Entire Houze


How To Add Value To Your North London Home

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Your home is an investment, so when it comes to property value, the question how much is my house worth? is unsurprisingly one of the most frequently asked. So, whether you’re thinking of selling up or just want to add value to your home long-term here at Entire Houze we have taken a look at some quick wins and sure-fire ways of increasing the value of your North London home.

Quick Wins

Add Central Heating
Adding or updating the central heating system will always add more to the value of a property than it costs. It will be considered an essential by most buyers and mortgage valuers. Using a plumber to add central heating to an average three-bedroom Victorian or Edwardian house will cost £3–4,000.

Enhance the Curb Appeal
If you are selling, you have to get buyers through the front door, which means you need to have the outside as spick and span as possible (cost £100-£1,000 but could add £5,000). If nothing else, your house should at least look better than your neighbours’. Clean those dirty windows, clear the driveway, unblock the gutters.

Replace Windows
New double glazed PVCu windows can add considerable value to a property and in the lower end of the market are considered essential by most buyers, regardless of their style or lack of it. PVCu windows require very little maintenance, are energy efficient and, depending on design and installation, can be very secure.
Sure Fire Ways To Add Value To Your North London Home

Add A Loft Conversion
Is the easiest way to add an extra bedroom and or bathroom. The work itself is not particularly disruptive as most of the work can be done from the outside of your home. It is important to take into consideration you will have to strengthen the floor joists which will raise the floor level, so ensure you leave enough ceiling height to stand up in. Adding a loft conversion to your North London home will increase the value of your home by 12.5%

Building A Conservatory

Extending your living space is always a good idea, you can enhance the feeling of space and flow by installing the same flooring throughout your downstairs living area. It leads the eye on and ensures that the conservatory feels part of the rest of the house. A conservatory (cost £5,000-£30,000) can add around 7 per cent to the value, while a full-blown extension (£10,000-£30,000) adds 11 per cent.

A Basement Conversion

The most expensive form of extension: it costs approximately £200 per sq foot to do the digging, and another £100 per sq foot to do the fitting out. So unless your house is worth £300 per sq ft, you won’t see your money back. It is also the most serious form of extension, as it is going to affect the structural load of your property. Not to be undertaken lightly, or without careful consideration, then. You will need to hire specialists to do the design and the installation, and you will almost certainly have to move out of the house for several months. That said, you can create fantastic spaces underneath your home, and extending your house like this means you can stay in it for longer, enjoy it more and sell it quicker when the time comes.

With more than twenty years combined experience, the Entire Houze team have been dedicated to offering the highest standard of building work and impeccable service with a complete hands on approach to every project whether large or small. We are the leading builder North London based company, and whether you are looking for loft conversions, new kitchens, bathroom renovations or house extensions. Entire Houze have the expertise and experience to bring your project to life.


New Build Vs Old Build What To Buy In North London In 2018

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Buying a North London house isn’t exactly a walk in the park, but logistics and money aside, you have a key decision to make before you even start viewing potential properties: do you want a new or old home?

New build homes today are often 20% smaller than homes built in the 1970s. Forty years ago there was room for a garage and two cars on the drive of most semis, commonly built 12 to the acre. Today, buyers are lucky to get one parking space outside a terrace, built up to 24 to the acre.
We wanted to look at the pros and cons of purchasing a new build home, and what the advantages and disadvantages are of buying an old house.
The main benefit of a new build home is the fact that it will be perfectly finished, clean and safe to move straight into. You’ll know that everything is up to building regulations and won’t need replacing for a long time. Also, you might be able to dictate the wall colours inside, so you don’t need to paint!
When you are buying a new home straight from the housebuilder, there are no onward chains to worry about. Some housebuilders even have Part Exchange offers, so you don’t have to worry about problems with selling your current home.

All new homes in the UK are covered by a 10-year home warranty and insurance guarantee. The warranty protection provides a very comprehensive cover against a range of potential problems, including any issues with the construction of the home itself. The warranty is free to the homebuyer – the housebuilder takes out the warranty.
New builds aren’t for everybody, aesthetically. One man’s perfect home is another’s unappealing prospect and for some people, new build properties don’t hold any aesthetic joy. This is because they tend to be found on large estates, where every house has a similar look, leading to a lack of individuality. Even the gardens tend to be the same!
Mortgage offers tend to be valid for six months, but if there is a hold up or a problem with the construction of your home then your offer could expire. Lenders will still lend if you are looking to purchase off plan, but if there is a delay then there will generally need to be a reassessment, and if your circumstances have changed then the lender may not extend the mortgage offer.

Older properties have had the time to develop an identity, but you can still put your own stamp on the home. Great floor space and higher ceilings are just two of the bonuses that older properties tend to offer, not to mention a host of period features, or the right vibe for installing some original features, if they have been removed. It’s a lot easier to modernise an old house than it is to make a new build look as though it has some heritage!
Older houses are built to last. All you need to do is look at when they were built to see that! With Victorian and Georgian homes still being amongst the most popular in the UK, the timeless aesthetic and sturdy construction of older houses makes them perpetually sought after!
You will often find yourself in a chain when buying an older property, which can cause delays if there are problems with other homes or buyers further down the chain. Putting an offer in on an older property also means you run the risk of being gazumped, which can be both emotionally and financially draining.

Naturally, older houses need a lot more up-keep than their newer counterparts. This can be a costly endeavour, as can sorting out the heating! You’ll normally find single-glazed windows, ineffective insulation and unreliable central heating in older homes, all of which need tackling as soon as possible.
Renovating an older home tends to be more expensive and extensive than say, adding an extension to a new build. This is because there are more complicated structures to take into account and don’t get us started on listed buildings!

Whether you decide to buy in North London existing or new, make sure you get a survey before moving in, to ensure everything is as it should be.

Prepare Your North London Home For Winter

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Winter’s is officially here, and with it, plunging temperatures and shorter days that make you want to curl up and relax, warm and cosy by the fire. As the coldness looms and you prepare to pump the heat, it’s important to protect your North London home from potential damage and address heat and energy leaks. These nine simple tasks will help you stay warm, safe and energy-conscious this winter.

Sort out your home insurance
Check to make sure that your home insurance policy is up to date and that you’re covered for winter-related damage. If it comes to sorting out water damage to your Christmas presents or fixing a leaky roof, you’ll be glad you had the right cover in place.

Keep your pipes toasty
Burst pipes are common during winter due to rapid freezing and thawing, potentially causing massive damage. The best way to stop this from happening is to keep your pipes warm with their own foam cardigan (called lagging), which will reduce the heat lost and insulate the pipes to stop them from freezing.

Boiler Maintenance
A poorly maintained boiler wastes more energy and costs more, and it also runs the risk of leaking carbon monoxide. Either get your boiler serviced before winter or change your old model for a condensing unit, which could shave off around £235 a year (according to the Energy Saving Trust).

Insulation – more than just putting on an extra layer of clothing.
About a quarter of the heat in your house is lost through the roof, so having good loft and wall cavity insulation could keep the house warm with less energy used. These improvements needn’t cost the earth, as there are a number of government grants and schemes that subsidise insulation installation.

Bleed the radiators
If your radiators are colder at the top than they are at the bottom, then your radiators have trapped air inside them that’s stopping the heat from circulating properly. It’s time to grab a towel and your special key and bleed that radiator! Bleeding the radiators releases the air, allowing the radiator to run more efficiently.

Switch energy suppliers
If your bills are still high despite these improvements, give your energy supplier a call and see if you can be put onto a more appropriate energy tariff. If that’s not good enough you look for a supplier that’ll offer you a bigger discount. There’s no disruption in service; all that happens is that your money goes to a different company when you pay your bill.

As summer draws to a close, the leaves will start falling, and gutters and drainpipes will start to get filled with loose foliage. Once the blockage becomes too much, water will start to back up in the guttering and leak into the roof and down the walls of the house. Make sure your gutters are completely free from grime and dirt to minimise water blockage.

Tree trimming
Reduce the amount of foliage that will drop into the guttering, and will also reduce the build-up of snow on the tree that could cause damage from broken branches.

No entry for draughts
Those chilly winter breezes are wily things, and they’ll try everything they can to slip through the nooks and crannies of your home. Check the edges of your doors and windows for draughts, and you can either seal these gaps with self-adhesive draught strips, or get one of those funny draught excluders shaped like a snake or a dog.

Seven Common Kitchen Installation Mistakes To Avoid

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A lot of home activities — cooking, cleaning, eating, drinking, socialising — take place in the kitchen. That’s why it needs to be both beautiful and functional. Regardless of your kitchen design style, organisation and layout are essential.

Don’t forget your workflow – When planning your remodel, remember your kitchen’s busiest areas: the sink, cooker, and fridge. Make sure these areas and appliances are in an efficient location that is relevant to one another. Many designers refer to this as the kitchen “work triangle,” as the relation of these to one another typically resembles a triangle.

Wasting storage space – Kitchens typically contain lots of stuff, not only that but items are often concealed behind kitchen cabinets and require lots of space, such as food processors or juicers. Built-in’s are expensive and the overall size of the area may be limited, one big mistake is not included enough storage space, but this can be minimised with adequate planning and forethought.

Giving Up Work Space – Work space is one of the most important elements of your kitchen so don’t settle for less. Extend your work top space by using additional shelving supports or hangers to remove items up and off your work surfaces allowing you more space.

Poor Lighting – The kitchen is one room where you can’t afford to have poor lighting. It’s not only a matter of design and atmosphere, but also safety when it comes to handling sharp knives and other kitchen tools. Plus, the more light you have in the room, the better you can show off your design elements.

Poor Ventilation – The best kitchen design fades in the presence of noxious odours. If you’ve ever walked into someone’s home and smelled last night’s fish lingering in the air, you’ll understand the importance of good ventilation. Inexpensive range hoods simply circulate dirty, stale air, while a good ventilation system will improve the quality of your indoor air and also help keep your kitchen cleaner. It also helps to extend the life of your appliances.

Going It Alone – Even if you’re the DIY type, make sure you consult a kitchen design expert or installer before starting your project. A professional will be able to help fine-tune your remodel plan, offer tips and advice and recommend ideas you probably hadn’t already considered.

Stick To A Budget – Creating a budget is an essential part of a kitchen installation. Decide what features of your kitchen are the most important and allocate your finances accordingly. Keep in mind that kitchen cabinets usually take up about one-third of the typical installation budget.

Like most people you likely spend most parts of your day in the kitchen whether it’s to cook for you or your family, have a meal with friends or even enjoy a glass of wine after dinner. Your kitchen needs to fill each of its roles with efficiency and style, allowing you to enjoy its surroundings whatever the purpose of your visit. If you are looking for a unique luxurious kitchen to be fit, we are able to offer the highest standard of craftsmanship.

Entire Houze boasts some of the best kitchen fitters in the business. We know how to match a kitchen to the unique character of each home so that it both suits the way your work and complements your sense of style. Our kitchen fitters will take the necessary time to discuss your particular kitchen needs, put together a custom-made plan and design and install the kitchen just as you had imagined it. But don’t take our word for it – take a look at some stunning examples of our work and see for yourself. Get in touch to discuss your kitchen installation requirements and for a free quote, call us today.



Why Roofing Maintenance Is So Important For Your North London Home.

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When it comes to roofing, we frequently believe that if our roofs are not leaking, we don’t need to bother with them. This out of sight out of mind attitude can fast lead to expensive repair costs further down the road. Regular maintenance is crucial in helping you to save money. Without regular maintenance, you would have to part with huge sums of money on roofing repairs and replacements. Maintenance is also great because it helps you to identify roofing problems early before the situation gets worse, and furthermore costly.

One of the largest investments people make is their home. Performing ongoing maintenance on your roof will help prolong its life, and by extension the life of your whole property. Roofs are a fundamental element to your home.

A roof is also a selling point on a home and increases its value. From beautiful materials such as tile and metal, to an energy-efficient roof, many homebuyers take those extras into account.

A major leak in your roof will be evident quickly as it will soak through your ceiling and potentially damage internal walls and flooring. But if you’re not performing routine maintenance on your roof, there could be quieter, more insidious damage occurring without your knowledge. A small leak, one that doesn’t enter your living space, could be happening in your loft at this moment.

Dripping water every time it rains, even a small amount, can cause rot damage to beams in your loft. The repair can be quite costly (not to mention unhealthy, if it promotes the growth of mould), if it’s not found and fixed quickly. Preventative maintenance would expose such hazards and remedy them before they became major problems.

Your roof braves the elements. A properly ventilated and insulated roof will also save you money on heating and cooling. The roof releases humidity and heat from your home. Heat and humidity coming from your home can be as damaging as rain from the outside. If the roof vents are not working properly, that heat and humidity become trapped, and they will eat away at the wood rafters in the attic and underpinnings of your roof.

Ensuring you have good insulation is key to cooler summer temperatures and warmer winter ones inside your home. You pay a lot to heat and cool your home. Don’t let your money escape out of a poorly insulated roof.

A roof is one of the least thought of components of a home but one of the most important. It protects your investment, adds value to your property, and saves money on heating and cooling costs. If you’re not maintaining it, you’re doing yourself—and your wallet—a disservice.

If your roof is in bad shape and is in desperate need of replacement, then you need specialist from a team that has experience and knowledge in all roofing work. At Entire Houze we have a team with experience in all roof repair work.

We offer full roof replacement too at an affordable price to our customers throughout North London.

Entire Houze’ roofing service provides roof repairs and renewals for all types of roof, from pitch to flat and asphalt roofs. Since having a new roof built is a major undertaking, we will guide you through the process and ensure we meet your expectations at every stage.

We provide you with a full roof repair service including repointing work, repairing leaks and replacing guttering, lead-works including lead sheet roofs, lead box gutters and chimney gutters and dormer cladding, slating and tiling.

Our company directors will personally supervise your project, from helping you choose the right tiles to providing the necessary scaffolding and overseeing the work to completion. We don’t take a one-size-fits all approach because we know every roof repair or roof replacement job is different. So we advise on the best solution for your house and offer you a tailored service and materials to meet your requirements.



House Extensions – Where to Start

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Extending is a popular way to add space without having to move. We explain everything you need to know from planning permission to costs, design work and much more

It is said that for every person who self builds there are 15 that add extensions to their homes. The reasons for all this are easy to see. It often makes more economic sense to stay put and avoids the need to find a plot. It means we can stay in the same neighbourhood if we like it and that the children can remain at the same school.

What’s your budget?
This is probably one of the most fundamental questions – and it’s usually the first thing we have to ask our clients.

What do you want to achieve with your property extension?
Are you looking for a new living area that the whole family can enjoy, an extra bedroom for a new arrival or a home office?

How long will it take?
House extensions don’t happen overnight – and even getting planning permission and building regulations approval can sometimes take months. So be patient, and expect some upheaval and interruption to normal family life while the building is going on.

Do you need planning permission?
For some property alterations such as loft conversions and single storey extensions, or certain types of sun rooms, you may not need planning permission. But you are well advised to check all local planning regulations and requirements first before making any definite plans to proceed.

Does your property extension mean you need an architect?
Big projects such as loft conversions or external home extensions are not simple DIY jobs, and we’ve seen them go wrong too many times when even skilled DIYers have had a go themselves, so ensure you seek advice from the professionals.

Will your plan impact on your neighbours?
This is a particularly important consideration, especially if you are making major alterations to your property. Do you share a party wall with your neighbours, and will your alterations potentially damage their property?

Are you in a conservation area?
If your home is in a designated conservation area or is a listed building, there may be very strict controls governing what alterations you can and cannot make, so make sure you do your homework and find out how this could affect you.

Up, Down or Out to the side?
Where you put your house extension is the next decision. Loft conversions are increasingly popular – so if you have the option of converting your attic space into a new room without any external signs of extending the property it’s worth considering. The most common option for simply gaining extra space either is either a single storey or two storey extension, for which you may want to build out to the side of your home.

Know a good builder?
Unless you’re an experienced builder yourself, the likelihood is that you will need to get a professional building firm in to do the work – even if it’s a smaller job like a loft conversion.

Choose wisely, and take note of the recommendations of friends who have had work done on their properties, or see if your architect can provide contacts.

What’s your timeframe?
As we said earlier, it’s wise to plan well in advance. Set yourself a strict timetable for completion. The chances are that it will over-run, but if you lay down the ground rules for completion at the very start of the project you can avoid living on a building site for months on end.

Having read the above key points you have a great basis in which to form your brief with your builder or architect. This will save time throughout the process allowing you to be clear about your expectations from the outset, and tasking your professionals to deliver the desired finished result.

We have been building extensions since our inception and can advise, design and build the right extension for you and your property. All our work is personally supervised by our company directors to ensure it is carried out to the very highest standard. So, whatever your extension needs, we will manage all aspects of the project from the initial planning and design stages through to building work, plumbing, heating, electrical works, insulation and anything else that may be needed.



Ten Ways To Cut The Cost Of Your Extension

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Easter marks the start of the home improvements season, with Londoners eager to create more space with extensions. Many have decided that staying put and improving their home makes more sense than moving on — saving on stamp duty, legal and mortgage fees and moving costs — especially because most new homes will need improvements anyway. So before doing anything to your North London home stay in control of your budget with these great suggestions from Entire Houze team.

Keep your design simple
Keeping your extension design as simple as possible such as a rectangle or square footprint with a simple pitched roof will vastly reduce the cost of your home extension. Curves and corners are costly to build, designing your extension around off the shelf products such as standard sized doors and windows will vastly reduce spend.

Save money with a DIY extension
Labour represents between half and two-thirds of the outlay cost for a home extension, so if you can do some of the work yourself, there is great scope to make savings. The easier tasks to take on board are labouring, decorating and landscaping and for the slightly braver kitchen and bathroom fitting.

Project manage the extension
A builder will add 15–25 per cent onto the total cost of labour and materials to cover their time for managing the project. You can save some of this cost by effectively taking on the role of building contractor yourself.

Neighbourhood Relationships
If you are building on or near the boundary of a neighbour, your extension will need to comply with the Party Wall Act (England & Wales) 1996. Avoid the cost of £700 per neighbour by writing about your extension plans eight weeks before you start. If you can get the neighbours to write back that they do not object, you can avoid using a surveyor to arrange a party wall settlement and save on fees.

Save On Fees
For a simple, low-cost build, find an architect, architectural technician, chartered surveyor or structural engineer who will produce planning and Building Regulations drawings for a fixed, all-in price. Look for a track record in designing low-cost projects.

Avoid Cowboy Builders
To avoid being ripped off, always ask for references — and check them. Never, ever pay for building work in advance; pay only for work that has been completed and that you are happy with.

Measure Everything Twice
Making changes or mistakes that waste labour and materials is a major factor in the final bill for many projects. Measuring everything onsite, rather than off your plans will help reduce wastage. Having accurate, scaled plans in the first place will help.

Reuse, Recycle, Repair
Existing materials can be reused or sold rather than thrown in a skip. Old floorboards, doors, radiators, towel rails, kitchen units etc. can all be revived and reused, cleaned up and given a new finish. Sell or trade what you can’t use.

Negotiate Trade Discounts
Find out where those in the trade buy their materials and aim to get the same wholesale/trade prices.








Considerations To Make Before Planning A Basement Conversion In North London

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Looking to introduce an entirely independent new room to your home? Why not consider a basement conversion with its own, exclusive entrance, for purposes such as a home office, gym, or a residential annexe? Before getting the project up and running, there are some serious considerations to make.

Do you need permission? If your North London home already has an underground space that is suitable for conversion from storage (or similar) to a habitable function, planning permission is not normally required as such a change is merely seen as re-purposing. If, however, the space needs alterations – such as lowering the floor level to increase head clearance – local planning authorities are likely to consider the development as an extension and, therefore, ask you to apply for planning permission.

Are there regulations to meet? The structural construction of a basement forms part of the fabric of your home so, naturally, you will want to ensure that any work undertaken is of the highest standards if you aren’t sure, then contact a professional. Whether you are converting an existing basement to a different function or creating a new underground space through excavation, Building Regulations are there to guarantee that minimum standards of safety, energy efficiency and hygiene are met. If, however, you are merely renovating an existing basement and not changing its purpose, the job is exempt from Building Regulation scrutiny.

Why Planning Is Important To take all design details into consideration before any work begins, we recommend that ‘full plans applications’ are made for basement conversions, as opposed to a ‘building notices’ that may result in remedial work being required should local authorities be unsatisfied with the development. You can find additional information on the Government’s Planning Portal for free.

Party Walls are shared by adjacent buildings and, as such, any work that could affect them needs to be agreed by the owners or leaseholders of both properties and any others that adjoin them. This could include: extension, alteration, underpinning, or even excavation near to the wall itself.

Practicality Depending on the nature of the development you are having undertaken, there is a very real possibility you may need to vacate your home while the work is ongoing. For example, if there is no access to the basement from your garden or a neighbouring highway, materials to be removed will have to be taken through the house, making it exceedingly impractical for you to be there while the contractors are doing their work. Consider the kind of job that you are having done. Simple conversions make take just a few weeks to complete. Significant changes to the structure of your house, such as excavation, underpinning and so on, may take a number of months depending on the size of the job.

 Is it a worthwhile investment? Everybody’s living and financial circumstances are different, and are certain to affect any decision on whether a basement conversion is a viable expense. In some cases, creating a space underneath your home is the only way to increase the usable square footage of the building – one reason that basement conversions are so popular in North London homes, where opportunities for above-ground alterations are minimal. Consider whether your proposed job is out of practical necessity, to increase the value of your home, or both. Depending on the area in which you live, factors like access, available headroom, and the potential for natural light can significantly effect the value per square metre of a basement conversion. In some areas, however, there is considered to be a ‘ceiling’ value for house prices that, no matter how beautifully converted your basement, is hard to surpass. It can be worth consulting a local estate agent for their opinion before making hard and fast decisions regarding the nature of the basement development to undertake.

At Entire Houze we have been converting basements since our inception and can advise, design and build the right basement conversion for you and your property. All our work is personally supervised by our company directors to ensure it is carried out to a very highest standard. So, whatever your basement conversion needs, we will manage all aspects of the project from the initial planning and design stages through to building work, plumbing, heating, electrical works, insulation and anything else that may be needed.




Top tips for buying a new-build in 2017

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Buying a brand new home can be an exciting prospect, but it also comes with it’s own set of challenges. Here are our top tips to help you through the process.

Price Negotiations
Buying off plan means you purchase your new home before building has been completed (or sometimes has even begun) It’s worth doing your homework by comparing prices with similar developments in the North London area and seeking advice from your local estate agent. Once you have all this information its down to negotiating, no sale price will be set in stone. Don’t immediately assume your property will be worth more money once it’s been completed.

Find our exactly what you’re getting
When your buying off plan there is often nothing to see, so make sure you find out exactly what your getting for your money. Does the price include landscaping for the garden, a parking space or even white goods? If you a buying a flat or an apartment within a block, then consider the annual service charges and ground rent.

Look beyond the show home
Builders and developers build show homes as a selling tool, but this only gives an indication of what you’re buying so take this with a pinch of salt. Your own home will be on a different plot or even a different floor or building all of which will alter things like light and noise levels considerably. Although developers do dress show homes the furniture tends to be minimal which will make it appear more spacious.

Find out how many other new builds have been sold and to whom.
You don’t want to be surrounded by a building site for twelve months, so find out how much of the development has been sold. Ask also about the ratio of owner-occupiers to investors as you may soon tire of being the only permanent resident among a revolving door of tenants.

Warranty Schemes
It is important to check the builder or developer is signed up to a warranty scheme. Whether you’re buying off plan or new a warranty scheme is crucial. NHBC’s Buildmark is the largest of these schemes but others such as Premier Guarantee and LABC Warranty do also exist. A warranty scheme will protect your deposit if a builder or developer goes bust. As deposits can be around 30% of the property value without it you stand a lot to loose. It will also ensure the home has been built to agreed standards. Never proceed with a sale if your builder or developer does offer a recognised warranty.

Consumer Code
Do your homework on the Consumer Code for Home Builders, launched in 2010 many people are unaware of the this code but it’s sole purpose is to protect buyers of off plan and new-build homes. One of the most useful parts of the code is that it forces builders to provide realistic information on when your new-build will be completed.

Don’t Change Jobs Before You Complete
Mortgage offers tend to have a three to six month shelf life and if yours runs out before your home is completed you will have to reapply. If your circumstances have changed a lender is within their right to refuse your mortgage the second time round. So stay put and steer clear of any additional financial contributions.

See What Extras You Can Get
You may only buy a new-build home once in your life, so see what extra’s you can get thrown in, additional light fittings or plug sockets for example. You may even be able to choose the colour schemes or flooring, but if you don’t ask, you won’t get.

How To Keep Your Home Secure During The Winter Holidays

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We all take time off over the Christmas holidays, but thieves don’t and the season to be merry and joyful can very often turn into the season to be burgled.

 This December don’t let your guard down and become a victim of crime, here’s how to keep your North London home safe over the Christmas period.

 If you’re going away don’t tell all and sundry that you’re off on holiday, shouting it from the rooftops to your neighbours over the fence, you never know who’s listening. The same goes if you pop into the local newsagents to cancel your papers, discretion is key. This also goes for social media, announcing to the world that you are on holiday opens up your home to opportunist thieves.

Consider asking a neighbour to pop round daily just to check everything is in order. If potential thieves see that someone is keeping an eye on your property they will possibly be deterred. Your neighbour can also check to see if pipes have frozen, or for potential leaks You can buy light switch times, which will switch lights on at certain times, thereby making people assume you’re at home.

 If you do have a burglar alarm, check with the company that installed it that it’s working fine and has been serviced.

 Lock away anything that might look good to thieves, take all keys out of windows and doors, lock garden gates and sheds and makes sure your keys are’t visible. Many thieves have been known to spot keys by looking through letterboxes, and then using a pole to grab them and let themselves in.

 If you are staying at home Christmas time (especially the elderly) can encourage people to let their guard down. As the nights draw in, always use the chain for the front door and don’t open it for anyone that you’re not expecting, or who behaves strangely. Trust your gut and always double lock the door at night or when you leave the house in the morning.

 Check all windows and doors for weak spots and if you find any, install a few dead-bolts and new window hinges to strengthen them.

 At Entire Houze we offer a wide range of doors and windows, from sash and casement windows, PVC-U or aluminium to wooden, composite, aluminium and PVC-U doors and double and single sliders. Whether you’re looking for repair or complete refurbishment to secure your North London property this Christmas our team of skilled joiners and fitters are here to put your mind at ease.

 Emergencies do happen even at Christmas especially where alcohol is involved, so if you unexpectedly get locked out or have any other lock emergencies. Our emergency locksmith company are here to help you gain access or prevent intrusion we offer lock installations and replacements, repairs and upgrades to burglary repairs and a full range of security solutions.

 Christmas is a fantastic time of year so just a bit of preplanning will ensure your North London home is safe and secure during the festive period.

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