In this week’s episode let’s have a look at some of the things you need to think about before and after you move into your new home also what you should do if you want to redecorate it when you move in.
Check out some of the snags we have found on our YouTube channel.
Moving into your new home
If you have already started to prepare for moving into your new build home fantastic, or perhaps you’re just beginning your search for a newly built home.
Either way, it is important for you to not only settle yourself into your new home comfortably but also consider how your home will react to being lived in for the first time. This might sound strange, but you and your new home are going to have to learn to live with each other.
Moving into a new home at any time is stressful but moving into a new build home can be more stressful than normal whatever normal is when you are moving house.
There are a number of things I want you to think about especially if this is your first home, this is on top of everything else you will have to be thinking about such as removals, insurance, changing address letting your friends and family know your new address and so on, it can be overwhelming, to say the least.
On top of this, you have your move-in day and your mind is all over the place, you don’t know what time you are going to get your keys your removal company needs a time they can have access to your new home and so on.
Air Tightness testing
Once you have settled into your new home certain things are going to happen. One of the things to remember is that newly built homes are now air-tightness tested. This is to help them be more energy efficient, which means that if your new home is not properly ventilated it could cause poor air quality and a build-up of condensation in your new home. We spoke about this in episode 18.
Condensation is not a building fault however it can lead to mould growth which could eventually lead to health problems such as breathing difficulties. One of the reasons for Condensation is if moisture levels are too high and not controlled especially in areas where there is a build-up of moisture such as the kitchen and bathrooms, this is where there is the highest possible potential for mould growth. You might also see mould growth appearing on the top of skirting boards, the understairs cupboard or any area where moist air can’t escape.
This can be avoided and controlled through good ventilation using the windows, trickle vents and extractor fans throughout the house, and opening cupboard doors to exchange the air. If you have just moved into the house, try and open the windows and doors to allow a complete air exchange this will also help.
It is important to use any ventilation systems where possible, if they have been installed by the developer to ensure correct ventilation whilst your new home remains energy efficient.
If you do experience mould growth, then this can be wiped away with an anti-fungal wash which will kill any mould. Keep checking the affected area for at least a week if the mould reappears wash it down again until it disappears. Once it has disappeared you can re-decorate any areas. If painting, use fungicidal paint and if you are wallpapering make sure you use a fungicidal wallpaper paste.
If you have noticed mould or mildew on carpets or clothing, you should dry clean them. Don’t disturb mould by brushing or vacuum cleaning, as this can increase the risk of respiratory problems.
One way to prevent the mould from returning is to make sure you control the condensation in your new home.
Drying out your new home
There are some simple steps you can take to help minimise the impact of the drying-out process and air quality.
We have spoken about letting your new home dry out and what you should do in another podcast, here is a simple checklist to remind you of some of the things to do.
- Do not block external air bricks or vents
- If possible, leave windows or trickle vents open
- If you are drying clothes inside open trickle vents or windows slightly to let the moisture out
- If possible do not dry wet clothes on radiators
- Wipe away condensation on windows and glass surfaces
- Close doors when bathing or taking a shower
- Switch extractor fans on when cooking, bathing, and showering, leave these switched on to overrun for at least 15- 20 minutes
- Ensure there is sufficient airflow behind furniture and anything you have put on the walls such as pictures
- Open wardrobe and cupboard doors slightly to allow any moisture to escape
If you are experiencing condensation in your new home remember this is normal and is part of the drying process, we also create condensation when we breathe, so here are a few more tips you can use to help.
- Close kitchen and bathroom doors to prevent steam from going into cooler rooms
- Open windows daily to allow a change of air
- Wipe down surfaces if condensation settles on them
It is possible you could experience condensation for several months depending on how much moisture is in your new home. One thing I would mention is if you are continually having a lot of condensation after you feel your home has dried out, I would mention this to your developer to investigate it because it could be you possibly have a leak somewhere and it needs investigating.
Another thing you are going to get is shrinkage, this is normal in all new builds so don’t panic, here are a few tips which should help,
- Keep heating as low as possible, do not have the heating too high, but you need to be comfortable.
- If shrinkage or cracking appears leave them for a period before sealing them
- If shrinkage cracks are excessive (over 2mm) report them to your builder
- Depending on the time of year you take possession of your new home there could be up to 80 buckets of water to be removed through the drying process, this can take a considerable amount of time.
Don’t forget now you have moved into your new home your developer is going to want a snagging list probably within the first seven days, please remember to check your warranty agreement you usually have the first two years to report defects to your developer, but this may change depending on your warranty. Your developer asking for a snagging list within the first seven days is normal and is part of their procedures for the site manager to get you handed over to customer care.
All new build homes have snags it is inevitable, and just like the drying process is normal this is just your new home settling and getting used to being lived in. If you have been given a guide to your new home from your developer I would advise reading it as there is a lot of useful information which will help you understand what to expect and how to run your new home for the first time.
If you are thinking of using a professional snagger, check out episode 3 where I talk about how you go about choosing a professional snagger.
Having a professional snagging report will make it easier for your developer to complete your snags.
What to do when decorating a new build
I get asked a lot by our customers can I begin decorating my new home straight away? The answer to this is some of the materials used in newly built homes, such as timber and plaster need time to dry out before decorating. A new build home must be left to dry out properly.
It is advisable to wait for the house to dry out and settle as small hairline cracks and nail pops will appear in the first 6-12 months. This is completely normal, after this, there should be no problem decorating your new home. However, if you can’t wait to repaint your walls then it is advisable to use a breathable paint which will not affect the drying process.
If you are going to wallpaper any walls it is recommended to wait 6-12 months before you wallpaper. This will allow the house to dry out and any hairline cracks that appear to be filled. If you wallpaper too early there is the possibility that the wallpaper may be damaged or need to be taken off for the cracks to be filled.
Here are our top tips if you are going to be decorating your new home.
- Choose your paint or wallpaper
- Check your walls are smooth with no bumps or debris on the surface
- If necessary, size the walls to seal the new plaster
- Have a clear workspace to hang your wallpaper
- Align your pattern and spacing before you start
- Do not cut your first piece exactly – give it extra
- Keep everything clean
- Be careful around switches and sockets
- Set up your equipment
If you are going to be painting or wallpapering your new home here are some of the things, you will need.
- Wallpaper paste
- Container for your paint
- Paint Brushes and roller
- Lining paper if you are using it or sizing
- Tape measure
- Paste roller or brush
- A dry brush
- Spirit level or plumb line
- Trimming knife
- Seam roller
- A pencil
- Something to stand on, such as a ladder or stool – make sure this is safe and gives you enough room to reach the highest parts of the wall
- Pasting table
Before decorating your home, it might be advisable to make sure all your snagging has been done. You don’t want to paint or paper a wall and then your developer comes and spoils it when they are fixing your snags.