When you moved into your home you may have been provided with a handover pack containing instruction manuals for things like the boiler, as well as any heat recovery and ventilation systems that you may have in your property. If you didn’t receive a pack please contact us and we’ll be happy to provide one.

It is important that you read the instruction manuals provided and follow the recommended maintenance and cleaning tips, as there will be certain items such as filters that must be cleaned regularly.

You must also remember to arrange annual servicing of these items as, in the event of a fault, the builder will ask for proof of servicing prior to attending.

You must also ensure you regularly test fire, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Details will be inside the instruction manuals provided. Should you find your alarm is not working please replace the battery before calling us to report a defect.

Like most new things, a home needs to be taken care of. In the first few months, it’s especially important that your home is allowed to ‘settle’ – this includes allowing it to dry out gently. During this period, you may notice minor cracks in walls, gaps in joinery and white deposits on the walls – all are completely normal in new homes, and may occur regardless of the measures you take to ensure that they do not.

Drying out small cracks in the walls and gaps in joinery are both common signs of shrinkage. This happens when timbers and other materials contract as they dry out. It’s extremely unlikely that these cracks are anything structurally significant, and they can normally be put right very easily with ordinary filler and a simple lick of paint during routine redecoration.

To keep cracks and gaps to a minimum, you need to allow all the materials used in constructing your home to dry out gradually. Shrinkage is accelerated by heat, so you need to be sparing with it. Try to keep an even temperature throughout your home and, if you move in during the winter months, don’t be tempted to turn the central heating up to its highest setting.

Leaving your windows open (or at least the vents within their frames) will help to ventilate your home and allow moisture to evaporate more naturally. The length of time your house takes to dry out depends on how it was built and what sort of weather conditions there are when you first move in. Generally speaking, it will take around nine months to a year.

The build-up of mould can also be common in newbuild homes. To help avoid this, keep the window trickle vents open and try to maintain a consistent, ambient temperature. Avoid drying clothes inside where possible and if using a tumble drier try to ensure it is a vented model with an external exhaust. If you do need to use a condenser drier, please make sure the room is well ventilated as the builder will only attend to resolve mould issues where they are obvious results of a leak.

Any kitchen appliances that were already installed in your home, or that you have purchased since moving in, are your responsibility. Please make sure you register them with the manufacturer as soon as possible, as any faults must be reported to the manufacturer in the first instance. Details will be inside the instruction manuals provided.

If you have any questions or queries relating to repairs or defects in your home, refer to the repairs guide on our website or report a repair online using our reporting tool. You can also email us at info@bpha.org.uk or call us on 0330 100 0272.