Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • EddyBaloch
    • By EddyBaloch 5th Oct 17, 10:14 PM
    • 56Posts
    • 10Thanks
    EddyBaloch
    House running tips
    • #1
    • 5th Oct 17, 10:14 PM
    House running tips 5th Oct 17 at 10:14 PM
    Dear fellow members,

    I am awaiting completion on my first house in two weeks. I have always lived in rented flats before so will really appreciate if you can give me some tips on how to run and maintain a house. My biggest concern is what to do if there is a gas leak or a toilet block? Can I take out specific insurance which can allow me to call someone to come and look/repair the fault (similar to breakdown cover for cars?) Or do i need to maintain a network of plumbers, electricians etc? So far all I have got is a building & contents insurance in which I pay extra to have home emergency cover. But I am not sure whether that's sufficient or not.

    It is a 1950s semi detached. The property is in need of a lot of modernisation which I am planning on carrying out in piece-meal basis as I save. It has got an old back boiler and the plumbing, guttering, and drains need replacing among other things but everything is in fine working order for now.

    Finally, an idea came to my mind to get electrical and gas safety checks carried before I move in. I googled and apparently I can find relevant people from checkatrade.com to carry it out for me. What do you think?

    Thanks for reading this and I look forward to your input!

    Eddy.
    Last edited by EddyBaloch; 05-10-2017 at 10:28 PM.
Page 1
    • kinger101
    • By kinger101 5th Oct 17, 10:23 PM
    • 3,880 Posts
    • 5,302 Thanks
    kinger101
    • #2
    • 5th Oct 17, 10:23 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Oct 17, 10:23 PM
    The thing with the emergency breakdown cover is that they'll tell you're not covered if you have a boiler problem due to lack of service history/age etc.

    Best just to have a rainy day fund.

    It's best to ask friends for local recommendations for tradesman. Anyone who pays to be on checkatrade or whatever is the sort of person who cannot drum up enough trade from recommendations.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 5th Oct 17, 10:26 PM
    • 15,153 Posts
    • 37,981 Thanks
    elsien
    • #3
    • 5th Oct 17, 10:26 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Oct 17, 10:26 PM
    If there is a gas leak, turn off the gas and call the emergency number. They will come and check whether there is a leak or not, and where it's come by from. If it's from an appliance they will disconnect it then it's down to you to get it repaired/replaced.
    They don't mind if you make a mistake either, as I found out when the gas leak I called them out for turned out to be a bag of diced swede.(Don't ask.)
    I'd certainly get the boiler checked. It's better to get recommendations from people you know if possible. Word of mouth rather than someone off the Internet.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • Grenage
    • By Grenage 6th Oct 17, 12:00 AM
    • 1,252 Posts
    • 1,200 Thanks
    Grenage
    • #4
    • 6th Oct 17, 12:00 AM
    • #4
    • 6th Oct 17, 12:00 AM
    Get recommendations for tradesmen from people you know. The best advice I can give is to have an emergency fund. Keep it topped up with all the money you didn't spend on unnecessary insurance plans.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 6th Oct 17, 12:38 AM
    • 1,699 Posts
    • 1,104 Thanks
    Robin9
    • #5
    • 6th Oct 17, 12:38 AM
    • #5
    • 6th Oct 17, 12:38 AM
    Just be practical - find out where the gas cutoff lever is, the water stopcock, the electrical distribution board.


    Other standard things - read/photo your meters the day you move in and contact existing suppliers. Building and contents insurance. Redirect the post.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • Clairabella
    • By Clairabella 6th Oct 17, 2:19 PM
    • 169 Posts
    • 59 Thanks
    Clairabella
    • #6
    • 6th Oct 17, 2:19 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Oct 17, 2:19 PM
    I agree recommendations from friends but, if you don't know anyone locally it's not so easy. When my daughter bought her first house in a new area she asked the estate agent, who also do property management, for some recommendations.. They happily told her the electricians and plumbers they use.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 6th Oct 17, 2:26 PM
    • 41,431 Posts
    • 47,768 Thanks
    G_M
    • #7
    • 6th Oct 17, 2:26 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Oct 17, 2:26 PM
    Do NOT use one of the commercial trade recommendation websites. They make their money from contractors paying them to be listed. So do you think they'll be keen to remove paying tradesmen who get poor feedback.....???

    Use either your council's Trading Standards trader recommendations, or Which?

    Yes, you can buy insurance against home breakdowns (gas, electtrics, plumbing etc) but I wouldn't bother.

    Put the same amount of cash away in a separate savings account each month, and use that to pay a contractor if you need one. If you never need one, you'll have enough for a holiday after a year or two!
    • jimbog
    • By jimbog 6th Oct 17, 3:30 PM
    • 598 Posts
    • 950 Thanks
    jimbog
    • #8
    • 6th Oct 17, 3:30 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Oct 17, 3:30 PM
    Most problems in the home are easily covered on Youtube
    The problem with quotations on the internet is that you can never verify their authenticity - Abraham Lincoln
    • G_M
    • By G_M 6th Oct 17, 7:05 PM
    • 41,431 Posts
    • 47,768 Thanks
    G_M
    • #9
    • 6th Oct 17, 7:05 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Oct 17, 7:05 PM
    When I bought my first property (many years ago) I was given the Readers Digest DIY manual as a moving in present.

    Still have it and it has done me proud over the years.

    Nowadays utube shows you how to fix many problems, but I'd still recommend an (updated!) DIY manual, along with a basic tool set.
    • Ms Chocaholic
    • By Ms Chocaholic 6th Oct 17, 7:09 PM
    • 8,596 Posts
    • 53,042 Thanks
    Ms Chocaholic
    Ask neighbours for recommendations for plumbers/electricians etc.
    Thrifty Till 50 Then Spend Till The End

    You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 6th Oct 17, 7:15 PM
    • 2,228 Posts
    • 4,753 Thanks
    Smodlet
    Ask neighbours for recommendations for plumbers/electricians etc.
    Originally posted by Ms Chocaholic
    Yes, if you have moved to an area you don't know too far away to use tradesmen recommended by family/friends, talk to your neighbours. We moved 70 miles and everyone we now use is the same as those our wonderful next door neighbours use. I would hesitate to use those recommended by your Estate Agent as they may get kickbacks and probably don't care how rubbish the tradesman actually is; we were burned that way. Ask your neighbours and best of luck.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • Car1980
    • By Car1980 6th Oct 17, 7:32 PM
    • 213 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    Car1980
    P.S. make sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 6th Oct 17, 7:49 PM
    • 2,522 Posts
    • 2,812 Thanks
    glasgowdan
    Eddy, speak to neighbours, look for trades vans parked at neighbour's houses. Far better to know some local people than to rely on insurance policies and national firms.

    Also, join a couple of local facebook groups and look for recommendations on there (being wary NOT to believe what everyone says as half the recommendations are for people's own family members or pals).
    • csgohan4
    • By csgohan4 6th Oct 17, 7:52 PM
    • 3,863 Posts
    • 2,402 Thanks
    csgohan4
    When I bought my first property (many years ago) I was given the Readers Digest DIY manual as a moving in present.

    Still have it and it has done me proud over the years.

    Nowadays utube shows you how to fix many problems, but I'd still recommend an (updated!) DIY manual, along with a basic tool set.
    Originally posted by G_M
    You must be ancient, did the house come with some cakes too?
    "It is prudent when shopping for something important, not to limit yourself to Pound land"
    • Mutton Geoff
    • By Mutton Geoff 6th Oct 17, 7:57 PM
    • 886 Posts
    • 936 Thanks
    Mutton Geoff
    Do NOT use one of the commercial trade recommendation websites. They make their money from contractors paying them to be listed. So do you think they'll be keen to remove paying tradesmen who get poor feedback.....??
    Originally posted by G_M

    A good tip. I have spent approaching £1m on work for renovation projects over the last 4 years. They were in 3 different parts of the country so I couldn't bring the tried and trusted trades to each of the new projects so occasionally I dipped into one or two of the "trustedbodger.com" websites for quotes or small jobs. Without exception, the quotes were ludicrous, the work was shoddy and the gut feeling I had about people turning up was bad. Never again.
    Compensations/Refunds from Banks & Institutions - £4,165 | Stooz Profits - £7,636 | Quidco - £3,963

    All with a big thank you to Martin and MSE.com from Mutton Geoff!
    • G_M
    • By G_M 6th Oct 17, 8:08 PM
    • 41,431 Posts
    • 47,768 Thanks
    G_M
    You must be ancient, did the house come with some cakes too?
    Originally posted by csgohan4
    Well the sellers did have a percolator going and made me coffee on both the first 2 viewings......

    Yup that old trick!
    • EddyBaloch
    • By EddyBaloch 6th Oct 17, 9:48 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    EddyBaloch
    Hello folks! I want to thank each one of you for the invaluable advice. It has certainly made me feel more confident. So here is what I am going to do

    1) Find trusted local tradesmen through recommendation from neighbors. It is a great neighborhood and majority of people I have met have lived there for over 20-30 years.

    2) As the property has been empty for over a year, I am going to get it checked for gas and electric safety. I will also pay for the boiler service. It is an old back boiler.

    3) Not getting any insurance and will make a separate fund for the rainy day. There is an emergency cover included in by building insurance for the first year so I can't do anything about that but will not renew it next year.

    4) Stay away from those tradesmen finding websites.

    5) Install carbon monoxide / fire alarms.

    Cheers,
    Eddy.
    • kinger101
    • By kinger101 7th Oct 17, 12:03 AM
    • 3,880 Posts
    • 5,302 Thanks
    kinger101
    You must be ancient, did the house come with some cakes too?
    Originally posted by csgohan4
    GM knows Mr Kipling's grandad.
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 7th Oct 17, 12:04 AM
    • 247 Posts
    • 310 Thanks
    Slithery
    Change all the locks as soon as possible after moving in.
    Last edited by Slithery; 07-10-2017 at 10:34 AM.
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 7th Oct 17, 7:24 AM
    • 2,522 Posts
    • 2,812 Thanks
    glasgowdan
    You'll always need to have buildings insurance, but boiler c0ver, plumbing, appliance cover etc are all questionable.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,254Posts Today

8,901Users online

Martin's Twitter