Park Home Underfloor Scams and Lies.

The ‘Floor Bounce’ scam

The ‘Surveyor’ or ‘Salesman’ is invited into your Home to test the floor. He’s a big chap, finds the least supported part of your floor (usually the middle of a unit, not the centre-join of two units) and proceeds to jump up and down on the floor. Consequently the furniture moves, the windows rattle and ornaments fall over.

‘Your Home needs full re-support.’ says he, and the poor householder falls for it, when usually, it’s only the coach bolts that need tightening or most probably nothing wrong at all.

A 17 stone bloke jumping on a wooden floor is always going to cause problems.

The ’Got some jacks left over’ scam

No 1. The doorbell goes, a chap tells you they have some jacks left over from a job. Do you have any creaks coming from your floor? Would you like them to put them under your home?

I would say 100% of Park Homes have a creak or two. It’s a timber framed home and creaks will come and go with the weather. I live in a bricks and mortar house and the stairs and upstairs floors creak like crazy. You’ll pay well over the odds for Supports that you don’t need. Don’t fall for it.

No. 2. The doorbell goes, a chap tells you they have some jacks left over from a job. Do you have any creaks coming from your floor? ‘Look’ says he, ‘we can’t hang about, we’re due at another job. What we’ll do is you pay for them now, we’ll leave them here and come back later to fit them for you.’

Of course, you’ll never see them again …

We use a ‘rust-inhibiting paint.’

 Why not say which paint you use? We only use Hammerite – and we say so. They’re using a cheap and cheerful metal paint or even primer, which is no use unless it’s covered with a top coat. Ask what you’re getting or you’ll end up having to have it done again a couple of years later.

The ‘only paint near the hatch’ scam

You have engaged a Refurbisher to paint your chassis. They’re under there for a couple of hours, finally reappearing to say ‘All done. Would you like to check our work?’ They know the vast majority of Park Home residents are either incapable or unwilling to go under the Home to check – and they certainly don’t offer you photos of what they’ve done. So, you kneel down at the hatch and look under. Yes, it’s a wonderful job – NEAR THE HATCH – but completely untouched elsewhere.

The ‘it’ll cause more problems levelling the Home than leaving it as it is.’ scam.

This is the ‘get-out of work they can’t do’ lie used by the self-proclaimed and heavily-advertised ‘leading underfloor refurbishment company’. They claim they do it on their web sites and advertising but when they’re surveying/estimating they’ll tell you it can’t be done. Rubbish. Every Park Home can be levelled – even homes with added porches and conservatories. They want your other easy work, so they lie to get out of work they can’t do.

The ‘miracle superfoil’ or ‘bubblewrap’ underfloor insulation scam.

It’s ALWAYS poorly fitted, the edges are never sealed, it’s loose around pipework and wiring and it’s a ‘cowboy builders’ dream. There’s no prep needed, it can be fitted in a couple of hours, and again, it always looks great near the hatch. You’d be better off lining the floor with Bacofoil. Save up or take a loan out to have it done properly otherwise you are just wasting your money.

 The ‘distorted survey’ scam.

You engage an Underfloor Company to survey beneath your home. 99 times out of 100, they will report that the chassis needs refurbishing and the supports need replacing. What they won’t tell you about are the other problems the Home may have – eg cracked base, poor plumbing, worm or rot in the floor bearers and the Home out-of-level. They won’t tell you because THEY DON’T DO THAT KIND OF WORK!

The Surveyor who likes backhanders.

Many new buyers of Park Homes are green as grass. Many don’t even realise the Park Home is built on a wheeled chassis. Seeing a brick skirting, many folk think the home has a solid brick base. The sensible ones have a Survey carried out. Unfortunately, some of these Surveyors go out of their way to criticise the state of the chassis when the vast majority of Park Home steel chassis’ will see us all out, rusty or not. So they rubbish the chassis and in their notes put the contact details of the underfloor refurbisher that gives them a £50 gift (or bribe) for every lead.

The Surveyor who hasn’t a clue.

This is a proper scandal. The biggest (and I mean THE biggest) outside Refurbishment Companies have Surveyors that are experts on roofs, walls, windows, but have not got the first idea of the underfloor area of Park Homes. They tell you that everything is fine below the home and go on to sell you £10, 20, 30 grand’s worth of work to the outside. So you go ahead with the work only to find out in the future that the Home’s out-of-level, poorly supported, the sides of the home are drooping because there’s no support at the sides for the added weight of new roof, walls and windows that the original home was not designed for. Try selling that in the future – unless of course you engage this chap …

… the Surveyor who’s working for the Park Owner

You engage a Surveyor to examine the Home you’re  buying. He reports that the underfloor area is fine or that there’s one or two minor problems. What is actually happening is that the Surveyor is hand-in-glove with the Park Owner. The Park Owner wants the home sold and for a top price. If there’s no problems, the Park Owner gets 10% of a top price. If there’s problems and the selling price is reduced, the Park Owner gets a reduced 10%, so therefore, it’s in his interests to give the Surveyor a cash backhander to overlook problems below the home. The Seller’s happy, the Park Owner’s happy, the Surveyor’s happy but the new owner has been robbed blind and may end up with an unsalable home or expensive problems in the future.

Thinking you’ve got yourself a good deal by paying cash.

Whoop-de-doop. You’ve saved yourself a few hundred by paying cash, rather than paying the VAT. The trouble is, you’ve got no paperwork, no invoice, no evidence that they ever did the work. If they’re willing to take a cash payment, they’re dishonest and the work is going to be very poor quality. You’ve got no comeback if there’s problems, and you’re also an accessory to a fraudulent transaction.

Customs and Excise are no fools and any examination of a Company’s records will find a discrepancy – eg materials bought on the day near your Park, with your name and address in diaries and appointment books and your number on phone records.

Glowing testimonials by Customers that haven’t got a clue …

 ‘Oh they were so quick!’

They’ve rushed the work. No proper prep, a quick cosmetic job. In and out in 6 hours and it’s just cost you £2500.

‘Oh they were so clean!

The outside may well be spotless, but underneath, the base  still looks like the fly-tipped rubbish depository it was when they first started.

‘We were kept informed throughout the job.’

Indeed you were, but only about the things they can actually do. You weren’t informed about the things they can’t or won’t do.

‘They did a wonderful job.’

How do you know? They’ve provided no photos of what they’ve done.

A Clean Bill of Health?

It’s no secret that the vast majority of Park Home residents are Senior Citizens (or Pensioners in old money.) How wonderful to not be subject to the daily commute and treadmill. The downside for some though is to be dogged by health problems.

Many residents suffer respiratory diseases – coughs, colds, asthma and for ex and current smokers, emphysema.

Why Park Homes can be bad for your health

Google will turn up many articles on damp and mould and the effect on air quality in the traditional home. You’ll find very little relating to air quality in Park Homes.

Now, I’m no Scientist – I managed to get Biology ‘O’ Level, but failed miserably with Physics and Chemistry! I have a PhD in the University of Life or the School of Hard Knocks as it’s sometimes known. Years spent diagnosing and fixing problems beneath Park Homes however, gives me an advantage over the Scientists!

Many Park Home residents are suffering because they are living above what can only be described as a swamp. A crawl space contaminated with rubbish, debris, dried effluent and standing water.

How standing water gets under your home

Kitchen/Bathroom/Washer/Dishwasher wastes or soil pipes leaking or broken.

Mains or hot & cold feed pipes dripping/leaking.

Rainwater leaching through brickwork.

Where the home’s base is lower than the surrounding landscaping.

A poorly-maintained crawl space is a health hazard

A modern Park Home will have a moisture barrier and insulation below the floor. A torn moisture barrier and missing insulation allows damp and cold into the home. An older home may have neither moisture barrier nor adequate insulation. Older homes with new fitted bathrooms and kitchens will be poorly finished below. I have yet to meet the Plumber who replaces barriers and insulation when he’s finished. Out of sight and out of mind.

Black mould on the skirting and lower walls indoors or inside cupboards and wardrobes is an obvious warning. Damp carpets and spongy floors are further signs. You have standing water below the home and it’s a health hazard.

A welcome mat for vermin

A crawl space covered in muck and debris holds the water in. It makes drainage and evaporation very difficult. Once you have this situation, it rapidly attracts rats and mice. The patter of tiny feet in the walls, roof or below the floor is a warning sign.

The presence of vermin in your crawl space is not conducive to good health for Park Home residents.  The damage they can do to your plastic plumbing, insulation and moisture barrier can also be costly.

Get it cleaned!

A clean, dry and well-maintained crawl space is an essential first step to better health for Park Home residents. Ask your Doctor or other Health professional if this would be beneficial to your health. Call Environmental Health at your Local Council if you suspect problems below your Home.

Let us do it for you!

We’ll clean out the underfloor area, dispose of all rubbish and rectify damp and flooding problems. Bite the bullet and you’ll feel the benefit this winter!

Call the Chassis Doctor on 01234 300587 for a Survey/Inspection and let us set your mind at rest.