04/02/2010
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Advertising feature - Fred Wood Refurbishments

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FRED Wood Refurbishments has almost 30 years experience in the park home industry, having been founded in 1973 as a result of a lucky encounter. Fred, who was in the building trade, having carried out some work on a customer’s bricks and mortar home was then asked if he would do some work on the their park home at Exeter. As a result, he was then asked by other home owners on the park to do work on their homes – and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, Fred Wood Refurbishments carries out both internal and external refurbishment and repair work. Externally, this includes, Decra roofing systems, uPVC windows and doors, re-boarding, re-texturing and re-insulation, not to mention guttering and fascias. Internal work includes fitting new ceilings and walls, as well as installing new kitchens and bathrooms.

“When we started out,” Fred told me, “our work was above average. Now we aim at it being 100 per cent. As a result, our reputation has grown over the years by word of mouth.”

Fred added that the area the company covers has also grown, from the South West and Midlands to most of England plus Wales and Scotland. “As all jobs are different,” he said, “in the majority of cases we don’t give quotes over the phone. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want people to phone so we can discuss their problems and requirements with them.”


ADVICE

We went on to discuss some of the recent jobs the company has carried out, including one in which one of the windows hadn’t been fitted correctly during manufacture so that, six years on, all the timber surrounding it had gone rotten. “This meant we had to take out the window, remove all the rotten material, replace it and the window, re-insulate, re-board, and retexture the surrounding area.”

Another recent job involved supplying and fitting a patio door to a home. On arrival Mr Wood noticed that there was a gap between the front door frame and the wall. The owner said that the door had been fitted about two years previously and that sometime after that the gap had started to appear. Attempts to get the company that had supplied and fitted it to rectify the problem had been unsuccessful.

Fred was so disgusted by the workmanship that as well as fitting the new patio door, he refitted the front door – free of charge!

“There are an awful lot of cowboys in this industry,” he said. “My advice to anyone thinking of having any repair or refurbishment done on their home is to employ a company which is a member of the Guild of Park Home Services. The Guild has no legal standing but all its members have been in the industry for at least five years and have had their work inspected before being admitted to membership.

“Having said that,” he went on, “there are some very good companies who are not members of the Guild.”


TESTIMONIALS

Fred continued by saying that home owners should be particularly wary of firms that had no landline telephone numbers. And you should always to ask for testimonials, which should then be followed up. Although these might not always be genuine, the majority usually were and, as a result, there was less likelihood of a home owner employing someone who did a shoddy job and then disappeared.


SURVEY

Fred also advised anyone thinking of buying a second-hand park home to get it surveyed prior to signing on the dotted line. “People buy a 30-40 year old home,” he said, “then find that the cost of refurbishment is going to be £20-£30,000 – much higher than they thought.

“If they have it surveyed by a company that specialises in park homes, they can use the report to negotiate a price reduction. We offer this service and in
many cases it’s free.”

When it came to what home owners could do to maintain their homes, Mr Wood, told us that it was very important only to use a protective texture coating or Resitex on the outside walls.

“They aren’t cheap, but your home is the most expensive thing you’ll buy.” he said. “Textured coatings come in about 30 colours, so there’s no problem as far
as that’s concerned, but other paints may cause flaking or bubbling – and in the long run this may well result in damage to the walls.”

Importantly, too, Fred recommended that, when replacing windows and doors,you should give the job to a specialist park home refurbishment company – because some of the windows and doors available from national companies are not suitable for use in park homes.

“It’s important to use odd-leg profiles in park homes.” he told us. “Anything else may cause damage later.”


FRED WOOD’S TOP TIPS

• Use a company that is a member of the Guild of Park Home Services.
• Before buying or spending lots of cash on an older home, have the chassis, supports and jacks inspected; in some cases firms like ourselves may inspect free of charge.
• We prefer as a company to use traditional cladding; by removing the old cladding this allows you to treat or remove and replace any rotten timbers before upgrading the old insulation.
• The internal walls should be the dry lined system; plasterboard taped and skimmed instead of plywood as its better insulation and can be papered or painted.
• Always use a company that specialises in using odd leg profile for their doors and windows, as the wrongly fitted windows and doors will damage and devalue your home.


CONTACT

Fred Wood Park Home Refurbishments, 30 Fielding Road, Yeovil, Somerset BA21 4RH Tel: 01935 473625/07796 400370 Email: [email protected] Web: www.fredwood.co.uk


This review was published in the December 2009 issue of Park & Holiday Homes magazine. To order our latest issue please click here.


Park & Holiday Homes magazine offers reprints of all homes and parks we've reviewed in our magazine. If you would like to see a particular review from a previous issue please print off the form found here
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