Building Inspectors savvy success story
Savvy Houz Inspections is the brain child of Dean Norrie who after finishing working as a project manager on the earthquake home repair programme in 2016 started his own business with a vision of “keeping it simple savvy” (KISS) by producing detailed pre-purchase house inspection reports fast using a digital mobile app, under promising and over delivering with a 24 hour turn-around, easy to read, colour coded digital report achieving a better work-life balance and outstanding financial results.
Our building reports are in high demand. Savvy Houz Inspections are extremely popular with buyers, sellers, agents, banks and insurers.
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First home buyers guide for a successful personal property inspection and purchase
Buying your first house is an exciting milestone. You will have made what, for most people, is the largest financial investment of your life. You’re no longer at the mercy of landlords and you’re free to turn your house into a home.
In all the excitement, it can be tempting to rush the purchase process and overlook some important steps, like properly inspecting the building. Look at it this way: You shouldn’t buy a used car without giving it a test drive and getting a qualified mechanic to give it a look over.
Well, a house is a much larger investment and if you buy a lemon it can be much more expensive to fix. That’s why it’s important to complete a thorough personal inspection, building inspection and pest inspection before making an offer.
Once settlement takes place, any problems with the property immediately become your responsibility. And that could mean tens of thousands of dollars in repair and maintenance work that you have to shell out on top of the purchase price.
To help out all the first home buyers out there, we have some useful information about how to get the most out of your inspection opportunities before buying your first home.
Once you’re seriously considering buying a property, your personal inspection needs to reflect this. It’s a different process to the initial open inspection. While it’s important you still like the overall feel of the house, this is the time to take a serious and focused look at the potential trouble areas and money pits around the house.
Some key things to look out for are:
While it’s important to look the property over yourself, unless you’re an expert you won’t have a good idea what you’re looking for. What may look like a great house in perfect condition could be hiding a whole bunch of structural issues. That’s why it’s vital to get a professional building inspection from a licensed building inspector.
A building inspector will thoroughly check the property inside and out. They will examine all accessible structural elements, outbuildings like sheds, and external structures like fences and retaining walls. Once the inspection is complete, they will provide a detailed report that highlights any major damage or essential repairs, as well as recommending other minor repairs and even documenting any potential repair or maintenance risks.
Your building inspector should always be a third-party professional – that is, someone not recommended by or affiliated with the seller or their agents. This way you can be assured of a completely independent and unbiased report.
Any major issues with the property should be presented to the seller before purchase. You can then negotiate to have these issues fixed before purchase or adjust the purchase price accordingly.
Don’t take the risk
If you think you’ve found your dream home, you can’t afford the risk of it turning into a nightmare. Hiring the professionals to carry out the building inspections and pest inspections can help you to make the most informed purchase and avoid the massive repair and maintenance costs that come with buying a shoddy property.
Call us now on 021 143 2995 - Savvy Houz Inspections , www.savvyhouz.co.nz
Pre purchase home inspection company based in Christchurch, Savvy Houz Inspections
Buyers beware over $100k in subfloor and foundation repairs.
Building reports are a must to prevent costly unexpected repairs.
Major issues identified in the subfloor after the property had been purchased.
A homeowner who bought a house only to discover more than $100,000 worth of damage has warned property-hunters to pay closer attention to their pre-purchase inspection reports.
A building and pest report, provided by the selling agent, did not highlight any significant issues, but noted that the building inspector had been unable to access parts of the property. A second report found significant termite damage, structural damage and borer damage.
“The report basically said most things were mostly fine, with the caveat that they hadn’t looked underneath the house,” he said. “Not being an experienced property buyer, I assumed they didn’t need to look under the house because there was no reason.”
The original report, which covered the “roof void, internal area, external area and extension”, warned that areas not inspected included “the entire subfloor” and “various areas of the roof void”.
“A subfloor void appears to be present however, we were unable to located (sic) an entry point and therefore no inspection of the subfloor area was carried out,” the report said.
“It is possible that an entry point may exist below floor coverings (if fitted). It is possible that building defects may be present below inaccessible areas however, no comment is made or opinion offered on any area where full access is not available.
“We strongly recommend that access be gained to all inaccessible areas. Access should be gained to enable a further inspection to be carried out prior to purchase.”
The second report was obtained by another potential buyer, who opted not to bid based on the damage uncovered. That report inspected the “building interior, building exterior, roof exterior, roof space, subfloor space, outbuildings and the site”. “Various areas have significant termite damage,” the report said.
“Previous attempts had been made to support the middle bearer under the second bedroom with brackets that have been bolted into the brick foundation walls. Despite this, the bedroom floor is not level.
“(The) timber bearer below the front area of the living/lounge room has been totally eaten by termites. The centre of the lounge room is no longer supported in some areas by this bearer. It needs replacing urgently.
“To help protect against financial loss, it is essential that the building owner immediately control or rectify any evidence of destructive timber pest activity or damage identified in this report.”
Under changes introduced in August 2016, real estate agents are required to inform potential buyers if a pre-purchase building and pest inspection report or strata and community scheme report has already been carried out.
Buyers may then opt to access an already available report, usually at a reduced cost, instead of commissioning their own report — giving building inspectors an extra incentive to get in first.
In an email to one real estate agent, the inspector who carried out the original report on the St Peters home urged the agent to put him on the list early, pointing out that “per the new legislation”, a report already carried out by “any other company, and there are some pedantic ones out there” must be listed “to your vendor’s detriment”.
He added that his inspectors “don’t put in any prices on repairs” and were “not pedantic or overly critical of the property”, as that was “such a headache for agents with some inspectors”.
The St Peters buyer admitted he should have been more careful.
“It’s at least partly my fault, I’m happy to admit that, but it’s crap that these types of inspection reports are allowed,” he said. He added that he didn’t bother seeking legal advice.
“Part of the problem with these reports is every second sentence is a caveat,” he said. “They limit liability as much as possible. I saw [legal action] as potentially a bit of a money pit that could go nowhere.”
The owner of the company which carried out the original inspection strongly defended his report. “There was no access to the subfloor ... and another inspection was recommended after access has been made available,” he said in an email.
“This is the first we have heard of it. If the purchaser actually read the report and followed our recommendations ... before purchase of the property as recommended ... then any termite or borer damage in the subfloor area would have come to light, and any legal advice that he would have had then (sic) made him aware of this fact.
“That’s why we have heard nothing about it and will be watching closely if any we take any action (sic) if defamed in any way as we stand fully by our report.”
Rhys Rogers, chief executive of sharing economy site Before You Bid, a platform where buyers can share costs and rate inspectors, said consumers should be very careful doing their research. “There are two things which can help consumers work out whether they’re getting a report that’s worthwhile,” he said.
“One is to check on Google to see the inspector’s rating. Two is to check if the inspector got under the house and into the roof, because that’s where most defects are, that’s where the hard work is crawling into these spaces.
“(If they don’t), it’s a pretty obvious sign that the inspector might just be ticking the box — there should be a good reason. Sometimes they’ve got quite a few disclaimers in these reports, they can argue that on the day there was no access to the subfloor because there was a piece of furniture in the way.”
If the report has gross omissions the buyer can make an insurance claim against the inspector, but Mr Rogers said underinsurance was also a big issue.
“There are estimates that 70 per cent of the industry aren’t properly insured,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Fair Trading/Consumer Law, any pre-purchase building and pest inspection reports must comply with “consumer guarantees in relation to the provision of services”.
“Services must be provided with acceptable care and skill or technical knowledge and taking all necessary steps to avoid loss and damage, fit for the purpose or give the results agreed to, (and) delivered within a reasonable time,” she said.
“Fair Trading strongly recommends that vendors only use consultants that have adequate insurance cover, particularly for professional indemnity.”
Book a subfloor robot inspection today! 021 143 2995 - Call Savvy Houz – Inspect it to protect it!
What to look out for when buying older properties built before 1914?
An unbiased building inspection report will uncover any significant building defects that will save you from major financial losses
This blog post highlights some of the most important building issues and risks. We recommend you research further, before making an offer?
built before 1914:
Look out for:
Timber built villas were the most popular design style in this period. The bungalow style started to appear in New Zealand from 1910. A home built before 1914 will have plenty of history and character features, but it can also come with issues if it hasn’t been properly maintained over the years.
Look out for:
Timber — including treated plywood and engineered wood products. A wooden exterior or cladding needs ongoing maintenance, and there may be problems if it hasn’t been properly and regularly maintained.
Extensions and renovations:
Check that any extensions or renovations have building consent.
You can check by comparing the current layout with the floor plan on the property file held by the council. Any differences between the two should have the proper building consents. If the owner or a previous owner has added a deck, garage or sleepout, check that the consents are on file.
It may be possible to get building consent on an extension or renovation after you have purchased the property, but it is not certain and it could be expensive if extra work is needed to meet required standards.
Check the foundations of the extension. If the foundations are different from the rest of the house, they may move in different ways in an earthquake. Also check that the foundations and the connections between them are in good condition.
Work that should be consented:
Building work that may require consent includes:
Look out for:
Iron and steel — including corrugated and long-run. These roofs last between 40 and 70 years, depending on what they’re made of, the environment and regular maintenance.
An iron or steel roof will need to be repainted or re-chipped every 10 years to ensure the roof remains watertight.
Earthquake Damage EQC and Liquefaction:
These features can make some buildings more susceptible to liquefaction-induced damage.
Look out for:
Types of ownership:
Freehold Is also known as fee simple and is the most simple and common ownership type in New Zealand.
If you have a freehold property, you own the land and (generally) anything built on the land unless there are any registered or unregistered interests. Examples of interests that might restrict the use of the property include:
Ask your lawyer or conveyancer to review the record of title (also known as the certificate of title), which contains the property’s legal description, details of its ownership and the rights and/or restrictions registered against it.
A cross-lease property, you own two interests in the property — a share of the freehold title in common with the other cross-leaseholders and a leasehold interest in the particular area and building that you occupy.
A cross-lease title may include a plan showing the footprint of the building you are entitled to occupy (sometimes called the flats plan). Check the plan to identify:
This means that, depending on the terms of the cross-lease, you may need to obtain the other owners’ consent before painting the exterior or making other non-structural changes to the building you occupy or before making structural changes, for example, building a deck or putting up a fence. There may be restrictions on what you can do with the property under the terms of the lease registered on your title.
Ask your lawyer or conveyancer to review the record of title (also known as the certificate of title), which contains the property’s legal description, details of its ownership and the rights and/or restrictions registered against it.
Have questions about a property?
Call Savvy Houz Inspections today 021 143 2995
Pre Settlement Building Inspection - Checklist
Planning for settlement day when buying
There are a number of things you need to do before settlement day to make sure everything runs smoothly.Summary of important things to know
If you find issues during the pre-settlement inspection
If you find damage during your pre-settlement inspection that wasn’t present when you signed the sale and purchase agreement or if a chattel is missing, contact your lawyer or conveyancer immediately. Your lawyer or conveyancer will outline your options and can negotiate with the seller’s lawyer or conveyancer to rectify the situation.
Contact the agent to arrange the pre-settlement inspection. It should be at least 2 working days before the settlement date so there is time for the seller to address any issues.
If the property is tenanted, be aware that extra time may be needed for the landlord to get the tenant's consent for the inspection.
If it’s important to you that the property is clean and ready for you to move in, you can include this as a condition in the sale and purchase agreement, for example, by stating that the house is to be commercially cleaned.
New Zealand Healthy Homes Standards - What are they?
The Healthy Homes Standards?
The Healthy Homes Standards are part of the Residential Tenancies Act. The Act requires all rental homes to comply with specific regulations regarding insulation, heating, ventilation, moisture ingress & drainage and draught stopping by July 2021.
The minimum level of ceiling and underfloor insulation must either meet the 2008 Building Code, or (for existing ceiling insulation) have a minimum thickness of 120mm and be in reasonable condition with no dampness, damage or displacement. The new Healthy Home regulations also specify where insulation exemption applies.
Landlords must provide one or more fixed heaters that can directly heat the main living room. The heater must be an acceptable type and must meet the minimum heating capacity required for your living room. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum indoor temperature of 18˚C. By installing a heater that can reach this temperature on the coldest days of the year, tenants will be able to keep warm all year round.
Ventilation must include openable windows in each habitable space. The windows must comprise at least 5% of the floor area of that space. An appropriately sized (externally vented) extraction fan or rangehood must be installed in rooms with a bath or shower or indoor cooktop
Moisture Ingress & Drainage Standard
The Healthy Homes standards reinforce existing law that says landlords must have adequate drainage and guttering. If a rental property has an enclosed subfloor space, it must have an on-ground moisture barrier, which will stop moisture rising into the home.
Draught Stopping Standard
Any gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, floors and doors that cause unreasonable draughts must be blocked. This includes all unused open fireplaces and chimneys
When Rental Property required to comply with new standards?
From 1st July 2021, landlords must ensure that all rental homes comply with the Standards within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy. By 1st July 2024, all rental homes must comply with the Standards, regardless of when the tenancy began.
Book an inspection now! Inspection starting from $295 free phone: 0800 080 125
Pre Purchase Building Inspection Business Franchise System - Available now! Selling Nationwide
Savvy Houz Inspections provide the most comprehensive pre-purchase/pre-sale house inspection services with easy to read/colour coded building reports for the discerning customer to make the best buying/selling decision.
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Get in touch? Work from home, low overhead. Become your own boss. Your initial call may just change your life. Don’t wait this will be selling FAST.
A: Christchurch - South
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GO GREEN! Tips to save you more money $$$
Clean energy and making small eco-friendly changes can not only make a positive impact on the environment, but help your business save money. Making your business more sustainable can have added extra benefits too - such as improving brand perceptions and helping to gain like-minded clientele. The SAVVY team has pulled together easy and budget-friendly strides you can do to help make your business green.
One easy trick to ‘going green’ is as simple as converting to a paperless business. Savvy Houz is a great tool to use to streamline invoicing, keep in contact with clients and store contact info – so feel free to throw those business cards in the (recycling) bin! Cloud networks also reduce the amount of paper waste for a business while keeping all your projects safe and in one place. Not only is it easier to find your projects, but this will reduce the money spent on paper, printer ink and a shredder.
The benefits of recycling and repurposing materials and products have now become mainstream knowledge and they are another easy way for businesses to save money. Many shoppers carry ‘bags for life’ when doing daily shopping and carry a reusable coffee cup, with businesses now offering incentives to do so as well. Making small savings like this add up quite quickly. Reusable items also prevent additional waste being left in landfills. Incorporate this into your office by investing in glass cups and ceramic plates instead of disposables in your kitchen area.
There are environmental grants, awards and concessions on offer for businesses when they make efforts to ‘go green’. Recognition for your business compliance and ‘green’ efforts towards initiatives such as energy efficiency, reduced emissions or solar energy consumption shows commitment to reducing your environmental footprint. Check with your federal, state, territory and local authority for ways you can get involved in environmentally-friendly and money-saving initiatives for your business.
Utility expenses for large businesses can add up into the thousands annually. Cut your utility expenses by changing light fixtures to energy-efficient rated fixtures with LED light bulbs. LED bulbs last around 20 years, use less energy, and provide a purer source of light. It is also worth checking the office or showroom temperature settings – do you need to keep the AC on all weekend? Can you schedule it to turn off on Friday evenings?
Environmentally conscious investors and clients are more likely to put their money into a business that is working on reducing its overhead costs and complying with green standards. The prospect of a larger return in the long run will make these types of clients more likely to invest with your business in the future. Ensure you pitch eco-friendly options to new and old clients alike.
6. Alternative Energy
Alternative sources of energy such as solar, wind, and water power can create electricity in a way that avoids releasing toxic substances into the air. While there is a significant initial investment, solar panels can save you tens of thousands of dollars over a five year period. For a shorter term solution, look at switching to a utility supplier that uses only renewable resources.
Buildings without proper insulation can lose heat in the winter and cool air in the summer, resulting in wasted resources and sky-high utility bills. But with proper care, heating/cooling systems can become more energy efficient regardless of the season. Need some tips on insulation and property maintenance? Check the Houzz discussions for tips from other home professionals.
8. Smart Building Design
Architects, builders and some trades, such as painters, offer specialist 'green' services and materials. Something as simple as an exterior paint with a thermal paint additive can cut 40 percent of the sun's heat, reducing your need to run expensive air conditioners. If you decide to do more thorough renovations, consider sustainable products and designs where possible.
As Autumn approaches, days shorten and temperatures drop, it’s time for sweaters, fire pits, and pre-winter chores. Fall can be a busy season because you’re preparing your lawn, garden, and home for the approaching cold.
As you harvest the last of your garden and give that lawn one last grooming, it’s also time to perform maintenance on both the exterior and interior of your home to ready it for the ravages of winter.
Many people have more time on their hands at home because of coronavirus, so this may be the perfect opportunity to start a to-do list and knock off some of those must-accomplish fall chores. Follow these tips for a successful lawn, garden, and home care and maintenance in preparation for that first frost and beyond.
The beginning of autumn in many parts of the country spells the time for seasonal transition, moving our entertainment and lifestyle more indoors. Now’s the time for homeowners to store outdoor furniture and other gear for the winter, deflate and store any pool toys, move plants indoors, and prep, maintain, and repair in anticipation of cooler temperatures.
It’s time to book service appointments before you need your fireplace or heater to make sure everything is in good working order. In addition to professional servicing, we have some easy maintenance tips you can do yourself to make sure you’re getting your yard, garden, and home ready for winter.
In the garden, there may still be much to harvest. Pick the last of the berries, tomatoes, corn, carrots, beets, and pumpkins. You can create great canning or preserving projects for the fall and winter months, bringing a delicious, just-picked taste to your winter table.
Some states start experiencing their first frost dates in early October, so these homeowners will want to use September to begin their annual frost, wind, rainstorm, and winter protection tasks. Before the weather gets too cold, schedule time to clean and repair gutters, along with any needed roof repairs, chimney, or siding maintenance or fixes. We’ll walk you through some of the most important tasks to spend time on during the next month or two.
Why Get Your Home Ready for Autumn and Winter?
Why bother spending all the time and expense of working on your home and yard during the fall? Spending a little time and effort now can save you from surprises, like burst pipes and fallen, ice-filled gutters. Some steps taken now can save money in repairs later, during a more inconvenient time.
If you need professional services for your home or property, now is a great time to schedule them. Consider booking a tune-up of your furnace system now, before servicemen are overloaded with appointments for repair as the cold weather challenges heating systems. You’ll be warm and toasty, thankful you didn’t procrastinate.
Winter-Prep Tasks You’ll Need to Do This Autumn
Getting your property ready for winter may seem daunting at first, but you can break down the tasks into manageable chunks of time and effort. You won’t have to accomplish them all in one weekend. Many homeowners prefer to start prep work outside and then move to the home’s interior projects as temperatures dip.
If your seasonal Autumn brings lots of fallen leaves, use them to your advantage. Depending on how many leaves are blanketing your yard, rake them up and dump them in a yard waste bin or add them to your compost pile. You can even work leaves into the garden soil or your yard, which will add critical nutrients for future benefit. If you have a lawnmower, you can mow over the leaves of your lawn with the mulching attachment engaged, mincing the leaves so they can be left on the lawn as organic fertilizer. Make sure, however, that you don’t leave wet, soggy piles of whole leaves on the lawn —this can suffocate growth and contribute to an unhealthy lawn. Regularly removing the leaves as they fall can be the best way to stay on top of this sometimes time-consuming annual task.
Trim Branches, Plants, and Shrubs
Take the time to prune back shrubs and plants, according to the recommendations for each species. Take a look at the trees on your property. Do branches or shrubs hang over or touch the roof, gutter, soffits, or sides of your house? You’ll want to trim those back, so winds won’t cause the branches to rub against roofing shingles or siding or break a window in higher winds. This action will also keep critters like squirrels, rats, and raccoons from using your roof as a playground and potentially finding or making holes into your attic.
Depending on your climate and your grass type, you may need to continue watering your lawn through the fall season. Cool-season grasses, which tend to grow in regions of cooler or wetter fall weather, may require you to keep sprinklers running longer. Warm-season grasses go dormant in the winter, so they may not need additional irrigation throughout the fall and winter months. If you’re finished watering your lawn until the spring, be sure to winterize your sprinkler system and outdoor faucets in preparation for freezes so you don’t have burst pipes and other issues.
Knowing your grass type will help you plan for fall maintenance of your lawn. While there are many varieties of turf or lawn grass, there are generally two types of lawns for the yard: warm-season grass and cool-season grass. Which type you have is usually dependent upon where you live.
Warm-season grasses include Bermuda, Zoysia, Buffalo grass, and Bahia. This grass type is most often found in warmer climates like the south and has a peak growing season from spring to fall; it can turn brown during the winter months but thrives in the hot heat of the summer.
Cool-season grasses include bluegrasses, fescues, and ryegrasses and grow well in regions with cold winters and warm summers. They can stay green nearly all year. In periods of drought, these grasses need to be watered, or else they will enter a dormant period and turn brown.
Aerate and Overseed Lawn
Cool-season lawns should be aerated and overseeded in the fall. A core aerator removes small “plugs” of grass and soil and helps lawns receive more oxygen, sunlight, seed, and fertilization. After aerating a cool-season lawn it’s a great time to overseed the area and add the fall fertilization. Warm-season lawns tend to be aerated in the summer, not the fall.
Fertilize and Feed Your Lawn
Fall is a great season to feed your cool-season lawn, but warm-season grasses are going dormant and won’t require fertilization until the spring. Cool-season grasses use the fall months to recover from the heat and growth of the summer and may need a good dose of nitrogen. The exact fertilization requirements should be determined by conducting a soil test to see what nutrients the soil is lacking. Making sure your lawn has what it needs to stay healthy and weed-free is important, especially if you desire a nice green lawn next spring and summer.
Mow and Edge
Cool-season grasses are still growing in the fall months but probably won’t require as much mowing or edging compared to the summer months. Your cool-season lawn may just need mowing once every couple of weeks during fall. Warm-season lawns become dormant in the fall and winter months and stop growing so they won’t require mowing or edging. So, you can look forward to winterizing your lawnmower and edger and then taking a break from mowing until spring.
Weed and Pest Control
Cool and warm season grasses usually don’t require traditional weed or pest control in the fall months. However, cool-season grasses are sometimes susceptible to moss, so fall may be a good time of year to apply moss killer. This can also be done in the spring.
Prepare your Flower Beds and Garden
Along with lawn care, you’ll want to prepare your flower beds and garden for winter. This will include cleaning out rotted, dead, and dying plants. You’ll also want to remove invasive weeds, helping ensure they won’t return in the spring and work on your compost pile. Tend to plants, especially delicate flowers like roses. Read how to winterize your roses here. Preparing your soil for spring, adding nutrients, and planting cover crops in your garden (if you choose) should also be on your to-do list. Prune perennials (plants that will survive winter) and divide and plant bulbs for the following spring. Make sure your hoses have been drained of water, too.
Don’t forget to mulch. Mulching helps retain moisture around plants, but it also protects your soil from erosion and keeps down weed growth. During fall and winter, mulch helps insulate the ground and roots from fast freezes and thawing. As a bonus, in the spring, mulch breaks down into organic material for natural fertilizer benefits.
Don’t forget to bring in container plants that have enjoyed your back deck, porch, or yard. Make sure they’re bug-free. Then, enjoy cheerful greenery during those gray, chilly winter days. Indoor plants not only help clean your indoor air, but they can also lift your mood while adding a peaceful, natural ambiance to your interior decor.
Repairs to Exterior of your Home
Take advantage of cooler, comfortable weather to maintain and repair the exterior of your home. Examine and repair wood or vinyl siding, and look for cracks in concrete, brick, and other exterior materials. Seal up holes in soffits and fascia. You may also need to do an exterior home cleaning with a pressure washer.
Examine and clean your roof and gutters. Inspect your roof to make sure it can withstand the weight of snow and ice if you’re in a colder climate. Replace any missing shingles, and make sure the flashing on your roof is in good shape. If flashing needs repairs, arrange that or, if you have skills in that area, tackle it yourself.
Take stock of your outdoor lighting and change bulbs if needed. It will be much easier to change bulbs now than when there’s ice or snow on the ground.
Make sure steps and porch handrails are in good working condition and sturdy since you may rely on them more during icy, snowy weather. Make repairs to walkways that may become hazardous with winter weather. If you have any vegetation blocking security camera views, trim those back.
If you live in a northern climate, check the insulation around your pipes before cold weather arrives. Exposed pipes in unheated spaces or near exterior walls can freeze and then burst, flooding your home. This can-do extensive damage to your house and requires significant time out of your home and expensive professional restoration. Making sure pipes are insulated can help prevent this. Foam pipe sleeves are easy to install, and you can also use pipe wrap. You can also add wall insulation, use faucet covers on your outdoor spigots, and insulate the space where pipes go through walls.
After you’ve addressed insulation for your pipes, take a look at the insulation under your home and in the attic. Adding or upgrading your insulation is another great way to ensure your home is operating efficiently this winter and can help reduce your monthly heating bills.
Make a List
Having a running list of fall-prep maintenance and repair tasks may help you keep on top of everything you need to accomplish during the weekends or when you have time available. For instance, your list may look like this:
Inside Autumn Maintenance
Don’t neglect the inside of your home when you’re prepping for fall and winter. Check and replace batteries (if applicable) of carbon monoxide alarms and smoke alarms and inspect your fire extinguishers to make sure they’re still viable. Make sure all family members know where fire extinguishers are kept.
Check for air leaks and potential heat loss within the home. Unwanted drafts can lead to a more expensive heating bill over the winter, so use these tips to get started.
Just as your air conditioner works hard during the summer, your heater labors during the colder months to keep you comfortable. Nip any future problems in the bud by scheduling a fall checkup for your heating system. Ask your repair professional to check for any air leaks and/or heat loss. Make any repairs needed now, and not in frigid temperatures later on when furnace repair professionals are in more demand.
Ready your Fireplace for Winter
Your fireplace should be a source of warmth and comfort, not a danger hazard. Unfortunately, every year thousands of people (including children) are seriously injured by fires. Some 14,000 house fires each year originate in the fireplace, so the more you know how to maintain your fireplace (and safely use it) the better. Fireplace safety tips include:
Do it Yourself or Hire a Pro?
Are you a do-it-yourselfer, or would it make more sense to hire a professional for some of the winter prep jobs? Consider the value of your time and the expertise of someone else. Are you working too many hours to can’t comfortably spend the time needed for the repair or maintenance? Do you have the tools? The skills? If not, maybe it’s time to call in the professionals for a job well done.
Prepare Now for Peace of Mind Later
As you snuggle up in front of your fireplace this winter, warm and cozy, you’ll be glad you spent some extra time preparing your home this fall. A little work this fall repairing and maintaining your yard and home will result in an abundance of peace of mind later. With preventive maintenance, you will have cut down on the chances of frantically searching for—and waiting for—an emergency furnace repairman or trying to find someone to fix your fallen gutters in freezing weather. Instead, you’ll enjoy your warm home and look forward to each season’s delights and challenges.
Originally posted on Porch.com
EQC On-sold earthquake repair programme, Christchurch
On 15 August 2019 the Government announced a programme so that owners of on-sold over-cap properties in Canterbury are able to apply for financial help to have their homes repaired. If you’ve bought a home in Canterbury before 14 August 2019 and discovered that it is damaged over the EQC cap, you may be eligible for an ex gratia payment to cover the cost of repair. The deadline for homeowners to apply for the ex gratia payment has been extended by two months. You now have until 14 October 2020 to register. After that time, the programme will not be available.
Find out if you qualify and how to apply?
Depending on when you purchased your property and how it was settled you may be able to receive an ex gratia payment equal to the agreed cost of repair. You may be eligible to receive the payment under the support package if you meet all of the following:
In order to determine your eligibility we ask that you supply the following documents within 60 days of registering your interest:
Once your eligibility has been confirmed you will be asked to provide expert reports detailing the earthquake related damage and outlining the appropriate repair strategy. A Settlement Specialist will be appointed to guide you through this process.
Where you have not identified any additional earthquake related damage, but have expressed your interest to ensure that you didn’t miss the application deadline, we ask that you tick the 'Registration only' box on the on-sold property register of interest form. If you tick this box, we will not progress your application until you contact us again. We will then provide you with a Settlement Specialist to guide you through the process of providing us with the relevant information.
You can claim for damage that is undercap at any time. Where repair costs exceed the EQC cap an application is required for the On-Solds Programme, and must be registered on or before 14 October 2020 to be considered for eligibility.
If you would like to register your interest for the ex gratia payment please use this on line On-sold application form.
Alternatively use our printable register of interest PDF form.
You can also call us on 0800 DAMAGE (326 243) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have issues with your application progressing please email email@example.com