Advertising feature - Carl Bowles Services
Carl Bowles Park Home Services has specialised in refurbishing the exteriors of park homes since 1987. It is a small company led by Carl Bowles himself, who served an apprenticeship in the building industry and who then became involved with the park home industry as a result of the company he was working for carrying out texture coating on park homes.
“As a company dealing with exterior refurbishment,” he told me, “we specialise in walls, double glazing, porches and extensions. And being a small company, we are more than happy to handle jobs which bigger firms don’t find cost effective.”
Carl added that because of the company’s experience going back nearly a quarter of a century, it was often not necessary for him to visit a site in order to give an accurate cost of the repair or refurbishment. “Having been in the industry for so long, there isn’t anything that I haven’t come across. This means that we can keep the cost to the customer down.”
He added that the geographical area the company covers includes England, Wales and Scotland – but not Northern Ireland.
One of the main problems the company often has to deal with is leaking valleys on roofs. “They aren’t always made properly,” he told us, “so that after about seven years the timbers become rotten. It’s a manufacturing fault. Obviously, if it isn’t put right properly the situation quickly gets worse. Luckily, we have so much experience of this type of fault that we can repair it successfully.”
Problems also arise where the exterior walls need repanelling. “If it’s not done properly the problems can re-occur within a short time.” he said. “A ball park figure for repanelling a home is probably around £5,000. It’s important that time is spent in preparation, which is where some companies try to cut costs. We won’t do a cheap job.”
As well as stripping off the old panels and battens, the company will re-insulate the walls if necessary before fitting the new panels, which then need to be properly feathered before the texture coating was applied. It was important, Carl said, to ensure that the surfaces were completely free of impurities such as silicone otherwise the texture coating would quickly start to bubble and come away. As a result the company always did the work themselves. “We never use sub-contactors,” he insisted.
Carl believes that home owners could do a lot to help themselves, in terms of keeping their homes in top condition, by having the roof overhauled every few years. “It doesn’t cost a lot to have us come and check the roof for leaks,” he said. “Around £400 every five years. But a small leak can cause major problems which will cost much more than that to repair.”
He added that he recommends that the exterior walls be repainted every two years and that nothing should ever be screwed to them because every screw hole was a potential source of water getting into the woodwork and hence becoming a source of rot.
CARL BOWLES’ TOP TIPS
• Beware of door knockers and leaflets.
• Don’t assume that everyone advertising in magazines are what they appear to be; The magazines cannot vet and police all adverts.
• Obtain a copy of the Park Home Act and make yourself familiar with Clauses 21 and 23, which detail what the rights of the homeowner and the park owner are in relation to the maintenance and refurbishment of the home; always inform the park owner/warden of any proposed works.
• Always check out the contractor; this can be done in several ways – through the magazines, through Decra Roof Systems, and also the Guild of Park Home Services.
• Don’t just compare prices and go for the cheapest quote, read the details of the work to be done to include materials to be used; if a contractor has been around for a long time they must be doing something right.
Carl Bowles Park Homes Services, South West Business Centre, Queensgate House, 48 Queen Street, Exeter, Devon EX4 3SR. Tel: 07785 272933. Email: [email protected]
This review was published in the December 2009 issue of Park & Holiday Homes magazine. To order our latest issue please click here.
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