on your driveway
- Not parking commercial vehicles on developments
The reasons for such restrictions include, the need to provide access by emergency service vehicles at all times, to keep a development open, attractive and safe for all residents. Again, your solicitor should have advised you if restrictions are in place.
You can find out about collection days for rubbish and recycling, plus contact details of where to apply for new or replacement bins and recycling containers on your local authority’s website.
Dog waste bins
These are provided in accordance with the planning permission for the development, which is determined by the local authority. When the development is handed over to the local authority or the management company, it is then their responsibility to maintain these.
These are provided in accordance with the planning permission for the development, which is determined by the local authority. When the highways are adopted by the local authority or the management company, it is then their responsibility to maintain these.
You may find yourself in disagreement with your neighbours, through no fault of your own.
Talk to your neighbours first. Try to reach an agreement before taking the matter further.
If there is a management company that looks after the development, you may be able to contact them for advice and support.
You can also contact your local authority, who may be able to offer advice and assistance in cases such as excessive noise or antisocial behaviour.
Roads and public open spaces, such as green areas and play parks, are an important part of your new community and everyone has a part to play in keeping them clean and tidy, and generally caring for the local environment.
When a development is under construction there may be disruption to roads and open spaces. Waste is kept to a minimum, however, some debris may escape from construction areas.
Avant Homes take responsibility for keeping shared areas of the development clean and tidy, and regularly send teams to keep roads and paths clean.
If street lighting is not working, during the construction period, please make a note of the reference numbers on the lights that are faulty and contact your regional Customer Service team to report the problem.
Should you consider an area of the development needs attention, please contact your regional Customer Service team to alert them to the matter.
Once the development is complete the responsibility of maintaining open spaces is the management company or local authority.
The management company or local authority is responsible for road condition and maintenance.
Street lighting is also the responsibility of your management company or local authority.
Playground equipment, signs such as ‘No ball games’, waste bins and grit bins will be the responsibility of either your management company or local authority.
Once the development is handed over to the management company, they will maintain internal and external areas of apartment blocks. Services will differ between schemes and you should refer to your development’s management company agreement for details.
The substation is owned by your local electricity distributor, not the utility company you pay your bills to. Contact details for the distributor are normally found on the substation door.
First check your restrictive covenants.
Check local planning laws to find out what you can and cannot do with your home. This information should be available on your local council website.
As well as planning permissions and other legal requirements, Avant Homes will also need to give approval for the change.
Full details of any proposed change should be issued to your local regional office, which will advise you further. A consent fee may be applicable to each application. Details of which will be given upon application.
Typical changes that would require permission include, adding a conservatory, extending, adding dormer windows and fitting solar panels.
We advise you to check with your local authority in advance of starting any works. Normally determined by size and location of proposed shed.
The simple answer is yes but you should be aware the works may impact on drainage in the immediate area, manhole covers and utility services. Additional drainage may be needed.
We are sorry that Avant Homes cannot provide any plans or working drawings for the construction of your property.
We recommend you appoint a local contractor to confirm the existing service runs prior to starting any building works.
To check pipe and cable runs prior to normal DIY tasks we would always recommend you use a suitable detector.
We regret we are unable to provide any plans or working drawings for the construction of your property.