Once you're the proud owner of a brand new bunnyhome, we hope you'll love it as much as we do. Here’s a few pointers on how things work, a little bit of easy maintenance advice and some quick tips for keeping it looking its best for years to come.
When you first move in we know you're going to want to be arranging your bedroom, wandering around your new garden, or trying out the bath for size. Our aftercare service will, quite rightly, be the last thing on your mind but rest assured we've got it all worked out for you.
When you get a moment, put your feet up, break into your bunny biscuits and familiarise yourself with the details of bunnycare — our aftersales service guide, outlined below.
Get in touch with your local council to let them know you’ve moved in, and find out about your local bin collection and recycling facilities.
Contact your energy and water suppliers to set up your accounts and confirm the meter readings taken on handover day. Don’t forget to give final readings to the suppliers of your last property.
You’re welcome to change your gas and electricity suppliers – you’ll just need the unique numbers on your electricity and gas meters. These are known as the MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number) for electricity and the MPRN (Meter Point Reference Number) for gas. With these, your new company can easily identify your property and provide your supply.
Find out more about changing your supplier here.
Don’t forget to put your gas and electrical installation certificates somewhere safe. If you ever decide to sell your home, you’ll need them again.
It’s your responsibility to organise your telephone and broadband connection and to provide any equipment you might need. Your new home has been given a number of phone points, so you’ll simply need to contact your chosen supplier to make them live.
Your home is already furnished with an aerial that’s set up to get digital terrestrial and Freeview channels, but to view them you’ll need either a set top box or a Freeview-ready TV. If you’re installing a new aerial or dish, please make sure it’s not visible from the front of your home. They’re not the prettiest of things are they?
Don’t forget to change the address on your TV License. You can do this here.
Make sure you know where your stopcock (or stop tap) is, and also the consumer unit – you never know when you might need them!
Ensure your buildings and contents insurance is up to date.
Have a quick read of your kitchen appliance manuals before operating them for the first time (and don’t forget to register your details with the manufacturer – this might be necessary to activate the guarantees).
Planning some DIY? We strongly advise you use a cable detector to help you to safely locate cables and pipework before you drill any holes.
Your thermostatic radiator valves have been set to medium. Please make sure you wait a few days before adjusting them.
If your bunnyhome has a loft, it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s not designed as a storage area! Placing heavy objects up there could cause damage to ceilings below.
Read through your Premier Guarantee documents.
Remember your garden has just been laid; it needs time to settle and compact. Don’t rush to lay paving or decking and try to resist walking on your lawn for at least a month. (Mowing’s a no-no for a month, too!)
As you move into your new home, bear in mind that we may still be building nearby. And while we promise that we will do our best to keep disruption to a minimum, some noise and dust is inevitable. Your safety is really important to us, so please take note of the advice below and, if you have any queries, speak to the site manager:
- Keep an eye out for signs that affect the traffic moving around the development
- Supervise children and pets closely and keep them away from any construction areas
- Watch out for construction traffic and never assume the driver has seen you before you attempt to cross in front of them
- Read all the safety signs and follow the advice given
- Be aware, when walking in areas of development, that pavement surfaces may be unfinished and uneven
If you’ve never bought a new build home before you may not be familiar with the process of ‘drying-out’. And you might be surprised by a few of the completely normal, side effects of this process that require a little bit of TLC to put right. Don’t worry though, allow us to explain everything you need to know…
Drying-out is a necessary hangover from the construction process of any building. It involves making sure any water held in the building materials is allowed to evaporate. This can take 6-18 months, depending on weather conditions during the build. While there are ways of speeding up the process, we believe it’s best to let your home dry out as naturally as possible. This will minimise the possible side-effects of shrinkage and cracking, as the materials settle and stabilise.
- Small cracks may appear around windows and in the walls and ceilings. These are quite normal and do not indicate a structural problem unless they are wider than 4mm. Once your home has completely dried out, you will be able to fill any cracks using an easy-to-use DIY product.
- You may notice a white powder on the exterior surfaces of your home. This is caused by sodium salts escaping from construction materials as they dry out. Known as efflorescence, it’s nothing to worry about and will stop naturally with time.
- You may experience some condensation due to the evaporating moisture.
- Screw heads may ‘pop’ and show in plastered surfaces. You should be able to screw any visible heads tight, fill and repaint as needed.
- Baths or shower trays may drop slightly due to settling. Reseal around the edge with mastic.
- Wooden door and window frames may move and stick or rub – these will need adjusting to allow free movement.
- Floors and stairs may drop slightly as they settle causing gaps along the top of skirting boards. Use decorator’s caulk to neatly fill any gaps.
- Warm up your home slowly to reduce the risk of shrinking and cracking. Run heating at a low, even temperature of no more than 20°C.
- Use extractor fans, particularly in moisture-producing areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
- Leave windows and internal doors open as much as possible to help with air circulation and ventilation.
- Avoid redecorating your home until the drying out process is complete. If you don’t, you could cause damage to wall coverings for which we can’t be held responsible.
- Make sure you don’t obstruct air bricks or damp-proof courses. These are designed to prevent moisture rising into your home from the ground.
- Don’t use portable heaters or air conditioners as they release a lot of moisture into the air.
- Keep your loft hatch closed. Warm, damp air rising into the loft can condense in the roof space causing problems.
your perfect home
Generally, cleaning of your kitchen units should be done using only warm soapy water and a soft cloth. Avoid abrasive cleaners to prevent fine lines appearing. Our advice is to patch test any kitchen cleaners that you plan to use, and always read the instructions.
As your new house settles, you may find that unit doors, drawers and soft-closers need adjusting slightly. Consult your kitchen care and maintenance guide for advice on how to adjust doors and drawers.
We’ve ensured that your worktops are heat, stain and scratch resistant. However, manufacturers will always advise using chopping boards and pan stands to avoid any risk of minor damage. If your surfaces are laminate, it’s especially important to take care and clear up any spills immediately so that they can’t seep into joints and cause swelling.
- Taps — Clean taps regularly with a soft cloth and warm soapy water. Don’t use harsh or abrasive cleaners as these may damage the finish or strip the shine. If your tap is dripping, check whether the washer needs replacing.
- Baths, showers and basins — Ceramicware can generally be cleaned with warm soapy water or a cream cleaner, but you may prefer a spray cleaner for ease of cleaning acrylic baths and shower trays. In the interests of safety avoid cleaning products that might leave a residue. This could make surfaces slippery. Keep an eye on mastic seals around baths and showers and reseal when they show signs of mould or weakness. Use a squeegee after showering to remove water from wall tiles and shower screens keeping them limescale-free.
- Showerheads — Regularly descale to reduce limescale build up.
- Toilets — Keep cleaned and bleached regularly to avoid nasty smells and unsightly stains. Request that nothing is flushed except toilet paper. Baby wipes, sanitary products and other beauty items can cause blockages further down the system.
- Covering your heated towel rails with wet towels may prevent them from heating your bathroom effectively.
- Carpets — Keep looking fresh by vacuuming regularly to remove dirt and grit. For the sake of hygiene encourage guests to remove shoes when entering carpeted areas. Blot spills on carpet immediately with kitchen paper, patch test any cleaning products, and if the stain won’t shift – contact a professional.
- Laminate & wood — Sweep laminate and wood regularly to remove dirt and grit, then clean with a well wrung mop.
- Ceramic tiles — Mop with a mild detergent. Avoid any products that may be abrasive and/or slippery. Remove and repair damaged grout when necessary to make sure dirt and moisture don’t get underneath tiles.
- Vinyl — Sweep vinyl flooring regularly to remove dust and dirt. Mop with washing-up liquid and warm water rather than using abrasive products.
There are a few jobs that will need doing outside if you want to keep your new home looking as lovely as the day you moved in.
- Driveway — You won’t need to do a lot to keep your driveway looking inviting.
- Block paving — A smart, block paved drive just needs to be swept occasionally and treated with weed killer as needed.
- Tarmac — A tarmac drive should be swept regularly and cleaned with a pressure washer when required. Be aware that tarmac can soften in very hot weather, meaning extra care must be taken.
To prevent driveway damage:
- Reduce weeds by removing garden waste and using weed killer regularly
- If using ladders or car jacks, place a board underneath to spread the weight so you don’t create small divots
- Avoid servicing your car on your drive. Spilt oil can cause damage and staining!
- Wipe window and doors from time to time with a soft cloth and soapy water. Always take care when working at height using ladders.
- Keep sliding patio doors working properly by greasing the runners occasionally.
- Spray the mechanisms in your garage up-and-over door with a silicone spray to help keep them moving smoothly.
- Regularly wipe internal doors and window frames and handles with a soft cloth to remove any dust. If any marks appear, warm, soapy water should be adequate to get rid of them. Your door and window handles can be cleaned in the same way.
- Use a silicone spray to loosen door mechanisms and hinges when stiff.
In order to keep the wood in good condition, we recommend you stain or paint fences, gates and wooden doors etc. within the first two years of being in your new bunnyhome. Once you’ve done this the first time, you’ll only need to repeat it again every four or five years.
Check first before you get too artistic! There may be some colour restrictions in your covenants.
Check gutters regularly for a build-up of any leaves or moss, and remove any blockages to prevent overflowing.
Never lean a ladder against guttering as it is unsafe.
It’s easy to forget your outside tap once you don’t need it to water your plants or fill the padding pool in summer. But by simply shutting off the valve 90° with a screwdriver and then turning on the tap to remove any water still in the pipe, you can help prevent the pipe bursting when the weather gets cold.
Once the temperature has risen, you can easily turn the supply to the tap back on.
A beautiful garden sets off a beautiful home and creates the perfect place for a summer barbecue and family gatherings. However, when your home is handed over there will still be work to do to get your garden flourishing.
Your beautiful new lawn will just have been laid, so it’s going to need a little TLC from you to help it establish. The maintenance of it is your responsibility once you move in so do please take the time to nourish and care for it to turn it into a luscious lawn!
Don’t panic though, help is at hand. Follow these steps and you’ll be enjoying entertaining in your stunning new garden in no time:
- Water well, but not too much — Use an oscillating sprinkler if you can. Your turf needs plenty of water to help the root system to develop, but too much will cause it to rot. After watering initially, lift a corner of the turf to check the water has soaked through.
- Don’t walk on the grass – If you need to cross the grass use boards to spread your weight and remove them again as quickly as possible.
- Keep pets off – Pets can cause damage to an unestablished lawn. In particular doggy wee can cause the grass to turn yellow in patches.
- Fertilise bi-annually – Feed the lawn every spring and autumn.
- Mowing – The first cut can be carried out after two weeks if your lawn is growing quickly. Set your mower to a high setting. Continue to mow as required cutting to a length of 3/4” to 1”. Make sure you remove all cuttings.
Tree care & protection
It’s important to be aware that the position of trees in your garden may have formed part of the planning conditions for the development. You should check with us or the council before making any change, or risk repercussions.
New saplings may have been staked for support. These stakes should be checked regularly and removed once they are no longer needed.
We like to make sure that the bunnyhomes we build are energy efficient, so you can rest assured that your new home is performing as cost-effectively as possible to keep your family warm and comfortable. It’s also good to know we’re minimising our impact on the environment.
You will be provided with a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your new home, showing you its energy efficiency.
There are two ratings shown on your EPC:
Energy efficiency rating shown on a scale from A (well-insulated / energy efficient) to G (not energy efficient) and 1 to 100 where a higher number indicates greater efficiency.
Environmental impact rating (El) showing how much environment-damaging carbon dioxide your home is likely to produce annually. A high rating means your home has less impact on the environment. You can find information about how to reduce your energy and water bills at the Energy Saving Trust website: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk
Keep your Energy Performance Certificate somewhere safe. If you ever decide to sell your home, you’ll need it again.
Please ensure your heating system is serviced every year by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Not only will this keep you safe, but it will ensure that the manufacturer’s warranty is valid should you have any problems.
You can find approved engineers in your local area here.
Be aware that when you turn the heating on from cold it may take up to an hour for you to feel the house warming up.
- During the winter consider changing your boiler settings. The water coming into the system will be colder and so may need more heat applied to make it feel as warm as you are used to.
- We've added a chemical rust and frost inhibitor to the water in your system. This will give protection against common issues. If you ever drain your system, make sure to replace this.