New housing quality for all to agree on

After decades of practice, developers are still looking for consistency in delivering quality new housing. Bob Stembridge, Structural Warranty Consultant at Build-Zone, asks what can be done to the benefit of buyers and developers alike…

New housing quality for all to agree on

The recent All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Inquiry into the Quality of New Housing in England has highlighted the shortcomings in the new homes being delivered across England (and quite possibly in the whole of the UK but their remit did not go that far). What is significant is that in 2004, the Barker Review highlighted the issues with selling homes which were either incomplete or did not have an effective aftercare service.  The industry has since improved but not by as much as would have been hoped. As the report states, build quality reacts according to the level of activity in the market – less activity and the greater the quality of output but the opposite also applied, which was exactly the reason for the Barker Review.

Quite often reports into housing quality compare the final product to buying a motor car.  While the construction and delivery methods may differ, the buyer’s expectations are in many respects similar. They expect the product to be fit for purpose at the time of taking ownership and for years afterwards.  However, buying a new home just increases the stakes when things do not go to plan. Then the costs and extra effort needed to put things right can be astronomical. Thus an effective system that acts to prevent delays and misunderstandings can only benefit all parties.

As a warranty provider, our role is to audit the developer’s work during construction of the new home and to provide a line of recourse for the owner up to 10-years after completion. Also, other stakeholders such as the lenders depend on our independence and the insurer’s financial strength to stand behind our 10-year warranty. Thus we have a vested interest to ensure the developer produces a product fit for purpose, and the homeowner has the knowledge to look after it.

The APPG have made ten recommendations which they hope will mean more homeowners are happy with the buying and owning process. Some are already in place and need tweaking while others will require a break from current ‘conventions’.  Here’s a brief overview of some of those recommendations:

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Build-Zone New Home Warranty has received CTSI Stage One

Following Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) Stage One approval of the Build-Zone Code of Conduct for Home Builders, the Build-Zone New Home Warranty has been confirmed as acceptable for lending Purposes by Lloyds Banking Group and its various lending brands.

CTSI

CTSI Stage One approval means that our Code has been recognised as having the potential to enhance the Consumer’s experience during the purchase of a new home from a builder/developer registered under the Code and the after sale customer care service.

As part of the approval process the Code Sponsor Sennocke International Insurance Services Ltd will be demonstrating to the Consumer Codes Approval Board that the code is working and of benefit to Consumers, and following that all our members will be able to proudly display the approved code logo. Full approval is likely to be in March 2017.

Leon Livermore, Chief Executive of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, said:

“Although Sennocke is yet to be fully approved, Stage One approval demonstrates the firm is committed to achieving high levels of customer satisfaction.  Consumers and mortgage lenders alike need confidence surrounding the housing market and this code aims to deliver exactly that.

We will continue to work closely with Sennocke towards the next and final stage of the approval process.”

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25 years success for Sennocke International Insurance

25 years success for Sennocke International Insurance marked by expansion and relocation to larger premises

 SBZ

Following the continued success and growth of Sennocke International Insurance Services’ market leading brands; Self-build-Zone, Build-Zone and Build-Zone Survey Services Ltd, the company has invested in larger premises to accommodate their rapidly growing workforce and plans for the future.

As of 26th October, Sennocke International Insurance will be located at new offices in the heart of Sevenoaks.  The move to larger premises coincides with the company’s 25th Anniversary year and will allow each of the brands to continue to progress in line with the booming self-build market.

Managing Director, Paul Kempton, said:

“With our ambitious growth plans on track and the teams from Self-build Zone, Build-Zone and Build Zone Survey Services growing rapidly, we felt that this was perfect timing to invest in larger premises. Since inception, the operating brands under the Sennocke umbrella have gone from strength to strength.”

He went on to say:

“In our 25th Anniversary Year this is a major step forward for us, bringing the teams from our two offices together will combine the talents of our existing and dedicated staff re-affirming our commitment as the leading broker in the Self-build, Custom Build and Developer Markets”.

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If your mortgage is the single biggest expenditure, see the guide to Remortgaging in 2015

If your mortgage is your single biggest expenditure, cutting its cost is likely to be your biggest single money saver.

UK mortgage market

The UK mortgage market is one of the most competitive in the world, yet the number of deals out there makes it hard to know what’s best for you. There may be a deal out there for you, but it’s got tougher. Therefore the aim is to find the best deal for you and to figure out whether you’re eligible for it.

This guide is for anyone who already has a mortgage on their home. A re-mortgage can be for many reasons – maybe you’re coming to the end of your current deal, or your deals no longer right for you. Or maybe you want to try and cut costs, or consolidate debts?

Remortgaging means shifting your mortgage from one lender to another to get yourself a better deal, you don’t even have to move house to do it. There are many reasons why re-mortgaging could make sense for you but the main one is simple, saving money.

A mortgage is the biggest financial commitment for most people, for some; sticking on the standard variable rate (the rate you ended up paying after your introductory offer has ended) is the best option. However, it is always worth challenging your current lender to give you a new offer as it could reduce the fees you pay to get a new deal.

If you feel that it is time to move onto the next provider, remember that although this will save you money in the long run, re-mortgaging comes at a price. Mortgage interest rates have dropped, the fees lenders levy have increased significantly and you may need to pay an exit fee to leave your current lender and, depending on your deal and early repayment charge as well.

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Self-Build Zone and Build-Zone Structural Warranties exhibiting at Grand Designs Live

Grand Designs Live, the UK’s leading contemporary home show, will open its doors from 12th – 14th October 2012 at Birmingham’s NEC.

Based on the Channel 4 TV series, and presented by design guru Kevin McCloud, the event will be packed with over 500 exhibitors, across six different sections, covering interiors, gardens, home improvement, self-build, renovations, technology and shopping.

Self-Build Zone and Build-Zone Structural Warranties are delighted to be exhibiting, this event will provide expert advice on all the things you need to know when it comes to your home.

A great opportunity to speak to us and have us help you with any questions you might have about site insurance which is essential for anyone planning an extension, renovation, conversion or new build.

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