New look units
We were delighted to have two of our residents help us decide on the kitchen and bathroom units that will be installed in homes through our Internal Improvements Programme.
At Town & Country we aim to review our homes every five years through carrying out stock condition surveys to determine their condition and identify those which will need new kitchens and bathrooms, along with other items such as roofs and windows.
Residents can check via MyHomeOnline as to when their home is scheduled to be part of the Internal Improvement Programme, and our general assumption is that kitchens have a lifespan of 20 years, and bathrooms will need replacing after 30 years.
This work is covered through our Internal Improvements Programme, with any day-to-day repairs covered by TCH Repairs through the life of the kitchen or bathroom.
During Covid we had to pause our Internal Improvements Programme, and in March 2022 the contract with the company that had been doing this work came to an end.
Following a robust procurement process we have appointed Foster Property Maintenance to deliver our Internal Improvements Programme for the next three years, with the option of two, two-year extensions.
The new contract will see residents able to pick a selection of kitchens units from the Howdens’ Greenwich kitchen range, which offers a wide selection of high quality, popular off-the-shelf options. Kitchens will also come with chrome cooker splashbacks and chrome electric sockets, while bathrooms will be fitted with an electric shower, bath screen and a heated towel rail as standard.
Residents Pat Hurley and Misty Buchanan joined TCH and Paul Kemp, Director of Foster Property Maintenance, to select the items that will be on offer, helping us to narrow down the kitchen selection to five door colours, five door handle options and four worktops. They also picked five floor coverings that are suitable for kitchens and bathrooms.
Commenting on the process Pat, who has lived in Paddock Wood since 2003, said: “I thought it was brilliant with all the things that are on offer and the range of colours.
“We chose different items between us and that was good because we have different tastes. We were trying to work out what would be good for people of all ages.
“It was quite a different process to what I was expecting because there such a big choice, which was brilliant.”
Misty, who lives in Rusthall, was particularly pleased to see showers and heated towel rails included in the package.
“It’s fantastic to be getting showers – I can’t tell you the difference that having a shower will make to people’s lives, and not only because of the cost of living, with showers being much cheaper to run than a bath,” she said.
“We all spend most of our life at work or at home, so you need your surroundings to be comfortable, welcoming and friendly. You want to be able to invite people into your home without feeling embarrassed or ashamed. This will have such a big impact on peoples homes and make them feel proud.”
Adrian Richards is the Project Manager for the Internal Improvements Programme at TCH. He said that the next step is to refit one of our empty properties with the items that Misty and Pat helped choose to see how they look, before rolling out the options through the scheduled work.
“The biggest change is in bathrooms. The flooring is very soft but with high insulation properties, and electric showers, bath screen and heated chrome towel rails will now be fitted as standard,” Adrian explained.
“There are many benefits to this, as highlighted by Misty. The showers are A-rated for energy efficiency, so water consumption and heating costs will be less, and the towel rail will help reduce damp and mould issues.
“It’s really important that our residents have a choice over their kitchens and bathrooms, and I’m very grateful to Pat and Misty for helping us with this process. The items in the new range give people that chance to be proud of their homes, and will set them in good stead to make a life for themselves with a really good home.”