How to keep your home dry

As the wettest January for 250 years enters the record books so many experts are predicting that 2014 will be the year when homeowners start to take flood defences seriously.  The pictures of flooded and water-soiled homes that followed the deluges have already started a debate about where and how properties are built and many are now worrying that the 200,000 homes built on floodplains over the past decade are in grave peril.
But on a more practical level, what can homeowners do to protect their properties from an increasingly soggy world outside?

The most common option is to insert a damp proof course particularly as many period properties in London and elsewhere have either no, or only rudimentary, damp courses in situ to prevent water and moisture ingress.
‘Damp proof course’ can mean many things and varies from pieces of slate inserted into the brickwork (during the mid-19th century) to the polymers that are now used to create waterproof ‘skins’ below plasterwork.
But given the average £5,000 to £10,000 cost of a damp course for a three bedroom semi, is it really necessary to keep out moisture as the rain batters down? Many people think this, not including chartered surveyor Martin Hall, who believes it’s better to focus on prevention than cure.

Estate Agents in Wandsworth Town
He recommends focusing instead on keeping water away from walls before considering a damp course render, particularly for older buildings, which means maintaining gutters properly and inspecting render, pointing and brickwork quality regularly.  Other experts say it’s wise to also check window sills for cracks, internal water pipes for leaks and that all airbricks in the property are kept free of leaf litter. Most experts agree a property that is allowed to ‘breathe’ is less likely to feature damp, however bad the weather may be outside.

 

 

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Home makeover trends for 2014

As we endure this winter’s extreme weather let’s not forget that spring will soon be upon us and with it will come a deluge of a different kind; an army of homeowners getting ready to redecorate their properties.

If you’re one of them and have plans for your home then here are some 2014 interior design trends to provide some inspiration:

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True blue
So which paint, wallpaper or colour theme to choose for your home? 2014 is shaping up to be the year when blue and purple dominate. For example Pantone, the worldwide authority on colour, has named Dazzling Blue, Violet Tulip and Radiant Orchid as its top three colours of the year, while all the main paint manufacturers including Dulux, Crown and the popular Farrow and Ball also predict blue will be 2014’s colour of choice.

Bright future
On the other hand, after six years of financial insecurity the world of decoration continues to return to themes that embrace the feel good factor and this includes the use of cheerful hues which, after many years of white-paint minimalism, looks like a bright idea. Say hello again to lemon yellow, lime green and cerise.

The luxury look
Another trend that reflects a need to put the years of austerity behind us is the ‘luxury look’. This interiors fashion includes a liberal use of prints on wallpaper and furnishings as well as the return of the patterned carpet, ornate wood panelling and even a 1980s staple, the built-in wardrobe.

Outside is in
The ongoing concern with environment issues is making gardens that are more inside than outside fashionable and this means, in a very un-green way, even fake foliage. But in the world of living ‘outside in’ the trend is for small trees, box hedges and other larger plants to be placed around the home to give it a ‘greener’ look.

To speak to experienced property experts about plans for your home contact London Estate Agents James Pendleton.

Useful advice on Wood flooring from Woodden @ Mark Rogers Natural Flooring in Fulham

Woodden - wood flooring in Fulham

Woodden – wood flooring in Fulham

When it comes to property, the personal touch can make a huge difference.  As many a South West London Estate Agents can attest, every property is different and most homeowners have a fairly long list of questions to ask.  That’s why when it comes to property ownership or maintenance, customer service is key and Woodden @ Mark Rogers Natural Flooring undoubtedly delivers excellent customer service.

From their office and showroom at 124 Fulham Road in Chelsea, Woodden have laid firm foundations throughout the area as recognised wood flooring experts. Owned by Mark Rogers and run by flooring expert Tim Denholm, Woodden deal ably with large and small scale flooring jobs and are renowned for their polite, friendly and honest approach.

South West London Estate Agents James Pendleton thoroughly recommend Woodden for those looking for real wood flooring expertise underpinned by professional service.  Moreover, Woodden’s dedication to sustainability means you will know exactly where the wood of your new floor originates, how long and well it will last and how it has been sourced.

If you’re a homeowner or property developer in the Fulham and Chelsea area and are in need of quality flooring installed with expertise, it would certainly be worth contacting Woodden and don’t hesitate to get in touch with Fulham Estate Agents James Pendleton with any other property queries.

We spoke to wood flooring expert Tim Denholm about Woodden’s ethos and expertise.

  1. When was Woodden established in South West London and what do you love about this area?

Woodden was established as a new business in 2011 and has its first retail base within Mark Roger Natural Flooring on the Fulham road in South West London. I decided it was time to put my years of expertise and love for wood flooring to good use and to enter London’s diverse market. The best thing about South West London is the cultural diversity which translates into every aspect of interior design, not least to wood flooring. This allows me the opportunity to provide a solution to meet all tastes and desires in wood, which is what I love about wood for floors, it can be everything and anything you want it to be.

2.  Could you describe the breadth and scale of jobs you do?

I like to fully meet our clients’ needs, no matter how small or large the project. We have the depth in product availability and expertise to bespoke manufacture for any size and any shaped room, in any dimension or grade of wood. We aim to offer a complete service whilst being polite and professional.

3.  Do you follow a consultation process before starting a job?

We provide a full service where we will visit the site, advise on the best method of installation and our recommendations on the type of wood floor to be installed according to the balance of usage and aesthetic requirements. We have our showroom on the Fulham road where we will happily spend as much time as is required going through the various options and to top it off if we don’t have it, we will bespoke make samples according to the clients requirements to ensure their needs are met.

4.  What are some of the most common misunderstandings about wood flooring?

That it is dead once the tree is cut and that it is maintenance free! Wood flooring is a natural product and once the timber is felled, dried and machined into flooring the very last thing it is, is dead! Wood lives very much in the environment in which it is installed and as this environment changes with the seasons so the wood expands and contracts. Looking after the environment in which the floor lives is the best way of ensuring you get longevity out of the floor.

Wood flooring also requires the correct maintenance; some over the counter detergents and household cleaners strip away the finish after one or two applications and leave the floors prone to staining and marking as well as significantly reducing the aesthetic beauty of the floor. We advise all our customers on the correct maintenance products to use for our floors and more importantly how to use them.

5.  What is your advice for someone looking to keep your new wood flooring in top condition?

As per the previous question – maintenance, maintenance, maintenance! Use the correct cleaning products appropriately and maintain suitable levels of humidity in the rooms: this is vital to ensure the wood lasts for many years in top condition.

6.  What kind of questions should someone think about before installing new wood flooring?

That’s a good question! There are numerous considerations to make when installing wood flooring.  Here are some of them:

  • Do I have a damp problem anywhere in the property? If so, get it fixed before even thinking about wood flooring.
  • Design – do I want a Planked wood floor or a Parquet design wood floor
  • Do I want the floor’s natural patina to develop over the years and have the natural character build into the floor or am I looking for something smooth and flat with a “seamless” look which will be easy to maintain?
  • Do I like knots in my wood floor? It might sound silly but some people prefer not to have any knots in their wood floor and at Woodden, we can cater for their needs.
  • “Would you install a white carpet at this point in the building process?” It is a common issue that people want a wood floor installed prior to it being a good idea to do so and I understand that build programmes have time restrictions but sometimes the desired quality and finish cannot be rushed. It is better to get what you want and get it done right, than rush it and be disappointed with your investment and the longer term irritations.
  • Am I having under-floor heating? Under-floor heating is becoming far more prevalent in the flooring market and even though wood is a poor conductor of heat compared to some other materials it still works surprisingly well with under-floor heating, there are some specs which need to be thought about and this is where it helps to have expert advice on how to go about it.
  • Do I want my wood floor to” live” with me or do I want to “live” with my wood floor? Choosing the right wood floor and finish for your lifestyle is paramount to being happy with your investment.

Woodden Floors Limited

London Showroom: Woodden @ Mark Roger Natural Flooring

124 Fulham Road,Chelsea,London SW3 6HU

Tel: 020 7244 0440 or Mobile: 07900 224429

Webbs Road –fantastic new property development in Battersea

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As Grand Designs fans will know, it’s always thrilling to see the positive renovation of an old property. While not on quite the same scale as, say, a derelict church soon-to-be luxury penthouse, a professional and well thought out overhaul such as the one in progress on Webbs Road, Battersea is always a pleasure to behold.  Battersea Estate Agents James Pendleton are delighted to introduce two superb new properties about to arrive on the market.

Webbs road is a pretty, primarily residential street which lies between Clapham and Wandsworth Commons and runs parallel to Northcote Road.  A popular location much sought after by families and young professionals alike, Webbs Road is enviably close to acres of green space, shopping facilities to suit all inclinations and one of the biggest transport hubs in London.

What used to be the laundrette on Webbs Road was recently bought by JOSS Capital Partners, a property development and interior design company with a sterling reputation for producing quality homes such as those in the photos above.  To transform a building successfully while retaining its character is no mean feat, but one that JOSS have certainly mastered.  The two flats due to arrive on the market in a matter of months will be bright, airy and stylishly decorated throughout.

To find out more about these brand new properties, contact James Pendleton Estate Agents’ Battersea office or stop by for a chat with Sales Manager Sarah Welby and her team for full details.

 

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A year of the James Pendleton Angel service

James Pendleton Angel Department

James Pendleton’s Angel Department

The world of Estate Agency has come a long way in the past years.  New marketing innovations and service improvements are reshaping the way people think about property and presenting homebuyers with a wealth of options both before and, in the case of one South West London Estate Agent, after the sale or rental of a property.

For those who value the bespoke home search offered by a good client facing agent, it’s a good idea to keep track of innovations in customer service.  Doing so will go some way to showing which agents are worth sticking with and which are best worth avoiding.

The after sales care service at South West London Estate Agents James Pendleton has been established for just over a year and has already proved indispensable.  In short, the department provides new home owners with a personalised introduction to their property, supplying local area information, welcoming gifts, free key holding service and a friendly and responsive point of contact.

This service offers to homeowners something often overlooked by Estate Agents.  While a thorough and helpful company is a valuable asset to the initial property search, even the most impressive service can fall by the wayside once transactions are completed and bottom lines signed.  This is often the result of nothing more than lack of structure: for most Estate Agencies the level of post-sale contact is left largely up to individual negotiators.

James Pendleton Estate Agents, though, has implemented a structured, well organised post sales care department which keeps in regular contact with those in need of support in their new location.  From organising a visit from a recommended contractor to providing a tasty snack when all the boxes are still packed, the James Pendleton Angel department truly thinks of everything and delivers exemplary customer service at what can be a stressful time.

One of the most useful facets of the Angel Department is a unique key holding service which keeps a spare set of keys in a safe place so that property crises are easily averted.  Open from 9am to 6pm daily, the department can liaise with, recommend and arrange appointments with established trustworthy local contractors, cutting out hours of Google search time for new homeowners.  James Pendleton is known as a thoroughly local South West London Estate Agents and this specialist area knowledge has enabled the production of information packs listing local doctors, schools and amenities.  The Angel department even provides local parking permit forms.

To find out more about this South West London Estate Agent’s unique service and to see how the department can support your move, visit the company website or send your query to Zara at angel@jphomes.co.uk

Important information for Landlords in 2013

Every year as the winter season approaches and the temperature drops, boilers begin to malfunction with increasing frequency. This year, landlords should be prepared for the additional thorny problem of flues (note the additional ‘e’ – this is not a reminder to get your flu jabs!).

Starting in January 2013, regulations dictate that all flue systems must be visible for inspection as part of the standard yearly gas safety report. While the inspection of flues is fairly straightforward in houses, it may prove very troublesome in flats and apartment complexes.

Advances in technology have made it possible for boilers to be mounted not only on outside walls but in a variety of positions which are more suited to flats and apartments, where space is at a premium. Consequently, many such boilers have been installed in areas where the flue cannot be inspected to make sure it is functioning in a safe and proper manner.

From January 2013, if the gas engineer inspecting your property cannot view the flue along its length they will advise that the installation is ‘At Risk’ and seek your permission to turn it off. In order to prevent this, inspection hatches will have to be installed.

Fortunately for any landlord fretting over a holiday season ruined by hatches, flues and government red-tape, James Pendleton are here to help! Our gas safety engineers are on hand to help with any queries, in addition to carrying out all the necessary work to get your property up to the legally required standard.

If you would like to enquire about getting your property ready for the new regulations in 2013 don’t hesitate to contact our property management team, who will be happy to answer any queries. Otherwise please click here to read the frequently asked questions about boiler flues.

Introducing our new contractor!

As part of James Pendleton’s Angel service we regularly use our insider property knowledge to recommend the very best local contractors to our purchasers.  We are delighted to introduce Charles Yeatman, a new addition to our books and an established local expert.

Charles is an experienced painter decorator and has overseen large and small scale property overhauls for many years.  Moreover, Charles has worked in and around Wandsworth for many years and knows the area and its properties like the back of his hand!  We spoke to Charles about his work and South West London.

1. How long have you worked in South West London and how would you sum up the character of the area?

I have worked in South West London (specifically but not exclusively the Wandsworth area) for many years (in fact, it emerged during Charles’ visit to our office that he painted the front of Senior Office Administrator Marion’s home over a decade ago and the work hasn’t needed retouching since!)  I love the area and the properties it has to offer, the region has a unique, neighbourly feel.

2. Do you have a favourite South West London spot?

I regularly work in the Wandsworth Common area and it’s a beautiful part of the world, a slice of the countryside in the middle of London.

3. Do you have any advice for homeowners preparing their property for a redecoration?

I am happy for clients to consult me about preparing their property for maintenance work. Each property has slightly different assets and issues, and it’s good to discuss these before starting a project, so both parties are clear on the desired outcome.

4. If someone wishes to refurbish prior to sale or rental, do you have any decoration advice-what would you say works well?

While I’m not an interior designer I have a very sound sense of what works and what lasts when it comes to property refurbishments I am more than happy to advise my clients on materials and techniques that will last.  I can give my clients honest, informed advice based on years of practical experience.

5. Are there any decoration or property trends lately in South West London?

Generally, I would say that people today tend to favour no-frills decoration and quality over quantity. Where a decade ago bright colour washes and carpets were popular, today most people side with neutral walls and wood flooring.  However, decoration preferences vary a lot as they are so personal!

Charles Yeatman

Email: charles@charlesyeatman.co.uk

Office: 0208 672 0911

Mobile: 07721 501475