For as long as you stay in your new home by Elan Homes you’re a valued customer. Our Customer Care Team will always be on hand to help you whether it’s two weeks, two months or up to two years after you move in. The Frequently Asked Questions below cover most of the common queries that can arise. But if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for please contact us.
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Clean units and worktops with a liquid domestic cleaner or washing up liquid and rinse down with clean water. Then dry with a soft, non-abrasive cloth.
Avoid cleaning solutions with abrasives or bleach, as any damage to surfaces caused in this way is not covered by your two-year warranty.
Wipe regularly with a damp sponge or cloth using a non-abrasive cleaner.
Each appliance carries a manufacturer’s 2 year warranty. In some cases, you’ll have the option to extend that cover according to manufacturers’ terms and conditions.
If you have problems with any of your appliances within the two-year warranty period, contact the manufacturer direct. Maintenance information, along with full details of warranties and guarantees, can be found in the instruction manuals included in your welcome pack.
Wash basins, baths, sinks, and WC pans
Do not use abrasive or strong acidic cleaners and don’t clean paint brushes in them.
Don’t flush condoms, sanitary towels, disposable nappies or other bulky non-degradable things down the lavatory.
Do not pour substances down sinks, baths or toilets which are likely to cause a blockage, such as hot fat, tea bags/leaves, vegetable peelings etc
If you have an emergency with your electricity supply, plumbing, security or heating, contact our Customer Care Team for assistance. They’re available 09.00 to 17.00, Monday to Thursday and 09.00 to 15.30 on Fridays.
Outside these hours, you can call our Emergency Helpline on 0845 6013538
An emergency repair is any defect which puts the health, safety or security of the resident at immediate risk or which affects the structural safety of the building adversely, this service includes emergencies relating to:
Make sure that you know where the various valves and switches are situated so that you can turn off the water or electricity in an emergency.
Before calling, please make sure you have your full postal address to hand. If the fault relates to the central heating boiler, please make sure that you have the details of the make and model.
When you call our Emergency Helpline, the operator will offer advice to try and help you solve the problem there and then. If this fails, they’ll despatch an approved local contractor to deal with it as quickly as possible.
IF YOU SMELL GAS, TURN OFF YOUR SUPPLY AT THE METER AND CALL TRANSCO ON O8OOO 111 999 IMMEDIATELY. DO NOT USE A NAKED FLAME!
Hot water is provided by your immersion heater, which is covered by your two year warranty. Instructions for using your heater, cylinder and integrated programmer are included in your welcome pack.
Your Sales Executive and Site Manger will have familiarised you with the basic controls of your central heating or electric storage heating system during your Demonstration Tour.
Detailed instructions are also provided in the manual included in your welcome pack.
Your heating system is fully covered by your initial two-year warranty. This cover does not extend to routine servicing, however, and only remains valid if you service your system within twelve months of moving in.
We strongly recommend that all work on your boiler and heating system is carried out by a Gas safe registered installer.
Your radiators have been pre-balanced in accordance with your system design, but occasionally you may find one of them fails to heat to the desired temperature. This is usually caused by a build up of air in the pipes or the radiator itself, and can be rectified by ‘bleeding’ the radiator using the valve on its top corner following the instructions in your NHBC booklet.
In some cases, you may find you have to repressurise your system after bleeding. Your instruction booklet will tell how to go about this.
All homes by Elan Homes are fitted with window, door and infrared alarm sensors throughout the ground floor. In addition, security lights at the front and rear leave intruders with nowhere to hide at night.
If you’re leaving your house unattended for any period of time, there are few simple, common sense precautions you can take to deter unwanted guests, such as putting your lights on timer switches, moving valuables out of sight and asking neighbours or family to draw the curtains at night.
Protecting against the weather.
If you’re leaving your house unoccupied for more than a day or two during winter, it’s sensible to do what you can to avoid frozen and burst pipes. Especially if a cold snap is forecast.
If your central heating has a frost protection setting, make sure you select it before you go away. If not, adjust the timer to switch your heating on at least twice a day. This should be enough to keep water moving through your pipes and prevent it freezing.
Obviously, external pipework is more at risk than indoor plumbing. Make sure you lag any exposed pipes. And be sure you isolate the water supply to your outside tap and drain it completely if you’re not using it for any period of time throughout the winter.
During construction, every new home absorbs water. Some 5000 litres on average!
You won’t notice it’s there and it certainly isn’t harmful to anyone living in the house. But for the first six months or so this moisture has to be given a chance to evaporate at a slow and steady rate to keep shrinkage and cracking in the plaster and brickwork to a minimum.
You can do this by keeping your home at a reasonably even temperature so the underlying building structure warms up and dries out gradually.
Use your central heating sparingly at first and set the thermostat no higher than 20 degrees.
At the same time, leave as many windows as possible open while you’re in the house, ensure the ‘trickle vents’ above each window are open all the time and keep cupboard doors and interior doors open to encourage air circulation and evaporation.
Unfortunately, failure to acclimatise your home in this way may lead to damage to fixtures and fittings for which Elan Homes can’t be held responsible.
Other effects of drying and shrinkage may occasionally affect your house in the following ways, none of which constitute faults and which can all be rectified in the way described:
Moisture from occupation
As well as the moisture left over from its construction, water vapour from day-to-day living in your new home can cause condensation and slow down the drying out process.
Simple steps like making sure you don’t overfill your kettle or leave it to boil too long, covering saucepans while you’re cooking and using extractor hoods and fans where they’re provided will all help reduce the likelihood of condensation, damp and mould.
Some cracking and shrinkage is an inevitable part of the drying out process in every new home and won’t affect its overall structure or strength.
Leave any cracks that appear for six months or so, after which the excess moisture absorbed during construction should have evaporated.
After that, you can fill them in with a normal all-purpose filler as you would any other cracks or gaps.
If you discover any deeper cracks in your plaster or brickwork, however, call our Customer Care Team straight away.
All new homes go through a period of drying and shrinkage during which plaster may crack slightly, doorframes shift a little and floors drop by a few millimetres. Consequently, we recommend you delay any decorating until you can be sure your house has been through this settling process.
Paint and wallpaper applied before then may well peel or crack as the surfaces beneath it shrink and move. They may also trap moisture within the walls that can lead to damp and mildew. Unfortunately, any damage that occurs as a result will not be covered by your two-year developer’s warranty.
When you do decorate your home, make sure you take all the normal precautions:
Never work on unsupported ladders; always check for cables and pipes with a cable detector – available at all good DIY stores – before you drill or nail into walls and ceilings; if you’re operating power tools, make sure you use a circuit breaker and have proper eye protection; and ensure adequate ventilation when you’re working with paints or solvents.
NHBC Buildmark Cover is underwritten by the National House-Building Council, one of the world’s leading insurers and the independent regulator for the new homes industry.
It provides your new home with protection against the unlikely event of major structural defects and against the loss of your deposit and up to 10% of the contract purchase price if a developer fails to complete because bankruptcy, insolvency or fraud.
Full details of the warranty are included in the Homeowner’s Manual given to you to you at handover, and the policy details are forwarded to your Solicitor on Legal Completion.
For a period of 2 years after legal completion, Elan Homes will rectify any problems that arise in line with the NHBC ‘Guide To Your New Home’ booklet in your information pack.
From the end of that 2 year period until the tenth anniversary of registration, your home will be protected by the NHBC Buildmark Cover against any structural defects which threaten the integrity of the property.
Your NHBC booklet recommends you treat or repaint any external timber faces within two years of moving in.
After that, it’s normally sufficient to repaint every 4 to 5 years, depending on how your house has been affected by the weather.
Gates, fences, door furniture and other brass or chrome coated metal work will normally have been treated with a layer of clear, hard lacquer. It’s important to avoid abrasive cleaners and metal polishes on these surfaces as they will almost certainly degrade the lacquer.
Finger rings will damage door handles and gates with repeated use. Look out for signs of wear and treat affected areas with a metal sealant or exterior protective paint to prevent corrosion.
In the event your new home has wooden garden fencing we recommend that you surround each post with gravel to avoid running grass up to the posts thus protecting each post from damp. In addition we advise homeowners to treat any wooden fencing, at least every two years, with a quality wood preservative.
It is important to water new turf, particularly in dry or hot periods. A newly turfed garden looks deceptively mature but, in fact, the grass has only a very small reserve of moisture in the soil attached to the roots when laid. If not watered the turf is likely to dry out and shrink until the grass roots grow into the underlying soil. This can cause unsightly gaps that never disappear. It is also probable that the grass will die rather than ‘greening up’ as established grass will, usually after rain. Light rain or drizzle is often insufficient to properly wet the turf and underlying soil, and a thorough soaking with a hose/sprinkler is recommended.(where permitted)
Damage to Turf
We strongly recommend that new turf should not be walked on for between 4 and 6 weeks, depending on weather and soil conditions. Dents and hollows caused by walking on will not disappear, and may be hazardous or unsightly. If it is necessary to walk on the turf (for instance to move a hose/sprinkler) please use wide boards to spread the weight, and then remove the boards immediately after use.
The technical term for this is efflorescence and it’s caused by harmless natural salts seeping to the surface of your brickwork as it dries.
Occasionally, efflorescence can appear on inside walls as well.
If it does, you can remove it quickly and easily with a stiff brush. Externally, the effects of wind and rain will make it disappear over time.
If efflorescence is heavy and persistent, however, it could indicate a leak from pipework within the wall or water ingress through cracked brick or joint. In this case, contact the Customer Care Team to arrange a visit from an Elan Homes engineer who’ll explore things further.
Your bathroom suite and fittings are made of durable, high quality materials. However, to ensure they keep their looks and don’t scratch or tarnish, you need to be careful over your choice of cleaning fluids and materials.
Acrylic baths, basins and shower trays should be cleaned as often as possible to prevent discolouration and the build up of deposits like limescale.
Avoid abrasive cleaning materials at all cost; the tiny scratches they leave will dull the finish of your bathroom over time and trap dirt and deposits.
Similarly, don’t use abrasive cleaners on taps and other fittings with a chrome finish to avoid scratching, flaking and corrosion.
Instead, choose a cream cleaner, applied with a soft, non-abrasive cloth. And always make sure you rinse every surface thoroughly before allowing it to dry.