Our work has been vetted and will be continually monitored by Buy With Confidence, which is a partnership of Local Authority Trading Standards Services. The scheme covers local businesses which have given their commitment to trading fairly. Every business listed has undergone a series of detailed checks before being approved as a member of the scheme.

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The Old Crumpet Factory

16 Brockham Lane

Brockham

Surrey RH3 7EL


01737 845630

Info@ihscic.org.uk

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I struggle to manage with general day to day living at home but wish to remain as independent as I can. What can I do?

Under no obligation to yourself, we can visit you at home to help you look clearly at the choices open to you and help you to decide upon practical solutions, whether it is a personalised adaptation in your current home, such as converting your bathroom to a walk in shower room, a stair lift or you might prefer to consider moving somewhere more convenient.

I want to make informed decisions regarding my future living but how do I start? I want to be sure any proposed changes are right for me.

We can introduce you to an experienced Occupational Therapist to assess you in your home and who will recommend solutions to your day to day struggles. This assessment will focus on the problems you experience in your home, whether it is getting around the home, steps, difficulties with bathing or maybe managing tasks in the kitchen. The assessment identifies appropriate home adaptations to alleviate day to day struggles. The assessment can also form the basis of a professional view on how any future degeneration of your condition or illness might impact on your independence.

I think I know what changes I need to make to my home but how do I choose an experienced and reputable builder to make it all come true?

How often do you hear; "I don't want to be ripped off". "Will the builder be properly insured?" How do you instruct them to do the work that you want? It all takes up your time and effort in an area of business you may not be familiar with. IHS holds a list of carefully vetted and insured contractors, fully compliant with health and safety regulations. We will provide two or more such contractors with a full specification and drawings and invite them to provide a fixed price quotation. We can then scrutinise the costs to ensure they are fair. You the customer can choose the contractor you favour, either by price alone, or exercise your preference on any other level, such as favouring a particular company.

Who will liaise with the builder for me? I may have some new ideas or need to change my requirements but I am worried about asking for changes to the brief.

We will appoint a dedicated case worker who will look after your needs. You can call if you have any query, concern or wish to discuss changes to the specification. The case worker or surveyor will ensure your wishes are made known to the contractor and will inspect the completed work to ensure it is all completed just as you would like.

I worry that the contractor might start work and then "discover" lots of extra work which doubles the original estimate?

A unique element of our service is our contract management. We draw up a works agreement between you and your contractor. This ensures they stick to the timescales and costs agreed, unless there are any truly unforeseen circumstances. Any problems will be immediately reported to our surveyor who will ensure they are genuine before any extra work can be agreed. This will safeguard you from unnecessary extra costs and worry. Before work starts we will often hold a pre contract meeting at your home. You can express your preferences while the builder is in your home, such as use of facilities and start times. We can explain the plan of work and any elements of disruption so that you can be prepared.

I have heard about the possibility of grants being available for adaptations and repairs.

Yes we can help you to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant to fund your adaptation or for small repairs loans or grant, all of which are usually provided through your Local Authority. These grants or loans are means tested and we can help you to supply the Local Authority Grant’s Officer with evidence of your income and savings so they can assess whether you are fully eligible or whether you may be asked to contribute towards the costs. This does depend on individual circumstances and the grant calculation relies on concise information regarding your financial situation. Please be aware that from start to completion of your adaptation or repair, the process can take many months and while we are not at liberty to circumvent the process, we do try to ensure you are kept informed of timescales and what is happening with your case.

I don't want to wait. As it can take so long to get a grant, are there any other ways I can pay for my work?

By funding your work privately, by your own means, help from family members or equity release funds you will get your work done much more quickly than waiting for a grant. We are more than happy to help our eligible clients apply for Disabled Facilities Grant funding and indeed any other relevant funding but we are not at liberty to cut anything out of the process. This inevitably means it can take a long while to go through the application process. If you prefer not to wait, our case team are in the best position to help you to get to the desired end result as quickly and efficiently as possible, whether it is by grant or by independent means.

I like the idea of going ahead with the service privately but may not have enough capital available. I would prefer not to diminish my savings. Are there any other sources of capital?

The Disabled Facilities Grant could offer up to £30,000 to pay for adaptation work to those applicants who are eligible. A means test is required and the work must be deemed necessary and appropriate by an Occupational Therapist and reasonable and practicable by the Grants Officer. However we can help you to apply and oversee the process for you.

We could introduce you to an ethical equity release service to apply for a loan based on the equity in your property, or help you to approach your bank. They would look very carefully at individual circumstances before making any offer of a loan. Some equity release loans can be as small as £5,000 so you don't have to take on a large debt to provide the changes you want to make your home. Please note that while we are happy to help with forms, we are not financial advisors and do not recommend finance products.

Home visits and assessments

If you find it hard to manage day to day aspects of living in your present home but wish to remain living there as independently as possible, are you looking for practical solutions?

We can help you look clearly at the choices open to you and assist you to achieve your chosen way forward, first by visiting you to discuss your needs, then by engaging an experienced Occupational Therapist to assess you in your home and recommend real solutions to your day to day struggles.

Building Contractors and arranging your work

If you want to adapt your home, how do you choose a builder with the right experience and customer ethic? What if the builders you choose are not what they claim to be?

IHS only works with fully vetted and insured contractors who comply with current legislations and who have a proven track record. We will provide up to three such contractors with a full specification and drawings of your proposed work and invite them to provide a fixed price quotation. We will then scrutinise the costs to ensure they are fair. You the customer can choose the contractor you favour, either by price alone, or exercise your preference on any other level, such as favouring a particular company, in the safe knowledge that they have been vetted by us and will be monitored by our team during their work.

Once you have chosen a contractor you might not feel confident instructing them or know how to make your requirements clear. What if you want to make amendments to the original instructions?

It could be that your needs have changed since you last met the contractor but may feel apprehensive about requesting changes to the brief.  Your dedicated Case Manager will look after your needs. You will have a direct line to call if you have any query, concern or wish to make a change to the specification. Your case manager will ensure your wishes are made known to the contractor carrying out your work and will inspect the completed work to ensure it is all just as you would expect.

Often, engaging an unknown contractor can bring about its own worries.

What if the contractor starts work and then “discovers” lots of extra work which doubles the original estimate? What if he claims the materials cost more than he thought or they go over the agreed time on site? What if they sub-contract to other workers and you have someone in your home that you didn’t invite? We recognise your desire to keep things under your control and the need to be confident that the costs will be closely monitored and challenged if necessary. We will ask you to enter into a written contract with the builder which provides details of the work, the costs and the expected timescales. Any changes will be closely managed and agreed by all parties.

Funding Options

You may be aware that there are grants available which could help you to fund adaptation work, however this process can take a very long time and you might not want to wait that long for your adaptation. We would be more than happy to help our eligible customers apply to their Local Authority for Disabled Facilities Grant funding and indeed help you to apply to any other relevant funding source. We have a dedicated case team who will explain the Disabled Facilities Grant application processes to you and help you through the various stages. By funding your work privately, either using your own means, help from family members or by taking out a loan or equity release on your property you will enjoy your desired adaptation much more quickly. We would be happy to talk about potential costs with you at an early stage and while we do not offer financial advice, we could introduce you to an independent advisor or ethical loans and equity release company whose loan products start at £5,000 and whoe terms are tailored to the older or retired person’s individual needs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Our team has the knowledge and experience to help you to adapt or repair your home to suit your needs.

Please see our FAQs below which should give you a better understanding of what we can do for you.  If you do not find your answers here, please get in touch and we will be pleased to talk you through our service and how it could help you.